Case Study - 4 North, Edinburgh, UK

Project data

  • Customer
  • Knight Property Group Plc
  • Value
  • £8.2million
  • Area
  • 58,555sq ft
  • Procurement route
  • Traditional
  • Form of contract
  • SBCC with quantities
  • Completion date
  • March 2019
  • Architect
  • Comprehensive Design Architects
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Axiom Project Services Ltd
  • M&E Engineer
  • Rybka


Transforming the 1990s Edinburgh House building at 4 North required extensive logistics planning and innovation, with our teams scheduling deliveries around the tram timetable and utilising the latest demolition techniques to relocate a lift core. 

The existing office building underwent extensive redevelopment, with a one-storey steel-framed extension, stone façade improvements and new curtain walling. The refreshed building now covers nine floors and 58,555 sq ft, with ISG delivering a CAT-A fit out across the open plan floor plates.

4 North is now home to Computershare, an Australian stock transfer company, which hopes to create 300 new jobs off the back of its move into the new technology centre. 


The project

Much of the plans focused around the relocation of the existing lift core, adding the new floor, making better use of the space and creating an open and airy entrance way. 

As the building was constructed using post-tensioned concrete slabs, the teams had to employ the latest hydro-demolition techniques to form the new cores. The work was time consuming and delicate, with the team working its way down the building, back propping at each point to ensure the integrity of the structure. Once complete, the slabs were re-tensioned around the new lift core, while existing voids were filled in. 

The reception area has seen a complete transformation – once open to the first floor, the team infilled the double-height entranceway to create more desk space on the first floor. The relocation of the lift cores ensured the space remained light and airy, while maximising the square footage. 


Added value

Working in a tight city centre location posed challenges, with two overhead tram tensioning wires connected to the building. With limited loading space of 4.5m x 20m to the front of the site, our teams had to time deliveries around the trams, which passed site every eight minutes. The height of the tensioning wires also meant we had to bring materials in on telehandlers from lorries parked further down the street. A lane closure was granted and remained in place for the duration of the works, with all deliveries taking place before 7am. 

Given the need for a mobile crane to construct the ninth floor, the team worked closely with Edinburgh City Council to ensure the works did not impact on the summer Fringe or Christmas festivities. The crane was in place overnight from 12pm to 4am, when permitted. 

Close collaboration was a key theme on the contract, with weekly client site visits, monthly progress and fortnightly interim meetings.

James Barrack, group managing director at Knight, says: “4 North has seen Knight Property Group develop and ISG construct and transform a tired and unloved property into contemporary and modern office space.

“It was an outdated office building before, and was not energy efficient, so the work has been transformational.

“We spent time in London viewing the latest projects to see the innovations being brought in, what tenants wanted, in terms of internal and external designs and new materials, to make sure that the finished product would be responsive to market needs.”