Principal Contractor
Robertson Construction Group
July 2016 – July 2017
Development Area
Topsoil Strip
• Topsoil Strip
• Remediation
• Stabilised Earthworks


The new £330 million Aberdeen Exhibition Conference Centre (AECC) development is located south of Aberdeen airport. It was formerly the Rowett Institute and the site was of mixed used comprising a mix of wheat fields, pastureland, farm buildings and university buildings.

We worked with Robertson Construction throughout the tender stages to help to develop the earthworks strategy for the overall development.

As part of this process, we agreed that significant cut and fill was required to allow the construction of the new AECC building as well as new hotels, roads and car parks. As part of the initial stage of the project, we removed the top soil and stock piled this on-site to allow the cut and fill and stabilisation operations to proceed.


  • The development is adjacent to the Green Burn Water, and therefore we established a comprehensive Surface Water Management system prior to the earthworks operation commencing to ensure the protection of the burn during the works. To achieve this we created cut-off ditches, carrier drains, bunds, silt fencing and a settlement pond.
  • The project required a 12m deep cut to allow for a sub-terrain car park. The cut was benched down in stages with cut-off drains diverting surface water from breaching the face of the cut. Counterfort drains were installed over the excavated face to ensure stability of the slope. The base of the excavation was stabilised using cement and stone placed over the area created a crane/ piling platform for the construction of the car park. This stabilised platform also reduced the requirement for capping layers under the permanent car park floor.
  • The variable nature of the natural soils on-site meant that a proportion of the cut soils had to be stabilised to allow them to be compacted to the design specification. To manage this progress effectively, we created a detailed material management plan to ensure the correct material was used in the correct location. The soil profile included silty sands, silty clays and sandy gravel, and therefore we used a combination of lime and cement binders to stabilise the different soil types.
  • We worked efficiently on-site, and all handover dates of all sections were met which allowed other trades in to progress the building – this was despite project delays.
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