News / Zero-carbon future for Rosebery House redevelopment

Rosebery House, Edinburgh July 27 2020

Zero-carbon future for Rosebery House redevelopment

A bold new zero-carbon future for Rosebery House has been unveiled, as owner Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’), outline proposals for full redevelopment on the existing Haymarket Terrace site in Edinburgh’s City Centre.

A Proposal of Application Notice (PoAN) has been submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council to outline plans for the development of a new landmark, state-of-the-art office development. The proposal showcases a pioneering sustainable design with Aviva setting the goal of becoming Net Zero Carbon through its future operation.

Originally constructed in the 1970’s, the existing Rosebery House already benefits from unrivalled transport links within Edinburgh’s City Centre, making it one of the most accessible locations in the Capital. The current building is, however, no longer fit for the modern office environment, with many of the key components and systems past their natural lifespan. Aviva has fully appraised the options available, with the demolition and full redevelopment of Rosebery House offering a unique opportunity to create a modern, sustainable building that fully utilises the existing brownfield site and creates a new gateway into Edinburgh from the west, and Haymarket Station’s key train/tram/bus interchange.

The new Rosebery House will have an internal net floorspace of circa 158,000 sq. ft. taking full advantage of the opportunities on the site and complementing the future development in and around the Haymarket. In keeping with council’s aspirations, by maximising the density on the site, it is possible to develop high-quality Grade A office space, that will play a significant role in addressing the deficit for such accommodation as recently noted in the council’s own Commercial Needs Report that advises a requirement for approx. 250,000 sq m. of new office space in the city centre by 2030 (equivalent to a 30% addition to the current stock).

In keeping with the ambitions of the city, sustainability is at the forefront of the design of the new building. Aviva Investors challenged designers to produce a low-carbon building, to be delivered with the lowest possible impact in design, construction and operation. The building will be designed to be compliant with a Net Zero pathway in line with Aviva’s commitment to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is being used to design the building’s parameters – from glazing ratios and orientation, to façade depth, blind usage and daylight. This sophisticated approach fully exploits the building capacity to manage the internal environment, minimising the need for supplementary heating and cooling, whilst maximising natural daylight and creating an attractive, comfortable space that lowers carbon emissions. The proposals will have minimal car parking and maximise cycle spaces as well as amenities to promote active travel to and from the building.

External terraces feature across the building, together with a significant roof top amenity space, all providing the means to introduce landscaping and planting, enhancing occupant wellbeing and increasing biodiversity at the heart of the city centre. The inclusion of a blue roof system manages rainwater on the site, helping to mitigate against the potential consequences of climate change, whilst offering the opportunity to recycle this natural resource within the development. Together with the array of roof-mounted photo-voltaic panels, this furthers the building’s Net Zero Carbon credentials.

Speaking following the submission of the PoAN, Daniel McHugh, Managing Director of Real Estate for Aviva Investors said: “This is a key strategic development opportunity for the City of Edinburgh and one that will provide much-needed new Grade A office space in one of the most sustainable locations in the Capital. The new Rosebery House is being built for the future, with every element carefully considered around its sustainability and we are committed to obtaining a Net Zero Carbon rating for the building’s operation.

“By fully utilising this existing brownfield site, there is the opportunity to maximise the new building’s potential and in doing so create a real focal point for the ongoing redevelopment of the Haymarket area and play a major role in its transformation to a major business destination.”

The new Rosebery House will create a modern, open plan environment meeting the demands of the office occupier. The building specification will also take account of anticipated enhancements to make staff more comfortable working in offices following Covid 19. This will include smart applications and touchless technology.
The new building will also significantly improve and enhance the public realm along Haymarket Terrace, improving the relationship the building has with the existing tram stop and further enhancing cycle accessibility at this key transport hub. This approach also builds upon forthcoming improvements in public realm through the City Centre Transformation Plan and The Haymarket development.

Joint marketing and letting agents for the building are JLL and Cushman and Wakefield. Due to lack of pipeline supply offices coming through in the next 3-4 years, the agents do anticipate there will be strong demand for a building designed to meet the future sustainable demands of businesses and the public sector.

Following the submission of the PoAN, a period of public consultation will take place in order to engage with the local community and key stakeholders. It is the intention for a planning application to be submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council later this year. This will be publicised through multiple channels at the appropriate stage.

As well as creating hundreds of construction jobs, the new Rosebery House will be able to accommodate up to 1,500 employees. Should planning consent be granted, it is anticipated that the building will be complete and ready for occupancy in 2025.

Chris Dobson, Project Architect at 3DReid commented: “It’s great to see our proposals for the redevelopment of Rosebery House for Aviva Investors take another step forward.

An ambitious office development, promoting increased density at this key transport interchange in Edinburgh, with the convergence of trains, trams and a growing active travel network around it, it is arguably the best connected site in the city centre and a prominent point of arrival.

In seeking to enhance the surrounding, currently fragmented, public realm and with Net Zero Carbon goals at the heart of its sustainability strategy, the project aims to make a positive contribution to the City and to help build upon The City of Edinburgh Council initiatives such as the City Centre Transformation Strategy and the City Plan 2030.”

Project team

Developer/Investor: Aviva Investors
Architect: 3DReid
Structural Engineer: Waterman Group
M&E Consultant: HDR Hurley Palmer Flatt Group
Quantity Surveyor: Currie & Brown
Principal Designer: Leslie Clark
Project Management: JLL
Transportation: SWECO
Main contractor: TBC
Communications Consultant: Liberty One Communications

Commercial Agents: JLL / Cushman & Wakefield
Planning Consultant: Montagu Evans
Sustainability Consultant: Greenage Environmental Ltd
Fire Consultant: OFR Consultants

Visuals: © 3DReid

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