University of Strathclyde

Commercial property ‘worth £4.8bn to Scottish economy’, finds SPF report

A new office development at New Waverley in Edinburgh

The Scottish real estate industry contributes almost £4.8 billion to the Scottish economy and supports more than 92,000 jobs, according to a new report.

Compiled by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute under commission by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF), The economic contribution of the commercial property sector was unveiled today at the SPF’s annual conference in Edinburgh.

Among its findings is a comprehensive look at the potential economic impact of new commercial work. In total, the commercial property element of Scotland’s construction industry has a direct impact of around £2.4bn to Scotland’s economy, however taking into account the additional spill-over effects of the industry, commercial property is estimated to have a total impact of almost £4.8bn.

Combining FTE employment in construction and real estate activities, the report estimates that around 49,000 FTE jobs are directly supported by commercial property in Scotland, with the additional indirect and induced effects, helping to support total FTE employment of around 92,000.

The sector is an important source of tax revenue for both the Scottish and UK governments and is acknowledged as a barometer of economic activity; with the report’s authors stating that without high quality and effective commercial property there would be no business activity.

Despite this, however, the report also identifies a worrying lack of investable space with the amount of new commercial property being built in terms of square ft. smaller than a decade ago.

In 2009, new commercial property construction equated to 7.1 million sq ft but in 2017 the equivalent of only 1.6 million sq ft was constructed.

Similarly, whist the value of sales of commercial property have been increasing in recent years to £3.2 billion in 2016/17, this figure is still significantly lower than a decade ago.

The report goes on to show the potential for growth and concludes that for a £100m increase in new commercial property output, the economy benefits from a further £73m.

Taking a universal approach to the sector, it calculated that construction makes up around 65% of commercial new work (and 70% of total impacts from direct, indirect and induced effects). The other large contributors are from real estate and financial services who make up around 28% of the direct output of new commercial projects.

David Melhuish

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, who commissioned the research, said: “Commercial property plays an important role in the Scottish economy and we welcome this excellent piece of research by the Fraser of Allander Institute.

“The industry has experienced challenging times in recent years due to the economic downturn and fragile levels of business and consumer confidence which has led to a dampening of growth. However this report highlights that the industry remains an important growth generator for the Scottish economy and that there are huge opportunities for the industry to grow as a valuable financial asset for investors which in turn will drive economic activity and important infrastructure in our cities and towns.

“We continue to work with the Scottish Government to look at the barriers which exist to attracting investment into the sector. One such area where more work is required is to ensure that Scotland increases its overall supply of Grade A office stock – a vital component in attracting businesses to locate or indeed remain in Scotland and continue to be important tax generators for the economy.”

Professor Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, added: “Our analysis shows that Scotland’s commercial property industry is an important barometer of economic activity, particularly in a service based economy such as Scotland.

“The latest data shows that the sector has been growing in recent years, but levels of activity remain down on where they were a decade ago.

“That being said, our analysis demonstrates that the sector continues to make an important contribution to the Scottish economy. This is not only through the direct economic activity that the commercial property sector supports but also the wider spill-over effects benefiting businesses throughout Scotland.”

Full line up of £250m University of Strathclyde framework contractors unveiled

A proposed £60m teaching and learning hub

Four contractors have been chosen by the University of Strathclyde for its Framework for Major Building Construction to support the delivery of its ongoing Capital Investment Plan for construction work exceeding £4 million.

Kier Construction Scotland will join Balfour Beatty and Interserve in securing places on the framework. Morrison Construction announced its place on the Framework last week.

The University of Strathclyde has invested £350m over the last ten years in improving and developing its estates and facilities to support its goal to be the Leading International Technological University.

This latest Framework has a value of £250m with typical project values likely to be between £4m to £50m with the potential for both new build and refurbishment. This four year Framework also includes the potential usage by Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure Limited.

Kier Construction Scotland is already an equity stakeholder and Tier One contractor in hub South West Scotland and a Tier One contractor on hub North and hub East Central.

Brian McQuade, Kier Construction Scotland’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to be appointed as a contractor to the University of Strathclyde Framework. We believe that Kier has a great deal to offer the partnership and we are looking forward to working closely with the team and supporting local communities by creating employment and educational opportunities.”

Morrison Construction appointed to £250m University of Strathclyde framework

University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre opened in 2015

Morrison Construction has been announced as a primary contractor on the £250 million major building works framework at the University of Strathclyde.

The framework is for the duration four years, with an initial two-year term plus the potential of two, one-year extensions, at the discretion of the client.

