Case Studies


Edinburgh St James – New St Andrew House

Revised Contract Value: £1.3m
Duration: 26 Weeks
Contract Type: SBCC Minor Works Building Contract for use in Scotland (2011 Edition).

Project Description

Edinburgh St James is a major retail-led mixed use regeneration district in Edinburgh City Centre. Located in a World Heritage Site, it occupies the area of the St James Centre and New St Andrew House at the eastern end of James Craig's First New Town. 

The existing buildings comprise the John Lewis Partnership Department Store, the St James Shopping Centre, the Thistle Hotel, New St Andrew House Offices, multistorey car parking and basement service yards serving the Shopping Centre and the Department Store.

Phase 1 of the project comprised the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials from New St Andrew House. All the buildings are of either reinforced concrete construction or precast concrete with loadbearing precast cladding panels and were constructed between 1970 and 1974.

As problems existed with the precast cladding units on New St Andrews House, with the potential for spalled concrete falling to the ground, a programme of netting this building was employed.


Principal Contractor

On completion of the Pre-Qualification Process for inclusion on Gardiner and Theobald’s select list of tenders, Enviraz (Scotland) Ltd successfully tendered for the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials from New St Andrews House and was subsequently appointed Principal Contractor for the works.
As Principal Contractor Enviraz were responsible for providing adequate welfare facilities for 32 Asbestos Removal Operatives employed on site together with any ancillary trades, including:

  • Asbestos Surveyors – engaged in completing surveys within areas of “no access”
  • Asbestos Trained Plumbers – completing services isolations to allow removal works to progress
  • Asbestos Trained Electricians – completing services isolations to allow removal works to progress

Due to programme restraints, Enviraz were required to complete all of the site mobilisation activities, including construction of covered transit routes, within the 14 day notification period.
Due to the volume of removal works, spread across eight levels of New St Andrews House, and the time constraints of the contract programme, the works were required to be complete within 26 weeks. Any delays would involve the application of substantial Liquidate and Ascertained Damages and to ensure this was avoided Enviraz utilised the services of a full-time, site based, Contracts Manager.
Our Manager was responsible for the day-to-day management of the project, including liaison with St James Centre Management, to ensure removal activities had a minimal impact on the Shopping Centre, which was to remain operational throughout.
Clear lines of communication between Enviraz, Centre Management, Contract Administrators and the client at the Project Pre-Start Meeting were reinforced via monthly Progress Meetings.
At Progress Meetings Enviraz submitted a Contractors Report, detailing progress (identified via Gant Chart), any issues causing delay, information required, contract variations and financial updates.
By utilising the appropriate resources and establishing positive working relationships with all stakeholders, Enviraz completed the project within budget and in line with the client's programme.

Project Team

Ralph Cruickshanks was the lead client contact for the duration of this contract. As head of Enviraz Operations, Ralph’s near 30 years’ experience in the asbestos industry was beneficial as he acted as the main point of contact throughout the contract. Ralph was supported by Contracts Manager, Craig Smith, who was based on-site and conducted the day-to-day running of the contract. Craig’s responsibilities included management of the site staff, resource management, coordination with tradespeople and client liaison. Throughout the contract Quantity Surveyor, John Kennedy, and Health & Safety Officer Officer, Jonathan Green, gave additional support to all areas of the contract.

The on-site supervisory team of Thomas McCormack, Marcin Rybka and Paul Gallacher undertook direct supervision of works, and all on-site operatives held the relevant certifications: Asbestos Removal Supervisors Courses and Refreshers, PASMA, IPAF, Red Box Systems, CSCS and confined space entry systems.


The volume of removal works required in such a short timescale required Enviraz to source innovative solutions to deal with any issues that occurred on site. With such a large labour force on site (32 Operatives) our most important innovations related to the welfare and logistics of operating with such a significant number of operatives on one project for six months.

Enviraz implemented daily toolbox/welfare talks with all operatives encouraging them to care about appearance at all times, to report hazards, risks, etc., and remind them of the employee suggestion box.

We also took the opportunity to utilise the welfare accommodation to remind operatives of their own health by hanging posters containing information relating to male health issues. Also due to the use of Hilti TE40 Breakers, we advocated the use of A790 gel padded gloves to minimise risk of HAVS.

Works were undertaken in close proximity to a functioning shopping centre, active bus station and busy public precinct, therefor our utilisation of bespoke site segregation was essential and involved a combination of heras fence, timber hoarding and customised timber fabricated access tunnels to keep the site secure and safeguard those nearby. In addition, 24hr CCTV was in operation on-site to make sure that security was not compromised at any point throughout the project.