Work underway on National Robotarium in Edinburgh

Currie & Brown is acting as quantity surveyor on the construction of the new £22.4 million National Robotarium at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus.

Born out of a collaboration between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, the National Robotarium is scheduled to open in spring 2022. Once complete, the building will house the most advanced research facility for robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) in the UK.

Funded with £21 million from the UK government and £1.4 million from the Scottish government as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, the 40,000ft2 building will house three distinct research and development areas, providing bespoke facilities for robotics and autonomous systems, human and robotics interaction and high-precision manufacturing.

The design of the National Robotarium focuses on sustainability and energy efficiency. The intelligent façade will provide solar heat and recycle warm air. Urban drainage systems, rooftop photovoltaic panels and charging stations for electric vehicles are also part of the design. The project aims to be certified BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

Professor Helen Hastie and Professor Yvan Petillot are joint academic leads of the National Robotarium. Explaining the significance of the centre, Professor Hastie said: “By drawing upon the world-class talent of the staff at Heriot-Watt and our collaborative partner, the University of Edinburgh, alongside students at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, the National Robotarium will form a centre of excellence for fundamental research and knowledge exchange to address real-world challenges and industry needs.”

Simon Brooke, director in Currie & Brown’s Edinburgh office, added: “With our proven track record in delivering university buildings and large-scale facilities, we are delighted to be providing quantity surveying services on the UK’s first robotarium, which will develop the future of robotics and AI worldwide.”

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