Cairnrobin, Marywell

Key facts

  • PROJECT: Cairnrobin
  • LOCATION: Marywell, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
  • CLIENT: Barratt Homes
  • SIZE: 115 Two, three and four bedroom homes
  • TIMING: 8 Weeks

Type and size of project

Located in the village of Marywell just outside Aberdeen, Barratt’s Cairnrobin project is a housing development consisting of 115 houses, to date, across a mixture of two, three and four bedroom homes.

Description of project

With the first residents due to arrive just six months after the initial phase of project commenced, a speedy build and the ability to react to market demands was of critical importance to the ongoing success of this project. Stewart Milne Timber Systems helped deliver these homes quickly and efficiently through innovative supply chain management.

Taking a partnership approach with the contractor, the company assisted with extensive up front design, removing design from the critical path and facilitating short lead times. An added benefit of this was value engineering and waste reduction, as the Stewart Milne Timber Systems project team were able to anticipate material usage more accurately and specify to suit different elevations and architectural treatments. This in-depth planning also helped ensure a faster build.

Working closely together from early in the project meant the core house types for the development could be pre-designed, allowing for early engineering calculations and sign off on building warrants. This allowed the team to get ahead on site without waiting for paperwork to be delivered and completed.

Stewart Milne Timber Systems also worked with Barratt to pre-book production materials across the supply chain, securing capacity for future demand at a fixed price. This was delivered through monthly production progress meetings between the companies, which helped the teams discuss and react dynamically to the market on a regular basis and ensure cost certainty throughout.

Another of the project’s key differentiators was the inclusion of a dedicated contract manager and account director. This provided support at operational and strategic level to help manage the requirements of the development and ensure ongoing feedback was actioned quickly during the project.

Using traditional build materials, it would take two weeks to erect the structural shell of a typical 150 square foot home with integral garage including roofing felt, soffit and fascia. This means that a plot can typically be completed in 10 weeks using these construction techniques.

However, by using timber frame and Stewart Milne Timber Systems’ expertise, the shell was assembled in just five days, while the plot was completed in only eight weeks. The company worked with Barratt to engineer a build solution that included a steel beam and post system to support the masonry and timber frame inner leafs. This helped keep material costs down and made for a simpler build method.

In addition, Stewart Milne Timber Systems supplied and installed the roofing felt and tile battens for each of the homes, which provided high tensile strength roofing. This acted as an in-built fall-arrest system for follow-on trades working on the roofs, making for a safer working environment on site.

The flexibility and speed of build benefits of using Stewart Milne Timber Systems meant that Barratt Homes could both react to demand and adjust production as required, while also improving cash flow. The customer was able to realise profit before cash layout for a large section of the build cost and finance could be secured for ongoing work.


Homes For Scotland Home Builders Federation National House-Building Council Royal Institute of British Architects Structural Timber Association Constructionline British Board of Agrement Wood Campus Build Off Site Building Research Establishment WOOD FOR GOOD

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