The University of Edinburgh

Client – Edinburgh University 

Author - Joe Maleczek 

University Mission -

"We discover, develop and share knowledge.

As a centre of academic excellence we aim to:

  • provide the highest-quality research-led teaching and learning;
  • challenge the boundaries of knowledge, research and disciplines;
  • enable our graduates and staff to be exceptional individuals equipped to address global challenges;
  • promote good health, economic growth, cultural understanding and social well-being."


The University of Edinburgh was founded in 1583 which makes it the sixth oldest university in the English speaking world and it is continually highly ranked against other universities worldwide.


The University has evolved over the centuries and is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city owning many new buildings as well as a considerable percentage of the historic buildings in the Old Town.


The university has taught many of the world’s most famous people including Charles Darwin, Alexander Graham Bell, Joseph Lister, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, and the list goes on to include more than a score of Nobel Prize winners, a Pulitzer Prize winner and a few former Prime Ministers and International Heads of State.


The Old College Quadrangle - 

Edinburgh receives approximately 47,000 applications every year, making it the third most popular university in the UK by volume of applicants and the university needs to manage its available space carefully to accommodate the successful students. 


The University of Edinburgh possess a set of as truly great men, Professors of the Several Branches of Knowledge, as have ever appeared in any age or country.” Benjamin Franklin - (the 1770s)


As its topics of study have grown and diversified the university has expanded its campuses such that it now has six main sites:


Central Area - The Central Area includes George Square, the Informatics Forum, Dugald Stewart Building, Old College, New College, McEwan Hall, St. Cecilia’s Hall, Teviot Row House, the Old Medical School buildings. It is the oldest region, occupied primarily by the College of Humanities and Social Science, and the Schools of Computing & Informatics and the School of Law, as well as the main university library. The Appleton Tower

is used for teaching first-year undergraduates in science and engineering. Meanwhile, Teviot Place continues to house        pre-clinical medical courses and biomedical sciences despite the relocation of the Medical School to Little France.




King's Buildings which occupies a 35-hectare site.


Pollock Halls, adjoining Holyrood Park provides accommodation (mainly half board) for a minority of students in their first year. Two of the older houses in     Pollock Halls were demolished in 2002 and a new building (Chancellor's Court) has been built in their place, leaving a total of ten buildings.


Little France, the Chancellor's Building, was opened on 12 August 2002 by The Duke of Edinburgh and houses the £40 million Medical School at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.


Easter Bush campus houses the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, The Roslin Institute, Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education and The Veterinary Oncology and Imaging Centre. The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, founded in 1823 by William Dick, is a world leader in veterinary education, research and practice. The new £42 million, two stories, 11,500 square metre building opened in 2011.


Moray House School of Education, just off the Royal Mile, used to be the Moray House Institute for Education until this merged with the University in August 1998. The University has since extended Moray House's Holyrood site to include a redeveloped and extended major building housing Sports Science, Physical Education and Leisure Management facilities adjacent to its own Sports Institute in the Pleasance.


The estate is large, encompassing more than 200 buildings (excluding residential accommodation), with a gross academic area of approximately 588,900 m2.


The residential estate has a total area of approximately 150,000 m2


The Transport and Parking Office of the University of Edinburgh manages in excess of 30 off-street car parks.


The university has more than 8,800 staff, more than 27,000 students, a total turnover well in excess of half a Billion Pounds.


Gillian says; “We have experienced improved relations between space users and space managers as the users are very comfortable with the interface access.”


The University has successfully used ARCHIBUS for more than 16 years and developed the original system with Mass, into EBIS (Estates and Buildings Information System) that provides an interface to the database asset register of the buildings, rooms and projects and can feed information to other systems at the University.


It can also provide facilities, asset, financial and space management on demand, at the appropriate level to satisfy both departmental and corporate needs.


It can also provide facilities, asset, financial and space management on demand, at the appropriate level to satisfy both departmental and corporate needs.


MASS, who provide support for the implementation of the system, met with Gillian Nicoll, the Space Manager at the  University, to find out how they use ARCHIBUS:


Currently, they have 5 of the ARCHIBUS Applications; Real Property & Lease Management, Building Operations,          Management, Strategic Master Planning, ARCHIBUS Web   Central, Space Management.


The most recent addition to the University is the ARCHIBUS Space Management System, which was deployed just last year. 


The ARCHIBUS Space Management installation took place over a phased period of two years and has now subsequently been integrated and developed into other parts of the University.


It is through the use of this application that the available space can be efficiently accounted for and the optimum grants claimed for this vast estate.


Prior to this installation, there were different processes in place to manage the Space which were then reviewed before a strategic plan could be put in place.


The previous system implementation had some inherent

issues that the University wanted to resolve. These issues involved such things as limited graphical capabilities and export function for transfer to other systems, some analysis problems and lack of open access for departmental users to view their own data.


This review and analysis of the highlighted issues led to the introduction of Web Central and the deployment of a standard software solution in 2011, with the adoption of lease management development.


ARCHIBUS has enabled the organisation, through the use of Web Central, to improve their system.


It has enabled access for departmental users to update/manage their own data, allocate at room level with multiple department occupancy, view changes and space occupancy trends to provide archived history of occupancy, display graphical data to analyse and access at the various levels e.g. by department/type of space and maintain drawings from creation to publishing to the Web.


There were other unexpected benefits too; Gillian Nicoll, the Space Manager at the University was also impressed by the amount of time that was saved during the processing of drawing and data update, as it was now a much leaner process.


“The ARCHIBUS Space Management System was a less paper dependent process and was also more accurate.”


For more information on the implementation and support of world-class estates and facilities management solutions please call us at Mass on 0118 977 8560 or contact us by email at


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Edinburgh case study - Discussion Forum



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