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Gilmour’s Close, Edinburgh

Gilmour’s Close, Edinburgh

World Heritage Site Low Carbon refurbishment


The project entailed refurbishment of two 19th century tenement closes to provide 17 energy efficient new flats for social housing.

This project entailed the refurbishment of a traditional tenement in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket area and addressed a need for social housing in the centre of Edinburgh within a World Heritage Site. The final solution successfully tackled the difficulties in minimising CO2 emissions and dependency on non-renewable energy resources in a listed property with a distinctive stone facade.

The indepth case study containing much more detail can be downloaded from the link to the right. 

Copy Of Gilmours


To minimise non-renewable energy consumption and reduce the building’s carbon footprint environmental modelling was used to optimize the design solution.  The refurbishment includes:

Improved U-Values to minimise heat loss with enhanced insulation installed inside the existing stone fabric;

Secondary glazing to the existing sash & case windows;

A positive input ventilation system with heat recovery system;

Passive solar gain captured via sunspaces;

Extensive stone conservation to the front elevation; and

Ground Source Heat Pump supplying a communal heating/hot water system.

Environmental Strategy


A grant supported an innovative on-site renewable solution, which incorporated a Ground Source Heat Pump supplying a communal heating/hot water system. Whole life cost of this over 30 years was significantly lower than conventional boilers.

Aerial View


The client commissioned a thermal imaging study, which indicated significant reductions in heat loss compared with adjacent tenement properties, and a research study comparing the theoretical performance of the suite of sustainable installations against their actual performance and user experiences.  This has confirmed that the design measures have not only reduced tenants’ bills but also helped the design team to understand, fine tune and further optimise the heating / ventilation strategies helping to reduce future fuel bills even further.

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Case Study

Download this case study (2.23 Mb)

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