Building Briefs – October 18th

A CGI of the new office development at New Waverley
A CGI of the new office development at New Waverley

Artisan agrees sale of Edinburgh’s New Waverley office development to Legal & General

The office component of Edinburgh’s New Waverley development has been sold by Artisan Real Estate Investors to Legal & General.

Legal & General has secured the development on behalf of Legal & General Retirement, which invests in high-quality, long-term UK assets that generate income streams that match its commitments to pensioners.

The deal follows a pre-let agreement announced in July 2017 with the UK government to create a new office hub at New Waverley, moving some 2,900 civil service jobs into the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The Grade A office development is expected to complete in June 2019 and will include HMRC, which will run one of their 13 regional centres from New Waverley, under the terms of a 25-year lease.

The new government office hub is set to continue the momentum of New Waverley’s current development phase which will see the high quality office space blend with restaurants, cafes and shops around a new public square.

Artisan’s £200 million, 7.5 acre mixed-use scheme seamlessly links Waverley Station with the city’s iconic Royal Mile, forming part of the Old Town’s UNESCO World Heritage site. During the last two years, New Waverley has delivered 400 hotel rooms, including two Whitbread hotels – a Premier Inn and a Hub by Premier Inn - and an Adagio Aparthotel overlooking the Royal Mile.

The New Waverley offices will be arranged across two linked buildings providing some 190,000 sq. ft. of space and offering the highest levels of sustainability and operational efficiency. Employees will benefit from modern, well-lit Grade A office space with added staff amenities including a landscaped roof area providing sweeping views across the Waverley Valley.

Work on the office development is currently underway and is due to be completed in summer 2019.


Warm homes ‘could see a third of excess winter deaths avoided’

fuel povertyCampaigners called on the Scottish Government to take further action to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes in the wake of new statistics showing that an excess of 2,720 people died in winter 2016/17 compared with warmer months.

The Existing Homes Alliance said the forthcoming Warm Homes Bill provides a crucial opportunity to make sure every home is properly insulated and heated.

The Alliance was speaking as new figures showed that there were 20,930 deaths registered in Scotland in the four months of winter 2016/17 (December to March), compared with 20,509 in winter 2015/16.

Comparing the number of deaths in the four winter months with the average for the two adjacent four-month periods, the seasonal increase in deaths during winter 2016/17 was 2,720, compared to 2,850 for the previous winter.

The National Records of Scotland, which compiles the figures, said that while the long-term trend since the early 1950s has been downward, the five-year moving average for excess winter deaths has barely changed since the early 2000s.


Fife housing deal another first for LAR

Scottish housing charity LAR has completed its first deal in Fife to purchase seven brand new homes for long-term rent.

The purchase, agreed earlier this year, has now gone through with LAR taking possession of the four two-bed flats and three three-bed houses at the Blackhill Brae development in Crossgates, which have been built by Miller Homes.

LAR, which is headquartered in Dunfermline, launched in October 2015 with the aim of providing approximately 1,000 properties at mid-market rents across Scotland over the next five years. It has over 200 properties already occupied with a further 300 in the pipeline.

LAR aims to help an increasing number of tenants across Scotland who neither qualify for social housing nor can afford rents in the private sector. The organisation has already completed deals at 14 other sites across Scotland with the initial emphasis on Aberdeen, Edinburgh and the Lothians - areas with the highest private rents in Scotland.


New link road open as part of AWPR/B-T works

As part of the AWPR/B-T works, road users will no longer be able to head east from the B979 Netherley Road through to the A90 via the U89K Auquhorthies Road from Friday 20 October as construction work on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project continues.

A short section of the U89K Auquhorthies Road, which is located under the AWPR trunk road, will close to vehicles but will remain open to pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians. However, this arrangement may be postponed in the event of difficult weather conditions.

Drivers heading west on the U89K Auquhorthies Road from the A90 towards the B979 Netherley Road will be able to use the new U88K to U89K Link Road which has been constructed on the east side of the new AWPR. This will take road users from the U89K Auquhorthies Road north towards the U88K Fishermyre to Clayfolds Road, where they can drive under the AWPR to join the B979 Netherley Road. The reverse journey of this route will be available for drivers wishing to head east on the U89K towards the A90.

