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Old September 10th, 2013, 05:15 PM   #1
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Edinburgh Universities & Colleges

For all the latest on the three universities, as well as the Capital's schools etc.

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Old September 10th, 2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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Edinburgh University ranked 17th in world

The Scotsman - 10th September, 2013

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The University of Edinburgh has climbed to its highest-ever place in a global rankings list to be named the 17th best university in the world.

The institution reached the milestone in the latest annual QS World University Rankings, with judges praising its world-class research and saying “graduates are some of the most employable in Europe”.

The University of Glasgow also gained its highest world ranking, rising three places from 54th to 51st, and the University of St Andrews rose ten places to 83rd. Edinburgh moved up from 21st place last year and, in a further breakdown, was placed 13th in the world in the Arts and Humanities category.

The University of Cambridge remains top in the UK, but slipped a single place on the global list to third this year. Massachusetts Institute of Technology was ranked top for the second year in a row, with Harvard in second.

A record six British institutions made it into the top 20, with four among the best ten.

Also in the top ten were University College London (UCL) in fourth place, Imperial College London in fifth and the University of Oxford in sixth.

The league table was published as Edinburgh announced it had been awarded £300 million in competitive research grants in 2012-13 – 20 per cent more than the £250m it secured in 2011-12.

Principal Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea said: “The news about our research funding figures, and our continued rise in the various world league tables, reflects the quality, hard work and dedication of our staff and students as well as the highly strategic support we receive from the Scottish Government.

“With such support, the university can go on producing world-leading research which has the potential to change people’s lives for the better.”

Education minister Michael Russell added: “Scottish Government support in partnership with the university has allowed Edinburgh to become even more successful in levering further funding from other sources.”

Ben Sowter, head of research at QS, said the prestige of a UK degree was recognised by employers around the world.

But despite the strong performance, experts warned the UK’s leading position could be under threat without more funding. The authors said that of the 45 British institutions in the top 400, 29 ranked lower than they did at the time of the economic crisis in 2008-9.

Cambridge was the only UK university to make the global top 30 for research, with UCL, Oxford and Imperial in the top 50. This suggested that the UK was struggling to keep up with the United States in producing cutting-edge research, the authors said.

John O’Leary, of the QS global academic advisory board, said: “The UK invests below the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average in higher education, so it is unrealistic to expect its universities to continue to punch above their weight indefinitely.

“The current success of leading institutions shows how vital it is that the government matches the investments being made by other countries in order to maintain their world-class status.”

David Willetts, the UK universities minister, said the results were “fantastic news”.

He added: “We are not complacent, and we know we must work hard to remain the best. Our reforms to undergraduate finance have put universities on a sustainable financial footing and sharpened incentives to deliver a world-class student experience.”

• The UK universities in the global top 100 are:

3 Cambridge

4 University College London

5 Imperial College London

6 Oxford

17 Edinburgh

19 King’s College London

30 Bristol

33 Manchester

51 Glasgow

62 Birmingham

64 Warwick

68 London School of Economics and Political Science

71 Sheffield

75 Nottingham

83 St Andrews

86 Southampton

90 Durham

97 Leeds
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Old September 10th, 2013, 06:29 PM   #3
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There we are, this thread was set up on a plate for that story Kenspeckle!


Well done Edinburgh - and I was proud to see the University of Glasgow moving up to 51st, it's best ever ranking in the World's top universities list.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #4
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University of Edinburgh - System Medicine project

Under construction - completion 2015
Location: Western General Hospital
Value: £6.8
Architect: Oberlanders - project page
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This iconic new project will create a new research laboratory building at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. The site is prominently located on the east side of the hospital campus overlooking the grounds of Fettes College, and with stunning views to the Edinburgh skyline. The new building links three existing Medical Research Council, University and Cancer Research laboratory buildings to form a new world class research institute. The project includes 2000sq.m of gross additional floor space providing dry-lab computational research space as well as seminar/lecture facilities and cafe. The building is designed to provide a link structure connecting all three existing buildings, with a central atrium space as well as a new iconic frontage as seen from the east side of the hospital site.
(University project page)



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Old September 11th, 2013, 06:10 AM   #5
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As a University of Edinburgh graduate, I'm always glad to see to my alma mater ranked so highly. That said, how is that Edinburgh manages to do so well in the World rankings, while doing only so-so in the UK rankings?
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Old September 11th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #6
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Seconded. And on your 2nd point, I've often wondered myself. I guess the scoring algorithms are all just quite different, ahem..
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Old October 7th, 2013, 05:50 PM   #7
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Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI)



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Edinburgh's historic Old High School has been transformed into a state of the art, energy efficient hub for knowledge, innovation and skills by the team behind the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

The combination of new technologies, innovative methods, common sense, and attention to detail, means that ECCI's new home is on course to becoming the first ever development of its kind to achieve an "outstanding" rating from BREEAM, the world's leading sustainability rating system for the built environment.

