Building Briefs – July 26th

Fair IsleStep closer for innovative energy system on Fair Isle

Plans to have power 24 hours a day on Fair Isle are one step closer with the completion of the funding package.

Funding of £250,000 has been awarded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for the £2.6m project which is being led by community group, by Fair Isle Electricity Company.

Despite having a combination of wind and diesel power since the 1980s, it is presently lights-out between 11pm to 7am when there is no wind on the three mile long island.

The community has recognised the importance of developing the infrastructure to sustain and grow its population of 55 people and help transform life on the island.

Fair Isle is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the UK and lies 24 miles south of the Shetland mainland.

Only one of the existing two wind turbines is working and has been operating intermittently over the past 18 months. The scheme also has no storage ability or capacity for new customers.

The new £2.6m plan is for three 60kW wind turbines, a 50kW solar array and battery storage.

The scheme will also extend a high voltage network to the north of the island to enable grid connections to the Scottish Water treatment works, Fair Isle Bird Observatory, the airstrip and the North Haven harbour.

Great Glen Consulting was appointed as the project manager to help take forward and develop the project on Fair Isle and the technical design and engineering of the project will be carried out by Arcus.


Restoration work to begin on Royal Northern Infirmary chapel

Work to replace eroded stonework on one of Inverness’s architectural ‘hidden gems’ is to begin soon at the Royal Northern Infirmary’s chapel.

NHS Highland has appointed a local stonemason to carry out the work on the 119-year-old chapel. The task will begin once specially sourced stone is delivered from one of the last quarries still open in the North of Scotland.

The work on the chapel is expected to take two to three weeks. Back when it was built in 1898, it caused controversy for being the first-ever ecumenical church for all denominations built in Scotland.

Harry Maclean, NHS Highland’s deputy head of estates, says once the stonework and other repair work to the exterior of the chapel has been completed, a maintenance plan is to be put in place for regular inspections.

Harry, who has a background in restoring historical buildings having once worked as a stonemason for English Heritage, said the plan was to replace the eroded stone work and repair the pilasters (the two columns aside the chapel entrance).

In addition, other immediate maintenance work includes fixing and clearing the chapel’s gutters and downpipes and repainting the windows.

The board has appointed Nairn-based stonemason Andrew Beattie to carry out replacing the eroded stonework.


Malcolm Hollis recruits graduate in Edinburgh

James Wood
James Wood

Independent commercial building consultancy firm Malcolm Hollis LLP has recruited James Wood on to its graduate programme in Edinburgh.

James Wood joins Malcolm Hollis following the completion of his degree in building surveying from Edinburgh Napier University.

Prior to working for Malcolm Hollis, Wood spent nearly a year working at J.E. Shepherd as a residential surveyor.


Amey continues £17m Paisley sewer upgrade scheme

Amey is continuing work on a £17 million waste water infrastructure upgrade project in Paisley.

The contractor is building a one-mile long large diameter interceptor sewer under the streets of the town.

The structure will form the major part of the £17m Scottish Water project which will improve the water quality and natural environment in two local rivers.

The project, which includes the installation of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) in the town centre, will substantially reduce the frequency of spills from the sewer network into the Espedair Burn and White Cart Water in storm conditions.

Recently, a pre-cast concrete cover for a CSO was lifted into place by a 250-tonne crane in the Causeyside Street/St Mirren Street area.

The project, which got underway last October, is expected to take two years to complete.

North Ayrshire resurfacing scheme to begin

Scotland TranServ is to start a £132,000 resurfacing project in North Ayrshire.

The company will begin repairing the A78 at Warrix from Monday, 31 July.

The project will start southbound and last for four weeks, before switching to the northbound lane for a further four-week duration.

The scheme involves stripping back the road surface to allow the project team to carry out repairs to the concrete infrastructure. In addition, a new environmentally friendly drainage system will remove excess water from the road structure, increasing the lifetime of the bridge. New barriers will also be installed as part of the programme.

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