Graham Construction

Five construction firms shortlisted to restore Mackintosh Building

Image of the Mackintosh Building from Renfrew Street looking towards Sauchiehall Street

Image of the Mackintosh Building from Renfrew Street looking towards Sauchiehall Street

A shortlist of five companies has been drawn up for the £35 million restoration of the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd, BAM Construction Ltd, John Graham Construction Ltd, Kier Construction and Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd are battling it out to restore the Category A Listed building which was destroyed by fire in May 2014.

A winner is expected to be appointed in June with work starting on site shortly after.

Sectional views of the west wing

Sectional views of the west wing

Architects Page/Park have already been announced as the design team who will lead the restoration.

Meanwhile new images have been created by experts in 3d visualisation at the GSA’s Digital Design Studio, created by laser scanning of the building.

They will form the basis of a BIM (Building Information Model) which will document every stage of the restoration and create a detailed record of the work undertaken for future use both by the GSA and other organisations carrying out complex restorations of historic buildings.

Final preparation work including the strip out of the fire damaged west wing is currently underway and will be completed by the end of May.

A 3d image of the former professors studios. This is one of a set of images created by experts in  3d visualisation at the GSA's Digital Design studio that will form the basis of a BIM  (Building Information Model) which will document the restoration process

A 3d image of the former professors studios. This is one of a set of images created by experts in 3d visualisation at the GSA’s Digital Design studio that will form the basis of a BIM which will document the restoration process

The GSA is aiming to complete the restoration of both the Mackintosh Building and the McLennan Galleries in time for the 2017/18 academic year.

The school said the removal of the stonework comprising the library window gable will be among the first jobs to be undertaken, followed by reconstruction of roofs which were totally destroyed in the fire.

Liz Davidson, senior project manager, Mackintosh Restoration, said: “Clearly we need a contractor who is able to deliver the full range of technical requirements for the retrofit and has a proven track record in bringing major restoration projects in on time and on budget.

“However, over and above this we are looking for the inclusion of experienced specialists who are capable of undertaking the expert restoration of this Category A Listed building.

“We are looking for our Main Contractor to have the appropriate expertise in their team to deliver to the highest standard in terms of the specialist skills.”

The contractor will also be required to commit to an extensive programme of recruiting and training apprentices to support Glasgow’s economy, as well as deliver education and outreach programmes in the area.

Graham starts £22m Edinburgh student rooms development

buccleuch-streetGraham Construction has begun work on a £22 million student accommodation project at the University of Edinburgh.

The Buccleuch Place & Meadow Lane student accommodation project involves the conversion and refurbishment of two grade B-listed tenement blocks and the construction of four new build accommodation blocks in the city’s Southside conservation area.

Graham began preparatory work on the site in December and project completion is expected by summer 2017.

meadow-laneThe conversion and refurbishment will see the current office accommodation at 1-6 and 7-13 Buccleuch Place transformed into 246 student bedrooms split into cluster flat arrangements.

To accommodate the construction of the four new build accommodation blocks at Meadow Lane, the site there will be cleared and converted into a further 138 bedrooms within 22 cluster flats.

Graham Construction regional director, Neil McFarlane, said: “Securing this contract with one of Scotland’s most respected universities is a real boost for Graham Construction, and the two-part dimension of refurbishing existing premises on site coupled with a new build construction poses an interesting challenge – one the team is looking forward to.”

Graham Construction recognised by CECA as ‘industry leader’

CECA Inspiring Change winners and sponsors at the Parliamentary event

CECA Inspiring Change winners and sponsors at the Parliamentary event

Graham Construction has won the prestigious ‘Inspiring Change in the Workplace’ award from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) for promoting Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR).

CECA recognised the firm for best practice within the construction industry with a suite of prestigious awards at a recent parliamentary reception.

The awards recognise and celebrate the efforts made to make construction a fairer and better industry for all. Winners were selected, by an independent panel of industry experts, from a field of entrants that were varied and demonstrated an evolving understanding of FIR and how that plays out in the workplace.

