Award-winning construction and property consultancy, Summers-Inman has been appointed by Teesside University to a £13.5m research and innovation facility which will support the region’s ongoing drive for clean energy and sustainability.
The firm’s appointment in a multidisciplinary role to Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre (NZIIC) follows successful completion of past projects for the University, including National Horizons Centre, the Student Life building and the Cornell Quarter.
Plans to develop the NZIIC were unveiled by Teesside University and the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority in March. Other partners include the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and The Welding Institute.
The news follows several announcements in hydrogen and clean energy for the Tees Valley, including confirmation that BP will set up a ‘blue hydrogen’ production facility on Teesside and the UK’s Hydrogen Transport Centre which will be constructed next door to The Welding Institute.
The new NZIIC is part of the latest development at the expanding Net Zero Innovation Hub, spearheaded by Teesside University, which is based on the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP) in Middlesbrough.
The project not only places the region at the forefront of the clean energy agenda but sees it well placed for the knock-on benefits of a strong hydrogen economy, which could add up to £7billion to the region’s economy from now until 2050, creating thousands of jobs in the process.
Due to start on site in October and to be completed by Autumn 2022, Summers-Inman will be providing project management and quantity surveying services currently up to and including RIBA stage three.
Other project partners are GSS Architecture, multi-disciplinary engineers and sustainability consultants, Cundall, and structural and civil engineers, Billinghurst George and Partners (BGP).
Summers-Inman won the project following a competitive tender submission via the NEUPC consultants’ framework (North East Universities Purchasing Consortium). Its successful track record on earlier projects put it in a strong position to secure this appointment.
Commenting on the win, Andrew Rapmund, Director of Summers-Inman said: “We are delighted with this new appointment to continue our ongoing professional relationship with Teesside University, which we have worked hard to develop on a range of other schemes.
“The Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre is an extremely exciting project to be part of as the intention is to create a Net Zero carbon and BREEAM outstanding rated national facility for technological research, development, demonstration, and transfer aimed at facilitating the transition of the Tees Valley and UK’s engineering industries to more sustainable, low carbon processes and products.
“We have anticipated any challenges in the project to ensure that we can find the balance between achieving a Net Zero Carbon and BREEAM outstanding rated building, whilst providing a functional, aspirational and affordable building.”
The scheme incorporates new and sustainable technology such as the use of a green roof, PV panels, heat pumps and onsite nitrogen generators.
Darren Vipond, Director of Campus Services at Teesside University, said: “We are delighted to be working with the team at Summers-Inman who bring a tremendous amount of knowledge and enthusiasm to every project we work on.
“They have demonstrated through previous appointments their excellent leadership and management skills with a strong ability to work within budget and bring the project to a conclusion to meet deadlines.
“The Net Zero Innovation Hub will play a major role in contributing to the Government’s industrial and climate change strategy.
“I’m very excited to see this project take shape and have every confidence in the skill of the Summers-Inman’s team as well as our other professional partners.”
The facility will kick-start commercial industrial decarbonisation, hydrogen and circular economy related business activity in the Tees Valley, provide ‘grow-on’ and ‘demonstration’ space for green industrial development in the Tees Valley region and provide these businesses with a specialised research, development and innovation support infrastructure, together with a base for co-location of R&D activity – at a specialised “Innovation Campus.”