Morrison Construction will be one of four primary contractors able to tender for all major building works likely to range between £4m to £50m in value to develop the estate and facilities of the University of Strathclyde.

Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd can also use the framework to tender for major building works.

Eddie Robertson, Morrison Construction managing director for building central, said: “We are delighted to be appointed to this framework. Membership of major frameworks is a key part of our strategy for our construction business.

“We look forward to working with our new partners at University of Strathclyde, to support its capital investment programme.

“At Morrison Construction we have a proud history of developing successful long-term partnerships and delivering high-quality facilities.”

Location announced for £65m manufacturing centre of excellence

Welding Iron Worker Industry Steel Welder manufacturing stockRenfrewshire will be home to the new £65 million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) with the University of Strathclyde named as the anchor university, it was revealed today.

Work to build the centre, which will help manufacturing businesses throughout Scotland become world leaders in innovation, will begin next year.  The centre at Inchinnan will be located right next to Glasgow International Airport and the M8.

The Scottish Government will invest £48m in NMIS with £8m from the University of Strathclyde. This is in addition to the £8.9m announced in June 2017 for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre as a first step towards the wider centreRenfrewshire Council will provide a further £39.1m through the Glasgow City Region Deal to support wider infrastructure work at the site.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and economy secretary Keith Brown made the announcement during a visit to Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing facility in Inchinnan. Rolls-Royce is a founding member of the University of Strathclyde’s existing Advanced Forming Research Centre.

Speaking after a meeting with some of Scotland’s leading manufacturing companies, the First Minister said: “This exciting facility will be an industry-led international centre of manufacturing expertise. Research, industry and the public sector will work together to transform skills, productivity and innovation, attracting investment and making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

“It will help companies right across Scotland embrace new manufacturing techniques, support cutting edge research and help to further develop the skills of our workforce. The manufacturing jobs of the future offer exciting and rewarding careers for young people. We want to inspire them to work in this sector and revive Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering.

“Inchinnan provides a gateway to the world through proximity to the airport and revives Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering.

“Although the centre will sit on the Clydeside, the benefits will be felt throughout Scotland.”

Unlocking economic potential in manufacturing and innovation is expected to play a key role in this week’s Scottish Budget, alongside digital connectivity, infrastructure and housing.

Economy secretary Keith Brown added: “Manufacturing is a key industry, already accounting for 52% of Scotland’s international exports, and nearly £600m of Scotland’s spend on business research and development.

“Our investment in NMIS builds on our support for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre and will support that and our ambitious target of doubling business expenditure on research and development by 2025. This centre will not only see us continue to reach out worldwide, but also see the rest of the world turning to Scotland for innovation and expertise.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter for Scottish manufacturing, building on a great tradition of innovation. By capitalising on world-class, industry-relevant research and supporting skills-development, the new institute will attract inward investment to Scotland, stimulate the creation of jobs and help companies compete globally.

“The University of Strathclyde prides itself on forging new levels of collaboration between researchers and the public and private sectors to accelerate the pace of research and development, and crucially, to deliver benefit to businesses and the economy. We are delighted to be the anchor university for the Institute and will ensure close engagement with the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering representing a consortium of Scotland’s leading research intensive universities. We also look forward to working closely with new and existing partners to deliver a step-change in advanced manufacturing for Scotland.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson added: “Renfrewshire has long been renowned for its manufacturing expertise and innovation, not least in giving Paisley Pattern to the world, and I am excited about the prospect of helping to play our part in making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

“I believe through our existing manufacturing expertise combined with excellent transport connections by air, land and sea – which will be further enhanced by our Glasgow City Region City Deal projects – Renfrewshire offers the perfect environment for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to flourish and we look forward to working with colleagues to deliver its ambitious aims.”

Managing director at Scottish Enterprise, Linda Hanna, said: “Supporting growth in Scotland’s manufacturing sector is a key priority for us and central to the future of Scotland’s economy. Today’s announcement marks a great milestone in the journey towards creating expertise and capability in a new hub to help drive increased innovation and investment. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with partners to deliver this ambitious project and grow Scotland’s reputation as a global hub for high value manufacturing.”

CALA unveils plan to restore historic David Stow building

An artist's impression of how the David Stow building will look

An artist’s impression of how the David Stow building will look

On the anniversary of the death of one of Scotland’s most pioneering educational figures, plans have been revealed to restore the historic building which bears his name.

The David Stow building, an iconic building which was once at the centre of the University of Strathclyde’s former Jordanhill campus, has fallen short of its former glory in recent years.

