Glasgow’s Burrell Collection museum gets its green credentials

24 February 2022
Credit: CSG CIC Glasgow Museums & Libraries Collections
  • CSG CIC Glasgow Museums & Libraries Collections
  • John MacAslan + Partners
  • Alan McAteer
  • CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collections

John McAslan + Partners



United Kingdom

John McAslan + Partners complete landmark museum renovation

The end of 2021 saw Tenderstream member John McAslan + Partners’ ‘Burrell Renaissance’ museum refurbishment and revitalisation project awarded a BREEAM rating of Excellent. This places the museum in the top 10% of energy efficient buildings in the UK, a significant achievement for the refurbishment and conservation of a Category A listed building.

The building, The Burrell Collection on the outskirts of Glasgow, has been sensitively adapted and refurbished by adopting a ‘Fabric First’ approach. This maximises the benefits of improving the building envelope before turning to improved internal services and new sustainable technology. This primary approach is calculated to save in the order of 70 tonnes of carbon per annum in operation.

The standing seam stainless steel cladding to all vertical elements throughout the building and the pitched roof zones have been fully replaced with a new system designed to improve weathertightness and insulation.

The pitched roof uses utilises cellular glass insulation supplied by Foamglas® consisting of 60% recycled content. This provides an airtight and vapour impermeable layer below the membrane waterproofing and overlaid stainless steel. The stainless-steel grade and finish have been chosen to replicate existing materials originally selected for the building.

Further initiatives undertaken in the project have had a positive benefit in terms of embodied carbon in building materials used in the refurbishment work. Nearly 20% of the glazing has been recycled. The reuse of existing aluminium glazing frames saved over 8.5 tonnes of new aluminium from being added to the building, which in turn saved 100 tonnes of carbon emissions associated with new aluminium production. 

The building envelope improvements alone contributed 51% of these carbon emission savings, equivalent to a reduction of 626 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. This could be compared to the equivalent of 125 return economy flights from Glasgow to Sydney, Australia each year.

These significant carbon footprint reductions to help fight climate change are the result of collaborative design between John McAslan + Partners, building services engineers Atelier Ten and façade consultant Arup.

The Burrell Collection comprises some 9,000 objects. Highlights include one of the most significant holdings of Chinese art in the UK, medieval treasures including stained glass, arms and armour and over 200 tapestries which rank amongst the finest in the world, and paintings by renowned French artists including Manet, Cezanne and Degas.

The museum re-opens its doors to the public on 29 March 2022.

This tender was first published by Tenderstream on 13.08.2015 here

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