SES Engineering Services

SES Engineering Services consolidates Scotland expansion with new Edinburgh office

National engineering specialist SES Engineering Services (SES) has opened its second Scotland office in Edinburgh.

The business, which recently completed its multi-million pound Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) project on the iconic Queensferry Crossing, has established itself as a key provider of on-site innovation, offsite manufacturing and digital engineering north of the Border.

Established in 1961, SES has a track record of delivering critical and innovative M&E projects right across the UK. The business first established a Scottish base of operations in Glasgow seven years ago recognising the scale, importance and complexity of projects across the border.

SES continues to expand its portfolio of stand-out projects, and recently provided full M&E services on the University of Edinburgh’s £25 million project to establish a world-leading Data Technology Institute as well as on the multi-million pound Edinburgh Gateway railway station and interchange.

Last month, SES and its specialist prefabrication and offsite manufacturing facility, Prism was shortlisted in the prestigious Construction News Specialist Awards Project of the Year category, in recognition of its innovative work on the standout £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing. The replacement road bridge over the Firth of Forth is Scotland’s largest infrastructure investment in a generation.

The shortlisting is testament to the company’s reputation for delivering innovative, cost and time saving offsite manufacturing and Building Information Modelling (BIM) solutions to UK critical projects.

Colin Walker, business director Scotland, said: “The opening of our Edinburgh office is built on the strong foundation of the work we have completed and have secured with our partners across the whole of Scotland.

“This new office brings even more opportunities for our people, and the communities in which we work.

“Supplementing our Glasgow team base with our new Edinburgh office, represents our ongoing commitment to Scotland, our success here has been made possible by the ever-increasing number of exciting projects bringing critical investment into the country.

“We continue to provide time and cost-saving innovative solutions on and off site, across Scotland’s most outstanding infrastructure, education and science & research projects. In line with SES’ national growth strategy, we’re looking ahead to another outstanding seven years.”

SES appoints Laing O’Rourke offsite specialist to head Prism facility

Lewis Jones

Lewis Jones

SES Engineering Services (SES) has strengthened its senior team as it continues to expand its Prism prefabrication facility used on the Queensferry Crossing project.

Lewis Jones joins SES as Prism general manager after a 30-year career with Laing O’Rourke in which he oversaw an array of engineering, plant, joinery, manufacturing and offsite projects both in the UK and the Middle East.

Based at Prism’s dedicated offsite manufacturing facility in Huntington, York, Lewis will be responsible for leading the offsite and prefabrication charge at the heart of SES’ £300 million national growth strategy.

Lewis Jones said: “In my short time here, I’ve been extremely impressed by the whole team, its commercial awareness and the outstanding level of innovation coming from the factory floor.

“However, where Prism and SES have truly exceeded is in their ability to transfer those ideas into demonstrable and game-changing time, cost, logistical and safety benefits. We have a network of offsite ambassadors across the business, championing the cause because they’ve seen what can be delivered.”

Lewis will be looking to expand upon Prism’s recent successes such as the creation of a purpose-built ‘onsite offsite’ hub in Rosyth which reduced transport delivery times and costs on the Queensferry Crossing project, and innovations such as its ongoing roll-out of prefabricated service cupboards, incorporating all essential mechanical and electrical plant and equipment and dramatically reducing installation time, safety risks and costs on residential projects across London.

Read: Behind the bridge: SCN speaks to Queensferry Crossing contractor SES Engineering Services

He added: “A major strong point is the strength and innovation of our products and the success of the ‘cupboards’, on the King’s Cross projects and current works at One Bank Street with Canary Wharf Contractors, shows that standardised high-end products are critical.

“We will continue to build on the quality of our work and the upskilling of our team. Our dream is to realise, alongside our clients, the true time and cost benefits of early offsite involvement on projects designed and built with high-end standardised prefabrication at their heart; true component-led design.”

SES Engineering Services wins £3.9m M&E contract on University of Strathclyde’s sports centre

UOS_Sports_Centre_Dusk_001_Final_20thJune16 - Client ApprovedSES Engineering Services (SES) has secured a £3.9 million mechanical and engineering (M&E) contract for the University of Strathclyde’s Sports, Health and Wellbeing Centre.

