Building Briefs – May 3rd

Neil Clapperton, chief executive of Grampian Housing Association (left) and Barry Davidson, financial director, Barratt North Scotland
Neil Clapperton, chief executive of Grampian Housing Association (left) and Barry Davidson, financial director, Barratt North Scotland

Grampian HA and Barratt joint venture delivers latest affordable homes

The first tenants to access housing through Grampian Housing Association’s new choice based lettings system have moved in at Osprey Heights, Inverurie.

The Association joined Homehunt North East Scotland (NES) in March to give applicants more choice about where they would like to live.

The properties are also the first to be supplied in the North East of Scotland by Our Power, a new independent energy supply company and the first in the UK operating on a non-profit distributing basis, offering lower cost heat and power to social housing tenants and their communities across Scotland. Grampian Housing Association is a founding member of Our Power and a number of local housing associations are signed up with the supplier.

Constructed by Barratt North Scotland, Osprey Heights builds on Grampian’s longstanding relationship with the housing developer. The £4.9 million construction includes funding of £1.7m from the Scottish Government and £65,000 from Aberdeenshire Council. The 10 three bedroom homes for social rent mark phase one of the development and an additional 31 homes at Osprey Heights will be provided for the Association later this year.

A further 58 properties for social and intermediate rent will be under construction, with some available for rent, during 2016 at Barratt North Scotland developments in Inverurie, Newmachar, Kemany.


Call for new energy strategy following wind boost

Wind turbines generated enough electricity to meet the needs of more than three-quarters of Scottish households in April, according to new figures.

Provided by WeatherEnergy, the statistics indicated that wind farms provided 699,684MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 79 per cent of Scottish households (1.9 million homes). The power represents an increase of 15 per cent compared to that of April 2015.

Wind turbines generated enough electricity to supply 100 per cent or more of Scottish homes on eight out of the 30 days of April.

For homes fitted with solar PV panels, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 95 per cent of the electricity needs of an average household in Dundee, 87 per cent in Edinburgh, 86 per cent in Aberdeen, 84 per cent in Glasgow, and 83 per cent in Inverness.

For those homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine to generate 82 per cent of an average household’s hot water needs in Inverness, 80 per cent in Dundee, 78 per cent in Aberdeen, 76 per cent in Glasgow, and 74 per cent in Edinburgh.

WWF Scotland called on the next Scottish Government to bring forward an new energy strategy that takes the country to the “next level” in its use of renewable.


Full Edinburgh schools remediation programme outlined

Three schools affected by the recent closures are to reopen next month once full remediation work has been completed, the City of Edinburgh Council has announced.

The Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP), who manage and operate the schools on behalf of the Council, has updated officers on their estimated completion dates for remediation works.

Pupils will return to Oxgangs Primary, St Peter’s Primary and Braidburn School by Tuesday 24 May (Monday is a holiday), with Firrhill High School due to fully reopen by Monday 6 June. S1 and S2 pupils from Firrhill will meantime return to their own school, from Edinburgh Napier University’s Craiglockhart Campus, on Tuesday (3 May) when senior year pupils go on exam leave.

Two further schools, Royal High and Drummond Community High, are expected to reopen fully by Monday 20 June with Broomhouse Primary and St Joseph’s Primary schools expected to reopen by Monday 27 June.

This means that over 4,000 pupils will be back in their schools before the end of the summer term.

Edinburgh Schools Partnership has confirmed that the remediation works required on the remaining nine schools will see them all reopen by Monday 8 August at the latest, ahead of the pupils returning from holiday on Wednesday 17 August.

Goodtrees Community Centre is expected to reopen on Monday 15 August.


Curtis Moore Ltd wins second Kazlip award

KalzipGlasgow based roofing and cladding contractor Curtis Moore Ltd has been awarded its second TeamKal award in as many years, this time for its work on the newly opened Wythenshawe Interchange in Manchester.

The accolade was for the best Kalzip project under 1500 sq.m in which they stood up against some tough competition within their category.

The Teamkal Awards aim to merit those projects and companies that the judges believe have excelled in their field. The unique partnership that exists between Kalzip and teamKal places contractors at the forefront of the industry and recognizes each for technical excellence, quality products & installation and best practice.

Curtis Moore Ltd, who celebrated their 16th year in business just last week, was set up by husband and wife, Andrew and Yvonne Devlin. Together they started the company quite literally from their kitchen table and have grown year on year and now employ over 50 staff. They have built up an impressive portfolio including the award winning Haymarket Railway Station in Edinburgh, Advocates Close and their most recent Kalzip project - Bolton Interchange.

The award comes just a year after Curtis Moore was named New Contractor of the Year in 2015.


