BAM appoints new site manager

Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller

In keeping with its drive to attract more women into the industry, BAM Construction Scotland has appointed Lauren Miller as a new site manager.

After 13 years working with Lend Lease in London, Lauren has swapped capitals and has taken up her new position working out of BAM’s Edinburgh office.

Lauren brings a wealth of project management experience to the team in Scotland. Having previously worked on major hospital and office projects in and around the Square Mile, Lauren’s first job with BAM will be on the landmark £8.5 million Dunfermline Museum and Art Gallery (DMAG) project.

Designed by prestigious Edinburgh architectural practice, Richard Murphy Architects, the new building will link the striking facades of two B-listed buildings while adding a state of the art extension incorporating stunning exhibition and gallery space, mezzanine viewing galleries, a café and a bespoke children’s library. It is expected that once completed, the new building will become one of Fife’s premier visitor destinations.

Lauren said: “It wasn’t a difficult decision to come to BAM Scotland once I saw the way they work as a joined up team in their approach to construction projects and clients. DMAG is a great first job for me and the stylish design and level of quality is equal to anything that I worked on in London.”

Doug Keillor, regional director for BAM Construction Scotland added: “We are delighted to bring a manager with Lauren’s strength of CV on board. In addition to what she brings to our operational side it’s no secret that at BAM we’ve been actively encouraging more women to join our industry and our hope is that both Lauren and Laura Wilson, our trainee site manager, can become role models for the many female school leavers and graduates who wouldn’t otherwise look on contracting as a career.”

Based in Stepps, BAM Construction are responsible for many award winning buildings across Scotland including the new Dunfermline High School, internationally acclaimed Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Museum and Scottish Waters’ National Operations Centre in Stepps. Their Park Mains High School project was recently named as one of the best education campuses in the world.

Dundee V&A delayed as discussions continue over price


Construction work on the V&A at Dundee has been delayed, a senior councillor has admitted, after it was revealed just a tenth of the project’s budget has been spent so far this year.

According to The Evening Telegraph, a new report says that just £146,000 had been spent on the project up until August 31 despite plans to splash out £11.395 million on the museum before March 31.

It is understood that the gap between spending to date and the 2014/15 budget is because preferred contractor BAM Construction, and Dundee City Council, have yet to agree a fixed price for the project, which has had a £45m price tag for several years.

Councillor Will Dawson, city development convener, admitted the talks with BAM had caused a delay, with official documents previously planning an August start for the V&A’s construction.

He said: “With a project of this complexity, you are going to get delays.

“We had a timetable previously, which gave an idea of where we wanted to be at what time.

“Since then, tenders have been placed and we have had to go into further negotiations.

“Work has been delayed slightly by this process, but we have got to get the best possible value for the city, so we need to make sure the price is right and that adds time.

“The talks will last for as long as it takes.”

However, city council Labour Group leader Kevin Keenan says councillors outwith the administration “are not getting the information needed to establish a true picture”.

He added: “The officers involved in the V&A project have decided that it is the best kept secret in town and only those involved in the administration know what is really going on.

“My own personal opinion is that the project is miles off budget and I don’t believe that it is on track either.

“I don’t believe they are meeting their cost envelope, which is a real problem.

“The project poses a lot of economic risk to the city and I wouldn’t want to see any potential economic growth for the city falling flat on its face.”

A spokeswoman for BAM Construction said: “BAM Construction is continuing to work on the detailed planning of the project, so that we can prepare a fixed price proposal to Dundee City Council.”

BAM calls for more female graduates to enter Scottish construction industry

As school pupils begin to choose their subject options and look ahead to their prelims, BAM Construction is urging Scottish school girls to consider taking up construction related university courses and apprenticeships in a bid to increase the number of women in senior roles in the construction industry.

The company, which employs more than 140 people in Scotland, and through its supply chain provides apprenticeship opportunities across Scotland, is concerned that the historic view of construction as a male orientated industry has been deepened by the impact of the recession, with the number of women working in the construction industry actually falling by 11.5 per cent between 2007 and 2012.

BAM’s new graduates

BAM’s new graduates

Doug Keillor, regional director at BAM Construction, said: “We have been trying for years to break down the impression that construction, and more directly, contracting, wasn’t something women would be interested in. Today we are a modern, safe and technologically advanced industry, but of the 33 per cent of people in apprenticeships in Scotland only 1 per cent are female with a similar picture with graduates. We need to be doing more to address this.

“We’re actively going into schools and talking to all pupils about the benefits of a construction career and its importance within the economy and arranging site visits but it’s difficult to get career advisors within schools and colleges to encourage high quality male pupils to consider a career in construction, let alone female ones. There is still the sense that in some circles construction is seen as a second class occupation so we need all the help we can get to drive home the message that the construction industry offers a diverse and highly rewarding range of opportunities for everyone.”

