Focus Consultants delivers sustainability services for major renewable energy firm


Focus Consultants has been appointed to deliver sustainability services for a new East Coast Hub for the global leader in offshore wind, Ørsted, which is currently building the biggest offshore wind farms in the world.

Currently in construction on the Royal Docks at Grimsby, Lincolnshire, the building will represent a state-of-the-art operations and maintenance hub to support both the construction and operation of Ørsted’s offshore wind farms, from which they currently operate more than 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of capacity with a further 2.6GW under construction.

“The construction, operation and maintenance of such a large off-shore wind capacity necessarily requires a highly specialised and high-quality base from which to conduct activities,” said Focus partner Jason Redfearn. “The new O&M hub, being constructed by Hobson & Porter, will provide such a facility. As a part of this, Focus Consultants has been appointed to undertake a BREEAM sustainability assessment of the building’s design and construction. With a target of ‘Very Good’, this requires the implementation of sustainability standards that surpass those of UK Building Regulations.”

Focus, which is based in Nottingham and has branches in Leicester, London, Newark and Boston in Lincolnshire, is a sustainability specialist and offers a range of energy and sustainability services including BREEAM assessment, with expert advice on sustainable building methods, building physics, Energy Compliance and Testing.

Material selection within any development underpins the sustainable standards incorporated as part of the construction. The Ørsted O&M hub is targeting high scores within this section of BREEAM, which rewards those who procure materials with low environmental impact, including embodied carbon, over the life of the building. The scheme is also actively trying to manage the source of materials by selecting, where appropriate, suppliers that have EMS (Environmental Management Systems) in place.

As part of the build, the development has set ambitious and high targets in relation to water consumption and conservation. Through the use of efficient fittings and flow restrictors, which decrease the water used and wasted, a 40% reduction in water use over the baseline amount calculated is achieved. In addition, water consumption through the construction process will be managed in accordance with BREEAM, with monitoring through all stages to incentivise efficiency.

“Energy efficiency measures are also being incorporated into the design in order to reduce the overall building’s operational consumption,” added Jason Redfearn. “Photovoltaic panels will offset a proportion of the electrical energy requirements for the building, which otherwise would have been drawn from the grid. The development is targeting a performance which is the equivalent of an ‘Excellent’ rating under energy, even though the building is being developed to a ‘Very Good’ standard. This increased target exemplifies the desire of Ørsted to incorporate a sustainable approach into the design.

“The Focus Consultants service for the project has, to date, entailed full consultation with the design team to create an environment within which each member of the team can feel engaged in the process and a close working relationship with the team to ensure the process is made as smooth and efficient as possible. Focus is delighted to have been appointed to work on such a high-profile scheme to support Ørsted’s sustainability aims.”

Ørsted is creating the biggest offshore wind farms in the world off the Yorkshire Coast; Hornsea Projects One and Two’s 339 turbines will be able to provide enough electricity for well over 2.3 million homes, when the wind farms become operational in 2020, and 2022 respectively.

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024