University of Edinburgh

Kier wins £7.7m contract to transform Murchison House for University of Edinburgh

Murchison House

Kier Construction Scotland has been awarded a £7.7 million contract by the University of Edinburgh to carry out the transformation of the Grade B-listed Murchison House.

Work began in mid-December 2017 and is to be complete in time for the teaching semester in September 2018.

Murchison House is located on the King’s Buildings Campus within the University. The former British Geological Survey building, which is currently lying vacant, will receive an extensive fit-out and refurbishment to transform it into a dynamic multi-functional building with open-plan teaching hub with study spaces, lecture theatres, exhibition spaces, Edinburgh Innovations offices and incubation units and a range of student service offices.

Murchison House will also be equipped with the very latest in IT and audio visual facilities, improving the working and learning environment for students and staff.

The announcement builds on Kier’s extensive expertise within the higher education sector. The contractor is currently on site at a number of iconic buildings, including the refurbishment of Edinburgh College of Art and carrying out the intricate restoration of the fire-damaged Mackintosh Building at the world-famous Glasgow School of Art.

Brian McQuade, managing director of the Kier Construction Scotland and north east, said: “We are delighted to have won this important contract which demonstrates our solid record of successfully completing major projects of this scale and builds upon our relationship with the University of Edinburgh where we are currently working on the refurbishment of Edinburgh College of Art.”

University of Edinburgh receives green light to transform former surgical hospital

UOE-FuturesInstitute_©BennettsAssociates2017_NorthSquaresmlEdinburgh’s former Royal Infirmary Surgical Hospital, a category-A listed building at the heart of the Quartermile development, has received detailed planning permission to become a major new facility for the University of Edinburgh.

Designed by Bennetts Associates working with project managers Faithful+Gould, the scheme is to be known as the Edinburgh Futures Institute, and encompass 21,300sqm of floor space, of which 6,000sqm will be additional new space.

The approval follows the anonymous donation of £10 million towards the transformation, the biggest ever capital donation to the University.

Edinburgh Futures Institute will bring together researchers from across the University with other partners to tackle major issues within the economy, education and societies across the world.

It will be a place that interrogates the opportunities and challenges of an age in which data and the digital disrupt old institutions and foster the creation of new ones.

The old hospital comprised multiple buildings from the 19th to the late 20th centuries including the original Royal Infirmary designed by David Bryce from 1870-1879. The architect was influenced by the ‘pavilion’ model of ward design founded by nursing pioneer, Florence Nightingale. Each ward was to be three stories tall with large windows, which was thought to better circulate fresh air, combat contagion and therefore mortality rates.

UOE-FuturesInstitute_©BennettsAssociates2017_NorthElevationsmlWith the more recent medical facilities already cleared for construction, the historic building is to be restored, extended and upgraded to form a flexible space that enables collaboration among students, staff and partner organisations. In recognition of the historic building’s importance to the wider community, the multimillion pound development will include a public piazza, garden spaces and a large subterranean multi-functional space for events and lectures.

The former hospital site as a whole, now known as Quartermile, covers an entire block of Edinburgh’s inner city – reaching from the Meadows in the south to Lauriston Place in the north, and from the Middle Meadow Walk in the east to Chalmers Street in the west. The project is the largest to date in a £1.5 billion investment programme being carried out by the University over ten years.

Rab Bennetts, director of Bennetts Associates, said: “Having worked continuously for the University of Edinburgh for 14 years we are acutely aware of the importance this project has to the institution and to the city.  The Edinburgh Futures Institute demonstrates the University’s ambitions, not only in the world of higher education, but also in architectural patronage. We are privileged to see our ideas for new interventions so readily adopted.”

Vice-Principal Professor Dorothy Miell, head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “The world is experiencing major changes: climate volatility, political discontent, advances in artificial intelligence, economic upheavals. This presents big challenges. We need different ways of thinking about these issues and of devising new solutions.

“Edinburgh Futures Institute will make that difference. It will blend theoretical and practical knowledge. It will work with organisations dealing directly with these challenges and curate meaningful interactions between seemingly disparate disciplines. We want our students to embody this approach and our partners to share the vision and help us to develop it.”

UOE-FuturesInstitute_©BennettsAssociates2017smlOn receiving the £10m donation, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University, added: “We are deeply grateful for this visionary gift to the University, which will help us to create a truly exceptional teaching and research environment within the Edinburgh Futures Institute. The Institute will challenge us to think differently about how we can affect change, both locally and globally.

