Project background

For the last five years, Acies has been working with Queen Margaret University on various maintenance and upgrade projects to assist in the proactive facilities management and modernisation of its campus in Edinburgh.

What did we do?

We designed upgrades to roof and plant areas, undertook intrusive investigations to check masonry wall ties and provided designs for additional secondary support structures to strengthen ceilings for new technology and audio–visual equipment in the university’s classrooms and the Halle lecture theatre. We also undertook a structural inspection and the design of remedial works to the suspended timber viewing deck for the duck pond on the campus to ensure the longevity of the structure.

How did we do it?

Over the years that we have worked with Queen Margaret University, our engineers have built up a detailed knowledge of the building structures on the campus. This means we can react quickly and efficiently design alterations and upgrades as required for the changing requirements of the university.

What challenges did we face or help to resolve?

One of the tasks we undertook was a structural inspection of the rooftop plant screens, which are subject to strong winds and high salinity due to the proximity of the Firth of Forth. The vibration of the screens created noise that was disturbing occupants of the buildings. Our engineers took on the challenge of remediating this issue without altering the support points. Our inspection and subsequent remedial works preserved the durability of the building, allowing the client to manage their operating expenses. It also prevents noise due to wind vibration, therefore ensuring a peaceful environment within the building.

How did we resolve those challenges?

Our long-standing working relationship with the university means we understand its constraints with respect to the academic calendar and working on an operational campus site. We understand that disruptive works cannot take place during term time or around exams. This helps us programme works and design schemes that can be completed within the tight timescales outside the academic period.

What impact did our work have for the client?

Our work has helped the university maintain state-of-the-art facilities for staff and students. This enhances the student experience and helps to attract the next cohort of students to study at Queen Margaret University. In addition, our work investigating the provision of wall ties provided the client with peace of mind against a defect that has affected buildings constructed around a similar time.

Acies projects - Queen Margaret University - featured image