City Building, one of Scotland’s leading construction firms, has achieved a major milestone in its ambitious project to deliver a new, green training college for its apprentices.
The building, which is set to be completed this summer, has now installed 69 solar photovoltaic panels on its roof, which will enable it to significantly reduce its energy costs and emissions.
Councillor Allan Casey, Chair of City Building (Contracts) LLP and a former apprentice at the firm, visited the site to review the project’s progress and meet some of the apprentices working there. City Building runs one of the biggest and most successful craft apprenticeship schemes in the UK, employing more than 200 apprentices across its workforce of about 2,000 staff.
The college, which is located in the Springburn area of the city next to City Building’s manufacturing factory, RSBi – where half the workforce is disabled – has been designed to be as sustainable as possible. It is built with a timber kit crafted by RSBi from sustainable wood and will include an air source heating system which will be used to power underfloor heating and produce hot water without carbon emissions.
Its solar photovoltaic panels will generate 26.22kW at peak. The power generated will be used in the college to reduce its electricity supply. Any surplus energy will be exported initially to RSBi to reduce its electricity usage and further excess will go back into the grid.
As well as providing a modern, energy efficient new home for the company’s apprentices the construction of the college is also enabling employees to gain first-hand experience of innovative renewable technologies.
During his tour, Cllr Casey met some of the electrical apprentices currently working at the site and took a trip to the roof to view the solar panels.
Cllr Casey said: “It is extraordinary to see City Building’s new training college come to life and hear about the renewable technologies it incorporates.
“Following COP26, delivering a cleaner, greener city is an absolute priority for Glasgow. Sustainable buildings are crucial to our net zero commitment but delivering them requires the
construction industry to learn and adopt new skills. It is encouraging to see City Building leading the way in upskilling its workforce and embedding renewables into its apprenticeships.
“As a former apprentice myself, seeing City Building adding these new renewable skills into its apprenticeship programme is hugely encouraging. They are the forefront of innovation in this field, so it is a very exciting time to be a City Building apprentice.”
Alan Burns, executive director, City Building, said: “We are proud to be at the forefront of sustainable construction. Our new college is the lynchpin in our plans to ensure our apprentices have fit for purpose skills and be ready to take advantage of the significant opportunities available in renewables technology.
“In the coming years there will be a huge focus on retrofitting existing buildings to be more sustainable. This will not only create a better environment; it will also create substantial work for businesses such as ours and allow us to protect and grow jobs.”