The build involved the refurbishment and remodeling of the 17th Century Old High School and connected modern buildings and will comprise an innovation suite, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, and large atrium space for exhibitions and events and social space -- all designed to help ECCI bring people together to solve the complex problems associated with creating a low carbon future.

The film shows a virtual tour of the building with lead architect Calum Duncan of Malcolm Fraser Architects explaining the thinking behind its unique design and the work required to deliver a BREAM Outstanding Award.


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Old October 8th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #8
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Carbon innovation hub to open in Edinburgh

BBC News - 8th October, 2013



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The world's first carbon innovation hub opens in Edinburgh later.

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) cost £10.5m and took 19 months to refurbish.

It will bring together experts from business, academia and politics to work on ways to move to a low carbon future.

The centre will be officially opened by The Princess Royal, who is Edinburgh University's chancellor. It is housed in Edinburgh's historic Old High School in High School Yards.

The school's famous former pupils include Sir Walter Scott and Robert Dundas.

Some of the building work also took place on the site of the 13th Century Blackfriars Monastery, which led on-site archaeologists to discover nearly 100 skeletons, one of which was a suspected nobleman.

Features such as reusing "grey water" to flush toilets, solar controlled glazing in the windows to remove the need for air conditioning and under-floor heating will all contribute to a 30% saving in energy consumption compared with the building's former performance.

Andy Kerr, ECCI executive director, said: "ECCI is all about new ideas, collaboration, and knowledge sharing, so it's perfectly fitting that our new home is on a site that has been a focus for learning and teaching for around 800 years.

"The building has been designed specifically to help ECCI to achieve its goals and we hope that by bringing the right people together in this unique environment we will be able to solve the complex problems associated with climate change and the transition to a low carbon future."

Calum Duncan, lead architect, said: "In developing the proposals for ECCI we had to consider one of the key architectural or societal issues we are currently facing - how to manage the balancing act of reducing future carbon emissions with the need to reuse existing buildings being mindful of their historical importance, and at the same time to endeavour to create spaces which are characterful, vibrant, flexible and a pleasure to use."
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Old October 8th, 2013, 03:04 PM   #9
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Professor Peter Higgs awarded The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013

Edinburgh Reporter - 8th October, 2013



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Professor Peter Higgs Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh has been awarded The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 jointly with Francois Englert, a Professor from Belgium.

The University of Edinburgh website quotes him as follows:-”I am overwhelmed to receive this award and thank the Royal Swedish Academy. I would also like to congratulate all those who have contributed to the discovery of this new particle and to thank my family, friends and colleagues for their support. I hope this recognition of fundamental science will help raise awareness of the value of blue-sky research.”

Professor Timothy O’Shea the Principal of University of Edinburgh said:-”We are delighted at the news of this Nobel Prize award and congratulate Professor Peter Higgs on his achievement. The discovery of the Higgs particle will underpin the next generation of physics research, and this accolade is worthy recognition of its significance. Professor Higgs’ work will continue to inspire scientists at Edinburgh and beyond.”

The joint award is made in recognition of the ‘theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.”

In 1964 they worked separately on the same theory which they each proposed independently. Englert worked along with Robert Brout who has since died.

Their theory is a central part of the Standard Model of particle physics that describes how the world is constructed. According to the Standard Model everything from flowers and people to stars and planets consists of just a few building blocks: matter particles. These particles are governed by forced mediated by force particles that make sure everything works as it should.

The entire Standard Model also rests on the existence of a special kind of particle: the Higgs particle. This particle originates from an invisible field that fills up all space. Even when the universe seems empty this field is there. Without it we would not exist because it is from contact with the field that particles acquire mass. The theory proposed by Englert and Higgs describes this process.

