Building Briefs – November 13th

New AECC thermal stores and cooler units_low resUK’s largest hydrogen cell installation arrives at new AECC

The largest hydrogen fuel cell installation in the UK has arrived at the under-construction Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

The £333 million new AECC, which is being delivered by Aberdeen City Council and its development partner, Henry Boot Developments, and being constructed by Robertson, will provide a new, unique facility for Scotland that is capable of competing on the international stage.

New AECC hydrogen fuel cells_low resThe cells, which will deliver clean, sustainable and reliable energy for the facility, will have a total electrical output of 1.4MW, which is on a par with the largest fuel cell installations in Europe.

UK energy engineering specialist Doosan Babcock has supplied three cells which will provide an independent source of dependable, affordable, low-emission heat and power for the 150-acre site.

New AECC Energy Centre_low resThis move reinforces Aberdeen’s status as Europe’s Energy Capital as well as underlining the city’s commitment to rebalancing the economy with a focus on energy transition. In doing so, it diversifies the city’s energy mix beyond a complete reliance on fossil fuels.

Due to open in 2019, the new venue situated beside Aberdeen International Airport will provide four times the exhibition space available at the current AECC, and increase the maximum capacity to 12,500 in the arena.


Early plans on show for Aberdeenshire business park

Kempstone Business ParkAgricultural land near Stonehaven could be turned into a business park under a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) submitted by Inspired Design.

Coneyhatch Farm, just off the B979, would see the former agricultural and commercial land turned into a light industrial and office space with plans for a cafe and gym.

Antares Property Development is looking to create the new facility which it is proposing to call Kempstone Business Park.

A public engagement event has been held in the Inspired Design studio on Evan Street in the town.


Public urged to vote for M8 M73 M74 for top engineering award

People in Scotland are urged to back the M8 M73 M74 Motorway improvement project to win the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) People’s Choice Award, which celebrates the best UK civil engineering projects that have made a positive impact on their local area and communities.

The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project has tackled congestion problems in central Scotland and is already saving motorists up to 20 minutes on their journey time. It connects Edinburgh and Glasgow by continuous motorway for the first time, completing the missing link in Scotland’s motorway network. The project brings safer roads with improved connections, journey time reliability and a better quality of life for road users, communities and industry in the west of Scotland and beyond as well as promoting significant sustainable economic growth.

It combined the construction of a new motorway with upgrades to three of the busiest arterial motorways in Scotland; all with more than 100,000 vehicles using the network daily.

Members of the public can vote at from 13 November until 1 December and the winning project will be revealed on 13 December.

All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win a Kindle and a six-month Kindle Unlimited Membership.


MSP offers planning hope at new builders merchants opening

Mike Macaulay, chairman GPH, Kevin Stewart MSP, Grant Shewan, managing director, GPH
Mike Macaulay, chairman GPH, Kevin Stewart MSP, Grant Shewan, managing director, GPH

A North-east builders merchants has invested more than £500,000 in a new facility in Stonehaven, north-east Scotland, designed to give customers easy access to professional and DIY building and landscaping materials.

GPH Builders Merchants (GPH), which also has branches in Inverurie and Westhill, is based in Spurryhillock Industrial Estate, having acquired MacDougall & Masson in 2015.

The third GPH Builders Merchants was officially opened earlier this month by Kevin Stewart MSP, minister for local government and housing.

At the opening, Mr Stewart answered questions from local business people regarding planning consent, local infrastructure and affordable housing.

The independent builders merchants has been serving the North-east’s building and DIY markets with a complete range of materials for almost 35 years, as well as running an extensive plant hire business.

GPH enhanced the Stonehaven site in 2016, with additional racking to hold a wider range of products, improved lighting and larger bays for easy delivery and collection of loose materials.

This next phase of the five-figure investment has seen the expansion and upgrade of a new two-storey state-of the-art facility. The spacious, purpose-built building will feature a new retail space with a bright, larger stock area, improvements and expansion of the yard, as well as a dedicated plant and tool hire site.

Additionally, as part of the site enhancement, GPH has installed a landscaping display, which enables customers to see, feel and touch landscaping materials in their natural setting, including paving, decking, walling, decorative pebbles and chippings, garden structures and fencing.


Aberdeen hotel eyes expansion after buying former school site

A luxury Aberdeen hotel could be set for expansion after closing a deal to buy neighbouring buildings.

Graham and Gillian Wood, owners of the Chester Hotel, have bought the next door buildings at 55 to 57 Queen’s Road, in Aberdeen’s west end.

The category B-listed properties, which were built in 1898, are interconnecting granite villas adjacent to the hotel.

Comprising 56,000 sq ft across four stories, the new properties come with planning consent for hotel, restaurant and bar use.

The site also features a 22-space car park and a significant area of open ground at the rear.

The Chester Hotel includes a fine dining restaurant, private dining rooms, lounge bar, function suite, spa and 50 bedrooms.

It opened in 2014 following a £5 million refurbishment programme.


Work starts on mine water treatment improvements

Work is due to start this week to prevent localised flooding at a mine water treatment scheme near Dunfermline.

Changes in the mine water regime within the former Fife coalfield have seen the water flows at the Pitfirrane scheme at Crossford steadily rise.

In March this year the flow was such that it exceeded the capacity of the gravity inlet pipework, resulting in localised flooding at the water collection point.

In response, contractors working for the Coal Authority are to install a new pipe along the route of the existing access road providing additional capacity to the scheme. This will not only provide a simple gravity solution to the problem but can also be built while the existing scheme continues to operate.

The existing scheme was built in 2009 and comprises a water collection structure, gravity inlet pipework and two reed beds that clean the water from the former coal mines within the local area.

Temporary pumps and pipework were installed in March and have been running continually to reduce water levels and ensure the mine water is transferred to the scheme and to prevent flooding of the surrounding land.

Numerous options were considered by the Coal Authority but the installation of a new pipe, which will take around 16 weeks to install, was considered to be the most viable and sustainable long term solution. It will be completed in February, 2018.


John Forsyth
John Forsyth

Key appointment for Savills Edinburgh

Savills has announced the appointment of John Forsyth to the Edinburgh residential team.

John joins Savills from Murray and Currie, which has offices in London, Edinburgh and Aberdeen and clients across the globe, where he was pivotal in growing the firm’s lettings and sales business from its inception ten years ago.


Chris Kirkwood
Chris Kirkwood

NWH Apprentice named Scotland’s Top Road Transport Trainee 

NWH Group employee, Chris Kirkwood (22) from Newtongrange, Midlothian, has been named Scotland’s Top Road Transport Trainee of the Year at the Transport News Scottish Rewards 2018.

The HGV tipper driver collected his trophy at the Scottish Rewards presentation at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow on Friday.

Chris, who recently completed his Modern Apprenticeship in Driving with NWH Group, joined the business in September 2016 as part of the company’s apprentice scheme.


Plan to turn former Aberdeen supermarket into coffee shop

A former Aberdeen supermarket could be turned into a coffee shop if new plans are accepted.

Neil Glover, of Figment Ltd, applied to Aberdeen City Council for permission to change the use of the building at Airyhall from retail usage to food and drink usage.

Formerly a Morrisons supermarket, the premises at 70 Countesswells Road has sat empty for the past two years.

No parking spaces are available on site, which is expected to be the same if the new plans are accepted.