Building Futures


Appleton Tower is located between Potterrow, Crichton Street and Windmill Street forming a landmark building in the University of Edinburgh Central Area Campus.

Constructed in the 1960s as a key part of the George Square Masterplan, the building provides teaching facilities for students studying in the field of science and technology.

Upon assessment in 2008, it was deemed that the building’s façade was ageing and failing in its performance. As such, the University commissioned CCG Specialist Building Services (SBS) to perform extensive upgrade works covering the replacement of the failing façade in order to extend the life and visual performance of the building as well as improving environmental performance.

The University deemed access arrangements to the building as being inadequate, especially for those with disabilities. As such, CCG SBS was tasked to perform the reconfiguration of a new, fully accessible main entrance. Issues that were presented by the entrances to the building was the lack of adaptability with the east entrance being the only access point that was wheelchair accessible. In removing the awkwardness from the original configuration, a modest extension was installed in order to provide a direct route into the building from street level for staff and faculty. The ground floor has now been opened up for potential office space and has become much more welcoming with the inclusion of LED lighting and landscaping. A secure parking area is also provided for those arriving by car.

A new rooftop enclosure was also constructed, making use of redundant space at the top of the building, in order to compensate for the stunning views across the city. Before its upgrade, the roof enclosure was deemed as underutilised and was predominately used to house redundant plant following the University’s decision to move to the district network. The new enclosure offers a stunning viewing platform for visitors whilst offering ample storage space for future requirements.

Inside, teaching facilities across five stories were fully reconfigured to improve the learning environment for faculty and students.

Informed by an environmental performance analysis, the new façade is a combination of vertical and horizontal louvres. This provided the optimum solution to address the environmental and aesthetic issues as well as extending the building’s life.

University of Edinburgh

Contract Value:
£12 million

RICS 2018 ‘Design Through Innovation’

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