Desco Delight at Flagship Stephenson Quarter Progress

After almost six months on site, award-winning M&E engineering consultancy Desco, is delighted by the progress made on the multi-million pound flagship Stephenson Quarter development in Newcastle City Centre, which it has been involved in for the past nine years.

The company, based out of its headquarters in Doxford Park, Sunderland, has provided the mechanical and electrical designs for the £200m development which is set to transform 10 acres of the city centre with new commercial, hotel, residential and retail facilities. The first phase, currently underway and progressing rapidly, includes the development of a landmark 251 bed four-star+ Crowne Plaza htel and conference centre as well as a combined 357 space multi-storey car park and 35,000 sq. ft. of Grade A office space, complete with an innovative sedum green roof. It is being driven forward by developers Silverlink and constructed by Miller Construction., by way of an innovative funding deal with Newcastle City Council, RBS, Aviva and the NE LEP.

As part of the project, Desco has been instrumental in the delivery of detailed infrastructure studies, sustainability advice and concept designs. Particular attention has been paid to areas of green design as phase one of the project is aspiring to achieve the BREEAM Excellent standard, an extremely high benchmark of sustainable design. Desco is also delivering detailed design for each element of the development.

Desco Director, George Gifford, who is leading on the Stephenson Quarter project spoke about his delight that the project is progressing successfully. He said: “Phase one of the project is now well underway, it’s great to start to see the progress that has been made and many years of design and consultancy work begin to be realised.

“Because of the nature of the location, contours in the ground and current restrictions to the site, the project has been a challenge but one which is proving incredibly rewarding as we’re starting to see the development take shape and move forward at a rapid pace.

“We are all excited by the potential the Stephenson Quarter has to transform the area connecting Newcastle’s quayside with the Central Gateway Project and the city centre by creating thriving residential, working and cultural areas and supporting the growth of the regional economy. With the development of the Grade A offices coming at a time when demand is high for high quality commercial office space in Newcastle, this is a positive move for the region.”

With expertise across a wide range of sectors, the development is particularly suited to Desco which has vast experience in projects from retail and leisure to commercial property and heritage – all of which are covered within the Stephenson Quarter development.

Desco has applied its innovative and energy-saving design services to a number of key areas including the leisure pool at the four-star+ Crowne Plaza htel, currently being developed. By using combined heating power to generate heat and electricity, the design will help to drive waste energy out of the complex. Another sustainable technique includes the installation of photovoltaics to generate electricity in the Grade A commercial office block, as well as the inclusion of air source heat pumps.

George continued: “Sustainable design is a vital element to the Stephenson Quarter project. We’re working within ever tighter regulations on the use of energy within buildings, we have to streamline processes to a higher degree than ever before, and we always aspire to provide our clients with an energy-saving, cost effective design that maximises sustainable, green options.

“I’m delighted with the progress made to date on this project and look forward to continuing its work into the next phase of development.”

The first phase of the Stephenson Quarter development is expected to be complete in July 2015 and subsequent phases will include commercial offices, a boutique hotel, apartments, retail premises, exhibition centre and redevelopment of the listed buildings in the area.


Pictured: impression of the Crowne Plaza at Stephenson Quarter; image courtesy of Silverlink Holdings Ltd.


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