akp celebrates BCO award for Registers of Scotland fit out

(from left) Donald Reid – Cushman & Wakefield, Chris Kerr – RoS, Jim McConnell – RoS, Ross Hunter – Graven, Jenny Mitchell – RoS, Kevin Stewart – RoS, Roz Malcolm – akp, Peter Kerr – A10, Martin Rowley – akp and Kirsty Lang – Graven

akp Scotland’s project for Registers of Scotland to fit out its new smart working infrastructure platform at St Vincent Plaza in Glasgow has won a British Council for Offices (BCO) Regional Award for 2018.

The trophy for the best fit out of workplace category was received by Jim McConnell, Registers of Scotland head of security and risk, at the Scottish Awards Lunch in Glasgow on Friday. He was accompanied by representatives from the project team including architects and interior designers, Graven, Cushman & Wakefield, Atelier Ten and akp.

The project involved the creation of a flexible working environment to support Registers of Scotland business transformation to using digital processes and a significant investment in staff well-being and is a great example of how collaboration during project delivery benefits all involved, with the win a team effort from.

All winners from the Regional Awards will now compete in their categories at a national level and also bid to win the property sector’s respected BCO ‘Best of the Best’ award. The National Awards Dinner will be held on Tuesday 2 October at the Grosvenor House, AJW Marriott Hotel in London.

Commenting on the award, keeper of the Registers of Scotland, Jennifer Henderson, said: “I’m delighted that our office space at St Vincent Plaza has been recognised with this award, which should be a source of pride to all of us and especially the many individuals who put in a great deal of hard work to make it happen.

“Our office environment at SVP uses a smart working, digital approach, designed not only to ensure we can continue to serve our customers, partners and stakeholders as efficiently as possible, but also foster a healthy and balanced working environment for our employees. It has been a successful project, which I think is symbolic of our ambition, aspirations, and drive.”

Ian McEwan, joint managing director at akp Scotland, said: “The award is a significant milestone for all at akp and was certainly a team effort in securing it. I would particularly like to commend akp project manager Jim Bain for his attention to detail and sterling attitude during the delivery of the fit out.

“We celebrate our 28th year in business this year and during that time we have delivered a variety of unique projects, but with one common thread – Our Building Pride ethos – promoting cost effective solutions, innovation and superior workmanship with a reliable and professional attitude.”

Kirsty Lang, director at Graven, said: “It is a huge honour for our work to be recognised by the BCO. Registers of Scotland and the wider project team are excellent partners. Graven’s design concept delivers is a flexible, cost-effective and innovative exemplar of how new work places can deliver healthy and supportive environments.”

Peter Kerr, director at Atelier Ten, added: “The brief for Registers to us was to help create a smart, connected, healthy and future proofed building. There are some unique features incorporated into the design including Circadian Lighting, Seasonal Affective Disorder booths as well as Bluetooth Lighting Control which was the largest installation of its type in Scotland.”

Kier Construction named preferred building contractor for Citizens Theatre redevelopment

Kier Construction has been confirmed as the preferred contractor to deliver the first stage of the Citizens Theatre’s £19.4 million redevelopment project in Glasgow following a competitive tender process.

In what will be the most comprehensive redevelopment of the Victorian building since it opened in 1878, the theatre will close in the summer and re-open in late 2020 with works due to commence on site in September.

Commenting on the appointment of Kier, Judith Kilvington, executive director of Citizens Theatre, said: “This appointment marks the next phase in our Redevelopment Project. Kier has a wealth of experience in delivering theatre and heritage projects and it’s hugely exciting to be welcoming them to the team, led by architects Bennetts Associates, to realise our vision for the Citizens Theatre.

“Kier will work alongside Citizens Theatre and our Design Team in achieving the Second Stage tender and will then go on to carry out the required building work to overhaul our Victorian home – alongside overseeing the demolition of our foyer and back offices to make way for a new wing, including a new studio theatre and learning spaces.

“Our new building has been redesigned to create level access for staff, participants and audiences members. When we re-open to the public they will easily be able to visit and view some of the best examples of theatre heritage in Europe.”

Brian McQuade, Kier Construction Scotland and North East managing director, said: “We’re delighted to restore, improve and protect the iconic Citizens Theatre.  This builds on our solid record of working on major heritage projects, including The Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, Aberdeen Music Hall and most recently, The Burrell Collection.

“As with all the work we carry out, we will provide jobs for the local community by working with our supply chain to offer a range of diverse employment and training opportunities throughout this exciting project. “

The Category B listed building is owned by Glasgow City Council and leased to the Citizens Theatre Company for more than 70 years.

