The principles of de-constructibility afford ease of maintenance and recycling opportunities both during and at the end of the lifetime of a building. These principles are described in detail in the SEDA web publication Design and Detailing for Deconstruction:




The publication can be considered as a further aspect of meeting a ‘low impact’ criterion.

Of particular relevance to the timber hut builder will be separation of components to allow individual replacement, for example:the screwing of cladding and decking boards or steel roofing sheets; the bolting of post and beam frames ; the use of galvanized and stainless steel fixings to prevent rusting and difficult removal of fixings.


Where budget permits, higher quality materials will be more worthwhile to recover at the end of the building’s life. Good examples are sheep’s wool insulation (as opposed to mineral wool) and high quality windows and doors that have stood the test of time.



A wide variety of typologies can meet the Scottish Planning Policy 2014 definition of a hut in terms of sustainability, low carbon, simplicity and ease of final deconstruction (see planning permission). However, for the majority of hutters, it is likely that their preference will be the use of timber in structure, if not also for linings and claddings. This Guide therefore deals mostly with timber as the primary building material. This so called ‘timber first’ design strategy is likely to fit well with use of on-site or local timber resources which should achieve very low embodied carbon buildings in line with wider Government objectives.


Claddings, linings and roof coverings other than timber are also covered where such materials work without prejudice to the underlying structure and principles detailed herein. 

This Guide does NOT cover masonry, straw, earth (adobe, earthship etc,) structural insulated panel systems (SIPS) or steel building systems.

Some Sections of this document will still be relevant to a hut built with such materials or systems but, to comply with the legislation, if you are using these methods you will need the services of a qualified structural engineer to certify the structure in order to meet the mandatory requirement of the 23A Exemption concerning structural stability (Standard 1.1). The structure in this context will include foundations, sub- and superstructure. It may also include any associated deck or walkway over 1.2 m above ground (for more information refer to decks ).


This document deals with huts on an individual basis and does not deal with hut developments of several buildings where services will most likely be shared. It does however underline the regulation concerning minimum distance between huts and other buildings and distances to boundaries. Domestic Building Standards contain further detail concerning these critical distances in relation to waste water systems, roads, buildings and water courses.




This guide contains extensive notes and drawings on two key timber framed types of hut build: Post and Beam, and Stud Frame building methods. These have been assessed by structural engineers (with the caveat that each build and site is unique and will need to be assessed individually by the hut builder), and the notes are intended to help guide hut builders through the building regulations for huts. To find out more, click on the Post and Beam or Stud Frame boxes in the diagram.

1000 Huts is a project of the charity Reforesting Scotland, which works to restore and support sustainable communities in a well-forested land.


The content of this site is supplied as good practice guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law or of the policy and practice of the planning or building standards system at the local, national, or case level. It simply sets out what our contributors believe to be good practice for hut builders in complying with the Scottish Government's new regulatory framework for huts. Anyone considering undertaking a hut development should seek their own legal, planning and building advice. 





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