Home » Balfour Beatty to build Scotland’s first net zero prison

Balfour Beatty to build Scotland’s first net zero prison

by Mark Cantrell
Balfour Beatty has secured the contract to build Scotland's first net zero prison, built using modular methods of construction, and powered by renewable energy.

Balfour Beatty has secured the contract to build Scotland’s first net zero prison, built using modular methods of construction, and powered by renewable energy.

The company will build the £209m HMP Highland facility on behalf of the Scottish Prison Service. Once complete, it will be large enough to hold 200 inmates, and will replace Inverness Prison.

HMP Highland won’t just be Scotland’s first sustainable penal facility, it will become the first new prison built in the area – serving the Highlands, Islands ad Moray – for more than a century.

Hector MacAulay MBE, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s regional business in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to continue working alongside the Scottish Prison Service as we move into the construction phase of this significant and important project.

“We will draw on our extensive expertise in modern methods of construction, and our unrivalled local knowledge, to deliver this groundbreaking, best-in-class facility which will become the first net zero prison in Scotland.”

Balfour Beatty was first appointed to deliver the pre-construction phase, including the design of HMP Highland, in 2022. This latest phase, valued at £119m, will see the company progress with the construction of the new, modern 18,500m2 facility comprised of two new interconnected buildings and associated infrastructure.

Scheduled for completion in 2026, HMP Highland will be the first net zero prison in Scotland with the facility designed to run off renewable energy sources such as ground source heat pumps, to align with the Scottish Government’s low carbon targets for the project.

The company says it will use modular construction methods to pre-assemble the internal wall panels and perimeter walls off-site in a controlled factory environment, significantly reducing carbon emissions by minimizing the number of lorry movements and material deliveries to and from site.

As part of its commitment to leaving a lasting, positive legacy in the communities in which it operates, Balfour Beatty has also committed to spending £60m with local supply chain partners and businesses throughout the duration of the project.

Linda Pollock, deputy chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service, said: “With the support of the Scottish Government, we are committed to investing in our estate to create better environments for people to live and work.

“HMP Highland will not only increase the capacity previously available at HMP Inverness, but also provide space for quality rehabilitative work, which we know gives people the greatest possible chance of a successful return to their communities on liberation.

“This project has so far seen the creation of new jobs and apprenticeships for the local area, with more to come in future.”

Main image: Computer generated image of the entrance to HMP Highland

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