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Atkins-designed innovation centre opens at the University of Edinburgh

Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, is the designer behind a new animal science innovation centre and campus hub opened at the University of Edinburgh by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. The 23 million Charnock Bradley Building at the university's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies provides a place at the heart of the university campus for staff, students, and businesses to share ideas, innovations and research. It is part of the University of Edinburgh's four-phase, 20-year development of the campus to establish it as a world-leading centre of excellence for animal science. SNC-Lavalin acquired WS Atkins plc on July 3, 2017.

The 7,000m sustainable building brings together university students, staff and research scientists into shared facilities including a gym, student services, cafe, teaching laboratory and exhibition space. The building also houses the Roslin Innovation Centre, an 'incubator' with research and development laboratories and offices for bioscience companies, including start-ups. The building is also home to the Easter Bush Innovation Centre, a teaching laboratory used by schools to encourage interest in science and to provide children with access to advanced scientific equipment. The gym and shop will also be available for public use.

The exterior of the building has two key design elements: a grounded triangular block, clad in natural stone with a living green wall complete with irrigation to fit the surrounding landscape; and an elevated glazed ellipse form. Together, they create a unique identity for a building intended to serve as a hub at the heart of a campus.

Sustainability was another key driver for the design. The building achieved a BREEAM excellent rating and has an ambitious 60% CO2 saving over 2007 Scottish Building Regulations. The post-tension flat concrete slabs used in the building design allow for exposed soffits within the office and shared facility areas, bringing the benefit of thermal mass cooling and storage. Another strategy for high sustainable performance is orientating the building with the offices facing north, which means a mixed-mode cooling and heating strategy can be adopted, avoiding the need for traditional mechanically cooled systems.



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