Building Briefs – June 13th

Carla Walker
Carla Walker

DM Hall Aberdeen appoints new associate building surveyor

Highly experienced building surveyor Carla Walker has joined the Aberdeen office of DM Hall as an associate.

Ms Walker, who has acted in a range of surveying roles, both in professional practice and in the public sector with Aberdeenshire Council, will operate predominantly in Aberdeenshire, but her role will reach out also to Angus in the south and Morayshire to the north.

A graduate in building surveying of Robert Gordon University, she qualified as a chartered surveyor in 2007.


BAM FM chosen by Royal College of Nursing

The Royal College of Nursing has appointed BAM FM to carry out the mechanical and electrical maintenance services at 16 offices, conference centres and training facilities throughout the UK.

BAM said that it was selected for, among other reasons, its digital facilities management solutions.

BAM FM head of business development, Garry Carter, said: “Our nationwide coverage provided through the regional office network means we can support the entire portfolio of the College’s headquarters buildings in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff as well as 12 regional locations, in-house by our network of engineers. We are also able to provide the client with live customised dashboards, which allows them to monitor operational trends and performance, remotely, in real time.”

The three-year contract starts in July.


£750,000 West Lothian school expansion approved

Plans have been approved for a £750,000 school expansion project in West Lothian.

A second extension will be built onto the Winchburgh and Holy Family primary shared school campus, featuring a new self-contained nursery and playground, as well as associated works.

The project will provide enough spaces for the school to accommodate the growing demand for spaces. The scheme is being entirely funded by developer contributions already received.

Council officers have started the planning process and the new nursery is scheduled to be delivered by August 2018.


DJ Laing Homes among finalists for Scotland’s Best House Builder

The DJ Laing team (from left) Jim Cosgrove, , Gary Laing, , Jennifer Thoms,  and Fiona Washington
The DJ Laing team (from left) Jim Cosgrove, , Gary Laing, , Jennifer Thoms, and Fiona Washington
Carnoustie housing developer DJ Laing Homes is celebrating after being announced as a finalist for Scotland’s Best House Builder at the Scottish Home Improvement Awards 2017.

The company was nominated for the shortlist in March and has now been named as a finalist at this year’s awards.

The announcement follows on from the company’s recent success in its latest housing development at Malt Loan, Carnoustie, which has seen 24 houses already delivered and work starting on the next phase of 37 homes.

The Gala Final takes place in Glasgow on June 16.


Contract awarded to carry out Ballater flood study

Progress has been made towards greater flood protection for the Royal Deeside town of Ballater, with the appointment of a firm to undertake a flood study of the community.

One of the most prominent victims of Storm Frank at the start of last year, Ballater was severely affected when the River Dee burst its banks.

Aberdeenshire Council agreed to prioritise a Flood Protection Study for the community, which had been due to be carried out between 2022-2027.

Of 12 Aberdeenshire communities assessed as requiring flood protection studies in 2015, Ballater had been prioritised as fifth but following a decision by the council’s infrastructure services committee (ISC) to bring forward the Ballater flood study, RPS Consulting Services have been appointed to complete a study by summer 2018.

The firm has undertaken flood studies on a number of catchments which have similar hydrological characteristics and issues to the Dee catchment across Scotland and Ireland.

Within Ballater there are approximately 200 residential and 40 non-residential properties at risk of flooding.

RPS will work in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, other stakeholders and the community to develop measures to reduce the flood risk.

This will allow Aberdeenshire Council to make an informed decision on the appropriate level of flood risk mitigation that could be put in place to reduce flood risk.

The study will include topographical surveys, hydrological and morphological studies of the River Dee, River Gairn and River Muick. RPS will develop a hydrological model to appraise sustainable options for the mitigation of the flooding of properties within Ballater.

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


Robertson Group executive chairman crowns Elgin Academy’s ‘Ideal Candidate’

Bill Robertson in his speech
Bill Robertson in his speech

The executive chairman of Robertson Group has this week awarded the young winner of a work placement initiative – coined the Ideal Candidate Programme – in front of an audience of family and friends at Elgin Academy.

As guest speaker, Mr Bill Robertson was delighted to honour 16 year old Owen Webster, and other participants for “embarking on a programme that will set them up properly for what lies ahead in the real world”.

Part of the school’s annual Senior Phase Awards, The Ideal Candidate category was created by the team at Robertson Group to reward S4 pupils for their efforts in completing a six week training arrangement built around the students’ current employability module.

(from left) Elgin Academy head master David Barnett, Ideal Candidate winner Owen Webster and Robertson Group founder and executive chairman Mr Bill Robertson at the awards
(from left) Elgin Academy head master David Barnett, Ideal Candidate winner Owen Webster and Robertson Group founder and executive chairman Mr Bill Robertson at the awards

Robertson Group advertised a placement vacancy and invited students to apply. Candidates were shortlisted, interviewed and advised of their success.

The programme saw the students consider their digital profile and the impact their online persona could have on their chances of employment. They were also given top tips for preparing for an interview as well as one to one guidance on how to create the perfect CV.

The applicants joined the team at Robertson for a week’s work experience. They were rotated around multiple departments to give them a holistic experience of what it is like to work at Robertson and what the construction industry offers young people in terms of career development.

Finally, the candidates were asked to deliver a 10 minute presentation on what they had learned from the experience.


£1m investment in Borders rural roads

Almost £1 million will be invested to improve six key rural roads in the Scottish Borders.

A total of £590,000 has been awarded by the Strategic Timber Transport Fund for the routes, alongside £360,000 of investment from Scottish Borders Council (SBC).