Michael Smyth, Graham Construction’s head of human resources, receiving the award from Nicky Ernst at Highways England

Michael Smyth, Graham Construction’s head of human resources, receiving the award from Nicky Ernst at Highways England

Nicky Ernst from Highways England, presented Graham with the award and highlighted the citation of the judges: “The work Graham Construction have undertaken to build a culture of fairness, inclusion and respect within the business is industry-leading, with leadership from managing director level down through the business and out into the supply chain.

“FIR Champions at all levels in the business have driven rapid changes in the company’s approach, leading to business benefits including a significant uplift in recruitment from under-represented groups, a massive reduction in staff absenteeism and more than £100 million in business from new customers.”

Alan Bill, managing director, Graham Construction, said: “Graham Construction is delighted to have received this industry accolade, our aim is to be an employer of choice where everyone is recognised and valued as an individual. A diverse workforce encourages a variety of new ideas that aligns with our key value of innovation. Also we recognise that when an individual feels valued both their contribution and engagement increases.  There is a direct correlation between increased engagement and business performance all of which aligns to our corporate values of openness, respect and performance.”

Plans submitted for £2m Prestonpans Health Centre extension

Paul McGirk

Paul McGirk

Final proposals for a £2 million extension and refurbishment of Prestonpans Health Centre have been submitted to East Lothian Council for approval.

The project, being delivered by NHS Lothian’s development partner hub South East Scotland Ltd and its appointed contractor Graham Construction, will see the building increase in size and will provide purpose-built spaces for patients and staff.

As well as reconfiguring the current health centre, the extension will include three new treatment rooms, a community consulting room and two larger health care assistant rooms.

A decision on the proposals is expected at the beginning of next year and, if approved, work will start on site in Spring and will be completed in Winter 2016.

David Small, chief officer, East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We are excited about having reached this important stage in the planning process.

“These developments will bring a wide range of benefits to patients and staff, increasing accessibility for the disabled and elderly and providing a modern and more effective health centre for the people of Prestonpans.”

Paul McGirk, chief executive, hub South East Scotland Ltd, said: “I’m delighted to see the progress being made on this project, which will make a real difference to the local community in Prestonpans.

“We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with NHS Lothian and working with our contractor Graham Construction to make these plans a reality.”

Financial close reached at £26.5m Dalbeattie Learning Campus

Dalbeattie Learning CampusContracts have been signed to allow construction work to start on the £26.5 million Dalbeattie Learning Campus next month.

The facility is being delivered by hub South West on behalf of Dumfries & Galloway Council and in partnership with Graham Construction.

The project will create a major new building to the periphery of Dalbeattie town, providing an “All Through” learning campus, comprising Nursery, Primary and Secondary education, with inclusive pupil support within an innovative, landscaped setting.

Features of the Holmes Miller-designed campus include new learning and teaching areas, new classrooms, shared dining and assembly space, a primary hall and new sports/fitness facilities.

The shared campus will be used by a new Dalbeattie High School, Dalbeattie Primary School and Nursery.

Dalbeattie Learning Campus sportsCouncil leader Ronnie Nicholson said: “Providing the best start in life for all our children is a priority for our Council and Dalbeattie Learning Campus is key to this. Our new school campus will transform learning and teaching for pupils and staff with a nursery playroom, primary and secondary classrooms, flexible teaching spaces, shared dining and assembly space, a primary hall, specialist teaching areas, sport and fitness facilities, and innovatively designed external spaces for learning and play. I’m delighted that we’ve now signed the contracts. Our council can now deliver for the young people of Dalbeattie a first class learning environment, fit for the 21st century.”

David MacDonald, hub programme director, Scottish Futures Trust, said: “The hub programme is an innovative approach to develop and deliver best-value community facilities which provides public bodies with a quick, efficient and value for money way of getting their projects into construction and helps secure and sustain local employment. I very much look forward to seeing construction start on the Dalbeattie Learning Campus shortly and to seeing pupils being taught in modern, first-class facilities.”