Constructed from Dumfries stone, the B-category listed building was the main teacher training college building at Jordanhill Campus when completed in 1917, but it is now surrounded by decaying 1960s and 1970s concrete buildings including the seven-storey Henry Wood building.

Now, more than 150 years after David Stow’s death on November 6, 1864, CALA has outlined how its plans for Jordanhill Campus would reinstate the imposing structure as the site’s dominant building.

Architect Peter McLaughlin of 7N, explained: “Set in an elevated position, the green copper spires of the David Stow building were a defining landmark on the city’s skyline, but they have been overwhelmed by the expansion of the Jordanhill Campus in the 1960s and 1970s.

“Our proposals to demolish these later buildings would reinstate the visual prominence of this historic building and maintain its heritage and identity.

“Importantly, our plans will address the growing risk of disrepair by creating a viable new life for the David Stow building.

“From the elegant neo-classical entrance lobby, reminiscent of New York residences from the same period, to the series of simple, large volume former teaching spaces, the building will convert well to high quality apartments that are imbued with the character of their former use.”

To commemorate the anniversary CALA released video footage giving a rare contemporary glimpse of the interiors of the grand building which has been vacant since 2012. The 31-acre Jordanhill Campus site is owned by the University of Strathclyde, which gained in 2013 Planning Permission in Principle for a residential development on the site.

The retention and refurbishment of the David Stow building, which would create 67 apartments, is central to CALA’s plans for Jordanhill Campus. Altogether, just over 400 properties ranging from one-bedroom flats to detached five-bedroom family homes would be made available at the proposed premium residential development.

The building as it currently stands

The building as it currently stands

Ian Conway, development manager of the Jordanhill Campus for CALA Homes (West), said their plans would provide a sustainable future for the David Stow building, which is falling into disrepair.

He said: “Working with 7N, our planning application recognises the importance of the David Stow building, which will make for an iconic focal point of our development. Our sympathetic approach would restore it as a local landmark by removing the surrounding derelict concrete buildings and retaining the unique character of the site.

“In addition to significant investment in the David Stow building, more than 40% of greenspace would be retained and there would be a net addition of 350 trees. Playing fields at the site would also be protected and made available to local schools and community groups. Our plans also contain new paths and play parks.”

CALA’s Matters Specified in Conditions planning application was lodged with Glasgow City Council in March this year.

CALA Homes open letter bids to set the record straight on Jordanhill Campus project

Cala - Jordanhill 4

CALA Homes (West) has written an open letter outlining its approach to its proposed £100m development of the University of Strathclyde’s former Jordanhill Campus.

The award-winning housebuilder issued the letter after its proposals for a premium residential development were referred to a Predetermination Hearing by councillors.

In the letter, CALA states its commitment to building on the legacy of the landmark 31-acre site, which is now derelict after being unoccupied since 2012.

The letter describes how CALA’s planning application will protect and enhance greenspace at the site, retain the Category B-listed David Stow building, open playing fields to local schools and establish one of the city’s most desirable and well-designed residential developments.

The letter also refers to recent independent research that found construction of the site would create almost 200 new jobs for Glasgow and deliver an economic boost of over £5m in Gross Added Value (GAV).

CALA’s Matters Specified in Conditions planning application was lodged with Glasgow City Council in March this year.

Jim McIntyre, managing director of CALA Homes (West), said: “CALA is an award-winning homebuilder with decades of experience in delivering high quality residential developments and we fully intend to extend our strong reputation with a sensitive approach at Jordanhill Campus.

“Currently, many of the buildings are derelict and much of the land is brownfield. I firmly believe our proposals represent a significant improvement and will enhance a community asset. They would create a great place to live.

“We look forward to presenting our exciting plans next month, and to continuing to work in partnership with the community to deliver a successful development within the heart of Jordanhill.”

The decision to close the 31-acre Jordanhill Campus, formerly a teacher training college, was taken by owners Strathclyde University in 2006 and the site has been vacant since 2012. Following extensive consultation with the local community and Glasgow City Council, the University gained Planning Permission in Principle for a residential developer in 2013.

CALA’s proposed development includes more than 400 high quality properties, designed by award-winning architects 7N. These range from one bedroom flats to large, detached family homes. Central to the proposals is the retention of the university’s Category B-listed David Stow building, which would be reinstated as the dominant building on the campus and refurbished to a high standard to offer luxury apartments. Graham House and Douglas House, which don’t have listed status, would also to be conserved and converted under the plans.

