Aberhill, Leven

Project Summary

Graham + Sibbald were instructed to project manage the cladding replacement of two industrial units on behalf of The Wemyss 1952 Trust in Aberhill, Leven. With Donaldson Timber Engineering being the existing tenant of the unit, Graham + Sibbald were able to continue their close working relationship with the wider Donaldson Group.

The main purpose of the works was to replace all of the existing asbestos cement roof and wall cladding with a new roller shutter door, some structural repairs and yard works. The finished product improves the aesthetics of the building, prolongs its lifespan and provides greater light through the introduction of rooflights.

Why G+S

With over 55 professional staff in employment within the Technical Services team comprising Architectural, Building Surveyors, Quantity Surveyors, Planning Consultants, Carbon + Sustainability and Project Managers across their office network. Graham + Sibbald are continuing to expand their offering of services and locations.


Across both their Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, Graham + Sibbald provided services including Project Management, Architectural Design, Contract Administration, Cost Consultancy and Principal Designer duties whilst managing an external structural engineer. With the aforementioned technical services all being in-house, communication and efficiency were evidenced throughout ensuring the project milestones could be delivered on time. All statutory consents were obtained on behalf of the client by Graham + Sibbald. The works were competitively tendered and a recommendation on the appointment of the Principal Contractor made to the client. Thereafter, G+S managed the construction phase through to Practical Completion.

Regular site meetings were carried out to review progress and identify any potential risks and/or issues as early as possible. Reports, and accompanying costs updates, were produced and issued to the client to ensure all stakeholders were continually updated.

Key Challenges

Due to the nature of the tenant's business, some production was required to continue throughout the construction phase. The works were subsequently programmed to be undertaken in four phases allowing sections to be handed over on completion and minimise the impact on the business operations. The programming of these phases was crucial to the success of the project. The phasing of these works required good co-ordination between G+S, the Principal Contractor and Donaldson Timber Engineering highlighting any potential risks to programme at the earliest opportunity.

Challenges were encountered with obtaining the statutory consents for the works, mostly as a result of the backlog in applications and Council staff still mainly working from home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the G+S Architectural team managed to maintain dialogue with the Council Officers, allowing the works to proceed in advance of the consents being in place.

During the construction phase there were some additional works instructed, some as the result of comments raised by the Building Control Officer, some as a result of issues identified as works progressed. However, through effective dialogue with the client and contractor G+S managed to incorporate these works within the overall construction period.

Disruptions in global material supply chains provided challenges when procuring the specified cladding material. G+S liaised with the Principal Contractor to source an available alternative without compromising on cost or quality.


The project was successfully delivered for the client under budget, whilst ensuring a high quality of finish throughout. The completion of the works in a phased manner ensured that DTE was able to plan a phased return to full operations as agreed prior to works commencing on site.

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“Graham + Sibbald managed the recent refurbishment project on our I-Joist production facility. The project was completed to very high standard and within a very tight timescale. Communication was excellent from pre-construction stage right through to completion.” Allan Stuart, Donaldson Timber Engineering