Edinburgh Biomes Project – Section 3 Victorian Palm House

Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK

Construction Project Overview

This project involves the extensive refurbishment of a listed Glasshouse within the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. The work includes the careful replacement of damaged stonework, roof structures, and windows while restoring the historic ironwork frame, intricate spiral staircases, and rainwater goods. The project serves as an important pilot for the organisation’s ambitious goal of achieving zero-carbon construction sites. Balfour Beatty has been awarded a Considerate Constructors Scheme Gold National Site Award for the incredible standards upheld during the project in 2023. This commitment to environmentally responsible construction has been complemented by a dedication to upholding the highest possible industry standards throughout the project duration in 2023.

Project Highlights

During the year, the project team demonstrated a strong commitment to community and school engagement, creating a positive image for the construction industry. The site was well-organised with attractive perimeter hoarding, informative community notice boards, and exceptional security measures including CCTV monitoring. The project actively promoted construction careers and implemented a robust carbon reduction policy. The team went above and beyond to provide outstanding welfare facilities with healthcare provisions and mental health champions, underscoring a commitment to worker wellbeing.

Innovations & Best Practices

The project team implemented an innovative solution and also showcased good and best practices to take things further. An innovative Tree Protection project employed cutting-edge techniques to safeguard the botanical garden’s trees, including a root bridge to allow for construction vehicle passage. The innovative use of sustainable drainage solutions and protective barriers further demonstrated the site’s environmental dedication. A good practice Online Net Zero Diary openly documented insights and areas for improvement, promoting industry-wide collaboration towards sustainable construction. Finally, a significant best practice milestone was reached when the site operated solely on electric-powered sources (including heavy machinery) for three consecutive months, highlighting their commitment to environmental progress.

Respecting the Community

The project team maintained professionalism and organisation, creating a positive image that benefited both the organisation and the construction industry. Regular client communication and outreach to schools and community groups demonstrated positive engagement. Social media was used effectively to inform the public of planned works, and detailed information and CSR policies were easily accessible. Rigorous health and safety measures and traffic management processes adhered to CLOCS standards.

Caring for the Environment

The company achieved environmental management accreditation and operated under strict environmental and sustainability standards. A Site Waste Management Plan guided operations, and frequent environmental inspections and audits ensured compliance with targets. On-site facilities promoted eco-friendly practices, and the company-wide carbon reduction policy aimed for carbon neutrality. The site actively explored innovative solutions, such as alternative paint removal techniques, and a compelling case study detailed successful electric plant equipment use.

Valuing the Workforce

The project team championed the Considerate Constructors Scheme through robust health, safety, and traffic management measures. Advanced facial recognition technology-controlled site access, while physical and mental health initiatives prioritised wellbeing. A dedicated mental health champion, safety campaigns, health checks, excellent facilities, and flexible working options demonstrated the company’s dedication to valuing its workforce.

Congratulations to the team for these outstanding performance levels.

Award Level

More about this project on the Construction Map