Beatrice Offshore Windfarm - O&M Base
IAA Design Awards - 2021
Operations and Maintenance Base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm.
Scotland’s second largest offshore windfarm of 84 turbines producing 588MW of electricity required a permanent O&M base to service the installation. Wick Harbour was selected as the most advantageous base and after options for a new O&M facility were discarded, our client decided to utilise a number of historic but derelict buildings in the Pulteneytown beside the harbour.
We were commissioned to develop the renovation and conversion of these ‘C’ listed buildings situated within a Conservation Area of National Importance due to the fact that the acclaimed and prolific engineer Thomas Telford had created the Pulteneytown masterplan in the early nineteenth century.
These buildings had been developed to service the herring fishing industry providing filleting, salting and shipping to the whole of the UK and parts of Europe. The buildings also included living accommodation for the migrant workers that followed the silver darlings fleet around the UK. Following years of various uses and neglect the buildings were in poor condition so a programme of renovation and restoration was developed while at the same time adapting to accommodate the new imperative to provide warehouse, maintenance, storage, administration and operational control for the offshore turbines. The harbour too had to be modified to provide berthing facilities for the six crew transfer vehicles.
Initial consultations with the Highland Council and the local community were managed and meaningful resulting in a major renovation project that provided significant works for local contractors and trades. As is common with old buildings, we made a number of discoveries along the way that required rapid response, and a good working relationship with the local authorities was key to an early resolution to permit the continuity of site progress.
Renovation & Restoration
Extensive detailing was necessary to ensure effective and appropriate restoration. Traditional details such as lime pointing and render, sash and case windows, leadwork and slating were incorporated, and in some areas, walls were completely rebuilt using the original stone with openings replicated where possible.
This careful process of palimpsest is arguably an effective and sustainable technique that has assisted in the regeneration of the old town, with a revitalisation of the harbour and Wick as a whole. The project as a whole is a significant step forward towards de-carbonising the electrical energy industry as we move towards a more sustainable future. Upon completion, the building received a ‘Highly Commended’ in the IAA Design Awards in 2021.