Changeworks Orchard Brae House

Inside a newly fitted out office in Edinburgh. Glazed areas for meetings, mixed flooring, open area with work station. Defurbishment style ceiling.
2024 | Client Changeworks Resources for Life Limited

Following an extensive refurbishment project, a new headquarters has been created in Edinburgh for the environmental charity Changeworks.

Cat-B office fit-out in Edinburgh. Cafe seating area. Defurbishment style ceiling with visible ducting.

The stylish interior caters for a mixture of workplace needs and includes glass-fronted office cubicles, open-plan workstations, breakout areas and meeting rooms, as well as a kitchen and dining area.

The full Cat B fit-out comprised 10,000 square feet of accommodation on one floor of the six-storey Orchard Brae building. 

This allowed the sustainability organisation to consolidate its functions and departments on a single level following relocation from its previous offices, which were ranged across three storeys.

In the cafe seating area at the new Changeworks office, Edinburgh. Contemporary seating and lighting.
On a quantity surveyor's visit to the vacant office at Orchard Brae, Edinburgh prior to Cat-B fit-out for Changeworks.
Prior to fit-out.

The refurbishment works included stripping out the existing space and installing new mechanical and electrical systems – these remain exposed, offering a contemporary ‘defurbished’ look and feel. 

Specialist energy-saving lighting controls were installed and mechanical plant was specified so as to reduce heating and cooling loads. Blinds were also installed to reduce solar gain.

The highly professional, personable and client focused Project Management and Quantity Surveying services provided by Thomson Gray was integral to the success of the project
Graeme Farmer
Finance & Resources Director, Changeworks
Detailed of relaxed seating area in Cat-B full office refurbishment, Edinburgh. Contempory, wire-framed armchair with yellow upholstery. Black, wire framed low table.
Kitchen area in fully refurbished Cat-B office fit-out for Changeworks, Edinburgh. Bar with high seats, mixed flooring and defurbishment style ceiligh with exposed services.

Project management services

We provided project management services for the entire fit-out, up to handover, including acting as contract administrator during the site works. 

Throughout the project, we reported to the client with regard to schedule, cost, quality and risk, and drew upon our technical expertise and experience of similar jobs to help them make informed decisions.

Pod booths within open plan office, refurbished with refurbishment features such as exposed ducting and services. Mixed flooring with areas to provide sound proofing.

We advised the client on the most appropriate procurement route based on the design and scope of works, and also helped with contractor selection and subsequent appointment.

Prior to commencement of the main contract, we helped to coordinate a survey of the building and put together a package of enabling works, such as asbestos removal and obtaining a clean air certificate.

Detail of lighting and a meeting room door at Changeworks refurbished offices, Edinburgh. "Willow" on black door in white type.
We have used the services of Thomson Gray on more than one project and would not hesitate to do so again – I would highly recommend them to anyone embarking on a building project.

Cost advice, control and reporting

As quantity surveyor, we provided initial cost advice, including the allocation of appropriate contingencies, to help inform the client's brief and to establish a robust budget for the project.

We refined the cost plan at each design stage, providing information for the client's governance approval process. We also prepared a bill of quantities to inform the tender process and subsequent reporting.

During the site works, we prepared interim valuations to support client funding and contractor payment processes. We also managed and agreed variations as they arose and validated the final account.

Group seating area with upholstery for sound insulation, and relaxed seating in the contemporary cat-B office fit out for Changeworks, Edinburgh. Recessed seating is upholstered in dusky pink. An easy chair in blue and a wire-framed table. Slatted, open partition. runs floor to ceiling.
A long view down the office refurbishment for Changeworks, showing mixed flooring, meeting rooms and staff lockers. Defurbishment style feature ceiling with exposed beams and services

Principal designer role

We acted as principal designer on behalf of Changeworks, recommending additional surveys to verify the building’s fabric. We worked with the wider team to ensure the design was risk-assessed and we prepared the pre-construction information pack. We also reviewed and approved the contractor’s health and safety plan, including risk assessment for activities

Meeting room at Changeworks with view over Edinburgh. Refurbishment has taken a defurbished style in places with exposed beams and service. An irregular-shaped meeting table providing for digital connectivity with 7 chairs and on the wall a smart board. Patterned carpet in greens and a green feature wall.
View into the 'Hawthorn' meeting room through an open door at the office newly refurbished for Changeworks, Edinburgh. A smartboard, screen and round meeting table.

Working in a ‘live’ office environment

With existing tenants already in place in Orchard Brae and other refurbishment works ongoing, close cooperation was required with the building management team and other contractors to coordinate material deliveries for greatest efficiency and minimum disruption to other businesses.

Because of the live environment, and also due to the age of the building, care was needed when connecting into existing landlord services, and we scheduled out-of-hours shutdowns accordingly. A weekly look-ahead meeting was held with the landlord to identify and address issues arising and to inform all stakeholders of upcoming works.

In spite of a tight schedule and strict financial constraints, the project was delivered on time and within budget, with Changeworks staff relocating to their new offices in January 2024.

Long view of an open plan area of the office. Mixed flooring for traffic and sound proofing. Storage units, work stations and lockers. Beams are exposed in the ceiling, along with services.
Board room at Changeworks, Edinburgh. A large rectangular table with 14 seats. Patterned carpet in greys, screens, presentation boards on wheels, screen on wall. One side of the room is glass, looking through to the main office.


Architect & Interior Design &More Design Consultancy
SJS Property Services Ltd
Services Engineer
CJA Consulting Engineers
Structural Engineer
Christie Gillespie Consulting Engineers
Project Manager
Thomson Gray
Quantity Surveyor
Thomson Gray
Principal Designer
Thomson Gray
Contract Administrator
Thomson Gray
Images Alix McIntosh