Over the next two years the company will produce shows and provide learning activity at Tramway, Scotland Street School Museum and other venues throughout Scotland and beyond.

The company has already successfully secured £17.8m in pledges towards the redevelopment project from Creative Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Government (Culture Budget, Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Historic Environment Scotland), The Robertson Trust and a variety of other trusts and individuals. The theatre’s ‘We Are Citizens’ public fundraising campaign is inspiring, engaging, and encouraging others to help raise £1.6m for the building redevelopment.

The redevelopment project management team includes:

  • Project Manager tX-2 Project Management
  • Architects Bennetts Associates
  • Quantity Surveyors Turner & Townsend
  • Structural Engineers Struer Consulting
  • M&E Engineers and Environmental Consultants Max Fordham
  • Theatre Consultants Theatreplan
  • Conservation Consultant Theatre Search
  • Conservation ArchitectIan Parsons Architects
  • Acoustician Sandy Brown Associates
  • Fire Engineer Atelier Ten
  • Access Consultant ADAPT Access Services
  • BREEAM Consultant RSP
  • Interpretation Plan & Exhibition Design Consultants Studio SP and Making Stories

Scottish Water to embark on Glasgow environmental investment project

The River Kelvin in Kelvingrove Park, where the water in the river will be improved following completion of the project

Scottish Water is about to start a major project on its waste water infrastructure in the West End of Glasgow to improve the environment and water quality in the River Kelvin.

In the first stage of the project, the utility company is to invest around £2.5 million in improvements to its key waste water infrastructure.

The project forms part of Scottish Water’s £250m, five-year programme of work to improve river water quality and the natural environment across the Greater Glasgow area.

The first stage of the project will take place in Hillhead and Kelvingrove Park and will include the installation of new infrastructure at three key locations; Otago Street/Otago Lane, Westbank Quadrant and near the bandstand in Kelvingrove Park.

Three new Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) with screens will reduce the frequency and volume of waste water spillages in storm conditions, and so help improve the river water quality.

At present there is no screening on the three outfalls which spill into the river during storm conditions and Scottish Water and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have identified that work is required to improve the overall environment of the watercourse for aquatic life, flora and fauna.

The work, which will be carried out for Scottish Water by alliance partners amey Black and Veatch (aBV), is due to start in the coming weeks.

Most of the work is expected to be completed by spring 2019. However, work in the Westbank Quadrant area will be carried out over a period of six weeks this summer, another six week period in summer next year and the final work at this location is scheduled to begin in summer 2020.

Ruaridh MacGregor, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs manager, said: “Scottish Water is delighted to be starting this key project which will benefit the natural environment in these parts of the West End of Glasgow for many years to come.

“The investment, which is part of our ongoing improvements to the Greater Glasgow area’s waste water infrastructure, has been carefully planned, in liaison with all stakeholders, and we will do everything possible to minimise any disruption during our work.

“After engaging with the River Kelvin Angling Association during the early stages of planning for the project, we listened to their views and confirmed that we would relocate one of the overflow pipes further downstream.

“This work aligns closely with our future ambitions on delivering reliable, resilient and sustainable water and waste water services which are the cornerstones of our ongoing Shaping the Future consultation.”

Paul Milligan, regional communications manager for aBV, said: “As this work is close to Hillhead Primary School, aBV and Scottish Water have been liaising with the school and Glasgow City Council, keeping them and local businesses updated on our plans. The work at the school will be carried out during the school summer holidays to minimise any inconvenience to the school, its staff, pupils and parents.”

Discussions are ongoing to determine what further improvement work is required for the second stage of the project, which will involve similar investment in other parts of the West End.

CMS Window Systems lands record £10m contract at Atlantic Square

Atlantic Square

CMS Window Systems has been awarded a contract worth over £10 million for the Atlantic Square development in Glasgow.

The deal to design, manufacture and install all of the glazing on the new £100m office development secures the Cumbernauld-based company’s strongest ever order book at £65m over the next three years.

David Ritchie, chief operating officer, said the announcement will also provide a secure future for its 250-strong workforce.

He said: “Winning this contract provides vital job security for our 250 employees who work in both manufacturing and on-site installation roles, and it creates a strong platform for us to invest in the future of the business. Recent economic surveys have painted a relatively negative picture for Scotland’s manufacturing and construction sectors, so it is fantastic to be bucking the trend with a healthy outlook.”

