Offshore quarters in Borkum harbour: new residential area for service employees for wind farms at sea
Borkum Hafen Immobilien GmbH is currently developing a novel residential concept for Germany: attractive and ground-breaking residential concept in energy terms in conjunction with easy access to the place of work on the high seas. As part of the Borkum 2030 mission statement and the associated integrated urban development concept, apartments are being constructed in the district of Reede explicitly designed to meet the needs of service workers of offshore wind farms. Together with the Viennese architectural office, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects and Nordseeheilbad Borkum GmbH, Borkum Hafen Immobilien GmbH is developing a concept for the development of offshore service quarters on the northern and eastern bank of the island’s former naval harbour.
There are now ten offshore wind farms with 551 turbines in the North Sea off Borkum which require regular maintenance — further farms are in construction. Until now, the engineers, mechanics and technicians have had to commute every day from their place of residence or stay in nearby hotels. A highly complex arrangement as Kai-Uwe Thase, authorised signatory of Borkum Hafen Immobilien GmbH, confirms: “It’s an immense effort for colleagues working offshore to make the trip to their demanding place of work every day. It’s a major relief if they can live comfortably and as close as possible for the period of their work. And for companies employing offshore employees, the apartments represent a huge saving in cost.
“Our aim is to design quarters which after hard days at work but also during periods of poor weather, offer ideal facilities for life beside the job with a kiosk, barbecue site, communal kitchens and common rooms, a fitness room, laundry areas and storage options. Added to this, of course, is the fact that the location is directly in the harbour, thereby offering the shortest conceivable route to the ship”, Thase explains.
As well as many design improvements, the aim is to develop quarters with zero CO2 emissions. The objective is to run the heating and drive vehicles using electricity from wind turbines. A corresponding heat pump and e-car sharing concept tailored to fit the irregular wind power feed, is currently in development. The Managing Partner, Dr. Klaus Meier, who is also Managing Director and/or Supervisory Board Chairman at wpd windmanager GmbH & Co. KG, wpd AG and Deutsche Windtechnik AG, comments as follows: “We are trying to identify a collaboration between the three energy markets which is practicable, feasible cost-wise and ecologically presentable. We could not imagine any better location than Borkum — situated in the Wadden Sea World Heritage where the effects of climate change are very directly palpable.”
Development of the accommodation is to be divided into two phases. The first construction phase consists of around 100 residential units for offshore service employees and will be completed by spring 2020. The individual apartments are designed as small-scale units (roughly 30 to 50 square metres in size) for periodic occupation by offshore workers. Both the direct waterside location in the former naval harbour and the amenities in the apartments facilitate a comfortable, modern lifestyle. There will be generously-sized balconies and patios as well as numerous rooms designed for communal use. Besides the accommodation, Borkum Hafen Immobilien GmbH is also creating the necessary infrastructure, for example various shopping facilities but also attractive leisure offers. A new fuelling station for service ships has already been completed and plans for the next steps are in full swing: Currently, a choice has to be made between architectural designs, and thought is being given to designing the open spaces but also restaurants and bars as well as a cinema for all inhabitants of the island. Around 140 residential units are to be built in the second construction phase. Realisation of the second construction phase depends on whether the expected demand for the first 100 apartments actually materialises.
The foundations for the quarters had already been laid in April 2017. Borkum Council decided to have an urban development concept drawn up. An island workshop with the architects and many Borkum citizens was held. “Reede is largely characterised by its former use as a naval base”, states Göran Sell, Managing Director of Nordseeheilbad Borkum. “Since the facility has been closed, the challenge has been to find a new use for the district and to give it a new identity. We are delighted that new life is coming to Reede from which the entire island will benefit.”
You can find more information on the project, including on the stand of Borkum Hafen Immobilien GmbH at WindEnergy Hamburg. You will find the team on the joint stand of wab in Hall A4, Stand 320.
About Borkum Hafen Immobilien GmbH
Borkum Hafen Immobilien GmbH is a member of the wpd Group which develops and operates onshore and offshore wind farms. For more than 20 years, the company from Bremen has realised projects with a total of 2,180 wind turbines and an output of 4,400 MW in total. Borkum Hafen Immobilien GmbH was set up at the beginning of 2018. The aim of the company is to plan, develop and sell property in the Reede district on Borkum.