Infrastructure secretary Keith Brown added: “This is an important milestone for the Dalbeattie community, who will see the work get under way on their new state-of-the-art learning campus in a matter of weeks.

“In addition to the educational benefits of the new school, it will boost the local economy through construction jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”

Others involved in the project include mechanical & electrical engineer Cundall, civil & structural engineer Woolgar Hunter, CDM co-ordintator Sweett Group and FM contractor FES Limited.

The new Dalbeattie Learning facility is scheduled to open in Autumn 2017.

Construction starts on Higgs Centre for Innovation in Edinburgh

higgs centreGraham Construction began its work to deliver the Higgs Centre for Innovation yesterday as the final designs for the building were unveiled at Edinburgh’s Royal Observatory where the new centre will be housed.

The Higgs Centre for Innovation is named in honour of Professor Peter Higgs of the University of Edinburgh, who received the Nobel Prize for his prediction of the existence of the Higgs Boson which was discovered at CERN in 2012. The Centre will support start-up businesses with the aim of creating new market opportunities, especially in big data and space technologies. The Centre is funded through a £10.7 million investment from the UK government. The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) will invest £2m over five years to operate the centre.

Linking cutting edge scientific and engineering expertise at STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre with industry, the centre will focus on supporting business both through incubation activities and access to facilities for SMEs. Connecting engineers, academics and PhD students directly with small businesses will help boost their entrepreneurial experience at the start of their research careers.

Partners gather to celebrate the start of construction work on the Higgs Centre for Innovation

Partners gather to celebrate the start of construction work on the Higgs Centre for Innovation

The stand-alone building at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh will be run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council in partnership with the University of Edinburgh. The centre is due to be completed in 2017.

Craig Giblett, contracts director from Graham Construction, said: “This is a very exciting project for the Graham Construction team to be part of and we are extremely proud to have won the contract to deliver a facility of such importance. That it will bear the name of a visionary figure such as Professor Peter Higgs gives an understanding of the significance of the centre itself and the work that will be undertaken there once our job is completed.”

Jamie Marshall, project manager at CPC, said: “CPC has been working in partnership with STFC since 2014, and is delighted to have brought this exciting and innovative scheme through design and planning, to enable construction to begin on site today. Our team is committed to overseeing the project through to completion, and the result will create new jobs and market opportunities for the science and technology industry.”

Final designs for the building were also unveiled by jmarchitects, the company with responsibility for the implementation of the building.

Director Ron McFarlane said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to be involved with this prestigious project, more so given its historic location and it being built in the name of the eminent Edinburgh scientist Professor Higgs.”

Two Scottish projects among BREEAM 2016 Awards contenders

The Low Carbon Teaching Building at South Lanarkshire College

The Low Carbon Teaching Building at South Lanarkshire College

Two developments in Scotland have joined some of the finest examples of sustainable buildings from across the world in being shortlisted for 2016 BREEAM Awards.

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation and South Lanarkshire College’s Low Carbon Teaching Building were both named in the ‘Education & Health’ category, drawn from the from highest scoring buildings last year under the BREEAM schemes for assessing building sustainability.

Catherine Cosgrove from Austin-Smith:Lord, lead architect on the Low Carbon Teaching Building, said: “Our brief from South Lanarkshire College was a very simple one – to design a new eight classroom teaching building that achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating. Construction is one of the three main departments within the College and the Client team wanted to experience every part of the design and construction of a low energy building. They intended to use the process as part of their teaching curriculum, something that worked well for them previously when they built a low energy exemplar house on the campus.

“Particular attention was paid to planning methods of post occupancy evaluation. Not only is this monitoring a requirement of the BREEAM “Outstanding” target but it can also be integrated into the construction curriculum. The intention is that the students will play an ongoing role in monitoring and assessing the performance of the building throughout its life.

“It is hugely rewarding to be involved in such an exemplary project which has education at its core.”

Built by Graham Construction, the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) became the first refurbished building in the UK to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Outstanding’ in October last year, achieving a score of 87.5 per cent.

