Building Briefs – July 4th

Ben Adam
Ben Adam

David Narro Associates appoints new MD

Architecture practice David Narro Associates (DNA) have announced that its staff have voted in Ben Adam as managing director to succeed David Narro.

Mr Adam, who took up the position on July 1, joined DNA as a graduate engineer and worked his way up the ranks to become a director and head of the firm’s Glasgow office.

A statement from the firm said: “We wish him every success in his new role. David will continue to provide DNA with leadership and guidance in the capacity of both engineer and Chairman.”


DM Hall retained by British Solar Renewables to acquire battery storage sites throughout Scotland

Scottish independent chartered surveyor firm DM Hall has been appointed by British Solar Renewables (BSR) sister company, BSR Energy Limited (BSRE), to acquire sites throughout Scotland to expand its network of battery storage sites.

BSRE plans to increase the resiliency of the energy contributed by renewable energy – such as that from solar and wind power – to the National Grid, by building a series of battery storage sites which will build latency into the system for periods of intermittent generation.

DM Hall’s Scotland-wide network of offices will seek to identify landowners throughout the country with Greenfield, brownfield, underutilised warehousing and outbuildings in locations which are close to power lines and substations and have the necessary spare grid capacity to make the system viable.

Kevin Jackson, senior associate in DM Hall’s north commercial agency team based in Aberdeen, said: “We are excited to be part of the growth and development of this much-needed aspect of the national infrastructure.

“The site area required for these projects is relatively small making them an ideal way of generating income from underused corners of yards or fields. The batteries are essentially stored within large shipping containers meaning that either external areas or excess space within existing commercial buildings may be suitable.

“Grid capacity is key and we are therefore particularly interested to speak to landowners who may have previously acquired grid capacity but cannot utilise it due to the reduction in government support for renewable energy developments.”

David Peill, commercial director at BSR, said: “This is a relatively new technology but its growth potential is huge. We wanted to retain the services of Scottish commercial property experts who can drive that growth and given their network of offices throughout the country and knowledge within the sector DM Hall were the first choice.”

Sites will be priced based upon the available capacity at the closest substation, and will be paid on a per megawatt basis. Interested parties who believe they may have a suitable site should contact Kevin Jackson at DM Hall’s Aberdeen office.


Dalbeattie High School pupils presented with Crest Awards

Graham's CREST Awards  at Dalbeattie High school  (4)-min

Pupils from Dalbeattie High School have earned themselves a CREST Bronze Award through an initiative which encourages children towards a future in the construction industry.

Delivered by Dumfries and Galloway College, in partnership with the local Council, Graham Construction and Dalbeattie High School, the award ceremony was held for 34 S2 construction students.

Over the course of the year, three individual groups of pupils visited the Dalbeattie Learning Campus, which is soon to be their new school. They were given an induction into health and safety, sustainable building techniques, design and materials.

The CREST scheme develops a student’s knowledge and skills, supporting attainment in Curriculum for Excellence subjects and qualifications.

Developed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the CREST Award Scheme was managed by the British Science Association and helps young-people discover their interest for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects (STEM).

The overall course will see pupils progress onto a 3rd year DEC Course, (Design Engineer and Construct) which will be funded by GRAHAM Construction.

As well as recognising the contribution of pupils, musical entertainment and hospitality was also provided by the school, showcasing the broad spectrum of young talent in Dalbeattie.

Medals for the evening were presented by Gavin Stevenson, chief executive, Dumfries & Galloway Council.

Councillor Jeff Leaver, chair of the Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning committee, said: “This was an excellent event, celebrating the successes of 34 young construction students, encouraging their progress in an industry that has a major impact on our economy.”

Debbie Rutherford, GRAHAM Construction’s Regional Community Benefit Advisor said: “We are thrilled with the uptake of pupils graduating from the CREST Scheme. CREST remains an extremely valuable initiative which promotes STEM subjects to young-people.

“At GRAHAM, we place a strong focus on local community engagement through work experience, recruitment, site-visits and employability workshops.

The new campus will house the town’s brand new nursery, primary and secondary schools and is being delivered by Hub SW on behalf of Dumfries and Galloway Council through the Scottish Government’s ‘Scotland’s Schools for the Future’ programme - part of the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT).

The extensive project will also contain specialist sports facilities including a six-lane running-track, a rugby-field, 3G pitch and MUGA for football and hockey.


Borders residents and businesses encouraged to respond to transport survey

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) is encouraging local people and businesses to provide their views to Transport Scotland on the strategic transport network.

The survey is part of the wider Borders Transport Corridors Study being undertaken by Transport Scotland, part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to examine the case of an extension to the Borders Railway and improvements to the A1, A7 and A68.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, SBC’s Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure, said: “The Council is one of a number of key stakeholders in the wider study, which is looking at how the transport network connects the Scottish Borders to the key local markets of Edinburgh, Newcastle and Carlisle.

“This study will look at the future needs of our area and cross-border connections and we would encourage Borderers to get involved and have their say on these key routes and where improvements could be made.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, executive member for business and economic development, added: “The transport routes running through the Borders to cities and services outside our region are vital for trade, for encouraging tourism and for our quality of life. This Transport Scotland survey is an important opportunity for residents, organisations and businesses across the Scottish Borders to comment directly on how they want to see our transport infrastructure develop, including potential extension of the Borders Railway.”

The deadline for responses is 11 August, and the survey is available online at


Link named among Britain’s Top 50 Biggest Builders

Link new logo

Scottish housing association Link Group has featured for the first time in this year’s UK-wide ‘Top 50 Biggest Builders’ list, having completed 328 new affordable homes, 202 of which for social rent.

Link was a new entry in two categories – ‘Top 50 Biggest Builders: Completions’ and ‘Top 10 Housing Associations Building the Most Social Rent Homes’.

Link was the highest placed Scottish housing association, placed at number 37 in the ‘Top 50 Biggest Builders: Completions’ chart and appeared at no. 9 in the list of most prolific suppliers of new homes for social rent.

The annual survey tracks the development of new housing, as well as projects in the pipeline, by the UK’s biggest housing associations.

Earlier this year, Link confirmed its plans to build 3200 new affordable homes over the next five years with two thirds of these for social rent, thus making a significant contribution to tackling the country’s affordable housing requirement.

Roy Stirrat, Chairman, Link Group Ltd, said: “The inclusion of Link in these lists demonstrates our commitment to delivering a good supply of high quality affordable housing for those most in need. We continue to be very successful in securing grant and private funding for new projects and social housing development continues to be the mainstay of our development programme.

“We thank the Scottish Government and a wide range of Scottish local authorities, lenders, third sector organisations, community groups and customers for their continuing support for our aim of alleviating inequality. We congratulate Hillcrest and Wheatley, the two other Scottish housing associations who ‘charted’”

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