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MacLay Residences, University of Glasgow

Key Stats

  • Refurbishment
  • All 58 mattresses were 100% recycled
  • 1.3 tonnes diverted from landfill and a £1600 cost saving in disposal
  • 1000 carpet tiles cleaned for re-use by local social enterprise
  • Seating from all 14 shared living areas used in community skills projects for disadvantaged young people
  • 14 microwaves donated to local charity

At a Glance


University of Glasgow










Maclay Residences is a contemporary accommodation facility for postgraduate students studying at the prestigious University of Glasgow.


Our Approach

Maclay Residences was the first completed project through our position on the University of Glasgow's capital projects framework.

The work entailed the refurbishment of two accommodation blocks. Block 15 comprised 40 rooms with accompanying toilet and shower pods and eight communal kitchens and seating areas, while Block 14 has 18 rooms with accompanying toilet and shower pods, with six communal kitchens and seating areas.

The team completely stripped out all rooms within the blocks, with all the flooring and lighting fixtures also removed, while all sanitary ware was also removed from the toilet pods.

The two blocks now have completely new kitchens and carpets, vinyl flooring and electrics while each bedroom has been completely redecorated. All 58 toilet pods now have new wet wall installed and all sanitary ware re-instated.

This ambitious programme, which saw Morgan Sindall Construction work alongside an AECOM led design team and furniture supplier Alpha Scotland, was achieved in a tight timeframe, with work beginning on 28th June 2021 and completing on 31st August 2021 with a sequence of room handovers from the 16th August to allow the University's furniture contractor to install in time for students to move in immediately prior to term beginning.

Social Impact

In order to ensure that as little as possible of the replaced furniture and fittings went to landfill, Morgan Sindall Construction developed a comprehensive circular economy strategy:

  • Loose furnishings - including over 100 bar stools and seats from the communal areas - were donated to Kinross Wooden Products, a firm that specialises in designing and creating high quality, sustainable working environments from surplus or certified sustainable materials. The company also uses this process to enable young people to develop upholstery skills.
  • Carpet tiles were donated to Spruce Carpets, a local non-profit organisation that seeks to reduce the amount of flooring waste going to landfill and increase the amount of reused carpet and vinyl flooring in Scotland. 1000 carpet tiles were saved from landfill, with Morgan Sindall Construction receiving a landfill diversion certificate as a result.
  • 58 mattresses were collected by King Size Recycling. They were manually deconstructed into their individual components before being provided to other industries who in turn put these materials through their manufacturing processes and procedures to be reused e.g. the foam has already been remanufactured into underlay for flooring.
  • 14 microwaves were donated to the Marie Trust, which supports the complex and often challenging needs of people across Glasgow that are affected by homelessness, poverty, and social exclusion.

"This was Morgan Sindall Construction’s first project under our Construction Framework with the University of Glasgow. The team worked exceptionally well with the design team at AECOM and Alpha in delivering the project on time and on budget under the restricted delivery window of the student summer break. As well as demonstrating excellent teamwork across the design team, Morgan Sindall Construction engaged brilliantly with Accommodation Services and our key stakeholders. The project has been well received by the University and we look forward to the first intake of students arriving to utilise the accommodation."

Dominic Duffy, head of programme management office - estates directorate, University of Glasgow


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