Building Briefs – August 14th

  • Rallying call for Scottish Granite for memorials

Natural stone specialists at Fyfe Memorials has issued a rallying call for Scottish Granite to be used in memorial headstones as reports show that over 95% of Scottish memorials are imported.

The company, which has a 170-year history of crafting natural stone products, is one of the last remaining companies able to design and supply indigenous Scottish granite headstones.

Norman Marr, memorials manager, said: “Granite embodies Scottish qualities. It is resilient and permanent and available in a range of natural colours which show the incredible diversity of our country.

“Scottish granite is sometimes used for memorials; however, many families don’t realise that most of the stone used for memorials today is imported from Indian and China. Nonetheless, indigenous Scottish stone is available from Scottish quarries.

“Imported stone may be cheaper, but there are significant environmental costs associated with it. The carbon footprint of imported stone over indigenous stone is much higher due to the production and transportation methods used. It is estimated that this can be six times the embodied carbon of Scottish stone. At the same time, the procurement of stone from outwith Europe remains a grey area, with less focus on the health and safety of workers as well as on ethical issues.”


  • Perth Atrium building demolished to make way for new care home

A former council office building in Perth was flattened yesterday to make way for a new 80-bed care home.

The Atrium building on Glover Street has lain empty for two years after being decanted by Perth and Kinross Council and Living Wage Scotland.

However, on Tuesday morning the first steps towards bringing the site back into use were taken as the structure was razed to the ground.

Developer Simply UK saw its proposals to demolish The Atrium and erect a new three-storey care home in its place approved by the local authority’s planning and development management committee earlier in the summer.

The new premises will be of a “similar footprint” to the now-demolished one, but with an additional wing.


  • Foundations issue causes Delfur Bridge closure

Moray Council has confirmed the emergency closure of the U14E Ordiequish Road at Delfur Bridge near the junction of B9103 Boat O’Brig until September 15.

Due to the further undermining of the Delfur Bridge foundations, the decision to close the road has been taken now that the original emergency closure work has been completed.


  • Event to share details of Union Terrace Gardens delivery plan

A public drop-in session is to be held in Aberdeen to share details about plans to transform Union Terrace Gardens. 

The £25.7 million Aberdeen City Council project will include the creation of new entrances and walkways, three pavilions, landscaping and lighting, and the refurbishment of the Union Terrace arches. 

Members of the project team will be on hand at Aberdeen Central Library, Rosemount Viaduct, from 6pm-7.30pm on August 21, to discuss the delivery programme. No booking is required.

Balfour Beatty has been appointed to carry out the construction work, which will start next month and is expected to be completed by Summer 2021. 


  • Fife joiners invest £112,000

A Fife joinery firm has invested more than £100,000 on a new CNC machine in a move which helps to safeguard 11 jobs.

Family firm Redwells Joinery Ltd, based in Glenrothes, specialises in timber joinery products such as doors, stairs and gates for trade.

Company founder Jim Paterson said the investment will increase his company’s capabilities.

The new machine can handle timber sheets up to almost six metres long and replaces a 15-year-old machine which could process sheets up to 3.5 metres.


  • House prices in Scotland continue to grow faster than UK average

The average price of a property in Scotland in June 2019 was £151,891 – an increase of 1.3% on June in the previous year, the latest statistics from the UK House Price Index (HPI) have shown.

Comparing with the previous month, house prices in Scotland rose by 0.7% between May 2019 and June 2019.

The UK average house price was £230,292, which was an increase of 0.9% on June in the previous year and an increase of 0.7% on the previous month.

The volume of residential sales in Scotland in April 2019 was 7,812 – an increase of 6.0% on the original provisional estimate for April 2018. This compares with an increase of 7.9% in England, 5.9% in Wales and a decrease of 1.8% in Northern Ireland (Quarter 2 – 2019).

In Scotland, all property types showed an increase in average prices in June 2019 when compared with the same month in the previous year. Terraced houses showed the biggest increase, rising by 2.0% in the year to June 2019 to £126,953. The smallest increase of all property types was for detached houses, with an increase of 0.1% in the year to June 2019 to £253,901.

Average price increases were recorded in the majority (20) of local authorities, when comparing prices with the previous year.

The largest increase was in Stirling, where the average price increased by 6.4% to £190,076. The largest decrease was recorded in South Ayrshire, where the average price fell by 5.3% to £130,917. Local authority estimates are based on a three-month moving average to reduce volatility.

In June 2019, the highest-priced area to purchase a property was City of Edinburgh, where the average price was £263,233. In contrast, the lowest-priced area to purchase a property was East Ayrshire, where the average price was £94,765.

Further information on HPI Scotland by local authority, property type, first-time buyers and cash sales can be found in the latest HPI Scotland publication.