Major office redevelopment project in Edinburgh’s Exchange Street district commences

30 Semple Street CGI

A MAJOR programme of works to transform an office building in the heart of Edinburgh’s Exchange District has commenced. 

Set to become Edinburgh’s newest and greenest office development, 30 Semple Street will deliver 57,000 sq ft of much-needed Grade A office accommodation when it completes in June 2024. 

Acting on behalf of CBRE Investment Management (CBREIM), Edinburgh’s leading development management consultancy Corran Properties has appointed Ogilvie Construction to undertake the project.  

Designed by Michael Laird Architects, the existing building (formerly known as Excel House) will be stripped back to its frame before two new floors are added as well as a stunning new 360⁰ contemporary façade.

The building has large and flexible floorplates, ranging from 6,867 sq ft – 8,040 sq ft across eight levels, all with an abundance of natural light and openable windows, and a new raised roof terrace with unimpeded views of Edinburgh Castle and the Edinburgh skyline.

The development is targeted to be the first in Scotland to achieve the highest BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating. It is also the first office development in Scotland to be awarded the new NABERS UK design accreditation for its environmental performance, and the first to secure Air Rated’s coveted ‘Platinum’ accreditation which measures indoor air quality.  With sustainability embedded in the project from the outset, the building will achieve Net Zero Carbon operational status in accordance with the UK Green Building Council’s framework definition.

30 Semple Street provides several outstanding wellbeing amenities for occupiers including 85 bike spaces, stylish changing and showering facilities and on-site charging facilities for those arriving by electric vehicle. It also benefits from being situated in a unique location, in both the city centre close to Edinburgh’s premier attractions and world class transport links, and in a prime position in the city’s thriving Exchange District. 

Nick Ball, Managing Director of Corran Properties commented: “We were delighted to be appointed by CBREIM in 2020 to undertake this transformational development. I hope we have re-paid their faith with the exceptional quality that is now being delivered. Office design is moving towards a more sustainable future so from the outset the focus has been to achieve the highest environmental goals possible, and this has resulted in a number of firsts for 30 Semple Street.

“To achieve the leading sustainability credentials alongside the outstanding facilities for staff and flexible, modern workspace we’re delivering for 30 Semple Street, the solution in the past would have been to demolish and start again. However, by retaining the original structure, we’ve saved 3,300 tons of CO2, more than 50% of the carbon in reconstruction. The new building will operate with net zero carbon emissions and sets a very high new benchmark, not only in Edinburgh but further afield too.”

Alix Mills, Senior Director at CBRE Investment Management, added: “The current demand for high quality Grade A office space in Edinburgh gave us the confidence to invest in a significant redevelopment project at 30 Semple Street. We are excited by the plans that align with CBREIM’s ESG ambitions and look forward to seeing the new and improved building take shape as the works progress.”

As well as Ogilvie Construction and Michael Laird Architects, the experienced project team includes mechanical and electrical engineering consultancy KJ Tait, project management and cost consultancy Axiom Project Services, structural and civil engineering consultancy Blyth & Blyth and Atelier Ten as fire engineering consultants. CuthbertWhite and Knight Frank have been appointed as letting agents.

Chris Cuthbert from CuthbertWhite said: “When it completes in May 2024, 30 Semple Street will be the best accredited building in Edinburgh’s office market, at a time when prime Grade A office space is in short supply. The building has stature, prominence and is in a truly enviable location. We know that occupiers are becoming more discerning with their requirements and expect something more, particularly when attracting their staff to the office. 30 Semple Street has been exceptionally well conceived from a design point of view, raising the bar across Scotland.”

Toby Withall from Knight Frank added: “Edinburgh currently has a severe supply shortage with no new office development under construction that isn’t already pre-let. 30 Semple Street will undoubtedly capitalise on this lack of supply and the building’s strong environmental credentials, flexible floorplates and rarely available location in the Exchange, will ensure it attracts a great deal of interest from occupiers with active requirements.”

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