Work begins on sustainable Edinburgh office initiative

WORK is underway to transform an office building located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Exchange District.

30 Semple Street will deliver 57,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation when it completes in June 2024.

Acting on behalf of CBRE Investment Management (CBREIM), Corran Properties has appointed Ogilvie Construction to deliver the project.

Designed by Michael Laird Architects, the existing building (formerly known as Excel House) will be stripped back to its frame before two new floors are added as well as a new 360⁰ contemporary façade.

The building has flexible floorplates, ranging from 6,867 sq ft to 8,040 sq ft across eight levels, and a new raised roof terrace with views of Edinburgh Castle and the city’s skyline.

The development is targeted to be the first in Scotland to achieve the highest BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating. It is also described as the first office development in Scotland to be awarded the new NABERS UK design accreditation for environmental performance, and the first to secure Air Rated’s ‘Platinum’ accreditation which measures indoor air quality.

The building will also achieve net zero carbon operational status in accordance with the UK Green Building Council’s framework definition.

Amenities for occupiers include 85 bike spaces, changing and showering facilities and on-site charging facilities for electric vehicle.

Nick Ball, MD of Corran Properties, said, “We were delighted to be appointed by CBREIM in 2020 to undertake this transformational development. I hope we have re-paid their faith with the exceptional quality that is now being delivered.

“Office design is moving towards a more sustainable future so from the outset the focus has been to achieve the highest environmental goals possible, and this has resulted in a number of firsts for 30 Semple Street.

“To achieve the leading sustainability credentials alongside the outstanding facilities for staff and flexible, modern workspace we’re delivering for 30 Semple Street, the solution in the past would have been to demolish and start again. However, by retaining the original structure, we’ve saved 3,300 tons of CO2, more than 50% of the carbon in reconstruction. The new building will operate with net zero carbon emissions and sets a very high new benchmark, not only in Edinburgh but further afield too.”

Alix Mills, senior director at CBRE Investment Management, added, “The current demand for high quality Grade A office space in Edinburgh gave us the confidence to invest in a significant redevelopment project at 30 Semple Street. We are excited by the plans that align with CBREIM’s ESG ambitions and look forward to seeing the new and improved building take shape as the works progress.”

As well as Ogilvie Construction and Michael Laird Architects, the project team includes M&E engineering consultancy KJ Tait, project management and cost consultancy Axiom Project Services, structural and civil engineering consultancy Blyth & Blyth, and Atelier Ten as fire engineering consultants. CuthbertWhite and Knight Frank have been appointed as letting agents.