“By marrying our world-class expertise in the humanities, arts and social sciences with our sector-defining research in new data technologies, it will produce practical solutions and new approaches for the common good. This generous gift will help realise this vision.”

The main construction period is programmed to start in 2018 and be ready for occupation by the University in mid-2021.

All images courtesy of Bennetts Associates

University of Edinburgh drops Teviot Row House expansion plans

Original plans for the Student Centre

Original plans for the Student Centre

Plans to expand and renovate the student union facility at Teviot Row House have been significantly scaled back by the University of Edinburgh following feedback from a public consultation.

Under the £75 million plans, which were unveiled to students and staff ahead of a wider consultation in June, a new Student Centre was to be constructed between Bristo Square and George Square at the University’s central area campus.

Proposed to bring together the University’s core student support functions under one roof, alongside those provided by Edinburgh Students’ Association, the new building was to link to an expansion and renovation of the existing student union facility at Teviot Row House.

Under the new proposals, a garden beside the gothic-style landmark has been saved and a significant extension is to be built onto the rear of the existing 19th century building.

Teviot Row House, the oldest purpose built students’ union in the world, will boast a brand new large-scale venue in the new building, while its existing debating hall, will be restored and modernised.

A spokeswoman for the University said: “Following feedback from the first public consultation held in June, amended architectural designs for a new Student Centre are being made available for comment.

“Significant changes have been made to the original proposals, with Teviot Row House garden being preserved and additional facilities being created along Charles Street Lane.

“Teviot Row House will be completely refurbished and made fully accessible, keeping its unique character but improving and expanding the range of services offered. Connections will also be formed with a brand new student services building on George Square.”

It is hoped the first phase of work will get underway next year, with the new Teviot Row House due to open in 2023.

CCG completes Appleton Tower upgrade for University of Edinburgh

UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH - APPLETON TOWERA core University of Edinburgh building which is recognised as an exemplar of modern design by Historic Environment Scotland has received an £11.98 million upgrade by CCG (Scotland) Ltd.

The Glasgow-based construction specialist said the new over-cladding of Appleton Tower has reinvigorated the building’s facade which was essential due to the condition and remaining lifespan of the original cladding. A new rooftop storey and new east entrance with landscaping has been created to breathe new life into the Tower and Central Area Campus.

The works undertaken to Appleton Tower were actioned after an extensive period of assessment stretching as far back as 2008. The University of Edinburgh wanted to improve accessibility and introduce additional space for students, staff, conferences and events.

APPLETON TOWER - UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGHCCG’s building renewals division, Specialist Building Services (SBS) was chosen to lead the construction works in November 2015 and through SBS’s unmatched expertise, Appleton Tower now has upgraded external thermal insulation to improve environmental performance, a brand new natural façade that will extend the life of the building and a newly configured main entrance offering better disability access.

The building also has a newly formed extension offering students, staff and visitors excellent study, teaching and educational facilities with stunning views across the Edinburgh skyline.

CCG Specialist Building Services manager, Paul Muldoon, said: “Appleton Tower is one of the most challenging projects CCG SBS has ever undertaken. The level of works required to modernise the building were hugely extensive but due to the excellent management on site, we have performed them to the very highest quality standards.

“We are extremely proud to have delivered what is now the first of two phases of work at Appleton Tower. The second phase, due for final completion winter 2017, has involved the extensive reconfiguration and refurbishment of teaching facilities over six floors which will improve the learning environment for both faculty and students.”

Sheppard Robson to design University of Edinburgh’s ‘Nucleus Project’

Luke Thurman

Luke Thurman

Architectural practice Sheppard Robson has been appointed by the University of Edinburgh to design its ‘Nucleus Project’.

The ‘Nucleus’ will be the focal point for the strategic redevelopment of the University’s King’s Buildings Campus; providing centralised space for learning and teaching associated with the schools that comprise the College of Science and Engineering.

This phased development will incorporate flexible learning spaces; study areas; lecture theatres; catering outlets; a gym; retail and a student information centre. Integrating into complementary landscaping and infrastructure proposals, this aspirational, world-class facility will be a centralised resource designed to encourage and facilitate collaboration across the various schools.

Internal spaces will be rich with state-of-the-art teaching and learning amenities that can be adapted to suit future needs; creating contemporary facilities that will meet the College of Science and Engineering’s student growth targets; all built to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard.

