The SSCI was launched in June 2008 and aims, by way of exemplar schemes, to promote innovative sustainable development; demonstrate high levels of environmental design; and build enduring places.
Local authorities, landowners, the development industry and others were invited to submit proposals which demonstrate ambition in addressing a number of key principles related to sustainability. From these submissions, the selection of 11 SSCI exemplar projects, in a variety of locations across Scotland, were announced by the Deputy First Minister in May 2009. The creation of a number of very low, or zero carbon, communities which also exhibit good place-making qualities is intended to stimulate a rise in environmental design quality standards across Scotland.
The housing development at Polnoon is a Scottish Government project which was created to champion good design. The aim was to take the Government's design advice, in particular Planning Advice Note (PAN) 76 Residential Streets and turn all its theory into reality, with the long term ambition of building a Conservation Area of Tomorrow.
The Highland Housing Fair took place in August 2010 and showcased the best of Scottish sustainable design. A significant Scottish Government initiative, the event will involve the construction over 50 homes designed by a variety of architects and selected through a design competition run by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
Sust. is a Scottish Government funded project to promote sustainable design and to raise awareness of the important contribution that good design in the built environment can make to energy efficiency and moderating climate change.