By Ian McConnell

A DUNFERMLINE home ventilation systems firm has entered employee ownership, with 12 staff given a stake.

Sustainable Homes Scotland, trading as Paul Heat Recovery Scotland, was founded in 2007 by director and former owner Stefan Huber and German master craftsman Thomas Froehlich. Mr Froehlich died in 2018.

The business provides energy-efficient ventilation solutions for sustainable homes, specialising in the supply, design, installation and commissioning of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems. Its trading name originated from a close relationship with German company Paul Wärmerückgewinnung, which pioneered “Passivhaus” MVHR systems.

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Mr Huber, who has expanded the company organically in a “challenging environment”, said: “Over the years, we’ve worked extremely hard to grow the business and to be at the forefront of domestic ventilation and MVHR in Scotland.”

Describing the approach as “non-compromise”, he added: “We have focused on building a highly skilled, dedicated team and providing the best service possible.”

Mr Huber supports the homeless and people with addictions in Perth through charities including Still Waters. He said: “I am proud of my team, their dedication, hard work and loyalty. I wanted to reward them while opening up a door for myself to concentrate more on charitable work in Perth, which I have been doing for the last few years in my leisure time. My team has basically been working as if it was their own business anyway, so it was only natural to take this course.”

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Employee ownership was suggested by Business Gateway, which put Mr Huber in touch with Co-operative Development Scotland. Mr Huber said: “Employee ownership allows us to keep operating as normal and ensures the protection of the company we’ve worked hard to build together.”

An employee ownership trust has been formed and holds 100 per cent of the shares on behalf of staff.