Professor Higgs was presented with the Edinburgh Award in 2011 by The City of Edinburgh Council in recognition of his achievements.

The Nobel Prize is worth 8 million SEK which converts to just under £6m which Professor Higgs will share with Professor Englert.
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Old October 9th, 2013, 04:21 PM   #10
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Green research centre ECCI to build overseas links

The Scotsman - 9th October, 2013

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It has housed a monastery, a school and a hospital during its 800-year history and this week the High School Yards in Edinburgh will open a new chapter in its story when it joins the frontline in the fight against climate change.

On Tuesday, Princess Anne will officially open the new home of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), a “hub” launched three years ago by three of the city’s universities to bring together academia, industry and the public sector.

The paint has only just dried on the £10.5 million redevelopment of the site – which once housed Edinburgh University’s archaeology department – but already the body is turning its attention overseas.

Andy Kerr, executive director at the ECCI, told Scotland on Sunday: “We’ve already been working in China, Hong Kong, India and Mexico.

“We are sharing skills with people in these countries through our educational programmes and training schemes but we’re also sharing ideas about how to build the low-carbon economy.”

Ed Craig, the ECCI’s head of business innovation, added: “We’re also looking at opening sites in other countries, which companies could use as a base for exporting their products and services.”

The ECCI’s base at High School Yards draws together the three strands of the organisation’s operations covering “innovation”, “policy” and “skills”.

The centre has an “accelerator” where companies can take desk space and collaborate with charities, public sector bodies and universities.

It will be used by masters’ students in law, carbon management and other courses, along with professionals 
undergoing continuing career development.

Staff from Highlands & Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Government’s 2020 Climate Group are also taking space.

About a third of the funding for the centre’s £15m budget over the past three years has come from Edinburgh University, with a further third coming from other public bodies and the remainder from private donations and corporate involvement, from companies including delivery giant DHL.

Kerr added: “This isn’t about being ‘greeny’ for the sake of it. This is about being hard-nosed on what will work in the current economic environment.

“We’re not here as a lobbying group over climate change, we’re here to take a practical view.

“We’re not looking at renewable energy generation – because a lot of people are already doing that – so instead we’re working on projects such as more efficient transport systems and making people’s homes warmer to reduce the demand for power.”

Kerr pointed to examples such as CalMac, which is buying diesel-electric hybrid ferries. The ECCI is working to see if it can set up renew-able energy generators from which the firm can recharge its ferries, creating benefits for local communities.

Craig added: “We’re operating an ‘accelerator’ centre rather than an ‘incubator’ centre because there are already lots of those available.

“It’s about looking for the gaps in the market where we can help companies. It will be a mess, but a constructive mess that will take ideas *forward.”

One of the companies that has already moved into the accelerator is Scene, run by Botswana-born Jelte Harnmeijer. His consultancy firm helps communities build hydro-electric schemes and wind turbines.

Harnmeijer said: “Support for small businesses is crucial. Being based in the centre gives us access to people like **Ed Craig.”
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Old October 31st, 2013, 04:12 PM   #11
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New research centre for earth and marine science planned to open

STV News - 31st October, 2013

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A multimillion pound research centre for earth and marine science is to open in Edinburgh.

The £17m Sir Charles Lyell Centre will be one of Europe's leading centres for research and expertise in the earth and marine sciences.

It is being jointly set up by The British Geological Survey (BGS) and Heriot-Watt University, and funded by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Heriot-Watt University.

It will look at key areas including global change and ecosystems, seafloor-mapping using advanced robotic vehicles, earthquake and volcanic risk and monitoring, and energy security.

The BGS will move its Edinburgh office to the £17m, purpose-built complex which is scheduled to open by 2015 at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus.

Professor John Ludden, Executive Director of the British Geological Survey, said "I view the creation of the new Centre as an extraordinary opportunity to broaden our science base by partnering in key areas with Heriot-Watt University, in particular in geology and geophysics related to energy, urban renewal and the sea-floor.”

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, said the venture was based on a strong scientific synergy. He said “The Centre represents a tremendous opportunity, unifying our respective strengths in earth and marine sciences, creating an innovation hub in subsurface geosciences and generating greatly enhanced interaction between academic groups.”
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Old November 6th, 2013, 05:51 PM   #12
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Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation completes

Urban Realm - 6th November, 2013



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The University of Edinburgh, in partnership with Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh Napier University, have taken possession of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation – the world’s first carbon research hub.

Designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects and built by Graham Construction the £10.5m facility unites business, government and academia in the pursuit of solutions to the problem of transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Housed within a remodelled and extended Old High School the centre us expected to become one of the first refurbishment projects in the UK to earn a BREEAM Outstanding rating thanks to such measures as recycling ‘grey water’, solar controlled glazing and the removal of air conditioning.

Lead architect Calum David commented: “In developing the proposals for ECCI we had to consider one of the key architectural or societal issues we are currently facing - how to manage the balancing act of reducing future carbon emissions with the need to reuse existing buildings being mindful of their historical importance; and at the same time to endeavour to create spaces which are characterful, vibrant, flexible and a pleasure to use.”

The completed building plays host to a range of lecture theatres and seminar rooms together with an innovation suite and central atrium space for exhibitions, events and socialising.
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Old November 20th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #13
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Edinburgh University to become world-leading provider of Chinese studies

Xinhua News Agency - 19th November, 2013

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The University of Edinburgh and China's Peking University on Monday signed here a memorandum of understanding on establishing joint centers for the study of Britain and China.

The move will lead to the creation of a world-leading center in China studies at the University of Edinburgh and a Britain studies center at Peking University, which will create an environment for world-leading research on both countries and a hub of teaching and research across the two universities to develop cutting-edge interdisciplinary joint research in strategic areas.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Sir Timothy O'Shea, principal of the University of Edinburgh, said, "This is a very exciting partnership with one of the region's most respected universities. We look forward to training a new generation of China experts in Scotland: people who can help address the opportunities and challenges facing a country with a huge economic, geo-political and cultural role in the world."

For her part, the Scottish government's Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said the establishment of the joint research centers "will now take the relationship between both universities to a new level."

"This joint collaboration has the potential to create a pool of world class, game-changing expertise in academia and research in China studies and UK studies that will benefit students, staff and the wider communities," she said.

Shen Yang, Minister Counsellor for Education at the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom, hailed the move as a new fruit of the bilateral cooperation between the two universities, which will promote the people-to-people exchanges between China and Britain and achieve better mutual understanding.

Liu Wei, Executive Vice President of Peking University, said the Britain studies center at Peking University, which is expected to be launched in 2015, will gather experienced academics for recommended students of high quality, about 70 percent of them to be foreign students.

Also present at the ceremony were Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh Li Ruiyou and Vice Principal International Steve Hiller, among others.

An incomplete edition of a precious and rarely seen Chinese book "Zhouyi zhuanyi Daquan" (Complete Commentaries on the Changes of Zhou), published in 1440, was also displayed at the signing ceremony after having been brought out of storage at the Main Library of the University of Edinburgh.
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Old December 2nd, 2013, 02:06 PM   #14
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Edinburgh's Green Centre Is Truly Green

Green Building Press - 2nd December, 2013

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The new Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, which is aimed at bringing together business and academia to advance the low-carbon economy, has become the first listed building to achieve one of the UK's highest green building awards, BREEAM Outstanding.
Edinburgh's green centre is truly green

As well as the many energy and water saving features listed below, it was the building's location within the city which made it award-worthy, the reuse of existing buildings and the walkability and amenity of existing towns and cities being a key aspect of sustainability that is usually overlooked – the overall integrity of the city.

Remodelling and reusing the Old High School building allowed the recovery of an important Edinburgh space, the historic Surgeon’s Square, behind the old school (where the famous Edinburgh murderers and gravediggers, Burke and Hare, delivered cadavers to the dissecting studios of the famous Dr Knox).

Replanting and refurbishing the Square, raised the usability – and therefore value – of the old buildings round it, including Old Surgeon’s Hall, dating from 1697.

The renovation has included opening up the routes that connect to the town including the blocked public stairs down to the Cowgate, improving the connectivity of the City – the ability to walk to the main Station, or Parliament, or the Royal Park, being one of the primary aspects of a “sustainable” city.

Within the building the key central space is the atrium, combining and and contrasting the weight and solidity of historic architectures with a contemporary sensibility that is full of light, openness and connectivity. The principal atria space connecting through to the main conference and social spaces, provides an open meeting forum, whose lecture and café spaces, in turn, open out to the Square behind.

