Plans drawn up to replace Haymarket office block

PLANS have been drawn up to replace an office block adjacent to Haymarket rail station.

Rosebery House is considered no longer fit for purpose, with its owners – an arm of the well-known insurance company, Aviva – hoping to replace it with a much bigger structure, that is carbon neutral and clever in its use of rain water.

Says a media release issued by owners, Aviva Investors – described as “the global asset management business of Aviva plc” – a “Proposal of Application Notice (PoAN) [here] 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.”

The release goes on to say: “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 an 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 158,070 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 per cent addition to the current stock). “

And it goes on: “In keeping with the ambitions of the city, sustainability is at the forefront of the design of the new building. Aviva 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 well-being and increasing bio-diversity 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.”

Joint marketing and letting agents for the building are JLL and Cushman and Wakefield.

The story is picked up by Conor Matchett, of the Edinburgh Evening News newspaper, here. And also by the website and magazine, Urban Realm, here, who note the architects are 3DReid.

Image provided by Aviva Investors

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