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Botanic Cottage Edinburgh

Location: Edinburgh

Summary: Reconstruction of a historic stone cottage using partly salvaged original materials.

Description of Works: Reconstruction of a 2-storey historic stone cottage using some salvaged materials from the original 1764 Georgian building designed by architects John Adam and James Craig.

With the addition of 2 single storey wings the building provides:

  • 340m2 of space
  • teaching areas
  • classrooms
  • lecture room
  • potting shed
  • office
  • toilets

Works included:

  • Vibro compaction
  • Concrete floor slab
  • Natural stone rubble walling using mainly reclaimed sandstone
  • 3 fireplaces
  • Original stone turnpike stairwell
  • Slated pitched roof using some salvaged timber roof trusses and rafters
  • New and salvaged flagstone ground floors
  • New and salvaged timber floorboards
  • Sash and case windows and timber shutters
  • Lime render
  • Lath and lime plaster internal wall finishes
  • Decorative plaster including cornicing
  • Contractor designed platform lift installation
  • Air source heat pump providing underfloor heating
  • Solar pv for general use electricity

Added Value

We contributed to value engineering exercises by proposing alternate products, questioning design solutions and attending open forum meetings to assist in achieving savings and arriving at a project budget within funding parameters.  Examples include

alternative specifications for flat roof finishes together with alternative solution to roof lights, review of external wall construction of the extensions where the extent of stone was reduced together with clay brick, specialised plaster and feature detailing to conclude a timber kit solution with stone cladding and skimmed plasterboard walls.

During the course of the construction works we continued to offer further value engineering; the topsoil from the building footprint was retained in adjacent nursery gardens for future use throughout the garden; the specification of the glazing within the windows was reviewed and alternatives suggested allowing the implementation of slim line double glazed units. This generated a saving but also provided lower maintenance costs should panes be damaged during the building’s lifespan.

Community Benefits

  • 2 month work placement for a young apprentice Stone Mason via Princes Trust
  • hosted various traditional craft apprentice visits including the organisation of a Hot Lime Mortar demonstration


  • 2017 Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards – Winner
  • 2015 Georgian Group Architectural Awards – Commended


For more information please contact us

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Contact Us


John C Aitchison
Managing Director
E: johnaitchison@maxiconstruction.co.uk


Barry Simpson
Construction Director
E: barrysimpson@maxiconstruction.co.uk


Claire MacKenzie
Marketing Manager
E: clairemackenzie@maxiconstruction.co.uk

Contact us or call on 01506 442233

This important and challenging project

“This important and challenging project has been completed quietly, efficiently and professionally without any fuss."

Well done

“Well done in completing the first phase of the works, on programme and with zero snagging. The client is delighted with the end product which has exceeded their expectations.”

The building is impressive

"I would like to pass on the thanks of the whole school to everyone involved in what was a well-managed, well communicated and safely delivered project.”

The handover of Phase 2

“The handover of Phase 2 a day early has assisted the client to better manage their move management on two projects which occur over the same weekend, an effort which is greatly appreciated.”