BEC targets ‘zero-net-carbon’ for North Shore development

 Scheme will feature renewable energy generation and inventive energy efficiency measures

 26th June 2018: BEC’s ambition to deliver its scheme at North Shore, Whitehaven, with the lowest possible carbon footprint has taken a significant step forward with the appointment of key advisors this month.

Following a competitive open tender, specialist sustainable development and energy advisors SUSTaim Ltd and Sonas Energy have been appointed to develop a masterplan for low carbon activity at North Shore. The plan will see comprehensive scoping activity to assess what is possible at the site – with a clear ambition to embed an approach that will see Whitehaven’s harbour front become a beacon for sustainable development that strives to be zero-net-carbon (ZNC).

A ZNC building is defined as a highly energy efficient building that produces energy on-site, or procures, enough carbon-free renewable energy to meet building operations energy consumption annually.

The whole scheme, being developed with partners including Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners and Copeland Borough Council, proposes a 4* hotel, multi-story car park facility and circa 75,000 sq ft office development. Current projects will see the delivery of a mixed-use office, start-up and innovator facility with supporting artisan eatery. Further road upgrades are also ongoing in partnership with Cumbria County Council.

Michael Pemberton, CEO of BEC commented: “Building and construction is one of the most polluting industries. At BEC we believe we have a responsibility as developers to ensure that any buildings we bring forward have a neutral or positive carbon impact. Our aim to have zero-net-carbon buildings at North Shore are bold and ambitious but we are committed to exploring every option to get us there. Our appointment of SUSTaim Ltd and Sonas Energy is a critical first step for this.”

Joe Martin, Head of Energy & Funding at BEC continued: “With the key component parts of the overall scheme now identified, we must quickly turn our attention to ensuring that as each building comes forward it has the best possible environmental impact and what potential there is for the buildings to work together to reduce their consumption and carbon footprint. We are seeking forward thinking partners to maximise the generation potential of the sites and fully optimise the energy efficiency measures that will be in place. It is our clear intention to embed this into plans at this early stage rather than consider energy as an afterthought.”

BEC had tender applications from all across the country and the Scottish microbusiness collaboration SUSTaim Ltd and Sonas Energy beat 8 companies to win the master planning contract. “We were particularly pleased to see their commitment to sense of place together with social, economic and environmental sustainability,” commented Joe.

SustAIM and Sonas will now go onto:

  • Develop a strategy for energy and carbon matters at North Shore
  • Outline an approach that will minimise energy use while maximising low carbon energy generation
  • Create a plan to minimise grid power consumption – exploring the use of on-site storage, a smart microgrid and district heat approaches
  • Explore revenue generation and cost saving benefits of different technologies to ensure energy issues enhance the commercial viability of the scheme

John Easton, Managing Director of SUSTaim added: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to support BEC with a low carbon energy strategy for North Shore. We have been greatly impressed by the how seriously BEC considers sustainability in what they plan and do, and their eagerness to do more. We are also pleased to see the depth of engagement with the local community, providing an opportunity for everyone to join them in the journey toward social and economic sustainability, as well as its more obvious environmental aspect. The strategy we devise will provide opportunities to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the North Shore development and contribute to BEC’s ambition to make Whitehaven one of the most progressive communities in Europe.”

For more information on North Shore visit: