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Soar at intu Braehead

Arthur McKay was delighted to win the competitive tender for the M&E services required for the refurbishment and extension for Soar at intu Braehead.

Soar is a multi-activity leisure and entertainment complex, in Glasgow, with everything from retail to rock climbing!  intu Braehead includes a cinema, indoor snow slope, 12-screen multiplex cinema, 22-lane ten pin bowling arcade, trampoline park, adventure golf, laser station, soft play and one of the largest freestanding climbing walls in the UK (Climbzone), alongside a wide range of bars, restaurants and shops.



The client wanted significant alterations made to the existing entrance, to open it out, create more space with more visual appeal and, thereby, encourage pedestrian footfall through the centre.  To achieve this, four existing retail units and some seating areas were stripped out and replaced with illuminated ‘Space Trees’. Arthur McKay was responsible for reconfiguring all the mechanical, electrical, public health and fire protection services in respect of the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the new and upgraded services. Additionally, the team were also responsible for the spatial 3D co-ordination of services and corresponding design development, having the role of Lead Services Co-ordinator.




At Arthur McKay we adopt a ‘safety’ first ethos to all our operations; which is particularly important when working in a live retail environment and working at height. To eliminate any health and safety risk to the general public, the majority of our works were completed in a programme of continuous nightshifts.

The design development through the construction phase also presented a couple of key challenges for the Smoke Extract system and Air-Handling Unit (AHU) plant. We worked collaboratively with the design team to come up with satisfactory solutions. This was done using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) modelling to ensure that the installed system met the required operating efficiency.



It was identified that there was no safe access route for maintenance at the proposed site for the new supply fan and no structural steelwork on the roof to support its weight (500kg). Following analysis of all the options, in close consultation with the lead services design consultant and the client’s agent (4th Consulting Ltd), the team re-engineered a viable, more practical option at a lower level within the building.

Arthur McKay operated with due diligence to ensure that all re-engineered systems met the client’s needs and specifications and, as a result,  ensured the safety of access for their on-site maintenance team, going forward. Not every contractor would push the boundaries to make sure that a specified system was safe, practical and robust but, here at Arthur McKay, we’re very proud of that difference!


“Alteration of services in an existing live environment is difficult at the best of times and all members of the Arthur McKay team were particularly careful to make sure that their work progressed without adversely affecting any of the trading tenants.”

Michael Davey, 4th Consulting Ltd


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