Confor Conference

A good write up on the Architecture and Design Scotland blog of the CONFOR conference that Neil attended last month. Find it here.

Trees to Timber Homes

Neil is one of the delegates speaking at the 'From Trees to Timber Homes' conference taking place in Edinburgh today. The topics are ambitious and wide ranging; from joined-up land use policy, to timber product and process innovation, to delivering political support for Scotland's forestry and timber industry. Read a Scotsman article about the conference in this link.

Doors Open Day - 2nd September

This weekend come along and see our workspace, Saturday 2nd September, 10am-4pm

A link to our Instagram below to see how our yard was looking over a decade ago!

MAKAR Instagram

Black Isle Show

We're pleased to be returning to the Black Isle Show this week -

from 4pm Wednesday 2nd and all day Thursday 3rd.

Find us at stand C41, come along to discuss a new project or to learn more about our approach.

Job Vacancy

We have a vacancy for a Finance and Administration Assistant [Full Time] to join the MAKAR team.

Duties will include a range of finance and general administration tasks reporting to the company’s Finance Manager. No experience is necessary, but the role will involve the use of Excel, Word, Outlook & Sage software.  Full training will be given.

The post provides the opportunity to work in an innovative Design and Build company based at Torbreck on the outskirts of Inverness.

Access the Job Description here. If you are interested in the post, please send your CV and a covering letter by post or e-mail to:

Emma Sinclair
Dores Road


The deadline for receipt of applications is Monday 12th June 2017.

We look forward to receiving your application.

Green Homes Expo

It was great to meet a diverse mix of visitors and exhibitors at the Green Homes Expo on 20th May.

Our next show is the Black Isle Show on 2nd-3rd August. Hope to see some of you there - more information to follow.

MAKAR becomes a Living Wage Employer

MAKAR has had a long-standing policy of paying fairly, and has joined the Living Wage movement by gaining Scottish Living Wage Accreditation. See to find out more about the scheme:

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis, while the National Minimum Wage is statutory and enforced by HM Revenue and Customs. The rate is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

Living Wage Accreditation enables employers to be recognised for paying their staff a fair, decent wage. On becoming accredited, employers are awarded the Living Wage Emplyer Mark, which is a fairtrade mark for responsible pay.


Green Homes Expo

MAKAR will be at the Green Homes Expo in the main building of Inverness college campus this Saturday 18th June, from 10am-4pm. Feel free to drop in and find out more about us, or just to say hello!

More information can be found here.


Catriona from the design office managed to catch part of the Scottish Ecological Design Assocation's AGM in Comrie last weekend. We heard some great talks from Nick Thompson of Rural Design and some of the student entries for the Krystyna Johnson Award. Thank-you SEDA!


Green Gold

MAKAR gets a mention this week in a Scotland on Sunday article by Stuart Goodall discussing the benefits of using homegrown timber in house construction. The article can be accessed online here.

Award For Parramatta

MAKAR has received an award for Excellence in Civic Design by the Montrose Society for the new Parramatta House in Montrose.

This house makes the most of a disused and overgrown walled garden, previously part of the grounds of Gayfield House, a listed country villa.

Sheltered, and with long views to Montrose and the coast, the development has brought new life to a site with an otherwise uncertain future. The new house, covered walkway and garage are positioned to form courtyard spaces to define public and private realms.

Our Forests, Our People

CONFOR has produced a short film on the importance of forestry and timber - part of a range of new materials designed to better explain the sector and its work to a wider audience. Spot a few MAKAR homes in the excellent film here.

Radio Scotland Out of Doors

Neil Sutherland can be heard on Radio Scotland's Out of Doors programme broadcast on 27th February. You can listen again on BBC iPlayer here.

In the first half of the programme Neil discusses Scottish forestry; its role in supporting the local ecomony and the provision of sustainable rural housing.

Drop-In Day at Evanton Jubilee Hall

In December Neil and Brian from MAKAR held a Drop-in Day at the Jubilee Hall in Evanton about the proposed mixed use development we are planning for Culcairn on the edge of Evanton.

Please see the presentation sheets used by us in the Hall here.

If you have any comments about the proposed development, please contact us at info

LLoyd Alter - Treehugger

A few thoughts about MAKAR by LLoyd Alter have appeared on the Treehugger website after hearing about us at the Greenbuild Expo in Washington D.C. last month. Neil Sutherland was there as part of a Scottish delegation participating in an Off-Site Construction International Workshop. In addition to the Scottish delegates - who represented Scotland's leading timber house engineering companies - there were delegates from the US and Sweden.

Homegrown Timber Case Studies

The Di Rollo House, constructed by MAKAR in 2009, has featured in a collection of case studies of projects using homegrown timber in construction in the UK by Wood Knowledge Wales.

As noted by Peter Davies in his introduction the case studies 'provide the practical evidence of the multiple benefits of using homegrown timber in strengthening the local economy, making a real contribution to tackle climate change and delivering the community benefits of warm and beautiful buildings'.

Our project can be found on page 17-18 here and the project data sheet here .

Open Doors Day 2015

The MAKAR workshop will be opening up as part of the In and around Inverness Open Doors Day on Saturday 5th September from 10am - 5pm.

This is a great opportunity to come and see how our timber prefabrication system is manufactured, and to have a look around our specialist workshop, completed in 2012.

