City Building targets renewables sector with new executive director

Alan Burns

CITY Building has appointed a new executive director as the Glasgow-based construction organisation looks to grow its presence in the renewables sector.

Alan Burns, formerly depute director, replaces Dr Graham Paterson, who has retired from the business, along with Sharon McGrath, who was head of corporate services. Burns, who began his career 30 years ago as an apprentice blacksmith in a precursor to City Building, was appointed following an open selection process.

City Building has more than 2,000 employees. In recent years, the business has diversified into developing more services including design and build construction, new house building, manufacturing, micro-renewables including district heating, solar thermal and PV installations.

As part of his new role, City Building said Burns has been reviewing the firm’s operations in home renewables, with a view to becoming a ‘leading player’ in the sector. He said, “The business has been left in a strong position by Graham and Sharon, so it is my job to ensure there is stability and continued employment for our workforce. With COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November we are ramping up considerably our renewables workstream.

“We recently seconded an employee from construction into renewables and design to help us consider any new skills our trades require to take advantage of renewables opportunities. We have also added a renewables element to our training college both in its construction and the skills we will deliver to our workforce.

“Exciting work is already underway in Glasgow to retrofit existing homes with green technologies, such as solar panels and ground source heating, that will reduce fuel poverty and carbon emissions. It is a just transition, which ties directly into our unique social ethos. Increasing adoption of renewable technologies won’t just create a better environment, they will also create jobs and better communities.  So, there’s lots of potential for an organisation like ours.”