BAM have recently employed four female graduates in Scotland, assistant project surveyors Erin Spiers, Louise O’Neill, Katie Harrison and Moyra Coutts, not because they were women, but because they were the outstanding candidates for the jobs. On the operational side Laura Wilson has just moved into a trainee site manager position having worked for BAM for several years as a site administrator. The hope is that these young women will provide strong role models for others to follow.

Moyra said: “I think it is important that many out-dated myths of the construction industry are dispelled as it prevents many people, particularly women, from giving a career in the construction industry due consideration. My personal experience within the industry so far has been extremely positive, and I feel this is something which is only going to improve as mind sets continue to change, crucially at the highest levels.

“I was drawn to construction as it is a continually developing industry, therefore providing a huge variety of job roles and exciting opportunities.”

Such sentiment is echoed by Katie Harrison who said: “At school you think of construction as a bricklayer or joiner but there are so many other professions within the industry that are required in construction projects.”

BAM is currently sponsoring eight management apprentices who were recruited directly from school, as well as a number through its supply chain.

Doug added: “Although times have been challenging there is an even greater need now to ensure that construction companies have the right skills to deliver in a highly competitive market and its made all the more difficult if there’s a lack of interested high quality candidates in the first place and you are missing 40 per cent of the entire workforce.”

BAM sells Connect110ns development to Deutsche AWM

CONNECT110Ns Queen Street Glasgow

BAM Properties has sold its commercial property development Connect110ns in the heart of Glasgow’s premier commercial and retail district to Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (Deutsche AWM).

The transaction completed on Thursday 25 September for a purchase price of approximately £70m. The building, which will be completed in June 2015, comprises 143,000 sq ft of prime office space over eight floors with 19,000 sq ft of retail space on the ground floor. It is located at the junction of Queen Street in the financial district, and Ingram St – the so-called ‘style mile’.

Parts of the building have already been let. Scotland’s largest law firm Brodies will occupy 25,000 sq ft and leading chartered accountancy firm Grant Thornton will occupy 15,056 sq ft on the eighth floor.

John Burke, managing director properties, BAM Construct UK, said: “Deutsche AWM recognised the strength of the Glasgow market and that Connect110ns was the most attractive, highly sustainable, BREEAM excellent commercial property coming on stream. Our development fits with the profile of properties they invest in, such as 1 Angel Sq Manchester which was also built by our construction division BAM Construction.

“BAM was the first developer to return to the commercial market in Glasgow. The support of £10m investment from the SPRUCE Fund was instrumental in going forward and we are delighted that we have delivered on that investment. The high level of interest from top class companies vindicates our decision to develop and we are delighted that the building has attracted an international investor of the calibre of Deutsche AWM.

“BAM Properties will continue to partner with DeAWM to manage the building through to completion and full occupancy. We expect to announce further lettings shortly.”

BAM and Taylor Clark announce plans for Glasgow’s Atlantic Square

BAM Properties and Taylor Clark Properties have announced plans to jointly develop 300,000sq ft. of space in Atlantic Square, Glasgow to offer one of the largest office developments in the city.

Their joint venture is about to seek planning permission from Glasgow City Council.

The proposed development on a key site in the middle of Glasgow’s International Financial Services District, will comprise two commercial buildings of ten storeys (180,000sq ft.) and six storeys (80,000) sq ft respectively, with ground floor retail space in both. A third building will comprise retail and residential accommodation.

Michael Smart, development director, BAM Properties, said: “This is a strategic alliance between Taylor Clark which owns the site and BAM as a developer and contractor with a substantial track record in bringing attractive sustainable developments to the market. This project builds on our positive experience at our CONNECT110NS development in Queen Street. We have carefully researched the supply pipeline and have identified a strong undercurrent of demand from top grade companies and organisations. Together, we will create a state-of-the art development that will meet the requirements of forward thinking business tenants and investors.”

Jon Brand, managing director, Taylor Clark Properties, which has developed Meridian Court, The Equinox and City Point 1 & 2 office schemes in Glasgow, said, “A lack of Grade A space is limiting investment in the city and with rents stabilising we believe the time is right to combine our expertise to deliver this striking mixed use development.”

The design of the new development was undertaken by architects Cooper Cromar and will include the retained façade of the listed warehouse buildings on the site that were built in the early twentieth century.

The value of the completed development is estimated to be more than £100m and its creation will support up to 2,750 jobs.

Work on the development will start immediately, subject to the necessary planning consents being secured.