Pickfords moves Roslin Institute

Case study: Roslin institute - Building relocation


The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh is a BBSRC-funded institute which undertakes research focused on the health and welfare of animals, and applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security.

The Roslin Institute was due to move into a £60.6 million state-of-the-art building, located on the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Veterinary campus, bringing onto one site the research of the Institute alongside the teaching and clinical activities of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

Having handled The Roslin Institute’s move to its new premises, Pickfords Business Solutions was engaged to handle the clearance of the vacated building. Having carried out a complete refurbishment with brand-new equipment, a significant amount of older, outdated furniture, cabinets and laboratory needed to be disposed of. The Roslin Institute were keen to avoid sending waste to landfill, and sought a partner who could actively re-purpose their old equipment, with any balance being recycled in full.

Pickfords engaged local buyers and charities to visit the premises and identify items which could be resold or re-purposed. After these items were removed, the remaining balance was sorted onsite by a team of Pickfords staff before being taken to an industrial recycling facility. In addition, Pickfords provided a full inventory outlining the items received by each commercial buyer and charity, and provided a free service to local charities to transport furniture back to their bases. 

Throughout the project, 74 tonnes of unwanted furniture was collected, with 18 tonnes re-homed to buyers or local charities and the remainder going to a recycling facility. Recycled items were broken down into categories such as wood and metal, with any mixed items going to a sorting facility and then on to energy recovery.

Pickfords enabled The Institute to complete a prompt clearance of their premises prior to handing the site back to the BBSRC. Several thousand pounds was also returned to the Institute through Pickfords’ profit-sharing scheme, where proceeds from sales of any unwanted furniture are split between the two companies. In all, 18 local charities benefited from the Institute’s building clearance, including East Lothian Special Needs Playschemes, Lothian & Borders Battalion Army Cadets, Crossroads Caring Scotland, and the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service.

"Having worked with Pickfords on the main relocation to our new building, I knew that they would provide a completely professional level of service from the initial planning stages through to the actual execution. We were keen that as much equipment and furniture as possible was taken up by local charities. For the remaining items, we had to be satisfied that it was recycled in a responsible way with a full audit trail. The vacated site and buildings are extensive and Pickfords proved to be a safe pair of hands for this size of project. The Pickfords team worked efficiently and safely to clear the site and responded flexibly to our changing timelines. They have a reassuring, can-do approach."

Jane Weaver
Project Manager
Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh

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