This project – the largest ever won by Robertson – will deliver an outstanding exhibition, conference and hotel facility in Aberdeen, combined with an innovative energy centre that cements the region’s reputation as a world-class energy hub.
Robertson is delighted to have been selected as the main contractor on what will be an iconic venue for millions of visitors from all over the world. We have significant experience in delivering complex, high value, innovative, major projects across the country.
The new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre will provide four times the exhibition space as the current AECC and increase the maximum capacity to 12,500 in the arena. The new facility is a key element of Aberdeen City Council’s Strategic Infrastructure Plan to grow the city’s economy.
The new AECC is expected to contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113 million of visitor spend and £63m net GVA to the Scottish economy. It will also result in the creation of 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions by year 10 of operations.
It will play a strong role in delivering the Regional Economic Strategy, by anchoring existing international events and competing nationally and internationally for new events, as well as by broadening the appeal of the North East to a global audience.
The scheme is located on the 130 acre former Rowett Research Institute site adjacent to Aberdeen International Airport. In addition to the performance venue, it will include extensive covered exhibition halls, a four-star 200 bed hotel to be operated under the Hilton Hotels brand, together with an energy centre and 2,500 parking spaces.
Some of the interesting challenges of the project include the east end of the site being located immediately below a flightpath, the demolition of existing buildings as part of the enabling package, the diversion of an existing watercourse, and the re-routing of major utilities.
The main conference and exhibition building will include a mezzanine link to the hotel and a basement link to the car park. The eye-catching design includes a complex roof profile, and the construction will require very high specifications to meet significant acoustic criteria.
Spread over five levels with high-end fittings and finishes, the 200-bed hotel will be built using a steel frame and composite slabs combined with an inverted/standing seam roof and composite/standing seam cladding.
Constructed using a piled solution and a steel structure, the car park will feature a green roof and a 5.5m retaining wall. Its innovative design means that it can also serve the purpose of an exhibition space.
One of the remarkable features of this major project will be its contractor-designed, modular energy centre. Making use of advanced CCHP (combined cooling, heat and power) technology, the centre will serve the energy requirements of both the hotel and the main AECC building. The centre will also be home to a hydrogen fuel cells programme that will fuel the buses serving the AECC as part of an ambitious integrated hydrogen transport project.