Inside the CMS Window Systems manufacturing facility at Castlecary (from left) David Ritchie (chief operating officer at CMS Window Systems), Alister Patrick (aluminium factory manager) and Stephen Anderson (aluminium contracts director)

CMS Window Systems’ latest financial results will be published soon and are expected to reveal a record year for the Queens Award for Enterprise winning company.

The £100m Atlantic Square development is being built by BAM Construction. CMS will design, manufacture and install a range of aluminium windows, doors and façade elements for the mixed-use development, which will provide high quality office space on York Street capable of accommodating more than 2,700 staff, 187,000sqft of space has already been pre-let by the developers BAM TCP Atlantic Square with the remaining 97,000 sq. ft. being developed as speculative Grade A office space.

According to David Ritchie, the Atlantic Square contract win also illustrates how the company is increasingly being engaged by the developers of larger projects who are seeking a dependable supply chain partner. It continues to work extensively with local authorities, housing associations, housebuilders, commercial developers and trade & retail partners throughout the UK, but it is in commercial development where the value of major project enquiries is on the rise.

Work on the aluminium window and door production line

“Atlantic Square will be a landmark development in Glasgow city centre and we are really pleased to be working with BAM Construction to transform this prime site,” he added.

“The scale of the window, door, curtain walling and façade brief represents our largest ever single contract, but it is exactly the kind of project that our business is equipped to handle given the design expertise, product range and manufacturing and installation capabilities that our business has today. We’ve evolved rapidly since our inception in 2006 and are now in a position where a large proportion of our contracts are in the £5m+ bracket – not only in Scotland but across the UK.”

The Atlantic Square contract follows a series of successful recent collaborations in Scotland between CMS and BAM Construction, including Capital Square in Edinburgh, the new HQ for Ineos at Grangemouth and a number of buildings in Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus, including the Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE). CMS will begin work on site at Atlantic Square in 2019 with the development due for handover the following year.

Designs unveiled for £100m Glasgow office development

M&G Real Estate has unveiled its plans for a new £100 million office development in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre.

Now branded as The Grid, the Cooper Cromar-designed project at 33 Cadogan Street will provide 277,500 sq ft of Grade A space over 12 levels.

M&G said the development aims to be Scotland’s healthiest workspace complete with electric car charging ports set up in the basement, on-site cycle storage and spa-style showers and changing rooms and laundry.

Following planning consent in 2017, The Grid, will be built on the site of the former Corunna House in Glasgow’s Central Business District. With well-being at the core of the design, The Grid is committed to securing ‘Gold’ certification from the International WELL Building Institute.

A highly visible entrance is positioned on the corner of Cadogan Street and West Campbell Street and an enhanced public realm is planned with new widened paving, trees, seating, and a building drop-off point. To the left of the main entrance is a dedicated street level cyclist entrance.

The reception area at The Grid

The building has achieved Scotland’s second ever WiredScore Platinum rating, which is the highest standard in the market leading accreditation for digital infrastructure, technology and connectivity of office buildings. The Grid’s access to superfast broadband and its agile working areas are said to enable mobility and enhance innovation for The Grid’s occupiers.

The top three floors have panoramic views from south facing terraces, which frame the unrivalled views across the city and the hills beyond. On the tenth floor, a private double height sky garden, provides a focal point for upper floor occupiers. At roof level there is ‘The Loft’, a communal business lounge and garden – an area designed to inspire, with space to meet, unwind and take in the view.

William Badger, Asset Manager at M&G Real Estate, said: “Ways of working are changing fast, and so must the buildings we create. Workspace is one of the key contributors to staff wellbeing, and we are very excited to present our vision to the market. We believe we have created something that is truly special and unique in the Glasgow market.

“With a lack of new Grade A space in the city’s office market, as well as in nearby Edinburgh, we are confident that The Grid will attract strong interest.”

Property advisors JLL and Knight Frank have been appointed as letting agents.

Demolition of the existing building is planned for later this year, with completion achievable by late 2021.

Transformed Glasgow site shortlisted in coveted industry awards

An aerial view of the completed Cuningar Loop project

Infrastructure giant Robertson Group is celebrating after being shortlisted for three prestigious industry awards.

Cuningar Woodland Park and Footbridge in Glasgow’s East End has been shortlisted in the Community Benefit, Design Through Innovation and Infrastructure categories in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards, Scotland – the first time a project led by Robertson Civil Engineering has been shortlisted in the coveted awards.

