Perth City Hall and Perth Museum and Art Gallery designers selected

Perth City Hall Mecanoo 3

Mecanoo’s plans for Perth City Hall

The designers for the revamped Perth City Hall and Perth Museum and Art Gallery have been unveiled following a competitive process.

Metaphor has been appointed as the “interpretation and exhibition designers” for the city centre venues and will work with Mecanoo and Hoskins Architects, the architects of the respective projects, to develop new interiors and exhibition spaces in both buildings and bring the stories of Perth’s Ancient Roots and its Modern Scots to life.

London-based design practice Metaphor has a track record of major cultural projects in the UK and beyond which include Shakespeare’s Globe, the Ashmolean Museum, major galleries in the V&A London and in the National Museums and Galleries of Scotland. It is currently developing the exhibitions for the proposed St Kilda visitor centre to be located on Lewis.

Councillor Ian Campbell, leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “The council’s plans to make culture accessible to everyone have taken another step forward with the appointment of Metaphor. Interpreting and explaining art and artefacts is a key part of a successful cultural venue and will ensure the Museum and City Hall are the top-class attractions that Perth and Kinross deserves.”

Helen Smout, chief executive of Culture Perth and Kinross, added: “The museum collections of Perth and Kinross are of National Significance and we will be bringing the stories they tell to life at City Hall and Perth Museum – for local people and visitors from across the UK and the world.”

Dutch practice Mecanoo was appointed to transform Perth City Hall into a £20 million major arts hub in August.

BAM Construction will work with hub East Central Scotland to redevelop the Edwarian building, with construction expected to start work in 2019 and the grand opening scheduled for 2021.

The contractor will also lead the £10m Hoskins Architects-designed revamp of Perth Museum and Art Gallery with Ogilvie Construction tasked with building the new collection store on a separate site.

BAM Properties and Hermes to deliver prime Edinburgh office development

CapitalSquare-Exterior-Final-23March16The largest speculative office development currently underway in Edinburgh is set to be delivered by BAM Properties after the contractor struck a deal with Hermes Investment Management.

Upon completion, Capital Square will be a premier 122,000 sq ft, eight-floor purpose-built office development designed to a high specification and featuring an underground car park. Centrally located in the city’s Exchange business district, between Morrison Street and Lothian Road, the scheme is in close proximity to Haymarket Station and other transport links, as well as a large variety of local amenities.

BAM Construction has been appointed to build this prime development, which will accommodate up to 1,400 people, with work due to commence on site this month and the development expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2020.

Hermes Investment Management, in association with Parlison Properties Ltd, secured planning approval for the development in 2015 and Parlison Properties will continue as development consultant to the project.

Designed by architects Hurd Rolland, the building will feature a glazed curtain-walling facade, double-height reception with a statement atrium, and a courtyard entrance, set within a private south-facing landscaped garden. The property will also boast rooftop terraces offering unrivalled views.

In keeping with its Grade A status, Capital Square will comply with the highest environmental standards, including a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ‘Excellent’ rating on completion and an EPC ‘A’ rating. Additional features will include solar panels, LED lighting and a 24-hour staffed security system, as well as facilities for cyclists and runners.

Dougie Peters, managing director, BAM Properties, said: “BAM has a successful track record of identifying when the market is right for investment. We believe now is the time. We are confident in the Edinburgh office market and the Edinburgh economy generally. The city continues to suffer from a lack of Grade A supply with strong demand from occupiers for new space. We have a great partner and project team in place providing us with all the right ingredients to undertake a speculative development of this quality.

“This development is special for many reasons, not least its location and staff friendly features. It will provide a competitive edge as Edinburgh lacks high-calibre developments of this scale capable of attracting blue-chip occupiers.”

Chris Taylor, head of private markets at Hermes Investment Management, added: “Strategically located in the heart of Edinburgh’s premier business district, this Grade A development features the highest quality facilities and will create a prime working environment, whilst also complying with the highest environmental standards. As our fellow landowner and our partner, we would not be at this stage in the development’s evolution without the assistance of the City of Edinburgh Council.

“The largest speculative office development at present in Edinburgh, Capital Square offers an attractive proposition as it meets ongoing strong occupier demand for high quality, central office space close to key transport connections and amenities. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver this exceptional scheme.”

