Groundbreaking for new residences project

Work on a new £14m residences development at the Edinburgh Campus, part of a wider £26m development programme including new residences at the Scottish Borders Campus, has been officially launched at a groundbreaking ceremony.

The joint residences project will replace residences built in the early 1970s, which are reaching the end of their useful life. Work on phase one of the Scottish Borders residences is scheduled to start in April.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by senior University management and Harry Thorburn, managing director of Morgan Sindall, the construction company awarded the contract for the Edinburgh residences.

Edinburgh Campus residences

The Edinburgh residence project, which will have 277 bed spaces, is a further expansion of the West Student Village. The buildings have been designed by the architects as a contemporary re-interpretation of the traditional 'university quad' courtyard plan, surrounding an outdoor 'social space', designed to be used as an extension of the indoor living space.

Scottish Borders Campus residences

In the Scottish Borders, the new residences will be developed in phases, following the recently completed major re-development of the academic facilities at the Scottish Borders Campus, with the initial phase providing 218 bed spaces.

Modern, sustainable accommodation

Both the Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Campus residences will comprise single rooms, each with en-suite provision, kitchens, lounges and ancillary facilities. At each location some of the rooms will be arranged as five bedroom 'cluster' flats.

Heriot-Watt University Principal, Professor Steve Chapman, said, "These new residences, the latest phase of the University's dynamic programme of investment to upgrade its estate, will be a major improvement to student residences provision. They will replace facilities that are reaching the end of their useful lifespan with modern, attractive and welcoming accommodation with generous space and of a standard which will be at the leading edge of market expectations.

"The residence design has been developed by a design team experienced in this sector, but has also evolved in consultation with staff who will operate and maintain them and, crucially, with students."

The proposed residences will achieve an 'excellent' rating for environmental performance under the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).