Our Island Home | FAQ

Our competition has created a lot of interest among architects across Scotland and beyond. There have been some queries about the detail of the competition. This page will provide answers We will post answers  to the most frequently asked questions. However if you don’t see your question listed please send it to Jodi Macleod at jodi@ruralhousingscotland.org and we will do our best to answer it quickly by email and also post the answer here.


We plan to build the winning design in at least three island locations and to commission the winning architect to undertake the work. We are working with community landowners to identify sites and secure funds to deliver the project(s). The winning architect will be paid normal fees for this work.

Ownership + Copyright

The ownership of the Copyright will be in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, that is the Copyright rests with the author of the submitted design.


The brief suggests a maximum budget of £100,000 for for a contractor delivered house.  However proposals should highlight options for cost reductions and estimate the value of any savings.

Other FAQs

What size of ferry services the islands?
The isles of Mull, Coll, Tiree and Colonsay, Barra and South Uist, for example. are all serviced by the same three ferries which can take between 500-900 passengers and 70-90 cars. The small isles, however, are serviced by a smaller ferry which can take almost 200 passengers but only 14 cars. The brief asks architects to design something that generates economies of scales and that is easy to build in order to minimise transportation and subsistence costs.

Are driveways and other external works included in the £100k budget?
No, driveways and other external works are NOT included in the budget- the idea is that we come up with something built to walk-in standard for much less than £100k. If build costs are kept low, work on outside space will be an option afterwards.

Is there accommodation for workers on the islands?
It is very likely there will be accommodation, yes. The Hebrides are a popular tourist destination. However, some are more popular than other therefore are pricier, some islands have the RET rates which reduces ferry costs and some islands have more frequents services.  What we want to create however is something which is adaptable that will suit different island locations, maximize off-site construction and minimize transport and subsistence  costs.

Will the submission form be forwarded?
Yes, submission forms will be forwarded by email to those who have registered interest and a copy will also be posted on the website.

How many houses are intended to be built at the first site at Dervaig on Mull?
NWMCWC intend to build 5 affordable homes which will be followed by further development and plot sales.

Is there an entry fee?
There is no entry fee.

Are architectural practices not currently ARB registered eligible?
No, but international equivalents are acceptable.

Is the design for a single unit?
The submission should be for a single house, however the design should be adaptable to enable it to be built as a single unit, terrace or semi-detached.

Is an email all that is required in terms of registration?
Yes, we asked that architects email to register their interest in the project by 5pm Friday 11th October 2013. Submissions forms will be forwarded and posted online, submissions must be made  by 5pm Monday 11th November.

Could a community interest group submit an architects’ design?
The entry must be submitted in the name of the ARB registered architect, however, the group may still be involved in the process.