Building Briefs – October 17th

  • SSEN invests £5m in Moray’s electricity network

Electricity network operator Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has announced a £5 million investment programme for Moray.

Teams from will work over the next 18 months to upgrade the electricity network delivering power across the region, installing innovative equipment to restore supplies quicker in the event of a power cut.

This year, engineers are working in Elgin, with recent works completed in Cumming Street to upgrade the local substation delivering power to surrounding properties. By the end of this year, SSEN’s teams will replace equipment at Ashgrove substation, installing flood prevention equipment to protect local power supplies should heavy rainfall and flooding occur. Macduff is also set to benefit from this investment, as engineers replace switchgear and transformers near the Moray coast.

Teams will move to Aberlour, Dufftown and Lossiemouth next year, replacing essential electrical equipment at local substations and upgrading overhead power lines serving Elgin and Aberlour to improve the reliability of power supplies, reinforcing the high voltage network powering local communities.

As part of this investment programme, over £600,000 will be spent installing automated equipment in 10 locations across Moray to significantly reduce disruption to customers during a power cut. The innovative, self-adapting automation system detects when, and where, there is a fault on the network, choosing the most suitable alternative cable to switch supplies to or sending a signal to the main control room where engineers can restore power at the touch of a button.


  • British Council for Offices launches 2020 Scottish Awards

The Scottish chapter of the British Council for Offices (BCO) has launched its 2020 Awards programme, with entries invited by the deadline of Friday 29th November 2019.

Launched at a reception, sponsored by Turner & Townsend and Muse Developments, at Aberdeen’s BCO award-winning Marischal Square, the Awards celebrate the absolute ‘best in class’ of Scottish workplace design.

The ceremony will be held on 24 April 2020 at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel, with category winners subsequently competing at a national level.

The judging panel, headed by David Dool of Cooper Cromar, comprises leading figures in the Scottish commercial property arena. Award categories include Best Commercial and Corporate Workplace, Fit Out of Workplace, Refurbished/Recycled Workplace, Projects up to 1500 sq.m. and Innovation.

For information on entering the 2020 BCO Scottish Awards, please visit


  • Surfacing improvements set for A82 north of Fort William

Motorists using the A82 north of Fort William are set to benefit from an improved road surface as surfacing improvements are set to begin next week.

The £120,000 investment by Transport Scotland will see improvements to a 1km section of the A82 north of Fort William near the “Great Glen Cattle Ranch”, creating a smoother and safer road for motorists.

The improvements are scheduled to start on Monday 21 October and will take four days to complete. The project will take place between 7am and 7pm each day with expected completion by 7pm on Thursday 24 October.


  • Countesswells developers prioritise wellbeing from the outset

Developers of north east community Countesswells have shaped the neighbourhood in a way that promotes healthy outdoor lifestyles.

In support of the Scottish Government’s plans to halve childhood obesity by 2030, the developers focused on tackling the two major lifestyle factors associated with the growth of obesity - physical inactivity and poor diet.

When planning the new community, the developers prioritised the creation of greenspace, parks and outdoor features to promote and encourage children to take part in outdoor activity and exercise. In addition, Countesswells has a genuine commitment to sustainability.

This includes clever use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) so that they become attractive water features which attract a variety of new species, re-use of natural stone dug up during construction and the introduction of a community orchard where residents can plant, grow and nurture their own fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Not only does this support improvements to diet, but it also encourages exercise due to the physical activity required when maintaining the community space. This focus on traditional community activities and values from bygone days but with everything required for modern living, including some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK, make Countesswells extra special.

In today’s technology driven world, most childhood activities tend to be based indoors and reliant on technology. But the specialist team of planners behind Countesswells recognised the importance of quality outdoor features and inviting green areas that can compete compellingly for a child’s attention.

This is why the specially designed playpark was a priority in the early stages. The children’s playpark, complete with rustic features, including swings, slides and a sandy ‘beach’ area, was opened in December 2017 and is fully endorsed by PlayScotland. Children can play freely with the pathways and bridges linking greenspace without the need to cross any roads.

Bridleways, footpaths and cycle paths connect the community with neighbouring Countesswells and Hazlehead woods, havens for local wildlife and inquisitive children.

The new community will ultimately feature four large parks; including the 11-hectare Cults Burn Park, 3,000 new homes, schools and shops, which will all be phased in over the coming years. All connected by winding streets and just a 10-minute drive from Aberdeen city centre.