Montagu Evans and CBRE have been appointed as joint letting agents.

New research to determine how bacteria can solidify soil without the use of concrete

Professor Lunn

Professor Lunn

Professor Rebecca Lunn MBE of the University of Strathclyde has extended her well-established partnership with BAM Nuttall by taking up the five-year post of BAM Nuttall / RAEng Research Chair in Biomineral Technologies for Ground Engineering.

Professor Lunn will examine and scale up microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP), researching how bacteria can solidify soil, reducing the use of cement in construction and unlocking low-carbon alternatives for the industry.

The MICP process uses naturally-occurring bacteria and urea solutions injected into soil to changes its properties, making the soil stronger and more stable. The bacteria precipitate calcite, a hard mineral that binds together particles in the soil, turning loose soil into an instant rock. This technology can be used to build and repair infrastructure, minimising carbon-intensive use of cement.

Professor Lunn said: “We want to develop sustainable earth infrastructure that harness the biomineral technology to improve the properties of the existing soil; providing a durable, non-destructive alternative to traditional carbon-intensive construction methods.

“Having collaborated with BAM Nuttall over a number of years, we share a common understanding of how to turn early-stage research into innovative construction techniques. BAM’s knowledge and experience in the infrastructure sector will allow this technology to gain early acceptance and broaden the range of applications quickly.”

Globally, a few small-scale field trails and industrial applications of the technique have been completed, however none have been conducted in the UK to-date.

“We’re absolutely delighted that Professor Lunn will be taking up the BAM Nuttall / RAEng Research Chair,” added BAM Nuttall director, Alasdair Henderson. “Construction has a mixed record in research and development, something that BAM has worked hard to change over recent years. We know that successfully implementing innovations like MICP leads directly to improved productivity, lower carbon demand and greater economic growth, with a beneficial effect across society.”

The research will build on Professor Lunn’s previous work applying MICP to seal rock fractures during the construction of geological disposal facilities for nuclear waste. Her group has successfully developed the technology for sealing individual fractures within the laboratory at the 1-2 metre scale. In partnership with BAM Nuttall, the Research Chair position will allow progression from these laboratory tests to field trials for rock fracture sealing.

New Dundee jobs for out of work bright sparks

DundeenewstartsThe future’s looking brighter for eight Dundee electricians who have just secured new jobs thanks to ongoing work at V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

The three qualified electricians and five apprentices, including an adult trainee, had been made redundant from local mechanical and electrical company, Scottish Electrical Group, when it ceased trading in August.

BAM Construction, which is building the prestigious V&A Dundee, was alerted to the situation by the Partnership Action for Continued Employment Partnership (PACE) who contacted their supply network to try and help the tradesmen. The group has now started working on site having secured permanent contracts with BAM’s mechanical and electrical installation sub-contractor FES.

Construction manager Malcolm Boyd said: “It’s a great feeling when you are able to pull together and help in this way and I’m really delighted for the team who will not only be a strong addition to the project but will also have the opportunity to work on one of the best building projects in the UK.”

Dundee City Council leader, Councillor John Alexander, said: “I am glad that the ongoing construction programme at V&A Museum of Design Dundee has enabled these people to find work and put their skills to use on this exciting project.

“The ambition of V&A Dundee will bring about substantial long term benefits for our city’s economy and the construction of the building has given a huge boost to those firms involved.

“I am encouraged to see how the project has helped workers who found themselves in very difficult circumstances.”

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, added: “We are delighted to see more local people gain employment on the construction of our new museum, particularly after facing unemployment. V&A Dundee will help boost the region’s economy, from the jobs we’re already creating to the hundreds of thousands of visitors we’ll welcome each year.”

Opening in 2018, V&A Dundee will be the only V&A museum anywhere in the world outside London. It will be the first ever dedicated design museum in Scotland: an international centre for design, a place of inspiration, discovery and learning.

Geology-inspired Jedburgh schools campus plans submitted

Jedburgh School

(Image: Scottish Borders Council)

Plans have been lodged by Scottish Borders Council to demolish a primary to make way for a new facility merging three schools in Jedburgh.