Fabric first design methods have enabled a 30% reduction in energy consumption compared to the former building’s performance, 30% less than building regulations demand. Air Tightness is 5 (m3/h)/m2 at 50 Pa. High levels of insulation have been achieved by replacing / upgrading windows; while maximising natural ventilation through the use of openable windows to provide both ventilation and reduce the overheating potential in the building.

Solar Gain is controlled through the use of solar controlled glazing and solar shading, while daylight is maximised. What lighting there is comprises energy efficient lighting using infra red sensor, dimmable controls and daylight zoning.

Heating uses heat pumps and underfloor systems. The building will be connected to nearby Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and associated electrical and district heating networks (DHN), allowing a 38% decrease in CO2 emissions and meeting 56% energy demand, as well as a 30m2 roof mounted solar PV array

A rainwater harvesting system has been designed to collect rainwater from the roof of the building. This collected water is to be used for flushing WCs throughout the building. This minimises the amount of mains potable water that the building consumes. Water saving sanitary appliances have been specified for the project including WCs, urinals and tap fittings. A water meter and a leak detection system are specified to monitor water consumption and to minimise water wastage.
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Old December 16th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #15
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University unveils images for St Cecilia’s Hall

Edinburgh Evening News - 16th December, 2013

Post moved to Edinburgh Arts & Cultural | News & Developments.

Last edited by Kenspeckle; December 17th, 2013 at 02:05 PM.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 11:24 AM   #16
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ECCI

Urban Realm - 13th January, 2014



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By all accounts the carbon reduction standards adopted by Malcolm Fraser at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation are second to none. On a recent visit to the exemplar project Urban Realm teased out some of the techniques and technologies which have contributed to its collection of a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ award - the first listed building in the UK to do so.

Housed within the 18th century Old High School building The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation proves that it’s still possible to teach an old dog new tricks after becoming the first listed building in the UK to earn a ‘BREEAM Outstanding’ award at design stage (it must wait a further six months for a separate construction assessment). No mere esoteric platitude doled out on the whims of a flawed tick-box checklist it is being heralded as providing no less than a template for upgrading yesterday’s buildings to meet the challenges presented by tomorrow’s low carbon economy.

Designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects and delivered by Graham Construction the £10.5m carbon hub practices what it preaches by working with the grain of existing buildings and the embodied energy these represent and drawing business, government and academia together to collaborate on problems such as climate change and the development of low carbon technologies.

Situated alongside Surgeon’s Square, where Burke and Hare once delivered cadavers to Dr Knox’s dissection theatre, the scheme was conceived through Heriot Watt, Edinburgh and Napier, a collaboration which has transformed a forgotten car park into a landscaped pedestrian space and through route to the Parliament. A raised landscaped plinth spills out to form an outdoor terrace after the university decided to have no parking for the development, save for three wheelchair accessible spaces and two electrical charging points. To further entice people through an old caretakers cottage has been demolished, allowing a gap in the stone wall to be widened in consultation with Edinburgh World Heritage, which will allow pedestrian access from High Street through to Drummond Street during office hours.

Giving Urban Realm a guided tour of the project lead architect Calum Duncan said: “The High School Yard would have originally been a formal driveway leading to the Hall, over time a series of buildings have been built around. This continues that pattern of bringing something new into the courtyard. The idea is to bring as much engagement and through traffic into the courtyard as possible”, explained Duncan. These interventions include a contemporary copper clad extension overlooking the square, creating a second frontage for the centre. “Before this was just a back elevation of a cast iron escape stair, caretakers cottage and whirligig. Now it’s a connected space. A lot of people didn’t appreciate that this building was here beforehand just because it didn’t have that presence down Infirmary Street. It’s just about doing some simple things like the landscaping, giving it a clear presence and identity. We’re working with an artist and sculptor to decorate that outside space”, said Duncan.

“We’ve just tried to make good, decent, flexible open-plan spaces all of which visually track into a central atrium where there are opportunities for break out into smaller groups or informal meetings. Basically the building is all about connecting people together and mixing people up so you’ve got. All businesses, master students and centre staff. They didn’t have a building before, this is their first building.”

Internally the space is defined by a full height atrium conjoining the rear elevation of the front building with another historic structure behind. Intent had existed to repoint stonework on this façade to provide some texture but this idea was shelved when the full extent of damage was revealed. Duncan observed: “When we first saw it we appreciated how many times wall and door openings had been moved and filled in with blockwork and brickwork, only a small amount of original stonework remained.”

