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Project Title: West Lothian Council – Refurbishment of Bathgate West Nursery School

Client: West Lothian Council

Budget: £280,000

Included external and internal refurbishment works. We were responsible for providing all materials, an experienced well-trained workforce together with effective supervision and management of the site. Works on this project included:

Scope of Contract

  • Stripping the existing roofing and replacing it with a new roof
  • Render to external walls
  • Replacing all gutters and downpipes
  • New fascia and soffits
  • Internal and external walls
  • Internal alterations and reconfiguration to provide new facilities
  • Downtakings
  • New stud partition walls
  • Joinery works
  • Plumbing works
  • Electrical works
  • Decorating works
  • Repairing render to external walls

Challenges Faced

Due to the age of the existing roof, it was in a poor condition and raised some very difficult challenges for us. For example, some parts of the roof had multiple layers of felting and horsehair, making it much more difficult and time consuming to remove. We also discovered that there were swallows nesting within the loft space. This presented a particular challenge as swallows and their nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Overcoming challenges/Added Value

To ensure minimal disruption to the swallows nesting within the loft space, we restricted our working hours and altered the scaffolding height to allow the swallows to fly in and out. On advice from the Council and local wildlife experts, works on the roof in the area where the swallows were nesting was conducted in 20-minute bursts. This was followed by a 40-minute rest period. This allowed the swallows to continue to nest undisturbed until their young flew the nest at the end of August.

To ensure that we planned our time effectively, during the 40-minute rest period, Operatives focused their attention on other areas of the roof that were not in the proximity of the nesting swallows.

Due to the difficulty surrounding the removal of multiple layers of horsehair and felt, we held a meeting with West Lothian Council and agreed upon a 2-week extension of the project.

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