Home > Case studies > The Jack Copland Centre, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS)

The Jack Copland Centre, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS)

Edinburgh, Scotland

A centre of excellence, this state-of-the-art facility consolidates SNBTS's core activities and related services from three sites onto a single site near Edinburgh airport, including three storeys of high-quality offices and spaces to enable the processing/testing of blood, tissues and cells. Delivered by a Kajima led team, the new facility processes all donated blood in Scotland and stores for example skin (for treating burns), bone (for orthopaedic surgery) and tendons (for sports surgery).


NHS National Services Scotland and Scottish National Blood
Transfusion Service


Kajima Partnerships and Interserve Investments
Reiach and Hall Architects
Interserve Construction
Interserve Facilities Management

Asset Values

9520m2 plus 1156m2 garage and 511m2 energy centre and FM



The Jack Copland Centre will not only enable SNBTS to retain its position amongst the world’s leaders in the delivery of a high quality blood, tissues and cells service, but will allow it to make a step change in service delivery. It has been an exciting journey for SNBTS and private sector partner Kajima to make this project a reality. The centre is named after after the founder of the first Scottish blood transfusion service in 1930, Jack Copland.

The building is designed to promote the concept of SNBTS as a team. The central arcade is the heart of the building and is used by all staff. There is a high degree of transparency throughout. The main blood processing hall, testing and RD&I laboratories can be viewed across the arcade from the offices and wherever possible partitions are floor to ceiling glass. An ambitious arts programme is now incorporated into the building, notably in the arcade; this was designed by Steven Aalders working closely with Reiach and Hall Architects.

The arcade is a key space in between the offices and the processing areas; it is a light and airy central circulation space allowing staff to interact and communicate freely.  It can house all 400 staff, thereby providing an area for key announcements and staff meetings. The composition of the arcade allows views into and through many parts of the building and an important benefit is to allow visitors, including school children, to view the working of all parts of the building without entering restricted GMP areas.

The servicing solution to GMP areas employs an entire interstitial space, giving full walk on access to plant and distribution systems, enabling maintenance to be carried out by a dedicated FM service delivery team without entering GMP areas. Distribution of services into the GMP space is through the walk-on ceiling, via flexible connectors to vertical pillars mounted on mobile benching/equipment. This solution in its entirety maximises both flexibility and resilience by minimising interruption to the GMP process.

Innovation was prioritised in creating the Jack Copland Centre, especially when considering work flows – people, donations, consumables, product and waste. No crossovers are allowed between different flows because of the increased risk of contamination. To maximise space utilisation regarding vertical/horizontal flows we incorporated two dumb waiter type service lifts - one taking samples from manufacturing to the testing laboratory and the second to remove waste. The innovative integration of the dumb waiter lifts within the building provided a value for money space saving solution. Kajima worked collaboratively with SNBTS to satisfy the regulator’s concerns regarding practicality of the dumb waiter lifts. In doing so, we had to demonstrate and evidence how the lifts would work operationally in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) environment.

Modern technology is widely used as SNBTS is responsible for ensuring products are available when patients need them. To do this a capable IT system was required as “no ICT means no blood”. Kajima worked with SNBTS to procure a comprehensive, resilient and robust ICT infrastructure comprising incoming fibre and copper cables, five communications rooms, fibre backbone and a Cat 6A structured cabling system.

During construction we provided a number of direct benefits to the local community. At its peak the project supported 350 jobs. Around 3,500 people have been employed on the project from the start to completion, with 97% of works let to local companies within a 50 mile radius. We also created three new apprenticeships and 14 work placements for young people.

The building won the BCIA Project of the Year 2019.