Interserve Press Office | Dec 03, 2012
Interserve, the international support services and construction group, is helping to transform the historic centre of Edinburgh as part of a fascinating refurbishment and renovation scheme over an area including nine listed buildings, of which Interserve is carrying out the works to five of the nine buildings.
Located within the old town conservation area and a UNESCO designated world heritage site, the mixed use scheme by developers, Chris Stewart Group, will see twenty nine serviced apartments, four restaurants, a bar/bistro and offices/retail units revitalise the area formerly occupied by the City of Edinburgh Council.
Having completed enabling works towards the end of 2011, Interserve is, at the time of writing, undertaking external envelope and internal structural works, and has now received instruction to proceed with M&E and dry lining fit-out works. A big challenge at the development, designed by Morgan McDonnell Architecture Ltd, is the complete absence of vehicular access, combined with a drop of over nine storeys from one end of the development to the other. This change in level, plus the age range of the buildings – from sixteenth to mid-twentieth centuries – are requiring a very considered approach from Interserve.
Interserve's Project Manager for the scheme, Colin Hawkins, comments:
"It's amazing to think that we have installed over 300 tonnes of steel so far here without the use of a single crane. Instead we have used a rather 'mind boggling' array of hoists, pulleys, buggies and miniature train tracks. They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and I would say that this site has certainly proved that point!
"Another interesting aspect of the project has been the removal in a B listed building of an existing six storey internal structure. We've replaced it with a new eight storey version, using hot rolled steel for levels one to five in lieu of timber frame, and a cold rolled super structure for the further three storeys/roof. What made this structural replacement even more challenging and interesting was the site location and the temporary works requirements for the façade retention.
"When the scheme is finished it's really going to have made best use of the existing buildings, mixing a great architectural heritage with modern additions."
The site includes many disparate elements, with buildings having been renovated and refurbished down the years by several different parties. A key purpose of the development is therefore to unify these elements by using new render and selecting natural stone, dark grey terracotta cladding, hardwood and zinc for the new building works. In addition, the scheme, once completed, will re-energise pedestrian movement throughout the site, bringing the area back into the forefront of the old town in Edinburgh. Roof gardens, terraces, a new square and rooftop extensions will all add to the vitality of the site.
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Interserve's vision is to be the Trusted Partner of all our stakeholders. We are one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies, operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. We offer advice, design, construction, equipment and facilities management services for society's infrastructure. Interserve is based in the UK and is listed in the FTSE 250 index. We have gross revenue of £2.3 billion and a workforce of over 50,000 people worldwide.