Building Briefs – September 24th

Eddie Robertson, Morrison Construction’s managing director for Central Scotland with Fiona McMillan, fundraising engagement manager at CLIC Sargent

Morrison Construction cycles hundreds of miles to raise thousands for charity

Morrison Construction has raised more than £4600, cycling 1860 miles during a five-day CLIC Sargent bike challenge at the beginning of the month.

Stationary bikes were set up at Morrison Construction’s Glasgow office and six project sites for employees and guests to ride as part of the fundraising challenge.

The sites included in the fundraiser were: Barony Campus in Cumnock, East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington, Queensferry High School, Greenlaw Business Centre in Newton Mearns, Diageo distillery labs near Menstrie and Cumbernauld Academy and Cumbernauld Theatre.

Each site was tasked with cycling 60 miles per day, which is the average distance many children and their families must travel for cancer treatment.

Greenlaw Business Centre project team were the standout performers of the sites cycling 261 miles on day three.

Throughout the challenge donations of more than £2300 was collected. These funds were then matched by Morrison Construction’s parent company Galliford Try.

CLIC Sargent, which provides cancer support for children, young people and their families, was one of the charities for 2018 nominated by employees of Morrison Construction.


Arvill Plant and Tool hire takes on new apprentice mechanics

Airdrie-based family firm Arvill Plant and Tool Hire has taken on two young local men as apprentice mechanics.

Euan Wilson, 16 from Greengairs and Andrew Peden, 17, from Plains, both Airdrie, have secured apprentice mechanic roles with the plant and tool hire company which has been servicing building and engineering companies large and small across Scotland since 1985.

Both apprentices left school this summer; Euan approached Arvill through his father, Andrew, who is one of the company’s customers. Having developed his interest in mechanics and motorbikes doing casual work for a local garage, he is now putting those skills to good use in the Arvill workshops.

Andrew, the youngest of six siblings, wanted to learn more about the operation of large plant and had been doing volunteer work with a local waste management company. He approached Arvill directly and has been supplementing his operating experience with training in Health and Safety procedures taught by the company.

Euan and Andrew are participants in a Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) programme and are undergoing a 3-year Modern Apprenticeship course with three 6-week attachments to the National Construction College in Glasgow, with the first due to get under way in October.


Minister opens award-winning Hanover housing development

Christina McKelvie MSP with Hanover Scotland resident Pat Gaffney.
Photo Credit: Ewen Weatherspoon

The Scottish Government minister for older people and equalities has officially opened a new 32 home social housing development in the North East of Scotland which offers a new model for better integration of health, social care and housing policy.

Christina McKelvie MSP opened Hanover Scotland Housing Association’s Linkwood View development in Elgin which was built by Springfield Properties in partnership with Moray Health and Social Care and the Scottish Government.

Linkwood View welcomed its first residents in September 2017 and is specially designed with innovative high-quality services including dementia, wheelchair adaptation and Extra Care facilities. The site has won multiple awards including Social Housing Development of the Year by Premier Guarantee and a commendation from the Saltire Society who said it provided “a template to provide future care to a growing elderly demographic with dementia”.

The development comprises:

  • six flats designed for dementia with design guidance from the Stirling Dementia Design Service
  • four flats designed for varying degrees of physical disability in conjunction with occupational therapists and tenant requirements
  • 22 care flats capable of being adapted to suit occupants’ needs, physical or mental health related, with an innovate in house care service.

Key innovative design features of Linkwood View include:

  • Dementia design features such as glazed kitchen units, contrasting switch and socket face plates and skirtings.
  • Courtyard typology which creates a safe environment that can cater for varying stages of dementia & elderly care.
  • Flexible floor plans offering open or closed plan layouts, with flats designed to adapt to the changing needs of the residents.
  • External walkways creating opportunities for residents to interact and larger flats with additional bedrooms encouraging family to stay or have study rooms/home offices for continuing an active life.

Christina McKelvie was given a detailed tour of the site, meeting staff and residents. She also met with children from the Magic Roundabout nursery which borders Linkwood View.

To encourage intergenerational interactions, Hanover has gifted a small part of the large garden area of Linkwood View for the nursery to maintain to allow them to grow their own plants and flowers. Not only has this assisted with outdoor educational activity for the children, it has engendered an intergenerational understanding between the residents and the nursery children.