In its first collaboration with Graham Construction on a Scottish project, SES will design and deliver full M&E services for the new facility, which will sit adjacent to 100 Cathedral Street in the centre of Glasgow.

The £28m project forms part of the University of Strathclyde’s multi-million pound investment on its city centre campus and is the next major step in providing a first class learning and teaching environment for students, staff and the city of Glasgow.

The new Sports, Health and Wellbeing Centre will provide state-of-the-art training facilities and advanced teaching provision for sports coaches, physical education teachers and fitness professionals.

The centre’s features will include a six-lane 25 metre swimming pool, a fitness suite for up to 180 people, squash courts and a multi-use sports hall.

Colin Walker, SES’ business director Scotland, said: “Following previous successful collaborations with Graham Construction in the North West of England, SES is thrilled to work with them again on this landmark higher education project for the city of Glasgow. This proven partnership will be instrumental in achieving the planned project completion of June 2018.

“Central to securing this project was our focus on pre-construction activities and our ability to take ownership of the design process, and our expert team looks forward to working with the client team to deliver the best end result.”

SES’ dedicated offsite manufacturing facility, Prism, which provides an innovative alternative to labour-intensive, time consuming on-site production and assembly will be used on the project with a proposed 4,900 man-hours being removed from site.

The firm is also currently delivering the MEP contract on Edinburgh University’s £25m project to establish a world-leading Data Technology Institute.

Behind the bridge: SCN speaks to Queensferry Crossing contractor SES Engineering Services

Colin Walker

Colin Walker

SES Engineering Services (SES) won the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) package on the new £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing, which opened to traffic today. The two-year contract saw SES deliver MEP systems for the bridge’s North and South approach sections, the central cable stayed bridge, its three towers and abutment buildings. To mark the opening, Scottish Construction Now asked Scotland business director Colin Walker about the project.

Can you give us an idea of your professional background/experience, outline your specific role on the project and tell us what drew you towards becoming involved in the sector?

I started my career as an apprentice electrician with Crown House and moved to NG Bailey in 1988 and by the time I left in 2010 I was managing director Scotland, responsible for a turnover in excess of £70 million.

I established SES’ Scotland office in 2010 and today our turnover is in excess of £30m. Large, technically complex and unique projects have been of significant interest to SES and none fit better, into this category, than the Queensferry Crossing.

The crossing is SES’ first foray into bridge building, why take on such an ambitious task?

SES saw a clear opportunity to prefabricate the majority of services on the bridge using Prism, its prefabrication and offsite manufacturing facility in York. Ordinarily, the offsite business is primarily aimed at services for buildings and not infrastructure, so although an ambitious project SES believed its experience meant it was best placed to deliver this technically complex and unique project.

Queensferry Crossing from north viewpoint. Image reproduced courtesy of Transport Scotland

Queensferry Crossing from the northern viewpoint

What changes has the business made to manage the unique challenges brought by a project of this scale?

The scale and logistics of the Queensferry Crossing project required a focused approach to overcome the unique challenges we were likely to encounter. From the outset, at tender stage we meticulously planned our safety and logistics management approach, resulting in a plan that is probably the most detailed plan I have ever seen.

For example, we had to plan for our teams to go to work using a boat, so they could access the towers and bridge deck. Working here brought its own challenges from a safety point of view and I am very pleased with how our team has managed these and kept and continue to keep an absolute focus on safety.

The final touches being put to the Queensferry Crossing

The structure spans 1.7 miles (2.7km) making it the longest three-tower, cablestayed bridge in the world

Another first for SES saw the firm open an offsite pre-fabrication facility away from its Yorkshire base for the first time. How crucial was this to the delivery of the project?

As the first MEP services contractor to achieve BRE Accredited BIM Level 2 Certification, SES and Prism provided true digital manufacturing functionality by marrying digital processes to limit waste, with the ability to create lean modules easily installed by engineers working offsite in Scotland.

The case for SES’ first permanent Prism base away from Yorkshire, located in a vacant factory unit on the outskirts of the construction site, was obvious, given the logistical savings allowed by lean module deliveries.  Initially manned by a team of Prism staff, the factory was later handed over to an SES team of locally upskilled labour.

