Alba Livingston, Campus, Office Building, Photos, West Lothian Development, Design

Alba Livingston, West Lothian

Business Incubation Centre, central Scotland offices design by REID architecture

23 Aug 2006

Alba Livingston Office Building


Business Incubation Centre on the Alba Campus

Alba Livingston - Business Incubation Centre, Livingston Offices

REID architecture has just completed a 2,100sqm business incubation centre on the Alba Campus in Livingston, West Lothian. REID architecture’s commitment to an innovative and sustainable approach has created a project which can be added to the shortlist of UK office and commercial buildings that use timber structurally.

The scheme for Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian will provide a variety of office accommodation over 2 levels for new and small businesses arranged around communal, interactive spaces managed by an operator offering business advice and support. REID architecture have imported products and systems from the residential and industrial sectors to achieve a more environmentally conscious, cost efficient solution that challenges the accepted model without compromising BCO standards for offices.

Alba Livingston Business Incubation Centre Business Incubation Centre
photographs from architects

A glulam timber frame has been used to create the frame for the 2 storey building rather than steel. The glulam timber frame consumes about one tenth of the energy in its manufacture as would a traditional steel frame. This is not only a “greener” solution but the escalating price of steel has made it an economic solution. It also gives opportunities for the visual warmth of timber to be exposed throughout the accommodation.

The use of TGI joist technology for the first floor with plywood sheeting (as commonly used in residential development) is an eco friendly alternative to concrete planks or poured slab, again making significant energy savings in its manufacture. Throughout the project there has been a drive to employ offsite/ prefabricated solutions in conjunction with the almost total elimination of wet trades to reduce excessive on-site waste and improve health & safety of site operatives.

Scottish grown larch cladding is used on the approach elevation with a distinctive timber “eyebrow” to the entrance. Again, these timber clad areas are fixed to an inner leaf of prefabricated insulated timber panels.

The entrance is defined with an angled wall and glass light box element, once inside you are pulled through with a double height window and void in which you access the first floor. The white plasterboard and exposed glulam are satisfyingly clean and simple, the plan is equally strong, bound by a central spine linking the reception and advisors zone to the smaller office accommodation.

The offices are accessed along corridor spaces filtered with light coming through an open grid ceiling, concealing the services above. Dark floors accentuate the warmth of the glulam and once inside the office/ meeting rooms you are offered framed views across open fields to the west and to the tree belt bound edge to the east.

The windows have been sized to avoid cutting of the panels to reduce on-site waste and are designed to maximise air movement, support the natural ventilation strategy and allow light deeper into the plan.

Normal roof paraphernalia of gutters and eaves is suppressed to create a strong and simple rectilinear elevation, animated with the moving shadow of the expressed rainwater pipes and hoppers.

Elsewhere the elevation is clad in a metal and non-ozone depleting mineral fibre wool composite panel that is normally found in the industrial sector. This requires no secondary structure and, at 150mm, offers benefits on net to gross measurements and speedier erection.

The parking bays have been treated with a Grid-lock system, offering the high load bearing capacity of asphalt whilst providing an alternative to hard landscaping. In addition it is both economically viable and aesthetically pleasing.

Alba Campus Office – Building Information

Quantity Surveyor Davis Langdon
M&E Engineer KJ Tait
Structural Engineer Woolgar Hunter
Main Contractor Ogilvie

Alba Livingston – Business Incubation Centre information / images from REID architecture 290906


Location: Alba, Livingston, Scotland

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Innovation Centre and Campus Hub at Edinburgh University
image Courtesy architecture office
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