More than 40% of the site would be retained as greenspace and the plans contain a net provision of more than 350 new trees to enhance the existing woodland. About 5,000 square metres of children’s active play spaces would be created and the existing playing fields given to Glasgow Life to ensure the community and all local schools in the area, including Jordanhill School, benefit.

Together with existing access points, new public footpaths and cycleways would make the Campus accessible to all.

Liana Canavan, sales and marketing director at CALA Homes (West), added: “We want to dispel the misconception that we plan to overdevelop the site.

“We’re seeking to develop mostly on the footprints of existing buildings and to create a more designed central parkland area than currently exists on the site. These plans include cycle paths, walkways and areas of open space which will enhance this site for current and future communities of Jordanhill.”

Jim McIntyre

Jim McIntyre

The full content of the letter can be read below:

The University of Strathclyde’s Jordanhill Campus was once a landmark for Glasgow and the local community. Now, after being unoccupied for more than five years, substantial investment is required to protect and enhance the legacy and unique period buildings synonymous with the site. Together with the University, CALA homes (West) is committed to restore local pride in the Campus and build on its legacy by establishing one of the city’s most desirable and well-designed residential developments.

Our proposal delivers almost £100 million of investment which will enhance greenspace and retain an important listed building. It upholds the University’s original proposal which was granted Planning Permission in Principle in 2013 after extensive consultation with the community and Glasgow City Council.  

Glasgow has growing demand for premium housing. By creating more than 400 quality properties, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom detached family homes, Jordanhill Campus will appeal to an array of buyers, resulting in significant economic benefits for the city. 

The misconception that CALA will destroy woodland and open space is simply not true. Protecting the landscape is central to our proposal.  More than 40% of the site will be retained as greenspace and there will be a net provision of more than 350 new trees. Together with existing access points, new public footpaths and cycleways will make the Campus accessible to all.

The greenspace will be maintained by a factor, ensuring local people can enjoy the site long-term. More than 5,000 square metres of children’s active play spaces will be created and the pitches would be given to Glasgow Life to ensure the community and all local schools in the area, including Jordanhill School, benefit

Working with renowned architects 7N, we will sympathetically retain, redevelop and refurbish the Category B listed David Stow building into a mix of apartments and mews properties. We will conserve and convert two more historic buildings which don’t have listed status so could be demolished.

Almost 200 direct and indirect jobs will be created by the construction phase, while independent research estimates that, post-construction, the development would raise an extra £1.3 million in council tax and support 56 local retail jobs through an estimated £5.8m retained retail spend.

We have listened to the local community and offered to provide each new residence with a free bus pass to support the local bus service and to upgrade the junction of Southbrae/Westbrae earlier than required by the Planning Permission in Principle, to improve the junction capacity and provide controlled crossings that will assist those travelling to and from local schools.

CALA has an excellent reputation in the UK of providing communities with aspirational and award winning homes and it is this experience which we intend to extend, with a sensitive approach, at Jordanhill Campus.

We look forward to presenting our exciting proposals next month, and to continuing to work in partnership with the community to deliver a successful development within the heart of Jordanhill.   


Jim McIntyre

Managing Director

CALA Homes (West)

Jordanhill Campus housing decision put on hold for pre-Determination Hearing

Cala-Jordanhill-1A judgment into an application to deliver more than 400 homes on a former university site in Glasgow has been delayed after councillors decided to allow representations from interested parties to be heard.

Housebuilder CALA Homes is proposing to transform the historic site of the University of Strathclyde’s former Jordanhill Campus into luxury flats.

Hundreds of residents have protested at the plans over what they claim will be the loss of green space and the impact on wildlife and biodiversity, due to more than 70 trees being cut down on the land.

Objections also included concerns over a lack of social housing, the absence of amenities within the development, traffic management and the impact on local schools.

Members of Glasgow City Council’s planning applications committee were expected to give the scheme the go-ahead at a meeting on Tuesday after the executive director of development and regeneration services recommended the plans for approval.

But instead the committee unanimously agreed that a pre-Determination Hearing must take place before a decision is reached on the proposal and will hear arguments from both the developers and the local objectors within the next six to eight weeks.

A judicial review is also to take place at the Court of Session next month.

Cala-Jordanhill-3Community leaders in Jordanhill welcomed the decision to delay the judgement.

Ken Robertson, a spokesman for Jordanhill Community Council, said: “Jordanhill Community Council wishes to thank the Planning Applications Committee for their deliberations today.

