How to get a Piling Rig in to the back Venal of the Grassmarket?


Read the Newsletter – November 17.

A challenge overcome at the Grassmarket works this month was to get a 8ft x 9ft Rig, weighing 8.2T in to the back of the site – It could not be driven in due to the location of the site and the drop of level within the site.
Having started the works in August the planning for the lift was already under way with meetings being held with CEC Roads department and Crane Hire Companies.

Following discussions, Bernard Hunter Crane Hire were employed to carry out a Contract Lift. A Lifting and a delivery schedule produced, due to amount of plant & material to be craned in to avoid traffic issues and the day was set – Sunday 8th October.

Works Started 05:30hrs with the setting up of the TM and rigging of the Crane. As per usual despite no parking signs in place there was a VW golf parked in the crane zone! During the Lifts Enthusiastic pedestrians attempting to walking into crane zone but prevented by our ground works team provided by AF Cooper Ltd
Works was completed and the area returned to normal Sunday afternoon use by mid-afternoon with no public issue or complaint.

Thanks go to all the lads involved for a job well done!



Holyrood Palace, Grassmarket Edinburgh and other news


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4 – 6 Grassmarket, Edinburgh

The works comprise of the alterations and refurbishment of the existing building to form a bar/restaurant  located on the Grassmarket, Edinburgh and construction of a two storey extension to the rear which will become a microbrewery.

The Grassmarket is a historic market place and an event space in the Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland, and is located directly below Edinburgh Castle. The site is located beside some of the best surviving parts of the Flodden and Telfer town walls

Challenges include:

  • removal of 1200T of soil from the rear venal
  • Piling operations local to the Flodden wall
  • Working within a busy tourist area

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Works are located in and around the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Abbey Strand Building being encapsulated in Scaffold and existing lime Render being removed to allow the building to dry out prior to reapplication, Alterations to be carried out to existing ticket area with new access facilities being formed within the building
Challenges will include:
• Working within a live visitor attraction
• Working in and around historical and environmentally protected buildings and grounds
• Logistical planning to ensure safety and security


Inchdairnie Phase 2

The construction passed a significant milestone this month with existing cladding wall being removed to allow the construction of a 9m+ height blockwork firewall.

Recent Training, Appointments and other news


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After some two and a half years the Visitor Centre at Torahbaig was handed over at the end of June 17. The production at the distillery started January 17 with spirit now being transported down to the Scottish Borders to be placed in bonded warehouses for maturation.

Well done to Ivor and all the team involved in turning around an old Farm Steading in to the second (legal) Distillery on the island! – Many hours of sweat and travel have transformed the old cattle sheds in to Whisky production and the fruits of their labour have been achieved!


Following 4 months of use on site the tower crane was successfully lowered as the next phase of the development swings in to play

The works at Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh a city centre infill site, to provide 11 high quality flatted residences within 4 storeys, with basement car parking for all flats and access for future buildings.

Works undertaken includes:

  • Diversion of existing sewer to avoid the new building foundations.
  • Extensive underpinning works to support an existing boundary wall.
  • Substantial structural concrete foundations, retaining walls, ramps, drainage and floor slabs

The four upper storeys are constructed in steel frame construction, the exterior cladding is a combination of ashlar stone rain screen and insulated render system with large areas of glass.

All of the apartments are to be finished to a very high standard to meet the demands of the expensive residential area.

Recent training carried out for the construction team included Fire Warden and practical extinguisher training. This took place early in June and was well received by all whom participated.

5 site managers/ supervisors have recently enrolled to complete their SVQ in Construction Management and will be hoping to achieve this over the coming 6 to 9 months.

On top of this it was identified that there was a need for PASMA training and 9 employees went through to Glasgow and completed practical training on the building of Mobile Tower Scaffolds