Edinburgh University welcomes students as GRAHAM Construction completes Deaconess House refurbishment

oors have opened at the £14.5 million redevelopment of the historic Deaconess House on Edinburgh’s Pleasance, completed by GRAHAM Construction.

Main contractors GRAHAM was onsite with Mace and Edinburgh University to mark the opening of the latest student accommodation which incorporates a reception office, common room, warden’s flat, communal entrance lobby, and laundry, and toilet facilities.

Mace’s Investment team is behind the project which has created over 300 new student units on the site of the former hospital.

Prior to the start of construction, Mace signed a forward funding deal with Edinburgh University, which saw the University take over the new student accommodation complex on completion.

The original Deaconess House building has been retained and refurbished and three new blocks were added to the rear of Deaconess House around a central courtyard, which now boasts an amphitheatre and hard and soft landscaped areas.

The new blocks rise to four and five storeys and contain a total of 318 bedrooms, split across a mix of studio apartments and 3, 5 and 6 bedroom units.

GRAHAM Construction worked on the exterior and interior of the new structure, including internal fit out, partitioning and electrical works, using a combination of materials, such as natural stone and powder coated aluminium panels on the new build elements of the project.

Regional Director at GRAHAM Construction Neil McFarlane said:

“Deaconess House posed an interesting construction challenge as we aimed to integrate the old with the new, to create something which will complement the surrounding buildings in this historic quarter of Edinburgh.

“The finished product possesses a blend of modern construction techniques which are sympathetic to the character of the site and we are proud to have preserved the existing layout and create a unique facility to welcome the students.”

David Grover, COO for Mace Investment said:

“This has been a great project for Mace Investment, which has seen for the first time in the UK a forward funding deal direct with a University Endowment Fund. This form of partnership has successfully brought forward much need high quality new student accommodation.

“This has been a complex scheme, both in terms of the funding structure and the construction work and GRAHAM Construction has done a great job managing the project.”

GRAHAM has significant experience of student accommodation projects for colleges and universities around the UK, including at Stirling, Newcastle and for the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley.