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Open Doors Week: Kier's Greenwich Peninsula Energy Centre

Jumping on at the Maritime Museum, my 188 bus takes me into the heart of Greenwich Peninsula.

For decades this has been a derelict area of south-east London but now it is set to be transformed into one of London’s biggest housing developments.

Greenwich Peninsula will contain more than 10,000 homes when completed, alongside restaurants, shops and leisure facilities.

And powering all of these homes will be the Greenwich Peninsula Energy Centre.

The centre will be the heart of Knight Dragon’s development, pumping hot water across the area.

And people have travelled from far and wide to see it as part of Open Doors.

I take the tour alongside a group of undergraduate construction managers and project managers that have bussed in from Reading University, with all of them aiming to one day be running a project like this.

We are greeted by site’s project manager Ben Fleming, who has been leading the job for more than a year. As we enter the building we are greeted with a maze of pipes all connected to a massive combined heat and power engine and three boilers.

And there is room for more. The walls on the side of the warehouse can be removed so that two more of these giant boilers can be installed as the development grows.

But the energy centre is not merely there for functionality.

Just 10 minutes from the Cutty Sark and a stone’s throw from the O2, the energy centre is hoping to be Greenwich’s newest iconic structure.

With a flue tower designed by none other than award-winning British artist Conrad Shawcross, it hopes to be the centrepiece for the development.

As we look up at the tower, cladding contractor Lakesmere is putting in place one of the hundreds of steel triangular panels – each the size of a London bus.

One college student, who has travelled with a mate from his course all the way from Kent, thanks Ben for the insight. “We really wanted to see this place, and the tour has taught me loads,” she says.

Greenwich Peninsula Energy Centre

Contractor: Kier
Client: Knight Dragon
Value: £1.4bn (overall redevelopment value)
Start date: Spring 2015
Completion date: Autumn 2016
Location: South-east London


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