Architectural practice jmarchitects has been chosen by the The James Hutton Institute to support the design of its multimillion pound Just Transition Hub project in Aberdeen.

The new hub will create a state-of-the-art virtual and physical collaborative facility in the heart of the Institute’s Craigiebuckler campus to drive engagement, training and innovation around nature-based net-zero solutions in the northeast and across Scotland.

This will include acting as an incubator for “spin out” companies, drawing on the institute’s expertise in environmental, crop and food science, as well as wider public engagement, including a café. It is expected to create 200 new jobs and draw £1.6million into the local economy.

Yunming Thomson, Project Director for jmarchitects says, “The James Hutton Institute’s new Just Transition Hub represents a shift in the way sharing of knowledge is delivered in the transition to net zero in the north east. We are delighted to be involved with the development of such an innovative and significant project.’’

Prof Lee-Ann Sutherland, project lead on the Just Transition Hub at the Hutton, says, “We’re already really excited by the design proposals we are working on, including remodelling areas of our existing building, which would result in lower lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions. It’s just one element of the wider work we’re doing towards the transition and climate resilience, alongside our HydroGlen green hydrogen demonstrator and work to further reduce our own footprint as an institute across all our sites in Scotland.”

In addition to Jmarchitects’ appointment, Goodsons Associates and CCDP have now also been appointed to the design team, providing civil and engineering services and mechanical and electrical engineering respectively, alongside project manager Faithful+Gould.

The hub has the backing of the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Fund, which awarded the institute £7.2million to help develop the project late last year.

The Just Transition Fund also awarded a further £6million to the institute to fund its HydroGlen green hydrogen powered farming community demonstrator project at its Climate Positive Farming Initiative at Glensaugh research farm, in Aberdeenshire.

Design and planning of the hub, which will be part of The James Hutton Institute’s International Land Use Study Centre (ILUSC), is expected to continue through this year, with planning permission expected to then be sought in 2024, with construction targeted for 2025.

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