These changes stemmed from a 1900 overhaul when the university transformed the buildings into a new department of engineering, lining interior walls with a glazed brick and laying new concrete floor with a steel frame. “The whole thing was just one big space,” recalled Duncan. “A huge crane stretched the full length of this volume and was used to hoist up engines during work.”

A positive side effect of all this chopping and changing was that it gave the architects the ability to add new insulation internally, as there were no decorative cornices or other period features to get in the way. Foregoing the use of steel a cross-laminated timber frame was specified from wall to wall to minimise solar gain. Duncan added: “Everything is structural, the only thing which isn’t quite what it seems is a central column of plywood, 400mm thick. Structurally it doesn’t need to be that size but if ever there was a fire it would char down and that charring would protect it. It actually performs better than steel. In historic buildings timber was a common structural element but nowadays you wouldn’t normally think of using timber in the remodelling of an historic building. You would be using steel or concrete.“
Plumping for timber wasn’t without its challenges however as the chosen structure came with no tolerance at all, “… it was all mm perfect” recalled Duncan. “We were wedging this between two existing buildings.”

A series of timber baffles stretch the full length of the atrium’s roof, a conscious decision on the part of the designers to limit overheating. “Environmentally I just didn’t want this space to be overheated but architecturally you also get a really nice, dappled, diffuse light. Typical atrium buildings are over lit,” Duncan explained. “It’s always much more interesting to frame something than look at every view that possibly could be. If you come on a sunny day or warm afternoon you just get that glow coming through and shafts of light hitting the walls. It’s just more interesting and environmentally you’re not making problems for yourself.”

Annabel Cooper communications officer said: “I keep coming in at weekends now, it’s a nice place to work - you’ve ruined my life! (pointing at Duncan). It’s been tremendous for us because what we do is quite conceptual and it was hard to explain before the building existed but now it’s much more tangible. “

Duncan added: ”The first thing I grasped in the early days was it wasn’t actually about research into carbon, so it wasn’t about boffins in white jackets researching. It was actually about communication and the exchange of ideas. That gives you a clear idea about what the building is about.”

Not everywhere are the environmental credentials so high however, with restrictions on site necessitating the use of mechanical air conditioning. Speaking above the hum of an ac unit outside one of the main meeting rooms Duncan explained: “There’s only roof glazing here, you could ventilate from the roof but on a rainy day that proves difficult. It’s sensible just to close it off but mechanical ventilation is kept down to an absolute minimum.”

Elsewhere a shopping list of low-carbon add-ons is impressively long, stretching from a combined heat and power system to a phalanx o three letter acronyms such as VOC levels and FSC specification, its location and a lot of else besides which don’t really come under BREEAM. Duncan noted: “We didn’t get any BREEAM credits for taking bits of steelwork from the old building and re-using those in the new building but it’s enormously satisfying. As to whether the scheme will attain its hoped for ‘Outstanding’ rating for construction Duncan is remaining coy, saying only: “There are critical credits that still could go either way but fingers crossed.”

As a template for repurposing redundant buildings ECCI proves that historic building fabric and legacy structures needn’t be a hindrance to crafting spaces that are the equal of any new build. With the vast bulk of our present day cities likely to be with us for the next century or more it is a timely reminder that the most innovative and successful designs are often those borne not from blank slates but the rich and complex layering of history.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 02:17 AM   #17
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Edinburgh earned as much as all Scots universities

The Scotsman - 13th March, 2014

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Edinburgh University earned roughly the same as every other institution in Scotland combined through investments and endowments last year, new figures show.

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) obtained by The Scotsman show the university earned £17.5 million last year, compared to the £19.5m earned jointly by its 17 competitors.

The financial might of the university is further highlighted in a series of figures which show the institution earned roughly a third (£200m) of research grants and contracts in Scotland in 2012-13 and a fifth (£204m) of funding body grants.

Net income was £737m, way ahead of its nearest competitor, Glasgow University with £468m.

Last week, Edinburgh was named as Scotland’s sole representative in the top 100 of the annual World Reputation Rankings, a league table based on the opinions of senior academics.

The HESA figures suggest there is a growing financial divide between the institution and its Scottish competitors and that the university’s ability to attract endowments is further strengthening its position.

