University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow embarked on the transformation of two significant landmarks, the James Watt Building and the iconic Kelvin Hall.

In their commitment to sustainability, the University chose to leverage the
Ocee & Four Design Take Back Scheme for both projects. By redistributing existing furniture, it was not only diverted from landfill, but also given a second life, adding value to those using it now.

James Watt Building

The James Watt Building at Glasgow University serves as the primary location for the Teaching and School Offices, as well as the central hub for the Divisions of Autonomous Systems & Connectivity, Biomedical Engineering and Systems, Power & Energy, and the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre.

While the existing furniture was in great shape, the University made the decision to undergo a refurbishment of the building to enhance the overall learning experience for students. They chose to take advantage of our Take Back Scheme to ensure their pieces weren’t destined for landfill.

Almost all the furniture taken from the site was redistributed and donated to charity. Here’s a few examples of how the furniture donated impacted its recipients:

Kelvin Hall

Kelvin Hall, an iconic building in Glasgow’s West End, experienced a transformative reopening in 2016, thanks to a collaborative effort involving Glasgow Life, Glasgow Museums, the National Library of Scotland, and the University of Glasgow. The University established The Hunterian Collections Study Centre within Kelvin Hall, elevating its international standing and aligning with its commitment to fostering a world-class environment for learning and research. The 130-seat lecture theatre at Kelvin Hall faced underutilisation due to outdated furniture and inadequate lighting, prompting the University to revitalise it. 

While the space was equipped with Ocee & Four Design’s FourCast Audi with the InnoTab tablet for a brand-new learning experience, existing furniture was redistributed through our Take Back Scheme 

Only seven out of the 136 seats were deemed unfit for reuse, and therefore responsibly recycled. 129 seats found a new home in Guinea, Africa. The seating was thoughtfully reinstalled across eight rooms in the University Jean Plaget, where it is now cherished by its new owners. This not only ensured the furniture’s continued utility but also fostered international collaboration in education.

This conscientious disposal strategy not only reflects the University’s commitment to responsible waste management but also aligns with global sustainability goals. By diverting 1.63 tonnes of furniture from landfill with this project, the University not only reduced its waste output but also prevented the associated environmental impact of furniture disposal. Additionally, the decision to repurpose rather than discard contributed to a substantial carbon footprint reduction, saving an impressive 11.15 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The University of Glasgow’s commitment to sustainability shines through its transformation of Kelvin Hall and the James Watt Building using the Ocee & Four Design Take Back Scheme. It is not just anecdotal; it is quantifiable.

Repurposing a combined total of 249 seats, 89 tables, and 36 storage units not only helped revitalise spaces, benefiting both local and international communities, but it also minimised waste, contributing to the circular economy. The University diverted a total of 9.29 tonnes of furniture from landfills, reducing CO2 emissions by 35.75 tonnes.

Glasgow University sets a commendable example for sustainable practices, showcasing the positive impact of responsible waste management in higher education.

“By using Ocee to strip out, supply, install and then reuse the project was extremely smooth running, they looked after everything”

Credits go to


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