An underpass will provide pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians with continued access in both directions between the B979 Netherley Road and the A90, via the U89K, however this may be subject to short-term closures to enable the contractor to carry out final finishing works.


Work begins on flood studies in at-risk Aberdeenshire communities

Progress is being made towards greater flood protection for Ellon, Insch, Inverurie and Port Elphinstone, with the appointment of a consultant to undertake flood studies in the communities.

Ellon, Inverurie and Port Elphinstone were prominent victims of flooding in January 2016 when both communities were flooded by the rivers Ythan and Don respectively in exceptional weather.

Under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 there is a strategic framework for considering appropriate ways to manage flood risk.

Flood Risk Management Strategies have been developed to reduce the impact of flooding nationwide, coordinating the efforts of all organisations which tackle flooding and focussing work where the risk of flooding and the benefits of investment are greatest.

On May 12, 2016, Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee (ISC) approved the Local Flood Risk Management Plan for North East Local Plan District 2016 – 2022.

This presents a summary of the objectives and measures to manage flood risk in this area and details of how the measures will be implemented.

Within Aberdeenshire, Ellon, Inverurie and Port Elphinstone and Insch are the three studies to be taken forward in the 2016 – 2022 cycle.

The work will be done by Dougall Baillie Associates, working in partnership with JBA Consulting as its sub consultant.

As well as experience working together, they also bring experience of working within the catchments, developing and appraising Flood Protection Schemes for Aberdeenshire and other Scottish councils.

For Ellon the study has the potential to reduce flood risk to residential and non-residential properties; roads and a school, with potential damages avoided of up to £6.1 million.

For Inverurie and Port Elphinstone the study has the potential to reduce flood risk to residential and non-residential properties and roads, with potential damages avoided of up to £6.8m.

In Insch the study has the potential to reduce flood risk to residential and non-residential properties; roads and a healthcare facility, with potential damages avoided of up to £6.3m.

The contractors will work in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, the communities and other interested parties to develop measures to reduce flood risk.

This will allow the council to make an informed decision on the appropriate level of flood risk mitigation which could be put in place.

If considered feasible, the outputs from the studies, such as a preferred Flood Protection Scheme, will then be considered in the national prioritisation process for Scottish Government funding, for construction in the 2022 – 2027 Local Flood Risk Management Plan.

The work starts this month and will be completed by Spring 2019.


CCG continues affordable housing commitment to Edinburgh

Craigmillar - 3D 5CCG (Scotland) Ltd is continuing to deliver affordable housing for Edinburgh with a sustained focus in the East of the city where the firm is currently building 111 new affordable homes as part of the first phase of the Craigmillar Town Centre Masterplan on behalf of Dunedin Canmore.

Scheduled for completion in summer 2018, sites 19 and 20 will consist of 54 new homes for social rent and a further 57 for mid-market rent.

The Craigmillar Town Centre Masterplan will see this entire area in the East of the city transformed through the creation of more affordable homes and a new retail centre, along with a public square and neighbouring community play park.

The new development at sites 19 and 20 builds on other work CCG has delivered in the area over the past three years, including the development of the former Niddrie Mill Primary School into ‘The Schoolhouse’ - a mixed-tenure development of 66 homes, as well as the creation of the Thistle Foundation Centre for Health and Wellbeing.

The new homes are being constructed using a timber frame system that is manufactured in CCG’s bespoke off-site manufacturing facility in Cambuslang. Delivered to site complete with insulation, internal wall linings, windows and doors pre-installed, the system brings assurances of quality and a faster speed of construction – the entire development was completed wind and water tight in just 29 weeks.

Also highly energy efficient, the thermal performance of the timber frame system will bring long-term energy savings for future residents who will begin to move in early 2018.

As Craigmillar 19 and 20 has progressed, CCG has also worked with the City of Edinburgh Council on an additional development in Craigmillar, sites 12-15, as well as a new 75-home residential development in Greendykes.


Average Scottish house prices increase to top £146,000

The average house price in Scotland increased by 3.9% in the last 12 months to reach more than £146,000, according to new figures.

The latest publication of the monthly UK House Price Index (UK HPI) shows that the average price of a property in Scotland in August 2017 was £146,354 – an increase of 3.9% on August in the previous year and a decrease of 0.7% when compared to July.

