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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 09:47 GMT
World interest in design contest
Aerial photograph of the Highland Housing Fair site (Pic: RIAS)
An aerial photograph of the Highland Housing Fair site
A Scottish housing design competition has attracted interest from Japan and the US.

Architects, developers and builders are vying for a 5.5 hectare (13.5 acre) site on the outskirts of Inverness.

The winner of the Highland Housing Fair will be invited to buy the plot and build their design.

The contest is being run by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) to raise standards in innovative and "green" housing.

Since its launch at the start of this month, the RIAS has recorded more than 4,600 hits on its website page carrying information on the contest.

The organisation said there had been inquiries from Scotland and across the world.

The deadline for potential competitors to register is 1700 GMT on 28 February.

Design festival

Co-ordinator Fiona Porteous said the aim of the competition was to generate good quality, environmentally-friendly properties.

She said: "We are delighted with the interest the design competition is generating and we are aware that a lot of potential competitors are currently concluding their conversations with developers and builders who would work with them to build their properties."

The successful entrant will build their homes on 27 plots at Balvonie on the southern fringe of Inverness.

The winner will be announced in June and an exhibition of entries will be held in Inverness as part of the RIAS Convention and the Six Cities Design Festival.

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