Virtually every local authority building in the Scottish Highlands, including the Inverness area, has been surveyed recently by Concept Engineering Systems (CES) of Omagh in a major contract with Mott McDonald, one of the United Kingdom’s leading architectural and civil engineering consultancies.

The company is a specialist in computer-aided visualisations of complex buildings. It uses computer design expertise to provide three-dimensional visualisations on paper or computer disk of a building project.

The Omagh team captured data -room specifications, window positions and door locations, - from over 26,000 sq metres in buildings including town halls, leisure facilities and schools. The information, which CES has processed using the latest computer-aided design technology and provided in the form of architectural drawings, will be used by the relevant authorities in future budgeting and for possible refurbishment schemes.

The survey contract is one of the biggest projects undertaken so far by CES, which was formed in 1999 by Andy Ashenhurst, a design engineer who had worked for a local engineering consultancy before deciding on self-employment that led to contracts in the Netherlands, Iceland and other parts of the world.

Armed with this experience overseas, Mr Ashenhurst returned to Omagh in 1999 and decided to set up a company offering property developers a co-ordination service covering essential components such as lighting, heating and power supply. The company was helped to get going under Invest NI’s start up support.

“The trend today is for utilities such as heating and lighting to be supplied by separate specialist contractors. We co-ordinate these for developers from the building design stage through to completion of the project.” said Mr Ashenhurst.

This expertise in building services led directly to the Mott McDonald contract in Scotland by way of business contacts of Mr Ashenhurst.

“We’ve also benefited substantially from advice and guidance from Invest NI’s Local Office in Omagh, particularly in developing our capability in personnel and financial operations. The North Star Programme was excellent because it gave us access to experienced mentors who helped us in setting up efficient operating systems,” he added.

Hilary England, Invest NI Client Executive in Omagh, said: “CES is a small but ambitious company at the forefront of expert services to the architectural and building sectors.

“The contract from Mott McDonald is an indication that its expertise is increasingly gaining recognition. This, in turn, has encouraged the company to look beyond Northern Ireland for business growth.”

The company, which currently employs five people, has invested extensively in the latest computer-aided design equipment and associated software packages that will be used to expand its three dimensional visualisation and photographic services.