Working alongside Borders Council, Hub South East, BAM and TGP, the team are set to deliver a 434 -space primary, 550 pupil secondary and a nursery to replace outdated existing facilities in the town.

The project is one of four to share £28m from the latest phase of the Schools for the Future programme.

It would see Parkside Primary knocked down and merged with Howdenburn Primary and Jedburgh Grammar on a campus for children aged two to 18.

Stallan-Brand Architects, which has submitted the plans on behalf of the local authority, said: “The strong banding makes reference to the horizontal layering of Jedburgh Abbey, and the roof-forms create a distant character to the building which reacts the vernacular of the Jedburgh townscape of roofs and spires.

“The intention is to integrate planting on, and around, the wall forms to reinforce the concept of the landform drawn from the hillside.”

If the project receives approval it is hoped the new facility at Hartrigge Park could be open by 2020.

BAM appoints new pre-construction director for Scotland

Emma Fradgley

Emma Fradgley

Emma Fradgley has joined BAM Construction as pre-construction director based in the company’s office in Stepps.

With more than twelve years’ industry experience, Emma spent the past five years heading up the bid team of family business, the FES Group, and has held previous roles within Carillion and Alfred McAlpine Business Services.

As well as taking responsibility for managing BAMs pre-construction processes, Emma takes up the reins as the director responsible for managing BAM’s relationships with East Central, West and South East Hubcos. In her business development role she will draw on her extensive industry network to identify future opportunities for BAM in Scotland. As a qualified environmental manager Emma will also be working closely with our sustainability team to help drive awareness and programmes.

Emma Fradgley said “I’m delighted to be working with such a great team at BAM. It’s exciting to be a part of an organisation with such a robust and long-standing presence as a leader of property construction services in Scotland. I look forward to assisting in the expansion of the company’s successes and strengthening BAM’s foothold in its target markets.”

Bruce Dickson, regional director, BAM Construction, added: “We are delighted to welcome Emma onto our senior management team. When the opportunity arose we had a very good idea of the kind of person we were looking for to take on and develop the role. We already knew Emma and felt that she had the vision and values that matched our own. She joins a strong team but in my view has the ability to make us an even stronger performer in our markets.”

With a degree in Geology from the University of London, Emma is also a qualified in Environmental Management through the Institute of Environmental Management Association (IEMA).

Based in Stepps, BAM Construction is active in all areas of property construction, particularly in the education, cultural, leisure and healthcare sectors. Current projects include V&A Museum of Design Dundee; the Terminal Expansion Project at Edinburgh Airport and a landmark residential development within the grounds of historic Donaldson’s College in Edinburgh.

Over 300 projects benefit from CITB levy funding

Steve Radley

Steve Radley

More than 300 projects across the UK have benefitted from CITB levy funding, a new report has revealed.

The Impact of CITB Project Funding’ document states a total of £17.8 million raised through the organisation’s levy was shared by 303 projects in England, Scotland and Wales between September 2015 and December 2016.

The largest group to receive funding were micro and small employers (231), followed by construction federations (38), large employers (18), CITB-funded training groups (9), medium employers (6) and one trade union.

Of the projects that received funding, 149 were funded to reduce the skills gap, 119 received monies to increase access to the right training, 18 won funding to reduce skills shortages, 14 projects increased the appeal of working in construction and three increased the value added per employee.

In addition, larger-scale projects to receive funding included £2.5m to Skanska’s five-year strategic partnership with the Supply Chain Sustainability School to provide an online resource library, while £1.1m was pledged to the Civil Engineering Contractors Association’s Infrastructure Development Programme.

Other larger-scale schemes included:

  • £1.9m to the Roofing Industry Alliance programme to bring together all the main roofing industry stakeholders to collectively set up a training strategy for tackling skills gaps and skills shortages in the sector at all levels.
  • £200,000 to Kier Construction’s Inspiring Students project to raise awareness of different career opportunities within the sector.
  • £250,000 for BAM Nuttall to develop Construction Employer Frameworks for ex-offenders across Wales.

Steve Radley, CITB director of policy, said the report showcases how levy payers’ money is having a positive impact on the industry, including on many small firms.