Stirling electric vehicle hub moves another step forward

The Castleview Green Energy Hub took another step forward last week as Stirling councillors agreed the financial case for the innovative project.

The state-of the-art scheme, which is expected to be completed by December 2019, will see solar canopies cover 360 car parking bays to generate and store energy for the smart charging of 22 electric vehicles and e-bikes.

The initiative is expected to cost in the region of £1.65 million, with 70% of the total secured from Transport Scotland’s Low Carbon Transport and Travel Fund. Stirling Council will provide the rest of the investment – around £496,000.

It’s expected to provide a return of just over £5.76m over a 25-year period, based on assumed Electronic Vehicle (EV) uptake.

The number of EV cars in Scotland is projected to rise by 30% every year up until 2032, when fossil fuelled cars and light vans in Scotland will be banned.

Members of the Finance and Economy Committee also gave approval for officers to enter into an appropriate procurement process.

Excess stored energy from the scheme will be sold to the National Grid and/or external consumers, bringing further revenue back to the council.

Electric bike charging will be installed, along with modified travel links. This proposal includes charging infrastructure for an electric bus option in the future.


Improvement work to start at Dundee health centre

A four month improvement project is set to start today at Lochee Health Centre in Dundee.

The project will see an investment of approximately £500,000 over the next few months resulting in refurbishments to the centre which will make significant improvements to the centre’s environment for patients and to service delivery.

Improvements planned as part of the project will result in a brighter entrance and upgraded patient waiting room and a redesign of the original footprint of the building will enable more treatment and consulting rooms to be created by using the space more effectively.

The centre will be renamed Lochee Health and Community Care Centre on completion of the project and will provide shared accommodation across two floors allowing multidisciplinary teams and staff from health, social work and community based services to work closely together.

Further additional services are planned to be introduced which will benefit the local community including Cancer Wellbeing which is a service focused on supporting those diagnosed with cancer undertaking chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


Dundee’s external wall insulation programme recognised

A programme of external wall insulation carried out by Dundee City Council has been recognised with a series of awards.

At the Energy Efficiency Awards held in Birmingham, the local authority won the Council of the Year Award and second place for the Insulation and Fabric Project.

In addition, the council won the Regional Vulnerable Customer Support Campaigner of the Year at the 2018 Scotland Regional Energy Efficiency Awards.

The council was runner up in both the Regional Large Scale Project of the Year and the Regional and Local Authority Body of the Year Award at the 2018 Scotland Regional Energy Efficiency Awards.

The council has worked with SSE Energy Solutions over the past five years which has helped transform the city via its managed solution and funding support through the Energy Company Obligation.

Alsecco has also been involved with the programme and brings expertise and a quality service which allows External Wall Insulation to be underwritten for 25 years.

Insulated Render Services (IRS) has completed 132 units at the Barnes Avenue location and is a contractor which has delivered good results on behalf of all stakeholders at other locations throughout the city.


£85,000 funding approved for rural broadband projects in Stirling

Stirling Council has approved £85,000 of funding to improve broadband access for rural communities.

The Balquhidder Community Broadband (BCB) project will receive £70,000, while £15,000 will be allocated to Argaty and Kilbryde.

The additional cash for the BCB scheme will replace the contribution from Community Broadband Scotland following the support scheme’s closure.

It will allow the BCB project to be completed, ensuring that all 197 premises in the Balquhidder area will benefit from hyper-fast, future-proof and community-owned broadband.

The investment into Argaty and Kilbryde will provide high-speed connectivity to 60 premises, using radio signals from fixed wireless technology rather than cables, minimising disruption. If the initiative is successful it may be extended to Kinbuck and other areas.

Members of the finance and economy committee also approved the setting up of a Rural Broadband Forum involving officers, key partners and community representatives.

A partnership involving Stirling Council, internet service provider (ISP) Bogons and community interest company Balquhidder Community BCB, the Balquhidder Community Broadband (BCB) project was launched on 23 March 2018

Funded in part by an initial £100,000 investment from Stirling Council, along with a similar contribution from its commercial partner, and rural development funding from the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER programme, the BCB project is expected to bring in millions of pounds in economic gain.