Robertson Group has underlined its commitment to tackling societal issues after completing work at the Social Bite Village in Edinburgh.
The village — which comprises of 10 compact two-bedroom Nest Houses — aims to tackle homelessness by providing a safe living environment for up to 20 people per year. Robertson Civil Engineering provided pro-bono civil engineering and enabling works in a two-phase programme that included groundworks and the construction of roads, footpaths and hardstandings for the accommodation modules. Construction of the village will complete in April, with the first residents receiving the keys to their new homes in May.
Tony Fry, Managing Director of Robertson Civil Engineering said: “It’s vital that we use our position within the built environment industry to help tackle some of the biggest social and environmental challenges we face — such as homelessness.
“As the units were very lightweight, the groundworks strategy involved clearing the site before carrying out an extensive cut and fill exercise to platform the site for the units to sit on prior to building the civil engineering infrastructure to service the village.
“A far cry from existing sub-standard temporary accommodation solutions, the methods used will ensure the homes are built to last, providing support for those who need it most for many years to come.”
Spearheading the project is Josh Littlejohn, Co-founder of Social Bite, who said: “We’ve been blown away by the level of support our building and land partners have invested in making the Social Bite village a reality.
“As well as providing safe and secure accommodation, the village will also work with charities to deliver support with addiction and mental health, as well as practical things such as opening a bank account or getting into employment — all of which will help us tackle the vicious cycle of homelessness.”
A number of Robertson subcontractors provided plant, labour and materials throughout the duration of the project, including excavation work from Gordon Bow, small plant and tools from GAP, surfacing works from GGK, construction materials from Grafton, dry aggregate from Tarmac and fill materials from Neil Williams Haulage.
The support forms part of Robertson Group’s wider commitment to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge — an initiative that will see leading businesses aim to spend £1bn with social enterprises by 2020.