Building Briefs – June 24th

Dumbarton Day CentreWest Dunbartonshire learning disability centre gets £700k upgrade

A facility which provides care and support for adults with learning disabilities has undergone a major £700,000 refurbishment.

The overhaul of the Dumbarton Day Centre, on Bruce Street, included providing two state of the art sensory rooms, improved physiotherapy facilities, an expanded café area and the creation of several quiet rooms where service users can meet in smaller groups.

Other improvements at the centre have seen a fully equipped kitchen installed to allow service users to plan and make their own meals, and the creation of an exhibition area to allow creative works to be displayed.


Campbeltown marina upgrade now complete

Argyll and Bute Council’s Campbeltown Berthing Facility project is now complete, with the newly upgraded marina set to be officially opened this Saturday.

Extensive works were involved in the creation of the new marina, including the dredging of the basin area north of the previous pontoon facility to allow for an extended basin area. There is a new access bridge from the Quay to the fully piled pontoons and the new U shape of the pontoons allows for a more flexible berthing arrangement.

The project has seen both berthing and on-shore improvements which have made the marina a more attractive sailing destination.

GSS Marine Services, of Rosneath, carried out berthing and on-shore improvement work on behalf of the council.

The new pontoon layout has a total of 54 berths – 10 at finger pontoons, 28 alongside berths and 16 additional berths by rafting – and provides a flexible layout which can accommodate larger craft.


‘Challenging’ foundation work delays Boroughmuir High School opening

The new Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh will open two months later than expected after “challenging” foundation work slowed construction.

Pupils were to move into the building at the start of the new school year in August 2016.

But the date has now been pushed back until the school break in October 2016 after it took contractors longer than expected to create the foundations.

The school says this delay has advantages, giving them time to give teachers and pupils the chance to see the building and get used to it before they have to use it on a daily basis.


Edinburgh’s High School Yards steps reopened with new installation

High School Yards stepsEdinburgh’s High School Yards steps have been reopened to the public after 12 years of closure and are now the focus of an installation by Edinburgh artist Callum Innes.

The historic steps, which link the Cowgate and High School Yards, were closed in 2003 after reports of anti-social behaviour. Their restoration is the result of an 18 month partnership project to revive the route between the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh World Heritage and The University of Edinburgh.

As well as significant conservation work, including the renewal of railings and the addition of gates to close the stairs off at night, the refurbished steps will feature a bespoke installation by Callum Innes.

Aiming to reclaim the area as a public space, the artwork uses an infrared camera to capture the movement of people as they climb the steps, projecting their silhouettes onto a large LED mesh screen above them, revealing a hidden section of the stairs.

The regeneration of the steps was an important aspect of the design of the University of Edinburgh’s new Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) building at High School Yards, Scotland’s only low carbon innovations hub and the UK’s greenest historic building.


Extra £2 million for Midlothian footpath repairs

Midlothian Council is to spend an additional £2 million over the next three years upgrading public footpaths in older housing estates.

Approved by the full council yesterday, the move will not only improve the network throughout the county but it will also allow roads services to take on two extra apprentices, thus making sure even more school leavers go on to a positive destination such as a job or college course.


Inverclyde mains upgrade progressing to Port Glasgow town centre

A Scottish Water project to upgrade water mains in parts of Inverclyde is progressing in Port Glasgow and about to start in the town centre.

The £2.1 million project, which started in March, involves the upgrading of almost seven miles of water mains to help ensure we continue to provide clearer, fresher drinking water to thousands of customers in parts of Port Glasgow and Greenock.

Contractors Caledonia Water Alliance (CWA), working for Scottish Water, completed the Greenock phase of the project ahead of schedule in late May and have since been working in some parts of Port Glasgow outside the town centre.

They are due to start upgrading about 820 metres of water mains in the town centre on about July 10. The work in the town centre is expected to take up to four weeks to complete.


Twechar triumphs at Scottish Home Awards

roman-fieldsPlaces for People has picked up two further accolades for an affordable housing development in the former mining village of Twechar, East Dunbartonshire.

Built close to the ruins of the Roman-built Antoine Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to 142 AD, Roman Fields was named both ‘Small Affordable Housing Development of the Year (Housing Associations) (less than 60 units)’ as well as overall ‘Affordable Housing Development of the Year (Private Builders)’ at the Scottish Home Awards 2015 ceremony in Glasgow.

Designed to be ‘tenure blind’, Roman Fields is a low density development of two and three semi-detached and terraced homes overlooking the Forth and Clyde canal and the Campsie Hills. The modern homes are energy efficient with a traditional feel and the awards are the latest milestone in the revitalisation programme for the village which has seen extensive area improvements in recent years.

The next phase of development is due to start on site later this year and will support the wider regeneration objective for Twechar of achieving a population of 2000 people by 2020.


Housing minister opens pioneering age friendly development in Edinburgh

Housing minister Margaret Burgess has visited the first residents at a recently completed development that is set to become a new model of housing for older people.

The £6 million development at Fortune Place in Edinburgh is designed to offer independent living for people aged 60 and over and is part of Castle Rock Edinvar’s ‘1000 Homes for Edinburgh’ initiative to deliver new affordable homes over the next five years in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council.

Fortune Place is a redevelopment of the now demolished St Barnabas Court, one of the first sheltered housing developments in Scotland built by Castle Rock in 1974, and the adjacent council owned care home at Craigour. It brings together many strands of the Scottish Government’s strategic priorities.

Designed by Edinburgh architects Smith Scott Mullan, the 54 one and two bedroom flats are dementia friendly, include wi-fi to improve digital participation and access to telehealth and telecare solutions and have a district heating system to address fuel poverty. All residents have direct access to outdoor space. An onsite concierge maintains the communal areas and provides handyman services to customers.


Stirling affordable housing project boosts local community

Contractors building Stirling Council’s ambitious affordable housing project at Goosecroft Road have given a boost to the local community.

Construction and manufacturing business CCG (Scotland) Ltd visited Start-Up Stirling last week to contribute a substantial donation, as part of their community benefits package, which also offers training opportunities to local residents.

The multi-million-pound housing and commercial development in the heart of Stirling’s city centre is being delivered by Stirling Council in partnership with Stirling Development Agency and the council’s joint venture housing company Steadfast Homes. It will create affordable apartments in the heart of Stirling’s vibrant city centre, directly opposite the train and bus stations, a few minutes’ walk from the Thistle Shopping Centre and Forthside leisure area.

Stirling Council is investing £6 million in the project, which is located on vacant land on the corner of Goosecroft Road and Maxwell Place. Steadfast Homes will rent the properties at mid-market rates and manage the development on an ongoing basis.


Saltire commendation for Scottish Veterans Residences’ Glasgow complex

Scottish Veterans Residences’ new supported housing development for veterans in the East End of Glasgow has been commended in the Saltire Society’s Housing Design Awards 2015.

The £6.7 million housing complex has been helping veterans who struggle with civilian life since it opened in October last year.

Designed by MAST Architects and built by McTaggart Construction Ltd, Bellrock Close was up against impressive competition in the Innovation in Housing category.

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