CIGA appoints three new non-executive directors

The Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) has hired three new independent non-executive directors to join its board.

Following a competitive hiring process, with more than 70 candidates, CIGA has appointed Peter Baynham, Brian Yates and Michael Kaltz.

The appointments are designed to expand the diversity of the governance team and increase the board’s experience and independence. All three successful applicants will regularly attend board meetings and contribute to ensuring that CIGA operates to the highest standards.

Increasing the diversity of the board was central to CIGA’s plan to increase independence and transparency, and was also a recommendation by CIGA’s Consumer Champion, Teresa Perchard, in her review into their customer services. CIGA is now on track to meet all of the report’s recommendations by the April deadline.


Rents rise as Scottish business parks take-up falls

With demand currently outstripping supply in Scotland’s business parks, the market is witnessing an increase in rental growth as take-up falls to 20 per cent below the five year six-monthly average according to Bilfinger GVA’s latest bi-annual Business Parks Report.

Peter Fraser, associate director Bilfinger GVA, said that with the arrival of the tram there is now a high percentage of unmet demand for space at Edinburgh Park, Scotland’s main out-of-town business park.

In Glasgow H2 take-up was characterised by a number of smaller deals but was down on expectations as a couple of larger transactions slipped into 2016. For example the West of Scotland University remains under offer at Eco Campus and Hamilton International Business Park is looking to secure around 250,000 sq ft subject to planning. Demand for larger requirements of between 20,000 and 50,000 sq ft, from the likes of Virgin Money and Balfour Beatty, also suggest a potential resurgence in occupier demand.

Across the UK the picture was more mixed with the South West and Wales performing best against the five-year six-monthly average, at 63 per cent above, followed by the North West at 28 per cent and the North East and Yorkshire at 16 per cent. The South East and East, which on average makes up a third of all activity, was 30 per cent below its five-year average. The Midlands and Scotland, the next strongest performers based on past take-up, were also over 20 per cent below average.


Savills expands Scottish architecture and building surveying team

Gareth Morris
Gareth Morris

Savills’ architecture and building surveying team continues to expand with three new appointments in Dumfries and Perth.

Architect Gareth Morris joined the firm in Dumfries in April, along with chartered building surveyor Jack Thornton. Savills Perth office has seen the addition of architectural assistant Gillian Todd.

With 15 years of practice experience, Gareth Morris has been involved in projects for both the private and public sector, most recently as senior chartered architect for Dumfries and Galloway Council where he worked for eight years. He has delivered many residential projects within the central belt and a number of public projects in Glasgow during his time at studioKAP Architects.

Jack Thornton joined Savills from Edwin Thompson LLP where he was responsible for the design, build, maintenance and refurbishment of a wide range of properties, right across the property sector including commercial, agricultural and residential projects.

Also joining from Edwin Thompson LLP, Gillian Todd has joined Savills as a Part II architectural assistant for the firm, Gillian managed a range of projects covering all design and building stages, including initial client consultations, producing designs and detailed specifications, tendering setting up contracts and project managing on site.


Director of housing services retires after 40 years with Link

Link staff said goodbye to Maureen Middleton last week as she stepped down as director of housing services, 43 years after she first started at Link.

Maureen joined Link as a receptionist in 1973, and after briefly working in the civil service came back as a housing assistant two years later. She has risen through the ranks, becoming director of housing services in 1997.

June Green takes up the role of director of housing services as of Monday 2 May.

June has over 30 years’ experience in housing management. Before being appointed as director of housing services, June led Link’s commercial services team, The City of Edinburgh Council’s private sector leasing scheme, the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy and open market shared equity schemes, shared ownership, factoring and the management of mid and market rent properties.


Caledonia Housing Association bids fond farewell to Lawrie West

Caledonia Housing Association has bid a fond farewell to its integration director Lawrie West who left the Association last week.

Lawrie has been a valued and integral member of the team at Caledonia in the roles of housing manager and depute chief executive over his 14 years firstly with Perthshire Housing Association; and subsequently at Caledonia over the past five years as the Association’s integration director. In this role, Lawrie played an instrumental part in ensuring the success of the merger between Perthshire and Servite Housing Associations that formed Caledonia almost five years ago.

Over recent years Lawrie has worked tirelessly in ensuring the development and successful implementation of Caledonia’s new partnership arrangements with Cordale and Bellsmyre Housing Associations in West Dunbartonshire.

Lawrie’s career in housing has now spanned almost 40 years. The starting point was in 1978 when he worked on the development of the Tenants’ Rights (Scotland) Act 1980 as an Executive Officer at the Scottish Office. In between times Lawrie worked in various senior positions in local authorities and the private sector that saw him criss-cross Scotland and London before taking up a position with Perthshire in the late 1990s.

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