Aug 31 2012 by Stuart Wilson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
A DAD who wants to build his own eco house has been billed asScotland’s answer to Steve Jobs.
Norrie Smith is being backed by some of the world’s top professors to create a“phenomenon”.
And they claim he could create a housing craze that becomes as big as Apple’s iPhone.
The Prestwick energy enthusiast wants to use wind, rain and sun to fully power his home.
And he insists those reserves can then be used to prop up the whole street.
Now some of the globe’s top science boffins have warned sceptics they’ll write off Norrie at their peril.
Professor Avi Friedman is one of the world’s leading architects in zero energy homes.
And this week he jetted in from Canada to visit Norrie’s modest base in Adamton Road to spell out the dawning of a new era.
Prof Friedman said: “Sometimes you see something that will be so special it turns into a national phenomenon.
“I fully believe we have that here with Norrie.
“What he intends to do in Prestwick will be the future of housing. Of that I am sure.”
Prof Friedman shot to fame in 1990 when building a prototype of a zero energy house in Montreal.
The model, which was later recognised in an award by the United Nations, has since been adopted in countries like Japan.
Now Norrie wants to bring the radical way of living to a suburban Prestwick street.
He explained: “Every time I switch on a light in my house, I can feel the pennies disappearing from my back pocket.
“The money we all spend on energy consumption is needless and there are so many easy things we can do to reduce the costs.
“This is not rocket science, it’s simply about using the sources of energy which are all around us.
“If I can power my house using things like wind and water, I can do it for all of the houses in my block.
“I might be aiming for the stars with this, but I might just hit the moon.”
And it seems the leading authorities agree.
Prof Friedman added: “A lot of ideas seem crazy at their conception and this is no different.
“When Steve Jobs first told the world about the iPhone and iPad, he was greeted with strange looks.
“But these people are visionaries and, in the end, they are proved right.”
And Norrie, 46, is being touted as a man whose plan could take the world by storm.
Professor Colin Ripley, chair of architecturalscience at Rogerson University in Toronto, was another to tour Norrie’s home this week.
The visit was part of an energy conference in Glasgow, with Norrie’s home used as a field trip en route to a civic reception at South Ayrshire Council.
Prof Ripley said: “The way Norrie is wanting to live has to be the future.
“I firmly believe that within 30 to 50 years, we will see streets around the world that are fully set up in this way.
“People in this part of the world should be taking note of a very exciting development on their doorstep.”
Norrie will go before council chiefs next month with plans to start implementing his zero energy home.