“We are encouraged by the outcome. Now we will be able to present our case directly to the decision-makers and stress that local people must be involved in shaping their own future.

“Glasgow’s new administration has said it is committed to community participation and so are we.

“Today is only a first step but we and our partners remain focused on taking this to Judicial Review in the hope that one day we might get a development at Jordanhill Campus of which all can be proud.”

A date has yet to be fixed for the pre-determination hearing while the Judicial Review is scheduled for November 16 and 17.

Cala-Jordanhill-2CALA has previously half of the development will remain as greenspace, and maintains it will “create a wide range of much needed, high quality homes”.

An independent economic impact assessment revealed the project would create almost 200 new jobs and significantly boost the Glasgow economy.

The development would raise an extra £1.3 million in council tax, while 420 trees are set to be planted at the site, CALA added. A new community facility operated by Glasgow Life will also be made available to local schools.

A spokesperson for CALA Homes (West) said: “We are disappointed that our planning application for a premium residential development at Jordanhill Campus has been continued to a hearing. We’ve invested a great deal of time, expense and effort into our proposals and designs which have received a positive recommendation from the council’s planners.

“We remain confident our plans will deliver much needed, high-quality homes that are sympathetic to the site’s important landscape and heritage features with more than 40 per cent of the proposed development retained as green space. Redevelopment of this derelict site will also create almost 200 new jobs for the city.

“We look forward to making our case at the hearing.”

Graham lends support to University of Strathclyde Engineering Academy

GRAHAM_ACADEMY_STUDENT_VISIT_035Graham Construction has given 24 budding young construction students an insight in to the building of a major project as part of the University of Strathclyde’s Engineering Academy.

Students were given a tour of Strathclyde Sport, the University’s new sport, health and wellbeing Facility, which Graham Construction is currently delivering on behalf of the academic institution.

The Engineering Academy is a pioneering programme which offers an alternative route into university and employment as a Strathclyde student. The first year is an enhanced HNC programme with direct transfer into second year of one of its engineering degrees.

The Academy is a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde, partner colleges and the engineering industry, designed as an innovative route into higher education.


Applicants get a taster of university life while becoming a fully enrolled student after completing one year in college. They also get access to an academic counsellor and the facility’s Virtual Learning Environment.

Entry requirements for the Academy are four Highers at Grade B which must include Maths and Physics.

Graham Construction’s community benefits manager, Debbie Rutherford, who plays a key role in Graham Academy programme, has said: “We’re pleased to support this novel initiative which acts as an accessible entry point to the University of Strathclyde and future careers in the construction industry.

“A site tour is an excellent way for young people to see how a building project develops, gaining an insight into the many different roles which must work together delivering the final result.

“University is a fantastic route into construction and the Academy opens up this pathway to students who perhaps haven’t considered academia as their immediate after-school option.

“We look forward to continuing our support for this project and helping more young people learn about the sector.”

GRAHAM_ACADEMY_STUDENT_VISIT_044Dr Andrew McLaren, director of the Engineering Academy, said: “Strathclyde is committed to ensuring that ability, rather than social or economic circumstances, determine participation in higher education.  The University has many Widening Access initiatives, of which the Engineering Academy is one of the most successful, having opened the door to Engineering courses for hundreds of students.

“Strathclyde’s campus is being transformed to delivering first-class facilities for staff, students and visitors. Strathclyde Sport is an important part of this programme and we are delighted to have worked with Graham Construction to give students an insight into the project.”

Located on a prominent junction within the University campus, and on a major arterial route into the centre of Glasgow, the Strathclyde Sport health and  wellbeing facility will include two four-court multi-use sports halls, a six-lane, 25-metre swimming pool, a fitness suite with more than 180 stations, two squash courts and four consultation and treatment rooms.

The investment is part of the University’s £650 million transformation of its campus, and will support health and wellbeing for the entire University community, as well as enabling students and sports clubs to train and compete at the highest levels.

Work on the project began in November 2016, with the centre expected to open in summer 2018.

New research to determine how bacteria can solidify soil without the use of concrete

Professor Lunn

Professor Lunn

Professor Rebecca Lunn MBE of the University of Strathclyde has extended her well-established partnership with BAM Nuttall by taking up the five-year post of BAM Nuttall / RAEng Research Chair in Biomineral Technologies for Ground Engineering.

Professor Lunn will examine and scale up microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP), researching how bacteria can solidify soil, reducing the use of cement in construction and unlocking low-carbon alternatives for the industry.

