Union Building

The Union building
Students’ Association venues, Club 601 and the StAge in the Union, will be undergoing essential maintenance work during the 2023-2024 academic year, starting in August 2023.

The venues were closed after a safety inspection raised concerns about the type of concrete used in the roof space. The roof was built many years ago using a type of lightweight concrete called reinforced aerated autoclaved concrete (RAAC), which has recently been the subject of concerns in the building industry about its lifespan and stability. This is an issue impacting buildings across the country.

The Students’ Association and the University are working hard to ensure that the impact of the closure is minimal, for our students, staff and the local community.

The rest of the Union will remain open as usual with no interruption to the weekly events calendar. See the Union’s events schedule for more information.

Project management

The work is being undertaken by Morrison Construction, in partnership with the University and managed by the Estates Capital Development team.


The Students’ Association will keep students updated on the progress and development of the work.

Neighbours in the immediate proximity to the site were informed of the work and information was shared with Fife Councillors representing St Andrews, the Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council, and other local contacts such as the Business Improvement District and the Confederation of St Andrews Residents’ Association.

Updates or changes to the development will be noted on this web page.


Work has started on site and will continue with the installation of the scaffolding in August 2023. The replacement roof and reinstatement works are expected to last until early summer 2024.

Operational hours

The operational hours of the building work will be Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 4.15pm. Some work may be undertaken outwith these hours, but it is not anticipated that these will have an external impact.

The University Shop, Rector’s Café, and the rest of the Union Building will be open during normal operational hours.

The work

A temporary scaffold structure will be installed above the roof of the 601 building to faciliate the removal of the roof. The contractor will check this temporary, protective layer on a weekly basis to ensure stability and safety are of the highest standards.

Heras Fencing will be installed along the piazza to create the contractor’s compound and around the perimeter of the building to the lawned area at the rear.

The footpath on the Union site between St Mary’s Place and Abbotsford Crescent to the west of the building will be closed for the duration of the works for safety reasons. Full emergency access from the main Union building will be maintained throughout.

The old RAAC panels will be removed and replaced with a new roof. The existing structural frame is being reused to minimise the amount of new materials required. This new roof has been designed to help reduce the noise from the club space.

All equipment within the space will be stripped out and reinstated before reopening in the summer of 2024.


All parties involved in the work have extensive experience in this field and will strive to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum. Precautions and actions are in place to ensure that the impact in terms of noise, dust and removal of waste is also kept to a minimum.

A contractor’s compound will be erected on the piazza outside the Union, and the piazza will be out of commission throughout the works. There will be a safety space of ten metres between the compound and the pavement. The pavement will not be impacted by the work. In addition, there will be a secondary compound at the North Haugh.

The existing trees will be protected during the works.


The impact of the noise from this project is anticipated as being low. The main impact will be from the installation and removal of the temporary scaffolding on the temporary scaffold protective roof.

Waste removal

Morrison Construction intends to reuse as much of the existing on-site material as possible. What cannot be recycled on-site will be contained in two to three skips. The RAAC panels themselves cannot be recycled due to their makeup. To minimise disruption and limit the environmental impact of transporting waste from the site, lorries will only remove waste material when these skips are at capacity.


Email [email protected] if you have any questions or issues regarding the work. 


If you have queries about this or any of the University’s current developments, please email [email protected].