The centralisation of comparable spaces within each school will also release new space within these schools for dedicated/specialised teaching spaces and research, as well as providing opportunities for future expansion.

Luke Thurman, associate at Sheppard Robson, said: “Sheppard Robson in Scotland has continued to build upon our specialism in Higher Education facilities, and our appointment to the University of Edinburgh’s Nucleus Project underlines our ongoing commitment to this sector.

“Coming off the back of our recent win of the refurbishment and extension of the Joseph Black Chemistry building on the same campus, our aim is to work hand in hand with the University to create state-of-the-art facilities that will continue to attract the best minds to study in Scotland.

“Higher Education is a rapidly changing arena that moves with the times perhaps faster than any other sector in terms of its facilities, and the Nucleus Project will reflect and complement the globally-renowned courses on offer at the University of Edinburgh.”

Morris & Spottiswood wins University of Edinburgh fit-out deal

Kincaid Court

Kincaid Court

Fit-out firm Morris & Spottiswood has secured a contract to transform student accommodation at the University of Edinburgh.

Work has already started at the Kincaid Court campus which is the University’s largest self-catered residence containing more than 250 bedrooms.

Morris & Spottiswood operations manager, Ronnie Forrest, said the £3 million contract will be carried out between June and December 2017 and includes major renovation work to bedrooms, kitchens and showers.

He said: “The Kincaid Court site is a large development consisting of three blocks to the east, west and south of a central courtyard. The layout of each block is broken down into flats with four or five rooms and a small number of 12-person flats. There is also a large common room and laundry on site.

“The project will involve an upgrade to roof insulation, replacement of internal and external doors and skim coat spray plastering throughout. New kitchens and shower room pods are also being installed along with upgrades to toilet areas. Further work includes new floor coverings and a new boiler room and gas heating plant. A fundamental part of the work will involve widescale mechanical and electrical engineering.”

Ronnie Forrest

Ronnie Forrest

Mr Forrest added: “A schedule has been set to deliver the project quickly and efficiently in a two-phase format. The work will be delivered from June through to December in 2017. The first phase involves 120 rooms in block 2 as well as the boiler and plant equipment taking place between June and September.

“The second phase involves blocks 1 and 3 with a further 134 rooms plus two twin rooms and a double room. This is scheduled to run from September to December with all works completed prior the Christmas break.”

Morris & Spottiswood operates nationwide employing a total of 390 people, following an 8pc rise in staff numbers in 2016.It has four separate service divisions – fit-out, housing, M&E and maintenance.

Mr Forrest said the latest high-level education sector contract adds to a portfolio of work spanning across retail, financial, housing, leisure, health and commercial sectors.

“Morris & Spottiswood is one of the largest fit-out organisations in the UK,” he said. “We work on many scales from national programmes to local fit-out and refurbishment projects. A key service we are delivering on the University of Edinburgh project, which is driving strong corporate growth, is our comprehensive M&E service. This is now a fundamental part of our operation which continues to expand each year.

“We are experiencing strong demand for M&E services because we deliver a one stop solution from survey and inspection, through design to installation, commissioning, testing, inspection and aftercare. This covers assets such as heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, plumbing, lighting, power, communications and security. Our skilled technicians also deliver planned maintenance programmes, cyclical repairs and asset renewals on projects ranging in value from £5,000 to £5million per scheme.”

Further phase of University of Edinburgh work for Clark Contracts

Warrender Park

Warrender Park

Clark Contracts has been awarded a programme of student accommodation upgrades at Warrender Park for the University of Edinburgh.

In total, 127 flats within the Category B listed Warrender Park will be refurbished across 4 floors in three separate phases which will take place in summer 2017, 2018 and 2019. The internal refurbishment of the student bedrooms will total over £400k and is taking place over summer months to minimise disruption to students.

The award follows on from Clark Contracts successful completion of external upgrades to Warrender Park in 2016 including the creation of a new bell tower by the contractor’s manufactured joinery division.

Gerry Cummins, director at Clark Contracts, said: “We are looking forward to working with the University of Edinburgh again at Warrender Park on this refurbishment project.”

Clark Contracts has completed over £7 million of works for the University of Edinburgh in the last three years.

Sir Robert McAlpine secures role on University of Edinburgh’s Quartermile project

University of Edinburgh QuartermileSir Robert McAlpine is to carry out enabling works for the University of Edinburgh on its project to transform the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary into a major educational hub.

