Edinburgh Napier University invests £3m in new timber research hub
Edinburgh Napier University will invest more than £3 million over the next decade in a new timber research hub, set to open in Edinburgh in spring 2017.
The facility - to be based at 7 Hills Business Park in Scottish capital's Sighthill - will focus on sustainable construction, timber engineering and wood science.
Thanks to the new hub, researchers will be able to work with industry to accelerate the development of a range of timber technologies, including highly energy efficient walls, whole roofs constructed off-site and new coating techniques aimed at extending the life of timber.
Professor Sean Smith, Director of Sustainable Construction at Edinburgh Napier, said the £1bn forestry sector employing more than 16,000 people, and its growing role in construction, was the “green gold” of the Scottish economy.
Mr Smith commented: “Seventy-five per cent of new housing in Scotland is timber based and that is expected to grow to more than eighty-five per cent in the coming years.
“Timber construction across the rest of the UK is also forecast to increase significantly, and the new research facility will support the ambitions of Government, local authorities, housing associations and industry to develop new housing innovations.”
“The new R & D facility also strongly aligns with the City of Edinburgh and south east Scotland’s future growth plans for low energy housing delivering low carbon solutions. This will significantly support future housing designs and reduce domestic energy bills.”
Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier added: “This new research facility demonstrates our commitment to the forestry and construction sectors and will build on our excellent industry linkages and international research partnerships.”
The works at the Sighthill site are being undertaken by Key Property Solutions and managed by Innes Associates. 7Hills Business Park, named after the seven hills that surround Edinburgh, is a joint venture between property development and asset management company Citivale and developer Peveril Securities.