SES fitted services and cable trays into ‘flatpack’ steel frames at Prism in York. These were then transported to Scotland where they were assembled at the newly opened onsite Prism facility. Normally the modules would be assembled in York, but by completing the second stage in Scotland, SES significantly cut transport delivery times and costs on the project.  We estimate that if we had assembled and transported the modules in York we would have required 60 lorries travelling 24,000 miles as opposed to two lorries travelling 500 miles to deliver the modules.

The final touches being put to the Queensferry Crossing

Laying out all the 23,000 miles of cabling used to support the bridge deck would very nearly stretch around the entire planet

Is it something SES would consider doing again in the future?

Absolutely, the bridge has been and continues to be a fantastic project for us. The experience and knowledge we have gained from a major infrastructure project of this stature is second to none. We fully intend to pursue more opportunities within the sector and hopefully the experience of delivering the bridge will make us stand out from our competition.

How much of a factor was SES’ extensive experience in BIM in winning the tender and how has this been utilised on the project?

SES has made significant investment in BIM and prefabrication which means we are well placed to bid for technically complex M&E projects. Having a clear focus on BIM and prefabrication enabled us to develop a prefabricated services strategy that reduced costs, programme time and the amount of labour hours spent working at height.

BIM also helped with cost predictability and waste reduction, significantly strengthening SES’ business case when tendering for the project. Reducing the amount of work at height was a huge consideration for the bridge team. Our commitment to offsite engineering dramatically reduced the need for working at height.

Queensferry Crossing on deck 23

35,000 tonnes of steel was used in the bridge superstructure

Has the increasing complexity of modern buildings helped ease the transition from SES’ usual projects to what is Scotland’s largest infrastructure investment in a generation?

Our experience in large technically complex projects across the UK has stood us in good stead for the unique challenges the bridge has brought us, so our transition to this project has been more evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary.

What steps are being taken to ensure the same corrosion problems that were uncovered on the Forth Road Bridge don’t affect its replacement?

Corrosion has been a significant and costly issue for the Forth Road Bridge which had no dehumidification system installed when it was built 50 years ago.  A critical example of SES’ services installation was the pioneering use of a dehumidification system inside the box girder to reduce moisture and prevent corrosion.  SES has installed dehumidification ventilation systems, which ensures the inside of the deck sections are dry and do not cause corrosion over time.

Queensferry Crossing on deck 22

Prior to the completion of the final closure sections on the deck, the balanced cantilevers which extend 322m north and south from the central tower were recorded by Guinness as the longest ever

What specific requirements come with working on such a high profile project? Have you felt public interest change with the delayed opening?

With the project being very much in the public eye it has been absolutely crucial that we maintain our professional approach and live by our company values of integrity, intelligence, performance, teamwork and respect.  I am pleased to say that we have done that. The interest in the project has been outstanding with every one of our team being regularly asked how it was progressing by friends and family. To be honest the opening date hasn’t really changed people’s interest; it has always been high and remains high.

Finally, has the Queensferry Crossing whetted the appetite for SES to continue with large scale projects or will the business return to more conventional activities?

Although the Queensferry Crossing is SES’ first foray into bridge building, we have had significant experience of working on large scale, technically complex projects including the bio-containment laboratories for The Pirbright Institute, the scheme to transform Drax Power Station into the UK’s largest single renewable electricity generator, and our current £43m contract on the new £300m Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) at the Stanford Hall estate near Loughborough.

SES top of the class with £10m Midlothian school M&E contracts

Newbattle High School - Teaching Block - Kern Fitzpatrick - 3 March 2017

Newbattle High School

Engineering specialist SES Engineering Services has secured two mechanical and engineering (M&E) contracts worth approximately £10 million to deliver two new schools and community centres.

Continuing its well-established relationships with main contractor Morrison Construction and end-client Midlothian Council, SES will deliver full M&E services for both the Loanhead Centre in Loanhead and the Newbattle Community Campus in Dalkeith, the latter of which is being delivered through the council’s development partner hub South East Scotland.

The landmark Newbattle Community Campus project includes a community centre, sports hall and swimming pool, providing much needed facilities and space for the local community. The £34m campus is due to be opened in spring/summer 2018 and the new secondary school will house around 1,200 students.

