BakerHicks, the multi-disciplinary design, engineering and project delivery company, have completed their part in the planning, design and build of four multi-million-pound Early Years Centres across East Dunbartonshire.

The three new facilities, Bearsden Early Years Centre in Bearsden, Lairdsland Early Years Centre in Kirkintilloch and Oakburn Early Years Centre in Milngavie, plus the newly refurbished and extended Killermont Primary and Nursery in Bearsden, will provide more than 348 learning places for local families.

BakerHicks were appointed to provide the building services design for all four facilities by hub West Scotland for East Dunbartonshire Council. Working closely with main contractor, Robertson Construction, and architects, Holmes Miller, they supported all aspects of the building services, including the design and specification of the water systems, electricity, IT systems, lighting and mechanical installations.

During the planning approval stage, BakerHicks were also consulted to review plans to ensure full infrastructure and energy compliance with Scottish Building Regulations, as well as being involved in both the thermal and acoustics analysis.

The ethos for each building is to create a positive learning environment, taking advantage of both inside and outside space with a focus on sustainable and efficient practices to ensure a futureproof design. This included maximising the use of clean energy, with electricity being used to power all systems and solar panels installed to produce a robust and sustainable facility that will deliver a long-term aim. Each of the new facilities combines spacious outdoor play and learning zones, with state-of-the-art indoor areas and playrooms that are all fully equipped with the latest IT systems and learning technologies.

Colin Lawrence, head of building services for Scotland at BakerHicks, says each of the new facilities will provide a high-quality learning environment: “This has been a fantastic project to be involved in, especially given our long-standing relationship with the Council. All of the contractors and the client worked together in close partnership to deliver these great new facilities and positive learning environments that will play a crucial role in delivering early learning and childcare for families across the region.

“All services were specifically designed to maintain the integrity of the architectural design, with flexibility and sustainability front-of-mind, as well as being child-friendly, ensuring all systems are easy to operate and crucially, extremely safe.”

Joint Council Leader, Andrew Polson, said: “These centres are an important part of the Council’s commitment to offering quality, flexible, accessible and affordable early years services to the people of East Dunbartonshire. I am delighted that families across the area now have access to these wonderful facilities and that our youngest children can benefit from such a great pre-school experience.”

Joint Council Leader, Vaughan Moody, added: ” Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our build partners worked as often and as quickly as possible with Council officers whenever public health guidance allowed and I am grateful to them for their hard work and determination. I am delighted that we have been able to bring these new facilities on stream.”

Chief Executive Officer of hub West Scotland, Iain Marley, added: “This portfolio of Early Years Centres provide high quality learning environments that will help build skills and confidence and play a key role in children’s future development. Covid-19 has made this and other projects in construction particularly challenging, so we are immensely proud of how well the combined East Dunbartonshire Council and hub team and our supply chain partners have worked together to deliver such a fantastic new facility.”

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