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

The shortlists include groundbreaking developments from the UK, France, Sweden, Russia, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Romania.

Director of BREEAM, Gavin Dunn, said: “This year we are celebrating 25 years of BREEAM so it’s great to see such a fantastic variety of innovative and inspirational buildings that demonstrate just how far developers and architects how come on the sustainability journey in that time. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of all the shortlisted teams at the awards dinner on 8th March.”

Architect Bill Gething, UKGBC’s policy advisor Louise Sutherland, Claudine Blamey Head of Sustainability at The Crown Estate, Sarah Richardson Editor of Building magazine and John Cole of the Home Office will join BREEAM’s Technical Director Alan Yates on the judge’s panel for 2016.

The winners will be announced at a celebration dinner at the London Marriot Hotel in Grosvenor Square on 8th March 2016.

Graham Construction to build Edinburgh’s Higgs Centre for Innovation

higgs centreGraham Construction has won the job to build the Higgs Centre for Innovation in Edinburgh.

The Construction Enquirer reports that the firm will build the space technology centre, named after particle scientist Peter Higgs, at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre’s Royal Observatory.

Graham won the job with a £6.4 million bid. The total scheme is expected to cost around £12m allowing for fit-out with research equipment.

In partnership with the University of Edinburgh, the Government-funded centre will focus on space and big data technologies and will facilitate research students and small businesses to bridge the gap between scientific innovation and commercial expertise, bringing both economic and societal benefits to the UK.

Consultant CPC is providing project and cost management consultancy support and led the planning and design teams to submit plans for the centre in October 2014.

Prof John Womersley, chief executive of the STFC, said: “Particle physics, astronomy and space science all address one of the biggest questions in science, what is the universe made of.

“The Higgs Centre for Innovation will significantly increase the positive impact that arises from fundamental research like this, both in job creation and economic opportunities and growth in the UK.”

Graham delivers £10m Highland primary school

Lundavra Primary SchoolGraham Construction has completed building a £10 million primary school in Fort William.

The new Lundavra Primary School was built on behalf of the Highland Council.

It replaced Fort William and Upper Achintore Primary schools to form an 11-class school. Features include a multi-purpose hall, early years education, out of school care, special needs provision, and community facilities.

To mark the completion, pupils buried a time-capsule containing a range of memorabilia for future generations to discover.

Gary Holmes, regional director at Graham, said: “This is Graham’s latest project on behalf of the Highland Council.

“The time-capsule is a fitting way to complete a successful project, giving the pupils a chance to enshrine their memories of the previous buildings before moving into their new, modern facility.

“The company has also employed many local people and our sub-contractors took on apprentices and trainees.”

Graham Construction awarded contract for third phase of Lews Castle transformation

Lews Castle

Lews Castle

Graham Construction is set to begin work on the hospitality elements of the project to transform Lews Castle in Stornoway after being awarded the £3.5 million third phase contract.

Phase 3 will include fitting out the visitor and hospitality areas on the ground floor of the Castle and the creation of luxury accommodation on the upper floors.

Work on the Castle will be ongoing into 2016 and the public opening of the new facilities will be phased around these works.  The Learning and Community spaces have already been used for a number of events and will become fully available to schools and other groups from early in the New Year.

The new archive will open to the public early in the New Year under the direction of newly appointed archivist Seonaid McDonald, formerly the archivist of HBOS at the Museum on the Mound, Edinburgh.

Following the installation of the British Museum and National Museums Scotland loan objects the museum will fully open to the public.

Angus Campbell, Comhairle leader and chair of the Project Board, said: “This is a hugely exciting and important project for the Comhairle and the community.

“The Comhairle’s Heritage Team is working with a range of specialists and national partners to complete the development. There are stringent conditions attached to the long-term loan of priceless objects and we are enhancing certain aspects of our security system to achieve best practice.

“These additional measures will be delivered over the next few weeks and thereafter we will be in a position to confirm the opening date of the museum.”