This compares to a UK average of £225,956, which was an increase of 5% compared to August in the previous year and an increase of 0.5% when compared to the previous month.

The largest price increase in Scotland was in Edinburgh, which had a 10.4% increase between August 2016 and August 2017 to £246,611.

Aberdeenshire had Scotland’s largest price drop in the same period as average prices fell 5.7% to £188,876, followed by a 4.8% drop in Aberdeen to £167,903.


DM Design’s green credentials boosted by biomass boiler

DMDesignScottish firm DM Design has invested £250,000 in a biomass boiler at its head office in Cumbernauld.

The fitted bedroom specialists will now save the equivalent of 50 large skiploads of landfill each year. The ultra-high-spec 150kW boiler is cleverly fed with wood from old kitchen and bedroom units which have been removed from customers’ homes.

The unit also assists in removing dust ensuring the 30-strong factory team have a clean working environment.

Operations director Ben Taylor is delighted with the installation.

He said: “Putting in a biomass boiler was a no brainer. It saves 50 large skips-worth of waste going to landfill, heats our entire factory and lowers our heating bill by up to £10,000 a year.”


Robertson Homes launches new Lenzie development

Robertson Homes has launched a new housing development in Lenzie – with already huge interest in the new properties.

The new Meadows development, located at the town’s Auchinloch Road, consists of just 60 four- and five-bedroom homes from Robertson’s Home Artistry collection.

The company’s sales team have confirmed this week that a large number of the new homes in phase one of the development were snapped up by people who had registered even before the public launch on October 21.

The development is launching from Robertson Homes’ recently sold out Hepburn Gate development in Bothwell.


BAM Construct UK employees raise £19,000 for charity in a month

BAM inflatable challenge pictureEmployees at BAM Construct UK stepped, cycled, kicked, bounced and ran their way through Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September and raised an incredible £19,000 for children and young people’s cancer support charity CLIC Sargent.

Hundreds of workers across the country got involved to show their support and raise vital funds for children and young people living with cancer.

Highlights during the month included:

  • BAM bikers across the regions cycling 3,910 miles and raising £10,844 in sponsorship
  • Employees taking 7,079,004 steps as part of a sponsored ’60-Mile Step Challenge,’ raising £2,200
  • 96 colleagues from across the UK took part in a football tournament in Leeds, raising £5,000
  • A team from its head office took on the 12k Bear Grylls challenge, which involved eating meal worms, to raise £500
  • Another BAM team took part in the world’s longest inflatable challenge  raising over £1,000

Many other individuals and teams took part in other challenges, or more personal fundraising activities.  For example, Anya Weaver, a Personal Assistant from Northampton ran 5k in memory of her niece Naomi who had a brain tumour, and sadly passed away 10 years ago aged two.

BAM Construct UK is one of the UK’s largest property, construction and facilities management companies. It chose CLIC Sargent as its new charity partner earlier this year and has pledged to raise £100,000 over the next two years.

This huge total could pay for CLIC Sargent to provide more than 4,000 hours of support for young cancer patients and their families.


Urban Union unveils Muirton show home garden designed by local pupils

Urban Union has hosted a special event for pupils from Perth Grammar School to unveil the new show home garden at its Muirton development, which they helped to design.

The pupils got to have their say in how the show home garden looked through a competition run by Urban Union.

15 pupils from S3 took part in the competition which ran for three weeks. During the process pupils enjoyed a presentation from Muirton Living architects Barton Willmore, who shared their advice and tips for designing a show stopping garden.

Pupils were then given five lessons to submit a final garden design. After which the designs were then sent to a judging panel that consisted of Jon Parry and Julia Goodwin from Barton Willmore who had the difficult job of picking just one winner.

The overall winner was Jaques Bernier, closely followed by Amy Trunbull and Rachael Smith who came in second and third place, respectively. All three pupils, now in S4, received vouchers from Urban Union and an invitation to the unveiling.

As well as being the first members of the public to see the finished garden, the pupils also received framed copies of their drawings to commemorate their part in designing it.

Urban Union Ltd was appointed by Caledonia Housing Association to deliver 203 affordable and private homes on the site which is scheduled for completion at the end of 2018.