The MICP process uses naturally-occurring bacteria and urea solutions injected into soil to changes its properties, making the soil stronger and more stable. The bacteria precipitate calcite, a hard mineral that binds together particles in the soil, turning loose soil into an instant rock. This technology can be used to build and repair infrastructure, minimising carbon-intensive use of cement.

Professor Lunn said: “We want to develop sustainable earth infrastructure that harness the biomineral technology to improve the properties of the existing soil; providing a durable, non-destructive alternative to traditional carbon-intensive construction methods.

“Having collaborated with BAM Nuttall over a number of years, we share a common understanding of how to turn early-stage research into innovative construction techniques. BAM’s knowledge and experience in the infrastructure sector will allow this technology to gain early acceptance and broaden the range of applications quickly.”

Globally, a few small-scale field trails and industrial applications of the technique have been completed, however none have been conducted in the UK to-date.

“We’re absolutely delighted that Professor Lunn will be taking up the BAM Nuttall / RAEng Research Chair,” added BAM Nuttall director, Alasdair Henderson. “Construction has a mixed record in research and development, something that BAM has worked hard to change over recent years. We know that successfully implementing innovations like MICP leads directly to improved productivity, lower carbon demand and greater economic growth, with a beneficial effect across society.”

The research will build on Professor Lunn’s previous work applying MICP to seal rock fractures during the construction of geological disposal facilities for nuclear waste. Her group has successfully developed the technology for sealing individual fractures within the laboratory at the 1-2 metre scale. In partnership with BAM Nuttall, the Research Chair position will allow progression from these laboratory tests to field trials for rock fracture sealing.

Derelict land could be used to reduce fuel poverty, say researchers

Aerial view of Glasgow city centre with the River Clyde

Aerial view of Glasgow city centre with the River Clyde

Glasgow has sufficient available vacant land to help alleviate fuel poverty in the city given the right technology and investment, according to scientists at the University of Strathclyde.

After studying the amount of brownfield land in the city, its proximity to social housing, and how much low-carbon heat it could yield using ground source heat pumps, researchers say there is enough land to easily meet the heat demand of all of the city’s households in fuel poverty.

The results, published in the journal Renewable Energy, found that Glasgow contains the greatest concentration of vacant and derelict land in Scotland, totalling 1,195 hectares over 863 sites. When combined with 367 hectares of 50 licensed and unlicensed landfill sites brownfield sites represent 9% of the city area.

In addition, Glasgow has an estimated 93,000 households in fuel poverty of which 35,000 may be at high risk.

Dr Richard Lord, senior lecturer in civil and environmental engineering, said: “This study suggests there is potential to ease fuel poverty in Glasgow by making use of brownfield land to deploy renewable energy technologies such as ground source heat pumps.

“Brownfield land is a legacy of industrial retraction in many towns and cities worldwide, where land remains vacant long after it has gone into disuse, and is often a barrier to redevelopment.

“Using this land for renewable heating is one option that can support development of a low carbon economy and also stimulate regeneration.”

Ground source heat pumps use electrical power but produce roughly three times as much heat in return. Scotland’s electricity is now largely from renewable sources.

Using brownfield in this way could help to address the next challenge of decarbonising heat, which has roughly double the energy demand and is currently supplied mostly from fossil fuels like natural gas.

Assuming an average household size of 92m squared and peak heat energy demand of 8 kilowatts kWt, the researchers found that if all available brownfield land had ground source heat pumps with horizontal arrays installed the entire heat demand of 34,866 properties could be met.

If only 80% of the peak heat demand is to be met, as is typical in optimising such designs, the size of this figure increases to 43,754 properties, nearly half of the total in fuel poverty.

And if more expensive vertical boreholes for heat pumps were used this would increase energy yield and hypothetically meet the demands of all properties in fuel poverty.

Dr Lord said: “It is necessary for a balance to be drawn between installation costs, the technology footprint, and the number of properties whose heat demand could be met, to provide the most cost effective, sustainable solution that still allows for future redevelopment.

“Perhaps the greatest challenges in reusing brownfield land to alleviate fuel poverty come from the inherent nature of the land itself – the fact that land is not in use may indicate that it is not currently needed or not economically viable. This might be due to location or the cost of remediation of contamination.

“It is clear that using brownfield land to provide ground source heating for social housing has the potential to contribute to alleviating fuel poverty as well as bringing significant opportunities for the restoration and reuse of vacant and derelict land.”

The research was funded by the Energy Technology Partnership, the University of Strathclyde and the BRE.