The attractive outdoor spaces at Duthie Park ELC.

Aberdeen Early Years Centres in partnership with Procurement Hub


Get in touch


Community facilities
Aberdeen City Council
Feb 2022
3 years
Get social and share

Achieving maximum value for money for our client through innovative procurement strategies

Robertson delivered a series of nurseries for Aberdeen City Council through the Major Projects Framework 1 (MPF) procurement vehicle – simplifying the process for our customer and delivered exceptional value for money on a complex project.


Early Learning Centres


seconded Robertson designers

9.5 / 10

client satisfaction rating

Flexible childcare accessible to those who need it most

Aberdeen City Council (ACC) obtained grant funding to improve facilities across the city, as part of the Scottish Governments 1140hrs ELC expansion programme. 

We worked with the local authority to collaboratively design and deliver all 27 projects to meet funding and delivery deadlines.

The nursery projects were a mixture of new-build, refurbishment, and remodelled facilities, with each of the 27 being unique and presenting different challenges to overcome. 

Despite this, we were able to implement a standardised approach which led to considerable cost-savings for our client, allowing them to reinvest additional funds to the projects.

Working as one team

Robertson and Aberdeen City Council built a strong, transparent relationship, working as one team, throughout this complicated and challenging project.

To support our client’s team, we seconded two Robertson members within Aberdeen City Council offices to support the design and manage the 27 individual projects. 

Prior to our involvement, the nurseries were being designed in isolation but once our project team were on board, we worked with architects Halliday Fraser Munro during preconstruction to standardise detailing across the developments and drive cost efficiencies.

The team developed standardised designs for new builds, extensions and common work packages, rigorously benchmarking to ensure buildability was certain, well in advance of construction starting, and evidenced value for money by tendering all packages and agreeing project rates to forecast costs.

We also sub-divided the projects into three-phases of works to prioritise establishing the brief, design and delivery requirements.

This collaborative engagement allowed each project to benefit from:

  • improved construction quality due to standardisation of finishes and material selection,
  • procurement efficiencies such as timber frames, windows, doors, MEP and FF&E,
  • supply chain deployed across all projects to embed quality, trust and care for all works,
  • reduced design development time and prelim costs (average reduction of 3 weeks), and
  • a centralised management hub which was created at one of the larger sites, reducing prelims on smaller sites, allowing for agile project management resources, material delivery and disbursement. 


waste diverted from landfill


SME spend


labour within 20 miles of site

Early involvement paid dividends

Early contractor involvement was possible via the Procurement Hub - Major Projects Framework.

The allowed our design teams to work with our client to identify cost-saving approaches that wouldn’t compromise quality.

All costs saved through the above efficiencies was reinvested back into the projects, further enhancing the nursery children and staff experience, offering new high-quality early years facilities accessible to all.

Among the benefits of this reinvestment was the incorporation of innovative outdoor learning settings, including embracing two of the city’s public parks, which would not have otherwise been possible had the budget not been made available through our cost-saving approach.

Integrating our supply chain

To secure value at the same time as accelerated programme delivery, we deployed a common supply chain across all projects. Multiple partners were appointed for each package on the basis of common ‘bulk’ rates.

This ensured that we had the supply chain capacity to deliver multiple concurrent projects but secured that value deriving from a programme.

Our supply chain reflected our own flexible, collaborative ethos. 

Due the exceptionally tight front-end programme on these projects, there was insufficient time to design and factory assemble timber kit panels. 

We needed panels designed and installed in four weeks rather than six, so our timber kit supplier agreed to design (and retain responsibility for) the panels which we then ‘stick-built’ on-site in four weeks. 

This was made possible due to our strong and reliable supply chain.

The Robertson staff have all the way through the programme of work gone above and beyond expectations and worked closely with the Council team in the face of unprecedented challenges and helped the Council at every stage.
Colin Kemp
Principal Architectural Officer, Aberdeen City Council

Creating real value in partnership with Procurement Hub

The success of this project was founded on the Procurement Hub Major Projects Framework 1 (MPF) which allowed early and effective collaboration with our client.

Robertson is the contractor leading the delivery of MPF in Scotland, which is one of Procurement Hub's innovative, flexible OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) compliant frameworks.

Working in partnership, we can help you whether you’re just trying to get a project off the ground, or simply looking to reduce the time, cost, and hassle of finding high-quality suppliers. All our solutions are fully compliant with both current and published upcoming UK regulations.

Throughout the UK, we can also offer several procurement solutions which can be selected to best suit your needs. 

To discuss the best route to market for your project, contact our business development team.