Building Briefs – May 7th

  • Kishorn Dry Dock – The Sleeping Giant Reawakens

For the first time in over 25 years, the dry dock facility at Kishorn Port near Lochcarron in Wester Ross has been fully opened to the sea to allow a shipping vessel into the dock.

This marks the start of a new chapter in the life of the dry dock, one of the largest in Europe.

In the early hours of May 5, one of the 13,000-tonne dry dock gates was gently eased from its base and towed out into Loch Kishorn for temporary mooring. The operation was completed following a week of detailed preparatory work to ready the gate for its move. This included removing the large gate seals which keep the dock dry; flooding the dock and pumping of water from inside the gate structure itself to allow it to float.

Weather and tidal conditions were ideal for floating and moving the gate. Smoke drifting over Loch Kishorn from a wildfire on the hillsides above Auchintraid provided an atmospheric backdrop to the operation.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has invested more than £700,000 in Kishorn in recent years. This contributed towards the costs of overhauling the dock gates, cleaning the site, creating a new access road, and buying and installing dry dock gate anchors.


  • Paul Cottam of VINCI Facilities joins Mates in Mind board of trustees

Mates in Mind has appointed Paul Cottam, a director of VINCI Facilities, as a trustee board member.

Steve Hails, chair of the Mates in Mind board of trustees, said: “We are pleased to welcome Paul Cottam to the Mates in Mind Board and are grateful for the opportunity to be working together to drive our vision of fostering mentally healthy workplaces across the UK. With his wealth of experience, Paul will be helping Mates in Mind continue to be the change needed to improve workplace mental health.

 “Paul is an experienced Trustee, having previously spent nine years on the board of the British Safety Council, and has held several board directorships in the built environment sector over the last 20 years. As such we welcome his business expertise, and passion that, not just Safety, but Wellbeing, is a key business success indicator across the construction and property related sectors”

James Rudoni, managing director at Mates in Mind, said: “Mates in Mind are pleased to have Paul Cottam join our dedicated team and look forward to collaborating on future work to continue driving positive and long-lasting change within the construction industry and beyond.”

Paul Cottam a chartered engineer and director of VINCI Facilities, said: “Having been involved in the decision to establish Mates in Mind over two years ago I’m thrilled to be asked to join the board.

“Clearly these are very different and challenging times and I look forward to working with my fellow board members in the expansion of our Wellbeing support to organisations and their people throughout the UK. I really believe we can make a difference.”


  • NHBC continues commitment to MMC with acceptance of new system delivering hundreds of quality homes

NHBC is continuing its commitment in supporting the increasing role of Modern Methods of Construction with the acceptance of a new system for the construction of walls.

The H+H UK’s storey height elements, which have been used by Barratt to build circa 600 new homes, is one of more than 40 MMC systems now accepted by NHBC.

The elements usually used with Roofspace’s I House system is intended for the construction of domestic houses of up to two storeys with rooms in the roof. Celcon Elements are manufactured from the same intrinsic material as aircrete blocks and have the same performance advantages including excellent thermal performance with reduced heat loss at thermal bridges.

NHBC’s innovation manager, Richard Lankshear, said: “There is a widely recognised need to drive housing supply in the UK and we have worked closely with builders and Government for many years to address this.

“We expect to see more innovative solutions emerge over the next decade and NHBC’s thorough and rigorous approach to the acceptance of new MMC systems that meet our standards will help bring benefits and certainty to manufacturers, developers and builders.”