Client: His Grace the Duke of Fife, Elsick Development Company (EDC)
Project Manager: Turner & Townsend
Main Contractors: W M Donald
Architects: Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ)
Landscape Architects: Benton Scott-Simmons

About the Project

Chapelton of Elsick is a visionary new community development situated just south of Aberdeen, Scotland. Led by Elsick Development Company (EDC), the £2 billion scheme includes plans for over 8,000 homes, space for leisure, business facilities, two schools and public parks.

Inspired by the vibrant urban settlements of northeast Scotland, such as Stonehaven and St Andrews, the town’s seven pedestrian-scaled neighbourhoods are designed to be inherently sustainable and in walking distance of local amenities. 

Project Vision

Constructed on 2,000 acres of farmland next to the A90, the development offers a variety of properties suitable for a mix of ages, incomes and needs. The first neighbourhood within the development, Cairnhill, sets out a blueprint for a new sustainable community in the region.

Renowned architect, Andres Duany of Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ), designed Chapelton working alongside a team of local architects and engineers as well as the Aberdeenshire locals through the charette process. DPZ is the global pioneer for New Urbanism, a movement that promotes the development of mixed-use, walkable communities as an alternative to conventional suburban towns.

Landscape architect Laura Scott-Simmons, of Benton Scott-Simmons, shared the Chapelton vision and was intent on using flexible metal edging instead of concrete pin kerbs to create the development’s public footpaths.

Project Challenges

The landscape architect wanted to avoid the utilitarian solutions that are often achieved by using straight lengths of concrete kerbing, as it results in a facetted edge. Benton Scott-Simmons preferred Kinley’s AluExcel to traditional concrete because they were able to build in more diverse geometries as the material could be supplied pre-formed to specific radii or manipulated on site when necessary. So far, 4,000 metres of the aluminium edging has been supplied to edge between the standard asphalt paths and grass verges to create footpaths on the development.

AluExcel’s flexible but hardwearing design made it the ideal solution to support the numerous footpaths and as a 100% recyclable material, it fitted EDC’s sustainable vision. As Aberdeenshire Council would assume responsibility for the maintenance of all public footpaths upon completion of the development, approval of the aluminium edging was required before the installation could go ahead. 

During installation of the aluminium edging system along the public footpaths, Kinley also worked closely with contractor W M Donald to ensure it was a success. The particular construction detail used was developed collaboratively between Kinley, W M Donald and engineers Fairhurst.

Once a method of working was devised that took account of the construction sequence on site, the organic shapes on the grass verges, which were a characteristic of the Chapelton masterplan, were successfully achieved. The site team found that AluExcel was much quicker to install.

Kinley’s Involvement

Kinley worked with Benton Scott-Simmons to present a detailed case to the highways department at Aberdeenshire Council to ensure the edging would be approved and that the project could go ahead. The technical support team then ensured that the desired installation quality was achieved by providing specific training for the contractor and supporting a trial installation for approval by the highways department.

Due to the scope and scale of the development, it was vital that Kinley remained involved throughout the entire project. From assisting with presentations and obtaining approvals from Aberdeenshire Council, to providing on-site support to the contractors during the installation process, Kinley played a central role in ensuring the use of AluExcel edging was considered a success.

Laura Scott-Simmons, of Benton Scott-Simmons, the Landscape Architect for the project:

“It is important to source products that satisfy both technical and aesthetic considerations and don’t constrain the overall design intent. All schemes require robust detailing to ensure longevity at a time when maintenance budgets are being cut. 

Kinley’s technical support team worked closely with the Chapelton site team to ensure that their standard installation recommendations were adapted to meet the particular technical issues raised by the sequence of construction.” 

Philip Lucey, Project Manager, Turner & Townsend:

“Kinley has significantly contributed to realising the vision for Chapelton, with its products in use at multiple locations across the site. At first, AluExcel was a new product to both the local authority and the principle contractor. However after trials, the benefits of the AluExcel product came to the fore.

The flexibility in the aluminium allowed the design team to create more aesthetically pleasing layouts, which were easily adhered to on the ground by the contractor. One of the greatest benefits is how the edging seamlessly beds in between different finished surface types.”

Stuart Bowie, Director of Kinley: 

“This is a significant project for us and we are delighted with the results. The use of our AluExcel edging has resulted in improved aesthetics for the project and created more natural lines in the landscape, in addition to enabling a much faster installation process.

Chapelton has set a precedent for Aberdeenshire and AluExcel edging. We hope to use it as an exemplar to demonstrate how our edging system can be implemented to enhance large scale developments.”


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