The £17.5m in endowments and investments in 2012-13 represents a 39 per cent increase on the £12.7m received the previous year. Glasgow University, which is of similar size in terms of student numbers, made £7.5m, while St Andrews earned roughly £3m and Aberdeen £1m.

Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, said: “The University of Edinburgh is a large and highly successful institution attracting significant sums of competitively won income and making an important contribution to Scotland.

“But it is not Scotland’s only world-leading university nor does its size, income or achievements overshadow those of other institutions, all of whom excel in aspects of teaching and research.

“Scotland is fortunate to have a university sector that, whilst competitive on many fronts, also displays a strong sense of collegiality and collaboration which only serves to strengthen the sector as a whole.”

Last week figures showed Edinburgh received £174m in tuition fees and education contracts – the highest amount of any Scottish institution and up from around £150m the previous year.

Glasgow University received the second highest amount (£110m), while the figures for Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews were £47m, £40m and £63m respectively.

Despite its wealth, Edinburgh was last year highlighted as the biggest user of zero-hours contracts among UK universities.

Research by the University and College Union (UCU), which represents lecturers, found universities were more likely than other workplaces to use the practice.

Of the universities that replied to a UK-wide Freedom of Information (FoI) request, Edinburgh was found to have 2,712 people on zero-hours contracts, 2,382 in teaching and research posts. Glasgow University employed 477 staff on the contracts.

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh University said: “The university’s strong financial performance enables us to deliver world-leading research and to focus on the quality of the experience we provide for our students.”
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Old March 25th, 2014, 03:09 PM   #18
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£43m supercomputer unveiled at Edinburgh Uni

The Scotsman - 25th March, 2014

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A £43 million supercomputer designed to carry out sophisticated, complex calculations on an unprecedented scale is to be launched at the University of Edinburgh today.

ARCHER (Academic Research Computing High End Resource) is capable of more than one million billion calculations a second and will provide high performance computing support for research and industry projects in the UK.

The state-of-the-art hardware will aid research in diverse areas such as simulating the Earth’s climate, calculating the airflow around aircraft, and designing novel materials.

Its magnitude and design will enable scientists to tackle problems on a scale that was previously thought impossible.

The system, at the University’s Advanced Computing Facility at Easter Bush, has up to three and a half times the speed of the HECTOR supercomputer system, which it replaces.

ARCHER’s twin rows of sleek black cabinets are supported by the newly installed UK Research Data Facility.

The system brings together the UK’s most powerful computer with one of its largest data centres. This creates a facility to support Big Data applications, which has been identified by the UK Government as one of its Eight Great Technologies.

The building housing the ARCHER system is among the greenest computer centres in the world, with cooling costs of only eight pence for every pound spent on power.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, said: “The University of Edinburgh has for many decades been a pioneer in High Performance Computing. Now that Big Data is reaching into an even greater range of areas we are delighted to have the ARCHER facility and its support at Edinburgh. Together with the UK Research Data Facility, we and the Research Councils have a facility unique in the UK, combining some of the world’s most powerful computers with a vast datastore and analysis facilities. We will work with the Research Councils and UK researchers to generate world-leading research and business impact.”

Professor David Delpy, CEO of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said: “EPSRC is proud to unveil this new ARCHER service. It will enable researchers in engineering and the physical sciences to continue to be at the forefront of computational science developments and make significant contributions in the use of Big Data to improve understanding across many fields and develop solutions to global challenges.”

ARCHER has been supplied by US computing experts Cray and is funded and owned by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The Massively Parallel Processor uses Cray’s XC30 hardware. Intel’s Xeon E5-2600v2 processor series enables ground-breaking performance, scalability, and maximises energy efficiency.
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Old March 30th, 2014, 11:05 AM   #19
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Sir Charles Lyell Centre - New Development Between Heriot-Watt and the British Geological Survey.



Still no indication what the building will look like, but I think it is being designed by Page \ Park Architects, which hopefully bodes well.
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Old June 26th, 2014, 12:40 PM   #20
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Page\Park unveil revamp of Edinburgh University's George Square campus

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Page/Park architects have unveiled their completed renovation work at 50 George Square for the University of Edinburgh, part of a listed campus which is regarded as a key example of Scottish Modernism... Continues Urban Realm
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