The Loanhead Centre will be part of a £15.4m community facility featuring a leisure centre, library and health centre in the heart of the town, a new state-of-the-art primary school which is a replacement and an enlargement of the existing Paradykes Primary School, currently located across the road from the site.

These wins represent a major milestone for SES’ Scottish operation and is testament to the company’s reputation for delivering innovative, cost and time saving offsite manufacturing solutions to a number of education and public sector projects.

SES’ dedicated offsite manufacturing facility, Prism, which provides an innovative alternative to labour-intensive, time consuming on-site production and assembly will be used on the projects, with 177 prefabricated modules set to be installed on site.

Recent projects for the firm include Edinburgh University’s £25m project to establish a world-leading Data Technology Institute and the Queensferry Crossing, the new replacement road bridge over the Firth of Forth, Scotland’s largest infrastructure investment in a generation.

Colin Walker, SES’ business director Scotland and major projects, said: “The successful collaboration between Morrison Construction and SES was vital to secure this second project for Midlothian Council, which is striving to improve and expand community facilities in the area.

“This continued partnership will greatly contribute to the goal of achieving project completion and delivering stand-out new schools and community centres for the people of Loanhead and Dalkeith.

“These projects represent two of a number of public sector and education projects that we are currently working on in Scotland as we expand our operations here and we are proud to be making a difference delivering buildings that will have a real impact on people’s lives.”

SES Engineering Services wins £5m Edinburgh University deal

1417 Data Technology InstituteNational engineering specialist SES Engineering Services has secured a £5 million mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) contract on Edinburgh University’s £25m project to establish a world-leading Data Technology Institute.

Working alongside main contractor McLaughlin and Harvey, SES will provide full M&E services including lighting, heating, ventilation and an underfloor services interface on the pioneering development designed to position Edinburgh as a global leader in data.

The seven-storey 9,000 sqm building, positioned at the heart of the University campus, will act as the hub supporting the development of data technologies, data intensive research and data analytics in education across Scotland and internationally.

The win represents a major milestone for SES’ Scottish operation and is testament to the company’s reputation for delivering innovative, cost and time saving off-site manufacturing solutions to projects. On a confined university campus site, these initiatives delivered through BIM and its use of its Prism prefabrication facility will be critical.

Colin Walker, regional director for Scotland at SES, said: “On a restricted site like this, the use of our off-site Prism facility to deliver ready-made service modules and risers will be critical.

“Any ‘live-site’ such as a bustling university campus presents its own challenges and we will be working closely with our project partners and the university to ensure logistical issues are resolved. A key part of this is our time and space-efficient ’just in time’ approach to deliveries which ensures the site is kept as clear and safe as possible.

“Having already worked on similar projects across the UK, our expert teams have extensive experience in the education sector under their belt and this means we know exactly what Edinburgh University require from the outset.

“As the UK’s very first M&E contractor to achieve the BRE BIM Level 2 Certification – the standard required by Government to work on Whitehall-procured projects – we’re proud to be at the forefront of how data is changing the engineering industry. Helping to deliver a world-leading Data Technology Institute is a very exciting and fitting project for us.”

SES Engineering Services strengthens senior team in Scotland

Craig Paterson

Craig Paterson

National engineering specialist SES Engineering Services has appointed Craig Paterson as its operations manager for the West of Scotland.

Craig will lead a team providing specialist mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services across the region whilst spearheading the strategic direction of SES’ continued expansion in Scotland after securing a number of high profile projects across the region.

Craig joins SES after a 24 year career at Balfour Kilpatrick, where he worked as an area manager for Scotland, with his most recent role being the regional director for Scotland at Vaughan Engineering Limited.

SES said the appointment strengthens its expertise in Scotland with the company committed to doubling its turnover in the country over the next five years.

Craig said: “SES has a fantastic base in Scotland and has already secured a number of high profile projects including the Edinburgh Gateway railway station and interchange project which will support the future growth of Scotland’s businesses and communities and the Queensferry Crossing which is Scotland’s biggest infrastructure project in a generation.

“The company is well ahead of the game when it comes to complex technical projects and embracing emerging digital engineering practices so it’s an exciting time to join. The company recently became the first MEP contractor to achieve the BRE Building Information Modelling (BIM) Level 2 Business Certification, an achievement that sets us apart from our competition for our commitment to cost and time efficient engineering.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the talented team here at SES and driving further growth in Scotland.”

