Newbattle Housing Planning Permission Granted

Our Newbattle development is the largest social Passive House project within the Midlothian area, and part of Scotland’s largest Passive House Development programme, creating 90 new affordable homes for Midlothian Council, to lay the foundation for future local residential developments.

Designed by Smith Scott Mullan Associates, the project is a step forward in Midlothian Council’s ambitious aspiration to become carbon net zero by 2030, as part of their climate change strategy. New homes will be designed to achieve Passive House certification to minimise operational energy demand, reduce carbon emissions, and address fuel poverty. Leading to the sustainable regeneration of the site of the former Newbattle High School and associated playing fields adjacent to Easthouses Road for the Dalkeith community.

The development will provide a mixture of tenures, over a range of 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom properties in both flats and houses, balanced with large areas of shared and public open spaces, private gardens, landscape and cycling/pedestrian links. To enhance biodiversity in this restorative design, a biodiverse SUDS pond will be created, with wildflower turf or plug planting of native wetland species. Other landscape features will include pocket parks for informal play and social interaction of residents.

The design team for this project, which includes Hardies Property & Construction Consultants, Bayne Stevenson Associates Limited, Aecom, Hawthorne Boyle Ltd and Wardell Armstrong LLP, have developed the design in response to the strategic location of the site adjacent to the Green Network. Our design will provide strategic active travel links, and secure pedestrian and cycling friendly routes for residents from Easthouses Road and the adjacent housing to the wider Green Network around Newbattle Abbey, completing the edge of the existing settlement. The design will incorporate a connection route with a green corridor and large open space areas between the adjacent residential site to the South and the future Primary School in the North, promoting safe routes for children to go to school.

Special attention will be given to the existing landscape preserved on the site to enhance residents’ interaction with nature. Mature trees on the Eastern side of the site will be retained and incorporated within the landscape proposal, improving the quality of the existing pedestrian and cycling path running parallel to Easthouses Rd.

The design team are now busy preparing Building Warrant information to support an anticipated site start for main contract works summer 2022.

Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge

We are one of the 2022 Sustrans Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge Winners!

Throughout the month of March, we took part in the Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge which encouraged us to leave our car at home and replace those journeys with active travel forms of transport (walk, cycle, public transport etc.).

After a big effort from our team, and many miles logged, we are delighted to say that we finished first in our category! Well done team.

The £100 charity donation prize will go to the The Citadel Youth Centre – Edinburgh to support the great community work they do with local children and families in Leith.

Restoration of the Palm Houses

Watch Jamie Bateman, Smith Scott Mullan Associates in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh video to learn more about the significance and benefits of our Edinburgh Biomes project to repair and restore the Category A Listed Palm Houses.

We are proud to be a key part of this ambitious project to protect and conserve the globally important plant collection and preserve biodiversity within this treasured place for future generations to enjoy.

A comprehensive programme of conservation and repair works to the stonework, ironwork and glass will protect and safeguard this important piece of Scotland’s architectural heritage.

Midlothian Council Net Zero Housing Design Guide

Architects have the privilege and duty to influence positive change in the world.

We were delighted to create this impactful new Design Guide for Midlothian Council, which is crucial to achieving their ambitious aspiration to become net zero by 2030. As recognised experts in sustainable design methodology and delivery, we were involved in detailed consultations with senior department officers and stakeholders to develop the new Guide. It incorporates national planning and policy guidance and addresses operational energy and the performance gap using a Passive House approach. We assisted Midlothian Council to develop key criteria, a detailed roadmap of embodied carbon benchmarks and the recognised calculation methods, with strategies to move towards biophilic design to promote biodiversity. The guidance provides user-friendly checklist tools to be adopted by all designers and architects delivering the council’s projects for many years to come.

We applaud Midlothian Council’s strategy to address the climate emergency locally, tackle fuel poverty and have a positive influence on people’s everyday lives.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Smith Scott Mullan Associates celebrate the wonderful women in our team and the fantastic consultants and clients that we work alongside to deliver our projects.

Enabling works site start for Edinburgh Biomes

We are pleased to see enabling works progressing at our Edinburgh Biomes project for Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh including the careful decanting of plants from the Category A Listed Palm Houses in readiness for a comprehensive programme of conservation works to commence this year. Our continued involvement in this £90 million project, delivered in full BIM level 2, includes a new Energy Centre which will help to reduce the Botanics’ carbon footprint. We are happy to play a key role in this ambitious project to protect and conserve the globally important plant collection within this treasured place for future generations to enjoy.

Image: RBGE/Nicoll Russell Studios

Penicuik Town Hall

We are proud to have delivered Midlothian Council’s vision to extend the life of this Category C Listed socially important local landmark.

The project involved conservation works and repairs to the external fabric, protecting the embodied carbon for the future, and sustainability works to improve the operational energy of the building in use as an important community asset at the heart of Penicuik.

This project was part of the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration project, a Townscape Heritage (TH) and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), jointly funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Midlothian Council. Delivered by Ashwood Scotland Ltd and our project architect Claire Cockburn.

Photos: Nadin Dunnigan

Passive House

Read what our Senior Architect Jarek Gasiorek had to say about Passivhaus methodology, and the building industry’s responsibility in addressing the climate crisis in his recent double page spread interview with Project Scotland here:


Springwell House

Our project at Springwell House for AMA (New Town) Ltd is now complete.

The retrofit, conversion and refurbishment of the Category C Listed existing building alongside new-build townhouses and flats has created a high-quality development in the West of Edinburgh.

In particular, the design makes the most of the existing building form to create some truly unique living spaces. Significant fabric repairs and bringing the buildings up to current technical standards will protect the architectural heritage for generations to come.

The project also plays an important part in the regeneration of Gorgie, providing city living within easy reach of local public transport and amenities.

Photos: True Colours, Property Studios & Mr Smith Aerial

Project completion at Beanburn in Ayton

Watch our video about our recently completed project delivering 31 high-quality affordable homes and a new public space with an Abundant Borders community food garden for Berwickshire Housing Association.

The great success of this design lies in the bold strategy to orientate homes facing south to benefit from solar gain, tackle energy efficiency and fuel poverty, and connect open plan living spaces to gardens.

Twenty-nine units achieved Bronze Active with Silver Level for both CO2 Emissions and Energy for Space Heating for Sustainability Section 7. Two units achieved Gold Standard for CO2 Emissions and Energy for Space Heating.