To find us - head out along the Dores road past the Torbreck turn-off. You will see our sign and track on your left approximately half a mile further up the road.


For more information please visit:

Black Isle Show 2015

5th - 6th August

MAKAR are pleased to announce that we will have a stand at the Black Isle Show 2015.

Feel free to come down and find us -  learn more about our buildings or to discuss a new project!


The show runs from 4pm Wednesday 5th August, and 9am-7pm Thursday 6th August

More information can be found here:


We have sucessfully installed our new Dowel-lam intermediate floor panels at a new house near Avoch.

The Dowel-lam is a Scottish Brettstapel-  solid timber panels constructed of larch panels and beech dowels - which does not require nails or glue. MAKAR has worked alongside The Centre For Off-Site Construction & Innovative Structures at Napier University in the development the panels.

The resulting product locks up far more carbon than a typical timber floor cassette, and is quick and easy to install once on site. The underside will be exposed in the finished house.

MAKAR have landed at HBR Show

MAKAR have landed at the Scotland's Home Building and Renovating Show at the SECC in Glasgow!

The show is the biggest self build event in Scotland and will feature an array of construction professions on hand to give expert advice to help you to build your ideal home.  Doors will be open to the public on Saturday 18th June from 10am - 5pm and Sunday 19th June from 10am until 4pm.  

Click here to register for free tickets and drop in to see the team over the weekend.

The 7 metre long MAKAR stand was crafted in MAKAR's workshop in Inverness and delivered to the SECC as one unit- an unusually efficient way of delivering an exhibition!  The stand features timber processed at MAKAR's sawmill, a counter made of cross-laminated timber, and benches hand crafted by MAKAR's Tony Oakley.  On display are timelapse videos of MAKAR buildings under construction and a gallery of images showing the array of architecture delivered to date.

For more images of the MAKAR stand check out our facebook page.

SECC Glasgow Homebuilding & Renovating Show

Scottish Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2013;click here for FREE tickets


Visit MAKAR at SECC Glasgow Homebuilding & Renovating Show - 18 - 19 May 2013. 

Alternatively please contact us and we can post you free tickets.

MAKAR to cut carbon emissions by 38%

In 2013 MAKAR made a commitment to deliver a 38% reduction in carbon emissions by 2015/16.

MAKAR were selected to partner with the Carbon Trust to create an ambitious Carbon Management Plan for the future.  The programme endeavours to assist small and medium companies in identifying means by which they can reduce their carbon emissions and encouraging them lead by example in addressing climate change.

The programme involved a thorough assessment of the company's operational carbon footprint, which took into account all energy use from the efficiency of equipment to the travel of staff.  From this predictions were made of how this would change in line with the company's continued growth.  Through collaboration with the Carbon Trust MAKAR were able to identify substantial carbon savings that were formulated into an ongoing 5 year plan.

In March 2013 MAKAR were one of  50 Scottish SME's who took part in a graduation ceremony in Edinburgh to mark their commitment to deliver on targets laid out in the Carbon Management Plans.  Certificates were presented by Fergus Ewing MSP and Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism.

'This plan provides us with the opportunity to put formal measures in place to reduce our impact on the environment... As the focus in the construction industry moves from operational to embodied carbon, the Carbon Management Plan has helped MAKAR understand where carbon is generated in our activity and helps raise our engagement with day to day carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.... Over the forthcoming years we will report our progress on a regular basis and demonstrate our commitment by turning this plan into reality'

Neil Sutherland, Managing Director, MAKAR


'There are those that can and those that do.  Private businesses can contribute significantly to reducing CO2 emissions.  The Carbon Trust is proud to support MAKAR in the on-going implementation of its Carbon Management Plan.'

Paul Wedgwood, Manager, Carbon Trust Scotland

MAKAR Workspace Launch

Fergus Ewing MSP opens new off-site construction workspace for expanding company

Fergus Ewing MSP (Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism) will, on Monday 25 June 2012, will open a new 450m2 workspace at MAKAR, the Inverness-based ecological building company.

MAKAR, and its integral design company, Neil Sutherland Architects, currently build 10 ecological houses per year across the Highlands and employ 22 people.  The company has been growing steadily in recent years and, unlike many firms in the construction sector, is experiencing strong demand for its bespoke, low energy, ecological houses. The company differs from mainstream builders in offering an integrated design, manufacturing and delivery service to customers with certainty over workmanship, energy performance, program and cost. MAKAR’s turnover has increased by 50% in the past financial year and this is predicted to continue in future years..

The new workspace and equipment will be used to fabricate large building panels and structural frames. This will increase the company’s production capacity and capability, and will allow the company to expand and take on additional staff.  Over the next 5 years, this investment will support the creation of 15 new skilled jobs.

The £400,000 investment was supported by a £172,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). 

Neil Sutherland, Managing Director of the firm said that : “The investment is a major step in the development of our organisation.  The new workspace will be the platform for future growth, and we are very grateful for the financial support we have received from the SRDP which has been critical in making this project possible.”

Over a hundred and fifty people – past and present customers, suppliers, academics, and government agency representatives are expected to attend the opening.


New House at Balnafoich

Recently completed house at Balnafoich, Inverness. Completed December 2007