Premier Inn, Pacific Quay

Type and size of project

The Pacific Quay Premier Inn is a six-storey 144-bed hotel and restaurant development located in the heart of Glasgow, designed by Lawrence McPherson Associates, for hotel operators Whitbread Plc.

The area is Glasgow’s premier commercial development and is already home to BBC Scotland and Scottish Television. This new hotel will be immediately next to the media companies, with the new Hydro venue and Glasgow Science Centre making up this prestigious development.

The new Premier Inn required significant upfront design and collaboration between the different construction teams owing to the size and complexity of the project. Having an already strong working relationship and history with contractors Ogilvie Construction, as well as the architect, Stewart Milne Timber Systems also cultivated a thorough understanding of the specifications of Premier Inn’s parent company, Whitbread Plc and was able to offer insight and advice with each of the other teams from an early stage, which proved invaluable to the success of the project.

At six storeys tall, building regulations required enhanced safety standards such as ‘design against disproportionate collapse’, the effect of which is to limit the extent of any resultant collapse relative to the cause of the damage. Stewart Milne Timber Systems engineered the solution using a system of large span floor cassettes and stressed skin wall ply clad wall panels with key element posts, which achieved these requirements. 

The building comprised six storeys with four storeys of timber frame integrated on top of two levels of concrete and glass. Stewart Milne Timber Systems used its extensive design experience and technological expertise to ensure the project was delivered in an efficient and cost effective manner, while proactively engaging each project partner to ensure that all materials and additional trades were integrated into the build schedule correctly and sequentially, streamlining the process and safety of the site.

Insulation and air tightness details were also incorporated in line with Whitbread’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 26 per cent by 2020 throughout the company’s entire operations and building projects. This goes beyond the Building Regulations requirements for commercial buildings in Scotland.

Working in conjunction with the Ogilvie and Lawrence McPherson Associates teams, Stewart Milne Timber Systems designed an open panel timber frame solution which was instrumental in achieving these goals and delivered to hotel operator Whitbread’s plans for the project.

Alex Goodfellow, group managing director at Stewart Milne Timber Systems, said: “We have worked with Ogilvie and Lawrence McPherson before, which was critical to making the project a success. It allowed us to work with each of them from the outset and proactively contribute to the design and the build programme, identifying efficiencies and cost savings from the very beginning.

“The nature of the project required extensive technical advice and design input from all the construction partners. We were able to offer our expertise and experience of having worked on a number of projects like this in the past.

“Although the Premier Inn model is well established, every project comes with its unique challenges and this development was no different. We were happy to be able to help and really pleased with the outcome, as were all involved.”


Homes For Scotland Home Builders Federation National House-Building Council Royal Institute of British Architects Structural Timber Association Constructionline British Board of Agrement Wood Campus Build Off Site Building Research Establishment WOOD FOR GOOD

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