Institute of Regeneration and Repair, BioQuarter Expansion, Edinburgh

We’ve transformed the BioQuarter to create a new Health Innovation District in Edinburgh

Edinburgh BioQuarter is a leading centre of excellence for healthcare delivery, ground-breaking medical research and life sciences innovation and entrepreneurship. Awarded via the SCAPE Scotland Civil Engineering framework, we’ve delivered essential enabling infrastructure works to facilitate the delivery of the BioQuarter development and the construction of a five-storey, 6,500 m2 research centre and laboratory. The mechanical and electrical services for the new state-of-the-art facility were provided by our in-house specialists Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick.

Vision for the future

The BioQuarter is home to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh University’s medical school, research facilities and a range of life sciences businesses. It is The University of Edinburgh’s vision to transform and develop the BioQuarter into a world-leading, vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood which has the potential to support a community of more than 20,000 healthcare innovators. The expansion includes space for research and healthcare innovation, commercial use, hotel, gym, retail, leisure and residential housing.

700 tonnes

of embodied carbon saved


of waste diverted from landfill

Creating social value

Crucial to the University’s development plan principals was ensuring that the BioQuarter expansion plans lead to the creation of employment, education and social opportunities and amenities for local people. To ensure the delivery of lasting economic and community benefit throughout the duration of the project we worked alongside The University of Edinburgh, to develop a bespoke community benefit plan mapped against agreed ‘Themes Outcomes and Measures’ (TOMs), these include:

  • Employing local people through the projects supply-chain
  • Supporting apprentices throughout the project
  • Supporting young people into work

Minimising our environmental impact

The BioQuarter is in an environmentally sensitive location. Working with the University of Edinburgh, we identified ways to minimise the environmental impacts of the project and reduce its carbon footprint.

By incorporating Biodiversity Net Gain principals early in the design, programme and budget, we were able to identify a 50% biodiversity loss would occur without mitigation. Working together, with The University of Edinburgh, we identified the requirements needed to significantly reduce this and identify how a 12% net gain could be achieved through extensive changes to the BioQuarter masterplan.

Alongside this, understanding the embodied carbon of the University of Edinburgh’s estate was also a key area that helped us to reduce the projects carbon emissions. Using our new Auto-BIM carbon calculation tool, we identified carbon hotspots in the projects Building Information Models. This helped us to identify areas where we could deploy low carbon alternatives, resulting in an embodied carbon saving of 700 tonnes.

To further reduce the projects carbon footprint, we supported Micro and Small Enterprises within our project supply chain through a series of carbon reduction training modules that covered:

  • Introduction to Climate Change and Carbon
  • Reduce carbon, reduce costs
  • Delivering Energy and Carbon Efficient Buildings