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Historic Environment Scotland Announces Retrofit Project

Historic Environment Scotland Announces Retrofit Project
14 June 2023

A building in Bonnyrigg will be retrofitted to become a world-class facility to house Historic Environment Scotland’s archives.

Several locations across central Scotland currently house the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) Archive, which includes over 3,500 different collections, comprising drawings, photographs, documents, prints and tomes stretching across 15km of shelving.

Archive House, an existing building in the Sherwood Industrial Estate in Bonnyrigg, will become the new state-of-the-art home for the collection. Archivists are currently listing, documenting, location-coding and repackaging every single one of the approximately 6 million items to prepare for the move.

The site is predicted to become an exemplar of reuse and retrofit principles.

Overall project management will come from Gleeds, design by Oberlanders and specialist engineering input from Buro Happold.


Advanced Environmental Protections and Controls


Managing the preservation of historical archives can be challenging, with issues such as temperature, ventilation, light pollution and damp all likely to affect materials permanently. The new facility at Archive House will be specifically designed to mitigate these.

Lesley Ferguson, Head of Archives at HES, said: “Our archives offer an unparalleled view of the nation’s past, and this project will ensure they can be protected for future generations. This new purpose-built space will help us enhance and increase our conservation and cataloguing work, while advanced environmental protections and controls will help prevent damage to our priceless collections.” 


Scottish Government Net- Zero Public Sector Building Standard


The project aims to be the first public building to be designed to implement the new Scottish Government Net Zero Public Sector Building Standard. This takes into account not only the carbon emissions of the building while in use, but also the carbon emissions associated with the building materials and maintenance. 

The standard also seeks to ensure that new buildings will not require retrofitting in the future to achieve zero emissions.

Picture: a render showing the proposed retrofitted building at Archive House. Image Credit: Oberlanders Architects

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 June 2023


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