Balfour clinches £70m Edinburgh Futures Institute


Balfour Beatty has secured a £70m contract to deliver a major upgrade and conversion of the Scottish capital’s former Royal Infirmary building.

The complex refurb and restoration job will see Balfour convert the Grade-A listed building into a major educational hub to be called the Edinburgh Futures Institute.

Under plans drawn up by architect Bennetts Associates, the University of Edinburgh proposals will provide 230,000 sq ft of floor space, of which 65,000 sq ft is new construction.

The project is a coup for Balfour, after Sir Robert McAlpine carried out the asbestos strip and enabling works under a £3.6m deal.

Balfour Beatty will be responsible for restoring and connecting six wards. New four-storey “infill buildings” will be constructed in the two courtyards between the east and west hospital wards and will provide space for lecture halls and teaching spaces.

Works are due to start this spring with an overall completion expected ahead of the start of the academic year in 2021.

The contractor will use BIM and augmented and virtual reality technologies to enhance the restoration process of the iconic building.

Hector Macaulay, Balfour Beatty’s managing director of Scotland and Ireland, said: “We have a long history of restoring listed buildings, including the National Museum of Scotland and the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh.”

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