Yvonne Holland is delivering sustainable buildings for education across Scotland

by BIM Academy | March 10, 2022 |  5 min read

Yvonne Hall is delivering sustainable buildings for education across Scotland
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In the fourth interview of our International Women’s Day series, Dr Melanie Robinson, Project Manager for BIM Academy, talks to Yvonne Holland, Project Manager of Schools for the Future at North Ayrshire Council.

North Ayrshire Council is leading the way in the battle to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions through a series projects designed to reflect the Councils commitment to bring about positive change for the environment and the Scottish economy. Yvonne is currently leading on a £70 million education and community hub project which will create opportunities for life-long teaching and learning in the region.

In this interview, Yvonne tells Melanie why these types of projects are essential to delivering sustainable buildings and securing a better future for education providers and learners alike.

Yvonne Holland

Tell us about your role and what you do?

I am the Schools for the Future Project Manager within North Ayrshire Council, and I am responsible for delivering the high value school capital projects for the Council. The Council’s Capital Budget supports investment in buildings, infrastructure and regeneration projects and the newly approved programme will see a focus on improving our roads, investing in our school estate and fulfilling our commitment to a green and sustainable future and becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

What attracted you to your industry?

I love being able to take an initial idea right through to a fully operational building which serves the local community.

What exciting projects are you working on right now?

I am currently working on the Ardrossan Community Campus project, a £70 million project which will create a new education and community hub with opportunities for life-long teaching and learning together with sporting and leisure facilities including swimming pools and a library, and an integrated base for Education and Health and Social Care Partnership working.

What steps have you/your company taken in recent years to support climate change action?

North Ayrshire Council declared a Climate Emergency on 11 June 2019 and on this project, we are working to achieve challenging in-use energy targets of less than 67kwh/m2/annum. We have developed a sustainability strategy for the project which also looks to support the Council’s zero carbon aspirations by 2030.

When it comes to sustainability and climate change, what major challengers or opportunities do you foresee for your industry in the next five years?

I think the challenges of designing and constructing buildings with low/zero embodied carbon will be the next big requirement in construction projects. There will also be many more opportunities to reuse existing buildings and repurpose them for future generations.

What single piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in your profession?

Go for it – project management will be at the forefront of everything going forward. It’s so exciting to be leading in projects that have a direct impact on our local communities.

Name your favourite place in the world?

Greenland – it is so beautiful, and I was privileged to walk across part of it before the current issues of climate change were so evident.

What would your superpower be?

Telepathy. To be able to know what everyone else is thinking.