Two new Aberdeen council housing schemes back on track after value engineering review

Two new Aberdeen council housing schemes back on track after value engineering review

Two new council housing developments in Aberdeen, which were put on hold due to high costs in the construction sector, are back on track after a value engineering review identified project savings.

Aberdeen City Council’s Finance and Resources Committee approved the move which will also include new planning applications and re-tendering for the sites at Craighill and Kincorth.

They are part of a huge programme building new council houses at several sites helping to address a long-term shortage of affordable social rented housing in the city. Aberdeen City Council is the only council in Scotland to be building new council houses on this scale.

Councilllor Miranda Radley, convener of the Housing, Communities and Public Protection Committee, said: “We are carrying out a re-tendering exercise, with a new planning application for the sites at Craighill and Kincorth, given the positive outcome we saw with the lower price for Tillydrone School.

“The properties at Craighill and Kincorth will be energy efficient, low maintenance and built to an extremely high standard to ensure they are fit for the future using funding received from the Scottish Government.”

The report to committee said the preferred approach will be to progress both sites – which are both in the Kincorth area of Aberdeen - simultaneously but there is an acceptance that some project phasing may be required. It said in the context of the wider construction market we are starting to see a general slow-down in terms of inflationary pressures with a reduction on confirmed orders starting on site for most contractors.

This current market trend means that a more competitive tender strategy can be adopted than in previous years when the market was more buoyant and should result in a more economical tender return.

The report said construction works had been suspended at an appropriate stage at both sites – after the enabling works were finished – to allow the value engineering review to be carried out.

At that time, the appointed contractor was completing the enabling works and costs were being sought from him to complete the outstanding work packages. The prices offered for both sites were considered not to be value for money nor financially viable.

The report to committee said the high-level value engineering and financial appraisal exercise has since been carried out to consider a number of options on both sites, and part of that review incorporated an assessment of the most cost-effective capital cost for each project.

The review considered a number of factors relating to the delivery of both projects, such as but not limited to, potential options for a phased delivery, value engineering, and gold versus silver standard with an eye on each projects’ affordability, and meeting the needs and demand for housing.

The vision of Aberdeen City Council’s new housing programme is to create sustainable integrated communities and places by delivering affordable homes designed for life which meet residents’ current and changing needs, while supporting the wellbeing and resilience of tenants.

They will meet the most demand for council properties including flats for single people, flats for families, terraced houses, wheelchair-friendly properties, and a small number of amenity bungalows. They are being designed for exacting standards including housing for various needs, dementia friendly, low carbon, and low maintenance.

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