Balfour Beatty to build £67m Passivhaus school

Replacement Liberton High School, courtyard view

Balfour Beatty has been awarded a £67m contract by the City of Edinburgh Council to deliver a replacement campus at Liberton High School in Edinburgh.

The infrastructure group will be responsible for the design and construction of the new 13,470 square metre campus alongside facilities for the local community including a state-of-the-art synthetic sports pitch, a library and café.

As part of its sustainability strategy, Building New Futures, and its ongoing commitment to leaving a lasting, positive legacy in the communities in which it operates, Balfour Beatty will create numerous new areas for biodiversity and will also work closely with ecologists to protect existing habitats in the adjacent conservation area.

Once complete, the campus will become Balfour Beatty’s first Passivhaus certified building – a quality assurance process for the design and construction of low energy buildings – and will be one of the first certified schools to be built in Scotland.

To achieve the coveted rating, the building has been designed to be energy efficient and will utilize high-performance windows and doors, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery to reduce carbon emissions, improve indoor air quality, and reduce energy demand and heating bills. 

Hector MacAulay, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s regional business in Scotland, said: “At Balfour Beatty, we have a long and proud history in delivering education facilities in Scotland.

“Throughout construction, we will work hard to give back to the local community, creating and delivering new construction based educational pathways which will equip students with the skills and experience they need for a lasting, fulfilling career in our sector.”

Councillor Joan Griffiths, education, children and families convener at the City of Edinburgh Council, added: “It’s great to see work starting on the replacement Liberton High which is the latest school we are building for our young people.

“These new school campuses are innovatively and sustainably designed so they are inspirational places for learning for the next generation of young people creating a vibrant and thriving learning environment.”

Works are due to commence later this year with completion expected in 2026. 

At construction peak, the project will employ 120 people including a number of apprenticeship, graduate and trainee positions.

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