Designed to showcase the most inspirational initiatives and developments in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure, the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Edinburgh on April 19.

The £9.3 million regeneration project was delivered as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Legacy, and saw the former abandoned landfill site transformed into the Cuningar Woodland Park and bridge connecting to the former athletes’ village.

Robertson Civil Engineering developed the Woodland Park on behalf of Forest Enterprise Scotland in a project procured through Scape Group’s National Major Works Framework, now superseded by Major Works Scotland, part of the (Scape) National Construction framework, and delivered by Robertson in partnership with Willmott Dixon.

The footbridge was completed in a separate project on behalf of Clyde Gateway.

Tony Fry, managing director of Robertson Civil Engineering, said: “We are immensely proud of the industry recognition for what has been a major infrastructure project for us at Cuningar Woodland Park and Footbridge.

“Not only has the project delivered valuable benefits for the local community, workforce and economy, but also to the environment and species native to the area.

“The success of the project demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering innovative and sustainable solutions developed to meet the needs of the local area, helping shape the built environment and transforming communities for decades to come.”

Chair of the RICS Awards 2018, Scotland judging panel, Colin Smith of Turely, said: “This year we have received some extremely diverse and outstanding projects from all over Scotland. Each and every project showcases the exceptional talent behind these buildings of our future.

“The variety of projects highlights the development that is happening right across our nation and I am confident 2018 will be a hotly contested year. I look forward to celebrating the successes of Scotland’s exceptional talent and projects at this year’s ceremony.”

Each category winner announced at the awards ceremony will be eligible for the acclaimed Project of the Year title, awarded to the scheme that demonstrates outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area.

Cuningar Loop Woodland Park, which officially opened in August 2017, includes biking and walking loops, adventure play areas and Scotland’s first outdoor bouldering facility. The park creates a vibrant accessible green space for the communities in Dalmarnock and Rutherglen to enjoy.

Positive start to year for Glasgow’s commercial property market

Colin MacKenzie

Commercial property take up in Glasgow city centre for the first quarter of 2018 has increased by around 145% on the same time last year, new figures have shown.

Knight Frank said there has already been 252,491 sq. ft. of take up this year, much higher than the 103,000 sq. ft. taken up in the first quarter of 2017 and above the five-year average of 198,544 sq. ft., though this includes the Government Property Unit’s (GPU) pre-let at Atlantic Square.

A range of occupiers fuelled demand into 2018, as reflected by recent deals concluded in the sector. Notable quarter one agreements included GPU’s 180,000 sq. ft. pre-let at Atlantic Square, serviced office provider, Orega, taking 21,939 sq. ft. at 9 George Square, commercial property agents, GVA, acquiring 4,698 sq. ft. at Sutherland House and HRC Recruitment agreeing to 5,200 sq. ft. at 180 St Vincent Street.

International consulting group, COWI, also recently moved into 310 St Vincent Street, taking 6,981 sq. ft. in a deal brokered by Knight Frank.

Colin MacKenzie, office agency partner for Knight Frank in Glasgow, said: “Businesses are on the move – as demonstrated by the Glasgow office market’s growth in Q1 and indeed shown by the spike in deals at the close of 2017.

Sarah Addis

“However, even with a very healthy development pipeline offering some fantastic schemes, it will be 24 to 36 months before any of those are deliverable. With Glasgow’s occupier requirements currently sitting at 850,000 sq. ft., we will undoubtedly enter into a period of significant pre-letting as occupiers jostle for prime sites, some of which are likely to be announced in the near future.”

Sarah Addis, senior surveyor for Knight Frank in Glasgow, added: “While prime rents remained at around £29.50 per sq. ft. in 2017, given the low supply environment, we will certainly see rents breach the £30 mark through the course of 2018.

“As it stands, all of the remaining Grade A space is either under offer or has noted strong occupier interest, meaning now is the time for the city’s major refurbishment schemes to capitalise on the requirement level and take centre stage.”

Agreement signed to deliver more than 800 homes in Sighthill

A masterplan of the Sighthill regenration area

Glasgow City Council has now signed an agreement with Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and Keepmoat Homes to deliver more than 800 new homes at the city’s Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA).

The £250 million Sighthill TRA is the biggest regeneration scheme of its type in the UK outside of London. The residential development will feature 826 new homes (628 for sale, 198 for mid-market rent), as well as retail units and a commercial development over the next decade.

The new mid-market rent homes will be built by GHA and let and managed by its Wheatley Group partners, Lowther Homes. The private homes, retail unit and commercial development are being delivered through a development agreement between Keepmoat and the council.

