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Learning and Teaching Building, University of Strathclyde


Location Client Cost Size Completion
Glasgow, UK University of Strathclyde £45m 20,000 sqm 2020

Project details

The University of Strathclyde’s new Learning and Teaching Building is at the heart of its Rottenrow Campus. The project strips out and refurbishes two existing buildings, the Colville Building and the B-listed Architecture Building, and also creates a new-build hub in between overlooking the university’s Rottenrow Gardens. This non-departmental facility is a unique, collective space, comprising a variety of learning and teaching spaces, ranging from small breakout spaces to a 400 seat lecture theatre.

The diversity of spaces is reflective of the varying needs of pedagogy. It also houses the Student Support Services and the Student Union to provide a central support facility at the heart of the campus.

At a building scale, addressing backlog maintenance issues will improve the condition of the retained elements and provide a framework for a fit for purpose and adaptable facility. On a wider scale, this site and strategy is designed to further improve the quality of the campus and provides the optimum synergy with future campus developments.

Embodied carbon savings

Reusing an existing structure has dramatically reduced the embodied carbon compared to building new.

BDP uses the ‘OneClickLCA’ software to assess a project’s embodied carbon. The software connects to our BIM (Building Information Modelling) model to create an aggregate from the embodied carbon in each building component.

For the project we compared the embodied carbon to a notional new build equivalent that included the embodied carbon generated by the foundations and the structural frame.

The results reinforce the importance of reuse and refurbishment. Compared to the notional new build equivalent the project saves 67% CO2e, reinforcing the message that ‘the greenest building is the one that already exists.’ To put this in perspective the embodied carbon saved is the equivalent of the carbon generated by 3,350 Scottish homes in one year.


  • 2022 AJ Retrofit Award - Higher Education and Campus Category winner
  • 2022 Herald Property Awards – Best Regeneration Project (Commercial)

  • 2022 Learning Places Scotland Awards - Innovation in Delivering a Sustainable Learning Space

  • IStructE Scottish Structural Awards - Best Modern (Post 1960) Building Refurbishment Project

Integrated services

architecture, interior design, landscape architecture