Digital sophistication makes the complex simple. All of our experience with digital engineering came together to drive delivery of, and engagement in, the largest live project in Scotland.

St James Quarter
Edinburgh, UK
At a glance

St James Quarter is as big and complex as sites get. The massive development is a multi-use precinct mixing retail and leisure with luxury living. Everything about it is cutting-edge, including the way it was designed and built.

An end-to-end digital methodology meant every aspect was digitally engineered first, down to the last nut and bolt.

We drew from experience on past mega projects in major cities, such as Trinity Leeds, Oxford Westgate, Meadowhall’s transformation and Liverpool One, to manage a development that now provides powerful insight into delivery of future mega sites.

The power of digital

The digital approach was completely immersive, with design team, supervisors, engineers, labourers, safety managers and community liaison deeply involved. It is how the team communicated with each other and with stakeholders. It is an integral part of how we do things at Laing O’Rourke.

Despite the project’s size and complexity, most of what we did on site was managed heavily by digital models and platforms, meaning we could be sure of the right result. That creates clarity, flexibility, efficiency and, for the client, powerful certainty.

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Laing O’Rourke’s approach to construction, using off site manufacturing and digital engineering, was key to our decision-making process and why we chose to work with the company on this project. The scheme is located in the heart of the historic city of Edinburgh, and we wanted to work with a delivery partner who could overcome the challenge of a constrained location by using modern methods of construction.

Colin Palmer Nuveen

Edinburgh St James - Drone footage January 2019

St James Quarter


The result

While each Laing O’Rourke project employs more and more digital methods and tools, St James Quarter is one of the first to use it to this complete extent.

This drives innovation and improves excellence in engineering, setting us apart from competitors and bringing numerous benefits to clients.