“It shows that CITB funding helps people gain qualifications; reduce skills gaps and improves staff morale,” he said.

“For employers it has encouraged innovation and facilitated new partnerships, as well as improving perceptions of construction as a career. We will continue to work closely with our industry to ensure that funding is targeted at its priorities and delivers the outcomes it needs.”

BAM Nuttall to support CITB Consensus

Steve Fox

Steve Fox

Chief executive Steve Fox has confirmed that BAM Nuttall will support the CITB Consensus vote, arguing that disbanding the body would be a significant setback for skills development in the industry.

According to Fox, reform of CITB’s governance is “necessary” and “we do need confidence that this will be effective and transparent”.

He added: “However, the industry needs to step up its involvement in the Training Board and recognise what the CITB does and could do, as well as being clear about what future skills needs are.”

Fox highlights the breadth of work undertaken by CITB and the ecosystem of skills support, advice and delivery that the Board maintains on behalf of the industry:

  • Developing and maintaining the construction standards on which NVQs and Apprenticeship frameworks are based.
  • Supporting and coordinating 31 new ‘Trailblazer’ Apprenticeship standards, ensuring consistency, reducing duplication and making sure the standards are fit for purpose.
  • Providing advice and guidance on skills to all construction businesses, particularly SMEs.
  • Supporting a network of 80 independent training groups, providing cost effective training to more than 3000 construction businesses.
  • Training and coordinating Construction Ambassadors across all sectors, supporting more than 2000 school engagement events and careers fairs.
  • Awarding, funding and assuring National Skills Academies for Construction.
  • Collating and publishing 5-year labour management information to identify skills shortages across sectors, regions and occupations.
  • Working with major public infrastructure clients to develop skills strategies in the supply chain.
  • Providing structural and flexible funds to support diversity programmes and tackle industry recruitment challenges.
  • Engaging with Local Enterprise Partnerships, Regional Learning Partnerships in Wales, local and national government to influence decisions on skills strategy, investment and funding.

Much of this activity is unseen by large parts of the industry and goes unappreciated. Whilst larger construction organisations have dedicated teams to manage learning and development and might appear to manage training activity in-house, the delivery of training often relies on content or standards developed and maintained by CITB, a circumstance that ensures consistency across the industry. Furthermore, these same businesses rely on the supply chain to be equally well provided for, and this is where the delivery support of the CITB plays a crucial role.

The BAM Nuttall chief executive believes that laying blame for industry skills shortages at the door of the CITB is misguided.

Steve Fox said: “Volatility of industry workloads, low margins, slow adoption of new technologies, poor industry image and extensive use of ‘bogus’ self employment are what hamper employment and growth, not the training board delivery model. Infrastructure procurement needs to be more stable and rational, and firms that commit to direct employment and structured employee development must see this reflected in bid evaluation outcomes.”

He added: “We all acknowledge the need for reform and frankly, if we didn’t already have the CITB, the industry would need to invent it. The Apprenticeship Levy funding is far from being a replacement and no existing trade association or sector body has the pan-industry reach and funding mechanism to deliver what the CITB does, and more importantly could do, with the right governance and support. Let’s all take this opportunity to get behind the CITB and really ensure that we get what our industry wants and needs from it.”

Last month Balfour Beatty revealed that it is likely to vote against the continuation of the CITB because of a “fundamental weakness” in the training body.

BAM appointed to Edinburgh Airport expansion

Edinburgh Aiport extensionBAM Construction has been appointed by Edinburgh Airport Ltd to deliver the first phase of their Terminal Expansion Project (TEP).

Once completed TEP will provide new domestic and international arrival facilities including baggage reclaim and border control facilities, additional retail and food/beverage outlets and expanded lounge space along with new office accommodation.

The project will also include link bridges and stair nodes to allow connection to new larger aircraft stands and an extension to the south east pier to provide additional departure/arrival gates.

Located on Glasgow Road, eight miles from the west of city, Edinburgh Airport is Scotland’s busiest airport and recently experienced the busiest ever month for a Scottish airport, carrying more than 1.4 million passengers in July. It’s also the fastest growing airport in the UK.

Edinburgh Airport terminal 2The first phase of this project, which forms part of an £80 million investment plan, is a three storey terminal extension providing an additional 14,350m² of accommodation.

