Centrica, Edinburgh

Built on the site of a former gasworks, Scottish Gas’ HQ is an elegant and energy efficient addition to Edinburgh’s rapidly changing skyline. Designed by Foster + Partners

Key features

Sector

Commercial

Client

Secondsite Property Holdings

Architect

Foster + Partners

Main contractor

ISG Group

Completion year

2003

Area M2

8,000m2

Region

United Kingdom

Product Groups

Built on the site of a former gasworks, Scottish Gas’ HQ is an elegant and energy efficient addition to Edinburgh’s rapidly changing skyline. Designed by Foster + Partners, the fourstorey, 10,500m² building was officially opened at the end of 2003 and forms part of the larger redevelopment of the Granton Waterfront in the North of Edinburgh.

The 28 ha area, now known as the ForthQuarter, will transform a heavily polluted, toxic no-go area into an attractive clean neighbourhood with utilities, public parks and transport infrastructure, including a new tram link to the city. A vibrant, mixed-use community is planned that will bring together 2000 homes, 70,000m² of office accommodation, 10,500m² of retail and leisure space and a college campus.

Number One, Waterfront Avenue was commissioned by SecondSite Property, who required a flexible, low-energy office building that could be partitioned and internally reconfigured to suit a range of tenants and uses, including a corporate headquarters.

The building’s first tenants, Scottish Gas has fit the building out as its call centre and corporate headquarter, which provides a functional high-density workplace (6 m² per person), accommodating 1800 staff across two shifts.

Three floors of the call-centre are arranged as open-plan workspaces on either side of an atrium and command views through the building. The fusion of architectural and environmental design led to ceiling rafts carrying passive chilled beams from SAS International being floated within the coffered undersides of the concrete floor slabs.

Not only do the passive chilled beams combat the heat gain from the high density work space, it does so in a quiet, comfortable and energy efficient way. An additional benefit is that they leave the concrete soffits exposed to exploit the benefits of Fabric Energy Storage (FES) or thermal mass cooling.

The bespoke ceiling rafts not only house chilled beams, luminaires and other building services are also integrated. The rafts were designed to incorporate a modular facility to receive partitioning systems, which provides space flexibility for both current and future tenants.

From concept to completion environmental efficiency was a key driver and this resulted in the building achieving the coveted excellent BREEAM rating.