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Waverley Court

Located on East Market Street in Central Edinburgh, between Waverley Station and the Royal Mile, Waverley Court is the main administrative centre for the City of Edinburgh Council. Completed in late 2006 at a cost of £80 million, the building was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 26th April 2007. Built on the site of a former car park, the building extends to 18022 sq. m (194,000 sq. feet) and comprises five floors, including a lower courtyard level with restaurant, gymnasium and library.

This award-winning construction in buff sandstone, steel and glass has brought 1800 staff together who once occupied twenty different buildings scattered around the city centre. The office is open-plan, with meeting rooms and other facilities in the central core. Breakout areas promote informal interaction between staff. The space is flexible with computers and phones following individual staff to whichever desk they happen to occupy, promoting flexible work patterns and hot-desking. Restricted personal storage and the lack of filing cabinets keeps the space open and tidy.

Representing a public-private partnership, the contractor was Miller Construction and the building is owned by Norwich Union Life and Pensions. It is occupied by the Council on a twenty-year lease.

Built to high environmental standards, Waverley Court minimises energy consumption and makes considerable use of passive ventilation, together with green roofs to promote biodiversity and environmental quality, solar panels to heat water and a rainwater recovery system - with the water stored in two 11,000-litre (2419-gallon) tanks to be used for street-cleaning and watering floral displays around the city.

There are numerous art-works displayed in association with the building; at the entrance is Everyman by German sculptor Stephan Balkenhol - a 7.5-m (25-feet) high tower-like construction in steel topped with a painted bronze figure. In the courtyard is 20th Century Head by James Burnet Munro, while also outside are several decorated fibreglass cows which came to Edinburgh as part of the Cow Parade of 2006. Inside, there are many paintings mostly in the modern style.

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