When complete, the regeneration of Sighthill will deliver almost 1,000 new homes for sale and rent (141 new GHA homes are already built and occupied) as well as a new community school campus; a new footbridge across the M8 connecting Sighthill to the neighbouring city centre; a new road bridge across the railway to link Sighthill and Port Dundas; as well as improved parkland throughout the entire area and active travel routes to and from the city centre.

Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm at Glasgow City Council, said the agreement is another milestone in the regeneration of Sighthill.

He added: “The transformation of the area will serve as an example of what can be done in urban regeneration, with the creation of a fantastic neighbourhood immediately beside the city centre. We can now anticipate this work starting and being able to watch the skyline of both Sighthill and Glasgow change over the years. I look forward to working with all our partners on the Sighthill TRA on this exciting project for Glasgow.”

GHA chair Bernadette Hewitt said: “This is a monumental milestone in the transformation of Sighthill. GHA is really proud to be a partner in this transformation and as part of this next phase we’re building almost 200 homes for mid-market rent. The first phase of regeneration saw 141 new GHA homes for social rent built in 2015. Tenants in these high-quality, spacious modern homes are already saving money on their bills and enjoying a better quality of life as a result. It’s a really exciting time for the area.”

Work on the second phase of the Sighthill regeneration project

James Thomson, CEO of Keepmoat Homes, said: “Sighthill is a flagship development for Keepmoat Homes. We are delighted to have been chosen to work with Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Housing Association on this exciting regeneration programme and we will employ the greatest effort and care to ensure that the ambition of Transforming Communities: Glasgow is fulfilled and, as such, create an exciting, rich and desirable place to live, work and play. The development of Sighthill has the potential to further contribute to the city’s success story with a new, sustainable community, close to the city centre and unrecognisable from its current landscape. We are committed to delivering wider community benefits as part of the programme which will include the creation of apprenticeships and jobs in the area and work with local community projects.”

The regeneration of Sighthill is being delivered by Transforming Communities: Glasgow, a partnership between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association and the Scottish Government, with additional funding from the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Legal & General to deliver Glasgow city centre hotel development

LGIM Real Assets (Legal & General) has signed an agreement to develop a new hotel in the heart of Glasgow city centre.

Designed by NORR architects, the new hotel will be located on West George Street immediately opposite Queen Street Station and has been pre-let to Meininger Hotels on a 25-year lease.

The new hotel will provide 160 rooms and the scheme will also create around 1400 m2 of new retail space at basement, ground and mezzanine levels.

Craig Westmacott, senior fund manager at LGIM Real Assets, said: “We are pleased to be working with Meininger Hotels as they seek to expand their successful brand into the UK.  This site is an excellent location for a new hotel and together with the redevelopment of Queen Street station will bring significant improvements to this key area of Glasgow city centre.”

Hannes Spanring, CEO of Meininger Hotels, added: “Great Britain is a very important market for us and Glasgow as Scotland’s largest city is the perfect location for another Meininger hotel in the UK. The Glasgow hotel is an excellent addition to our portfolio, due to its prime location in the heart of the city centre.”

The opening is scheduled for 2020 with construction due to begin this year.

Costs at former Interserve energy plant soar by £95m

The Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre at Polmadie

The developer of an energy from waste plant in Glasgow said it has been hit by higher-than-anticipated costs for the facility’s construction after having to replace Interserve as the main contractor.

Viridor’s parent company Pennon confirmed in a trading statement on Monday that overall expenditure for the completion of the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre at Polmadie is expected to be £95 million higher than the £155m original target.

Pennon said: “The Glasgow ERF is in final commissioning. Completion of the construction has required a somewhat higher level of remediation than previously anticipated following the need for contractor change.

“Overall expenditure is expected to be £95m higher than the original £155m target.

“Viridor is contractually entitled to recover incremental costs from the original principal contractor, Interserve, under certain circumstances.

“Discussions with Interserve are ongoing with regard to the contractual settlement.”

The company said margins on the life of the project to 2043 could be lower than initially predicted, depending on the outcome of its contract settlement with Interserve.

However, Pennon does not expect an “immediate impact on earnings” and added that discussions with Interserve are ongoing.

“Viridor is contractually entitled to recover incremental costs from the original principal contractor, Interserve, under certain circumstances,” the group explained.

Interserve had its contract on the job terminated in late 2016 when it was replaced by Doosan Babcock. Shortly afterwards it decided to quit the energy from waste sector altogether.