The six roads are:

  • B6399 Shankend Quarry to C29 Junction – edge reconstruction and strengthening
  • B711 Redfordgreen to B709 at Tushielaw – carriageway strengthening
  • C29/B6399 junction at Berryfell to A6088 at Hawthornside – passing place improvements, cattle grid replacement, edge/carriageway strengthening and junction improvement
  • D1/3 Roberton to Craik – drainage and passing place improvements, edge widening and carriageway strengthening
  • D24/3 A7 junction near Northhouse to Priesthaugh Farm – drainage and passing place improvements, edge widening and carriageway strengthening
  • D53/1 C8 Talla Road junction to Menzion Forest – drainage and passing place improvements, edge widening and carriageway strengthening
  • The Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF) was set up by the Scottish Government in 2005 in recognition of the challenge faced in getting timber to market.

    It is administered by Forestry Commission Scotland in order to facilitate the sustainable transport of timber in rural areas of Scotland for the benefit of local communities and the environment, maximising the value of monies available through innovative projects and partnerships.


    Mactaggart & Mickel provides cash boost for Dalkeith amateur footballers

    (from left) ex MP for Midlothian Sir David Hamilton,  Mactaggart & Mickel director Andrew Mickel, Dalkeith Thistle Community FC chair Steven Dixon and ex Midlothian councillor Jim Bryant
    (from left) ex MP for Midlothian Sir David Hamilton, Mactaggart & Mickel director Andrew Mickel, Dalkeith Thistle Community FC chair Steven Dixon and ex Midlothian councillor Jim Bryant

    Dalkeith Thistle Community Football Club has received a massive boost with the news that housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Homes has funded the purchase and installation of a new Astroturf playing area for the club as part of a shirt sponsorship deal.

    The £25,000 cash injection means that the club can reduce expenditure on external training facilities, generating significant savings each year for reinvestment in the club’s future.

    The new training area will be ready for use by the end of June.

    Mactaggart & Mickel Homes has a development across the road from the Club at Thornybank Green, and is also building new homes at Millerhill within the new Shawfair community near Danderhall.


    Work continues on £24m Irvine water mains upgrade

    Work is continuing on a £24 million water mains upgrade project in Irvine.

    Scottish Water is installing a new 7.3 mile-long water main south of Drybridge, near Dreghorn, to the west of Eglinton Country Park.

    The scheme will help more than 85,000 people in parts of North Ayrshire benefit from improved security of their water supply and a reduction in the risk of burst mains.

    The new main will replace an existing main whose route goes through more built-up areas, including the north east of Irvine and parts of Bourtreehill, Broomlands and Dreghorn.

    As part of the project, a stretch of the northwest-bound lane of Long Drive, near Hill roundabout, will be closed from 19 June to 31 June. This will allow work to be carried out on connecting the new water main to the existing network. Temporary traffic lights will be in operation to enable two-way traffic on the affected stretch of road.

    The development forms part of Scottish Water’s £120m investment in Ayrshire which was announced in December 2015. The programme will see water mains infrastructure upgraded for almost 220,000 people in much of Ayrshire and part of East Renfrewshire.

    Work to start on £5.7m Saughton Park restoration

    Work will soon start on a £5.7 million restoration project at Saughton Park in Edinburgh.

    The year-long scheme will revitalise the historic park and is supported by £3.8m of National Lottery Fund funding.

    Proposals for the scheme were first drawn up in 2013 and have since been developed in more detail by designers Ironside Farrar, alongside architects Sutherland Hussey Harris and Richard Shorter, in consultation with the local community.

    Improvements include the restoration of the park’s walled garden, the refurbishment of the winter garden and the reinstatement of an original bandstand. A new cafe and public toilet facilities will also be built as well as a viewpoint at the Water of Leith and improved play facilities.

    Further consultations are taking place on developing new cycle routes linking the park with the city centre, complimented by a £500,000 fund awarded to the Saughton Park Restoration Project by Sustrans Community Links programme. This funding will allow for upgrades to be carried out to the park’s path network and off-road links in the area.

    As part of plans to also use the park as a base for council administration and a wide range of activities, the old stable block and courtyard will be restored as a community venue, offices, a volunteer bothy and demonstration gardens.

    A series of family events are taking place over the next few weeks ahead of the park closing for the restoration programme.


    SES Engineering Services downs tools to support Glasgow charities

    Image 2 (2)Two invaluable Glasgow charities have been given a fundraising boost and a helping hand by teams of volunteers from SES Engineering Services (SES), as part of the business’ nationwide ‘Reshaping Tomorrow’ week.

    Both the Giffnock Soccer Centre in Dumbreck Road - which provides football training to boys, girls and disabled adults – and the Glasgow City Mission, the world’s first City Mission, welcomed teams of volunteers from SES who took time out of their day jobs to help out the city’s outstanding good causes.

    Giffnock Soccer Centre is a registered charity and is run entirely by over 200 volunteers and coaches, every year the Giffnock Soccer Centre hosts its extremely popular International Football Festival, the biggest of its kind in the UK, and welcomes children from Scotland, England, Denmark and Norway.

    With the event’s 4-a-side, 7-a-side, Girls and Disability Football Festival competition fast approaching on Saturday and Sunday 17-18 June, the club’s volunteers needed assistance setting up the event to cater for more than 5,000 visitors.

    SES staff from the Glasgow office helped out by setting up marquee tents, connecting generators, TVs and running cables to areas for bouncy castles.

    Last week, SES’ determined teams visited the Glasgow City Mission in Crimea Street, where they delivered their food bank collection boxes to Graham Steven, Partnerships and Communications Manager to help the charity collect must-needed items for their food bank.

    Established in 1826, the mission continues to help vulnerable adults and children by fighting against poverty and disadvantage across the city.

    These volunteer projects form part of ‘Reshaping Tomorrow’ week, a national programme that coincided with National Volunteers’ Week. Throughout the week the business’ employees donated their time to help local good causes.

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