A change of use and restoration application to extend the A-listed surgical building to provide teaching and learning spaces, a major new public event space, library and cafe and bar was submitted by the University last week.

Now the Construction Enquirer has reported that Sir Robert McAlpine has scooped the main enabling works with a £3.6 million bid.

Enabling works will consist of asbestos removal, full trip of finishes and services back to structure, roofing repairs and demolition of original foundations and cellars in parts of the building complex.

The University plans to restore and extend the existing buildings to form a wide range of teaching and learning spaces under plans drawn up by architect Bennetts Associates.

The architects intend to optimise conservation of key features of the 19th century building including the retention and restoration of the stone walls, slate roofs and entrance hall.

New four-storey “infill buildings” will be constructed in the two courtyards between the east and west hospital wards and will provide space for lecture halls and teaching spaces.

Developers will also remove the existing gatehouse directly in front of the main entrance on Lauriston Place to make way for a new entrance square.

Project and programme management consultancy, Faithful+Gould is leading the redevelopment of the project at Lauriston Place, supported by structural engineer Will Rudd Davidson and Atkins’ Glasgow office as services engineer, with investment from built environment specialist Scape Group.

If approved, work could start by 2018 and be ready for occupation by 2021.

University of Edinburgh unveils education hub plans at former Royal Infirmary

University of Edinburgh QuartermileThe University of Edinburgh has submitted plans to transform the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary into a major educational hub.

A change of use and restoration application has been filed to extend the A-listed surgical building to provide teaching and learning spaces, a major new public event space, library and cafe and bar.

Spearheaded by Bennetts Associates, the Quartermile initiative will repurpose the historic building to offer 21,300sq/m of floor space, 6,000sq/m of which will be new build.

The architects intend to optimise conservation of key features of the 19th century building including the retention and restoration of the stone walls, slate roofs and entrance hall.

New four-storey “infill buildings” will be constructed in the two courtyards between the east and west hospital wards and will provide space for lecture halls and teaching spaces.

Developers will also remove the existing gatehouse directly in front of the main entrance on Lauriston Place to make way for a new entrance square.

Project and programme management consultancy, Faithful+Gould is leading the redevelopment of the project at Lauriston Place, with investment from built environment specialist Scape Group.

Mark Robinson, chief executive of Scape Group, said: “This incredible building has been at the heart of Edinburgh for more than three centuries. Quartermile is one of the largest regeneration schemes in Scotland and through our framework, the university will be able to offer further world-class facilities ensuring that they continue to attract some of the leading academics and business people of the future.”

Detailed designs will be considered by the City of Edinburgh Council’s planning officials, and if approved, work could start by 2018 and be ready for occupation by 2021.

An Edinburgh University spokesman said: “We’re very excited about this project and have been consulting with the neighbourhood around the next steps of the development.

“We will be revealing more details in the coming months.”

University of Edinburgh veterinary campus set for £9m trigeneration scheme

Easter Bush 2The University of Edinburgh is set to harness the power of trigeneration in a new £9 million energy project which will revolutionise the way they produce heating, cooling and electricity at their Easter Bush Veterinary Campus.

The system, which is being delivered by Vital Energi, will capture the waste heat created during electricity generation and use it to produce heating for buildings at the Easter Bush campus. In the warmer summer months when there is less demand, the heat will be converted into cooling, ensuring maximum efficiency all year round.

Easter Bush DHThe project will also see Vital Energi install a 4km, thermally efficient, buried district energy network which will transport the hot and chilled water around campus.

Mike Cooke, regional director for Vital Energi, said: “The public sector have been at the forefront of Scotland’s decarbonisation initiative and The University of Edinburgh are a great example of how embracing sustainable technology can deliver more affordable, reliable and lower-carbon energy.

“Trigeneration is an exciting technology as it can operate at maximum efficiency all year round and our similar installations have a great track record of reducing emissions and saving money, so it’s an ideal solution at Easter Bush where they have a clear vision to deliver a 21st century, low-carbon campus.”

Easter Bush 1The energy centre will be powered by a 1.5MWe Combine Heat & Power engine and two 4MW boilers.  Cooling will be provided by a 1.5MWc vapour compression chiller and both heating and cooling systems will have a 100m3 thermal stores.

This will be the second energy centre delivered by Vital Energi for the University of Edinburgh after a successful installation at their Holyrood Campus.