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Arcadia Nursery

Arcadia Nursery

Education & Public Sector Winner 2015

Location: Edinburgh
Client/Owner: University of Edinburgh
Architect: Malcolm Fraser Architects
Structural Engineer: AED, Eurban Limited
Main Contractor/Builder: Balfour Beatty
Structural Frame Contractor: Eurban Limited
Landscape Architect: Erz Studio
Wood Supplier: Stora Enso, Lignatur, Lignotrend, Russwood, Natural Building Technologies
Wood Species: Austrian Spruce, Siberian Larch, Scottish Larch

Built for the University of Edinburgh, Arcadia Nursery was conceived as a floating, lightweight structure that could be built within a restricted site due to the extensive tree cover on the site. The CLT structure creates a warm, tactile interior whilst achieving clear roof volumes that ensure the mezzanine spaces are not compromised. Timber acoustic ceilings soften the sound and aesthetic of each playroom. Timber cladding and wood fibre insulation envelops the building. Timber decks, walkways, feature fences and play features are used throughout.

The nursery has been designed to be a very low energy building. The design stage BREEAM assessment achieved a high score of 82.2% with material and pollutions sections achieving a score of 100%. The design team went to great lengths to avoid the use of fire retardants and varnishes to ensure the good air quality enabled by the construction methodology was not compromised by the use of products emitting VOC and other low level toxicity.

Further Sustainability Information: The nursery is connecting to the central University CHP network, therefore not requiring any heating plant in the building. The building also uses no refrigerants, no mechanical cooling or ventilation and has highly efficient lighting and equipment installed. The specification of all materials was carefully considered, with materials being chosen that are renewable, have low embodied energy and a minimal carbon footprint.