An innovative £10m district energy centre, situated in the heart of Helix – a landmark mixed-use development in Newcastle City centre, and one of the largest urban regeneration projects of its kind – has today (1st May) received its first award.

Newcastle District Energy Centre scooped the prestigious RICS Social Impact North East’s ‘Infrastructure’ Award, news of which was delivered via video presentation.

SES Engineering Services (SES), is proud to have been a key contributor to the successful delivery of the scheme on behalf of a ground-breaking  joint venture between Newcastle City Council and ENGIE Urban Energy (ENGIE) formed to create a 40-year partnership set out to tackle a city wide climate change challenge by implementing new energy solutions across the city, the energy centre being the first development.

ENGIE realised the need to engage with a sub-contractor early choosing to appoint SES.  From the outset, SES clearly demonstrated added value to this project based on its experience, collaborative approach, and its well-established local delivery teams.

Working collaboratively to develop the brief into a workable and fully costed bid, the project has also relied on extensive co-ordination of the multiple multi-national/European partners involved in the project from concept to conclusion.

Newcastle Helix is a 24-acre landmark sustainable development on the site of the old Newcastle Brewery, and is one of the largest urban regeneration projects of its kind.

Designed to bring together industry leaders, businesses and top researchers, by creating a new innovation community, it is an exemplar of sustainable urban development, comprising prestigious commercial and residential space with first class research and education facilities, in the heart of a flourishing city.

At its heart is Newcastle District Energy Centre delivering heating, cooling and electricity through a distribution network to 10 buildings and approximately 500 future homes on the site. It has been calculated that the scheme will provide a carbon emission saving of 30,650 tonnes over 40 years.

Critically, the energy centre is a key component of the city’s energy masterplan and will be a significant contributor to achieving Newcastle City Council’s (NCC) ambitious green credentials and net zero carbon emissions target by 2030.

Speaking about the project, and SES’ ability to work on major infrastructure projects of this type, Steve Joyce, SES’ regional business director North and Scotland said:

“I’m delighted that the energy centre has received such a prestigious accolade and that SES played a major part in making the ambitious project viable and become a reality. Using BIM and adopting our tried and tested offsite approach allowed us to accurately predict both labour costs and time-savings for the complex services installation. Also, by using our prefabrication capabilities we removed hot works, associated risks on site and critically removed in excess of 70% of on-site labour activities – critical on a live city centre site.

“In addition to this scheme being a landmark project for the city of Newcastle, in my opinion, the project’s overarching value delivers at every stage and stands out because it both generates and supplies sustainable low-cost energy,  provides significant emission savings over 40 years and sets the stage for the future development and the construction of further energy centres in which we hope to be involved.”

Steve Joyce
Regional Business Director, North & Scotland, SES Engineering Services

Newcastle District Energy Centre has been shortlisted in this year’s Constructing Excellence North East (CENE) annual Awards in the ‘Value’ category. This year’s CENE Awards are expected to take place in October.