Newcastle’s first Energy Centre has been officially opened and will supply the 24 acre Helix development – a central hub for research, business and innovation.
The project is a joint venture between Newcastle City Council and international company Engie, with GRADONARCHITECTURE leading the delivery of the design. Having also delivered the award winning Gateshead Energy District Centre in 2016, the project will mark the completion of Gradon’s second Energy Centre for the North East.
The Energy Centre will serve the Helix development on the site of the former Scottish & Newcastle Breweries Company and having assessed early challenges in the topography of the site, the Energy Centre is strategically placed to the North West of the development in order to accommodate the groundwork infrastructure of the building and best serve the buildings across the site. Gradon have delivered the design to BIM level 2 standards, with the scheme housing a complex 5km network of pipes. Externally, the building has been clad in a gold metallic composite panel which will integrate with the aesthetic of other developments across the site.
The Energy Centre will also become a key project for Newcastle City Council’s vision of moving towards a more sustainable future. The facility is designed to work using combined heat and power (CHP) source. The engines will generate electricity and produce hot water to then be distributed to 10 commercial buildings and 450 residential buildings across the site via a network of pipes. The energy solution is both future proof and energy efficient as it produces fewer carbon emissions than taking power from the national grid, where heat generated by power stations is lost to the air. The centre will cut carbon emissions for the city by 15% and will be a key driving force behind Newcastle city’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.
The new centre will be the first of many innovative energy projects resulting from the Regenerate Newcastle Partnership; a joint venture between ENGIE and Newcastle City Council, to develop and operate district energy schemes within the City over a 40-year term. The centre has been made possible with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Government’s Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Technical Director Graeme Kirkley has led the Gradon design team throughout the delivery of the project and said,
“It is fantastic to see the completion of The Newcastle Energy Centre, the building’s innovative design will save the city 30,000 tonnes of carbon over the next 40 years, leading the path for a greener future for the city and providing a sustainable energy source for the Helix site which will massively reduce the environmental impact of supplying energy.”