The world-class Vestas Blade Technology Centre on the Isle of Wight has been named the Major Project Award winner in the prestigious ICE South Branch Engineering Excellence Awards run by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
The £56million research and development facility in Newport was announced as the winner of the prestigious award at the ICE South Branch awards dinner at the Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton, on Friday June 29th.
Eight local projects made the shortlist for the ICE South Branch Awards. Projects ranged in scale from £712,000 to £93million and included engineering disciplines as diverse as roads, wind turbine research and development centres and outdoor activity facilities.
Five awards were presented for overall winner, major project winner, small project winner, community award and sustainability award. Judges rewarded projects that reflected aspects of ICE’s global vision of civil engineers at the heart of society, delivering sustainable development through knowledge, skills and professional expertise.
The Isle of Wight is home to the Blade Technology Department of Danish firm Vestas Wind Systems, world leaders in offshore wind power. The technology centre was developed both to cope with the increased size of turbine blades and to continue to research and develop turbines and their component technologies.
The brief was to create a research and development facility encompassing test and prototyping halls and highly sustainable office space for up to 550 staff. The site, on the banks of the River Medina, allows for easy access when the blades are shipped on to Southampton for onward transit. The centre was completed in June 2011.
The project team consisted of Vestas, Aukett Fitzroy Robinson, SineQN and David Langdon. It was submitted for the award by Ramboll UK Ltd.
A spokeswoman from Ramboll said: “The project provides Vestas with a world class research and development facility to develop the next generation of wind turbines whilst bringing high skilled employment to the community and incorporating exemplar sustainable energy technologies. The site location, neighbouring sensitive habitats and remediation requirements demanded a collaborative approach from the client, contractor and project team and combined technical innovations with good design and functional operational strategies. Despite the challenges, the project was delivered on time, to budget and provides Vestas with a development that they are proud of and which suits the fast changing nature of their industry.”
The awards were sponsored by Trant Construction and presented by ICE President Richard Coackley who is the Director of Energy Development, Environment and Natural Resources for URS Scott Wilson.
Awards judge and head of civil engineering, training and surveying at the University of
Portsmouth, Dr Dominic Fox said: “It’s fortunate that we have a variety of awards. We had eight schemes shortlisted for the main awards and it was tough trying to separate out large engineering projects at the top of their game. It’s fantastic for Newport to be involved in the production of environmentally friendly and sustainable energy. It was a very big project and it involved a lot of work to avoid disrupting the environment.”
Other winning projects were the AMEX Community Stadium, Brighton; Hardham Water Resource Project, South Downs National Park, West Sussex; and the Eclipse Bus Rapid Transport Phase 1, Fareham/Gosport, Hampshire.
This article has been read 1005 times!