The Bridge, Scottish Water Head Quarters



The new Scottish Water national headquarters is a three storey, 7,300m2 building accommodating 600 staff. This ultra-sustainable building incorporates office space and meeting rooms around a large central atrium. The building is being hailed as the most environmentally friendly building of its kind.

Sustainable Design

Scottish Water wanted to ensure that their new HQ not only achieved great design performance, they wanted the building to live up to these aspirations in use. This was the primary driver for setting in use energy performance targets, which BAM have been helping them to deliver since handover. The project has gone on to win several design awards and the British Construction Industry’s Award for sustainable project of the year 2014.

The building was designed behind a deep façade and includes a large central atrium. These features allow light into the building while reducing solar gain, and maximise natural cross ventilation; all of which helps to regulate the internal environment and reduce energy demands, as well as creating a pleasant and productive work space.

The primarily concrete construction provides thermal mass and helps to regulate internal temperatures. Exposed concrete soffits absorb heat during the day, and night time cooling automatically opens windows to cool the office ready for the next day; reducing the need for air conditioning. 

Won the British Construction Industry's Sustainability award 2014

Tackling Climate Change

On site renewable energy systems were installed to complement the energy efficient design. A 100m2 south facing Solar PV array provides electricity, coupled with 26m2 of solar thermal to provide hot water and biomass boilers provide the main source of heating.

The construction team took care to deliver excellent air tightness, achieving a performance of 2.1m3/h/m2 @ 50 Pa against an indicative target of 10m3/h/m2 @ 50 Pa. This air tightness figure was achieved through careful design and by minimising the number of different materials and cladding interfaces, resulting in enhanced building U-Values. By minimising air leakage, we helped to minimise energy consumption, CO2 emissions and heating and cooling costs as well as providing excellent thermal comfort for occupants. 

The construction team also minimised carbon through the construction process, using BAMs onsite and remote energy monitoring and targeting system. Site staff received regular reports on their energy use, from which they could identify to target and reduce consumption (e.g. equipment being left on). Re-using materials on site also reduced transport associated with waste, further reducing carbon. 


Excellent air tightness of 2.1m3/h/m2 minimised air leakage

Resource Efficiency

A number of components were pre-fabricated off-site to reduce waste, including timber panels, boiler house pipework pumps and the concrete columns, which formed a major part of the buildings envelope appearance. 

A cut and fill exercise allowed us to reuse excavated material elsewhere on-site, for example in the re-grading of the car park. In all, the project was able to reuse approximately 27,000m3 of soil, resulting in a significant cost savings and a reduction in lorry movements.

Waterless urinals and aerated taps help to reduce the water consumption of the building. Rainwater harvesting systems have also been installed and the sites existing drainage basin has been upgraded, to aid drainage around the site, which suffered with areas of peaty conditions.

27,291m2 of soil reused on site

Sourcing Responsibly

100% of the timber used is from a certified chain of custody source (FSC or PEFC) ensuring it was both legal and sustainable.

From the early stages of the project we looked for opportunities to increase recycled content of materials, to meet or better a base target of 10% recycled content. We surpassed this target easily by retaining and reusing soil and specifying certain materials for curtain walling and external works, for example sourcing landscaping kerbs and block paving which contained a recycled aggregate content. By sourcing materials with a recycled content, we were able to reduce our use of raw materials.


100% timber from FSC or PEFC sources


BAM is keen to encourage people interested in working within the construction industry. Throughout the duration of the project, both BAM and the subcontractors working on this project provided apprenticeships for young people through the local Tigers Club, run by North Lanarkshire Council. These apprenticeships allowed students to gain hands on experience and improve their electrical and curtain walling skills.

Created apprentice opportunities on site


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