Colin Walker, SES regional director, Scotland, added: “Craig’s appointment is fantastic for our business in Scotland. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role and is wholly focused on delivering the very best for our clients.

“We are currently working with some of the most prestigious clients, contractors and supply chain partners across the region and I’m confident that, with Craig’s support, we will continue our growth plans and exceed through delivery to our customer expectations.”

SES Engineering secures Edinburgh Gateway M&E contract

Edinburgh Gateway railway station and interchange 1SES Engineering Services has landed a substantial mechanical and electrical (M&E) role on the new Edinburgh Gateway railway station and interchange.

Working alongside main contractor Balfour Beatty, SES will provide full M&E services to the new station, including lighting, heating, ventilation and the Station Information and Surveillance System (SISS).

Located 9km to the west of Edinburgh and 4.8km from Edinburgh International Airport, Edinburgh Gateway is part of the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), a major Scottish transport project involving infrastructure improvements and the electrification of most railway lines between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Gateway railway station and interchange 2Colin Walker, regional director for Scotland at SES, said: “We are proud to be an integral part of the delivery of this iconic new railway station, which will support the future growth of Scotland’s businesses and communities.

“Having already worked on similar projects at Haymarket and Waverley, our expert teams have extensive experience in the rail sector under their belt and we are well placed to take on this innovative new project.”

Edinburgh Gateway is scheduled to open by December 2016 and will be served by Abellio ScotRail and Edinburgh Trams.

A specialist in offsite manufacture, SES recently became the first mechanical, electrical and public health services contractor (MEP) to achieve BRE Accredited BIM Level 2 Certification, one month ahead of the government’s public sector project compliance deadline.

Shepherd Engineering Services wins Queensferry Crossing MEP contract

Transport Scotland Queensferry CrossingShepherd Engineering Services has secured a multi-million pound contract to deliver Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) services to the new £1.4 billion Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth in Scotland.

The two-year project will see Shepherd  deliver MEP systems for the replacement road bridge’s North and South approach sections, the central cable stayed bridge, its three towers and abutment buildings.

The project comes hot on the heels of a plethora of Scottish contract wins for the firm over the past 12 months, totalling more than £40 million.

Due for completion by the end of 2016 and commissioned by Transport Scotland, the new Queensferry Crossing – set to be the longest three tower cable-stayed bridge in the world – will help to ensure the future of this vital element of Scotland’s transport network.

One of the most technically challenging elements of the project will see Shepherd Engineering Services deliver its largest ever pre-fabrication installation to date; installing and securing 120 prebuilt road deck sections across the Firth of Forth.

In a ground-breaking move, these fully-formed modules will be developed at a specially created off-site manufacturing hub in Rosyth. This represents the first time Shepherd Engineering Services’ pre-fabrication factory, Shepherd PRISM, has ever designed and engineered modules away from its Yorkshire base.

This pioneering move is expected to significantly reduce logistical constraints and costs and ensure the efficient delivery of this key aspect of the major project, which will stand 207 metres above high tide (683ft), equivalent to approximately 22 London buses stacked end-to-end.

Shepherd Engineering Services regional director for Scotland, Colin Walker, said: “The Queensferry Crossing project represents a key facilitator to Scotland’s future economic success, so we are immensely proud to be able to support this major investment in infrastructure.

“The development of our unique off-site Shepherd PRISM pre-fabrication facility illustrates our commitment to innovation and smart thinking. Not only will our team of experts be able to maximise efficiencies by creating the bridge modules off-site, we will significantly contribute to a reduction in the project’s logistical and on-site health and safety risks.”

Shepherd Engineering Services has significantly strengthened its portfolio in Scotland with a string of major contract wins, including a contract from principal contractor Interserve to deliver a full M&E building services installation at the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre, a contract to deliver M&E services from Sir Robert McAlpine at Fife Park, and a further M&E contract with Interserve on The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Edinburgh along with an M&E award with Morrison Construction at Clyde Valley High School.

Colin Walker added: “Our portfolio and subsequent standing in Scotland continues to go from strength to strength with the 2014-2015 period our most successful yet.

“We look forward to building upon this solid foundation and continuing to support Scotland’s burgeoning economic future.”