The Informatics Forum

More info:


* for computing

* ForumUsersGroup for the Forum Users Group


The building construction costs were zero-rated for VAT as its main purpose (research) qualifies for VAT zero rating. Most other activities of the School and University - in particular undergraduate and masters teaching - attract a non-zero VAT rating.

De minimus use for non-qualifying activities is permitted, so the restriction under which we operate is that:

The entire building must be used solely for qualifying purposes for at least 90% of the time for which it is available for use.

The building is available for use 24 hours x 7 days x 50 weeks, per annum.

All non-qualifying activities (in particular, these include UGT, PGT and commercial consultancies) within the Forum must be confined to occur within the schedule of hours given below.

Interested students may attend research seminars and other qualifying events outwith these times, as visitors, where these activities are not part of their programme of study.

Research whose results will be put in the public domain, research postrgraduate training, and public engagement for the purpose of public understanding of our research and its implications will normally be qualifying purposes.

September 2008 - August 2009 schedule of hours authorized for non-qualifying activities

1000-1300 on Tuesdays and Thursdays in all weeks when the building is open.

1000-1300 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the following weeks:

Weeks 0-13 of Semester 1
14 September - 20 December 2008
Weeks 1-11 of Semester 2
11 January - 28 March 2009
Weeks 1-5 of the April-May Exam Block
19 April - 23 May 2009

In addition, the following periods are authorised:

0900-2100 19 September 2008
to accommodate Entrepreneurship Edinburgh event
0900-1600 20 September 2008
to accommodate Entrepreneurship Edinburgh event

Total authorized hours: 589

Further authorized periods will be added in due course, once dates are finalized, to cater for extraordinary events, summer examinations and course preparation.

At all times there is space in Appleton Tower for non-qualifying activities to take place. This space is bookable through the ITO or commercialisation team as appropriate.


There are three fire stairs, in the fire cores at the North West and South East corners of the forum, and at the South end of the Life Sciences Wing.

Smoke curtains drop automatically when the alarm is sounded. Some curtains drop after a short delay (for example, to allow you to leave the hanging stair and the scenic lifts).

When you have left the building, move to one of the Assembly Points: either at Bristo Square or adjacent to George Square Gardens (at the intersection of Charles Street and Crichton Street).

-- MichaelFourman - 20 Jun 2008


There will be three levels of trust in public spaces.
Low Trust
the corridor to door 19 - for the use of those making deliveries
Medium Trust
the Ground Floor meeting rooms and open area
High Trust
Ground Floor lab areas, basement and upper floors
Meeting room G7A can be configured as a Low Trust area when the partition separating it from G7 is closed.

Those entering the Forum in office hours must swipe in or be admitted by reception. Reception will issue visitor badges or visitor swipe cards as appropriate.

At present there is no barrier separating High, Medium and Low Trust areas. Once all swipe systems are operational a further swipe will be required to pass, by routes other than the public stair, from Low to Medium to High Trust.

Generally the public stair will allow passage between Medium and High Trust. On occasions when less-trusted groups have access to events in the Medium Trust area access to the public stair will be be blocked at ground level (by "ONLY AUTHORISED ENTRY" tape).

Swipe In/Swipe Out

The intention of Swipe Out is to detect opportunistic thieves making their exit.

Swipe In should ensure only trusted individuals have access to trusted areas. However, untrusted individuals may gain access in a variety of ways. Swipe Out ensures that they cannot leave the Forum without passing reception or alerting security by setting off the alarm.

Swipe Out requires your PIN to demonstrate that you are with your card.

If you enter the right PIN but the machine says "access denied", your card is worn. Sometimes swiping upward or more than once will work, or get a replacement from the Main Library helpdesk.

Visitors and Tailgating

draft for discussion and approval by PRC -- MichaelFourman - 05 Jul 2008

You may bring small groups of research visitors into the building outwith normal office hours. While your visitors are in the building they should remain at all times under your supervision and effective control. Your visitors should sign-in and sign-out. You should only allow others, who must sign in and out, to tailgate (In or Out) if you know the individuals concerned have access rights.

Problems and Changes


Please mail

  • If you think the furniture in your room should be moved.
  • If you notice (what you think are) faults in design or construction.
  • If the furniture in your room is different from that you expected.
  • If you want to swap desks or rooms.
  • If you have any other problems with the building, furniture, or move.


The initial allocation and configuration of offices is certainly imperfect. In addition, we are aware of a number of "snags" - bits the construction team didn't finish or got wrong. These should be rectified over the next year.

Please log any configuration and allocation issues by email to The migration team will prioritise configuration issues, and address them as soon as is feasible.

I will be collecting together all concerns that people raise, and reviewing them over the next couple of months. In particular, office allocations will be reviewed once we are all installed in the Forum.

For the next few months, I would ask you to work with the current allocation, with understanding that around the end of the (calendar) year we will make such changes as appropriate and feasible.

Review should be consistent with this timetable.

Snags should also be notified to Please use room numbers to identify the location of any snags you report.

Please do not move furniture (except for minor adjustments of a few inches). Please do not swap desks or rooms.

-- MichaelFourman - 21 Jun 2008


We are investigating options for cordless phones and conference phones.

In the meantime, there is a conference phone in 5.02, and conference phone facilities can be booked through ITO in Appleton Tower

Meeting Rooms

There is a committee for the meeting rooms (MeetingRoomsCommittee) which is trying to assess the needs of the rooms and select default layouts. To give us suggestions and feedback, please see: MeetingRoomsCommittee.

Booking system at shows use.

  • Ground: G.03, G.07, G07a
  • 1st: 1.15, 1.16
  • 2nd: 2.17, miniforum 2.32
  • 3rd: 3.02
  • 4th: 4.02, 4.31, 4.33, minforum 4.40
  • 5th: 5.02, 5.33, 5.42

At 29 Sep 08:

Please note that the following people can all now book meeting rooms and visitor rooms in the Forum: * Jan Goulding (soon) * Sofi Freijeiro-Mato * Cathy Gray * Jenny Burness * Jane Teplechuk (soon) * Nicole Jacobs (soon) * Dyane Goodchild

For special AV requirements please request this in a support ticket as soon as possible.

To book the board room (5.42), please contact Alex Judd or mvugts at


In NE (mono and colour) and SW (mono) corners of each floor. has some information about printing from a Mac.


If you need photos to show people, there are some at

Topic revision: r19 - 12 Nov 2008 - 14:17:06 - JeanCarletta
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