Work has started on site with completion scheduled for autumn 2018.

Bruce Dickson, regional director at BAM Construction, said: “TEP is a significant infrastructure project and we are absolutely delighted to have been selected by EAL to deliver the first phase of this scheme.”

Capital director at Edinburgh Airport, Ian Lang, said: “This is a major investment for the capital and Scotland and means we will be providing the first class infrastructure the airport needs to handle more passengers and provide them with a positive experience. BAM have extensive experience in delivering complex projects on time and to a high specification, something which was crucial to us when appointing them.”

Government releases £28m tranche of ‘Schools for the Future’ funding

(from left) Back row: Depute Head Boy Tom Balderston and Skye Patterson of the Jedburgh Grammar senior hockey side. Middle row: Greig Jamieson of hub South East Scotland; Jedburgh Grammar Headteacher Susan Oliver; Councillor Carol Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council's executive member for children and young people; Martin Cooper of BAM Construction. Front row: Harry Brown, Jedburgh Head Boy; Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Scottish Borders Council's convenor Councillor David Parker and Jedburgh Grammar Head Girl Kira Renilson

(from left) Back row: Depute Head Boy Tom Balderston and Skye Patterson of the Jedburgh Grammar senior hockey side. Middle row: Greig Jamieson of hub South East Scotland; Jedburgh Grammar Headteacher Susan Oliver; Councillor Carol Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for children and young people; Martin Cooper of BAM Construction. Front row: Harry Brown, Jedburgh Head Boy; Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Scottish Borders Council’s convenor Councillor David Parker and Jedburgh Grammar Head Girl Kira Renilson

A £28 million investment will be shared between four new schools as part of the fifth phase of the Scottish Government’s £1.8 billion ‘Schools for the Future’ programme.

The new projects will see Jedburgh Intergenerational Campus replace Jedburgh Grammar School, Parkside and Howdenburn Primary Schools, in the Scottish Borders and Sighthill Community Campus replace St Stephen’s Primary School and St Kevin’s Primary School in Glasgow.

Underbank Primary School and Walston Primary School in South Lanarkshire will also be replaced.

The funding will take the overall number of schools being delivered to 116 and benefit over 60,000 pupils across Scotland.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney made the announcement during a visit to Jedburgh, where proposals for the new intergenerational campus include sports facilities and a community hub, alongside education provision for two to 18 year olds.

Mr Swinney said: “We originally aimed to build or refurbish 55 schools across Scotland at the outset of the programme in 2009 and have now more than doubled that commitment.

“These new buildings will provide children and young people with inspiring learning environments and some also include facilities for wider community benefit and use that will be enjoyed by generations to come.

“The projects are also a welcome boost to the local economy, creating apprenticeship opportunities for young people and construction jobs across the country.”

According to Mr Swinney, the £28m has become available due to the Scottish Futures Trust’s (SFT) monitoring of the programme budget and contingency, enabling more schools to be built for the same government funding.

Gemma Boggs, education delivery director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said:  “We’re absolutely delighted that by careful management of the budget and programme, four more schools are to be built from the existing programme budget.

“This will benefit 1,000 more pupils and will take them out of poor condition schools and allow them to learn in well-designed, fit-for-purpose schools aligned to modern teaching methods.”

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The Jedburgh campus is to be located in land at Hartrigge Park, subject to planning permission being granted. Work is due to start in Spring 2018 and is expected to last 18 to 24 months.

The project will see Scottish Borders Council team up with development partner hub South East Scotland, while BAM Construction have been announced as the appointed contractor.

Greig Jamieson, hub South East’s commercial director, said: “This is a major investment in education for our client, Scottish Borders Council, and we are delighted to be working in partnership to ensure its successful delivery.

“The new Jedburgh Campus will provide a modern learning experience, fit for the needs of all generations, and as we develop this exciting project, we look forward to ensuring that the community will benefit from investment in the local area.”

Martin Cooper, construction director at BAM Construction, added: “This is our first appointment by Hub South East since joining its supply chain earlier this year and we were absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to bring our experience to their team on this state of the art learning campus that will be a massive asset to both Scottish Borders Council and the local community.”