Ecological design

At MAKAR we are dedicated to using natural and sustainable materials in the creation of healthy homes. We work with a network of suppliers of timber and components across the Highlands.

Natural Materials

MAKAR buildings are designed to have a negligible impact upon the environment.  Using natural materials is integral to this approach for several environmental reasons:

Carbon emissions

The natural materials we use are mostly from renewable resources and their contribution to carbon emissions will be minimal.  

Health benefits

Natural materials respresent an alternative to synthetic materials which can be harmful to your health. See our healthy buildings section to find out more.

Aesthetic qualities

Natural materials from the local area will weather and blend in better with their surrounding environment.  See our place and environment section for examples.


Buildings made from natural materials can biodegrade into the soil after the lifetime of the building.

MAKAR takes a holistic view to construction by considering the whole life of a building including the legacy this building will leave after its lifespan.  We believe in a cradle to cradle approach to manufacturing buildings which avoids the mixing of synthetic and natural materials; and creates products that are difficult to dispose of after the building has outlived its purpose.  

Healthy Buildings

A healthy building is one which has a good indoor air quality and living environment.

On average we spend roughly 90% of our time indoors where there can be higher levels of pollutants than there are outside.  Numerous health risks such as asthma, cancer, and reproductive and developmental effects have been attributed to the absorbtion of toxins from the indoor environment.  Much of this has been accredited to the fabric of our modern homes which has seen the introduction of synthetic and oil-based materials to increasingly airtight interiors.  Such materials and substances are commonly used in window frames, interior paints and varnishes, carpets, furnishings and domestic cleaning products.  Many of these materials are known to release noxious gases which become trapped within the home and absorbed or inhailed by occupants.  Young children are known to be at particular risk as gasses can be more dense than air and as a result become more concentrated at floor level.

Dampness in the home is another serious issue that can lead to the proliferation of mould and house dust mite leading to respiratory illnesses for the occupants.

MAKAR homes are designed to eliminate the use of synthetic materials as far as possible. Natural materials are used to build warm, dry and well ventilated homes.

Visit our sections on daylight and breathing walls for more information.