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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 05:33 GMT 06:33 UK
Square trees at HQ turning heads
A Scottish Gas employee works on a distinctive line of square trees in Edinburgh
Scottish Gas is branching out with the square trees
The new Scottish Gas headquarters in Edinburgh is cultivating some eye-catching trees - of the square variety.

The trees, which have trunks, branches, leaves and are planted in the ground, were designed by Hyland Edgar Driver.

Scottish Gas said the trees were called Tillia Cordata and the technique to make them square is known as "pleaching" or bracing the trees.

Steve Gorry, Scottish Gas' regional head of operations, said "everyone comments" on the unusual design.

The trees were installed by Premier One Land Services, who have won awards for the urban refinement of the landscapes in the capital's Leith area.

'Cube shaped'

Mr Gorry said: "Everyone comments on our square trees. Eventually they will be braced so that they grow out into three dimensions.

"This takes about 15 years and results in cube shaped trees - they are very popular on the Continent."

Number One Waterfront Avenue, the new Scottish Gas HQ, is a state-of-the-art energy efficient building.

The bars which surround the building are known as a Brise Soleil - French for "breaks the sun" - which are said to increase energy efficiency by 11%.

The building has received the highest Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) award for fuel efficiency that can be awarded to offices, Scottish Gas said.

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