Nine contractors have become the first to sign up to a new Government pledge to slash carbon emissions in major infrastructure work.
The initiative to save as much as 24m tonnes of carbon and £1.46bn a year by 2050 is also being backed by six of the industry’s top clients.
Major industry leaders joined Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Deighton and Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon in signing the joint initiative timed to coincide with the launch of the Infrastructure Carbon Review yesterday.
Now the Green Construction Board plans to host a cross-industry event in the Spring where clients and industry will set out the progress they have made against the pledge commitments.
Balfour Beatty, Bam Nuttall, Carillion, The Clancy Group, Galliford Try, JN Bentley, Laing O’Rourke, Murphy Group, Skanska
Arup, Atkins, Mott Macdonald
Highways Agency, Heathrow Airport, EDF (New Nuclear), National Grid, Anglian Water, Defence Infrastructure Organisation
ICE, UK Green Building Council
Currently infrastructure and related areas like energy, account for around half of all UK carbon emissions.
Cutting the volume of materials consumed in construction and using existing resources more efficiently will reduce cost as well as carbon.
The review developed jointly by government and industry through the Infrastructure Cost Review and Green Construction Board sets out a series of actions for government, clients and suppliers to help meet the savings target.
Read the Infrastructure Carbon Review.
Michael Fallon said: “This review makes the business case for carbon reduction in what we build.
“It has been written by business leaders not civil servants and throws down the gauntlet to the construction sector to get behind what could be a game changing initiative.
Real change won’t happen by acting alone but through government and the construction industry working together in line with our industrial strategy. This is a sector that supports around 3 million jobs and where the UK has a strong competitive edge. We want to keep it that way.
Highways Agency case studies
M25 Widening – 5% cost saving delivered through 115,000 t carbon reduction on £1bn highway upgrade
Connect Plus, a joint venture between Skanska, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Projects, realised a 115,000t reduction in capital carbon and cut the outturn cost by £53m through building clever and building efficiently during the widening of a 63km length of the M25 motorway.
Extensive use of the proprietary King Sheet Pile profile, with long piles interspersed with shorter intermediate piles, reduced associated capital carbon by over 80%.
Further savings were achieved through use of recycled aggregates and reducing pavement thicknesses. The resulting solution was quicker to install, reducing project risk and improving safety with fewer hours spent working next to a live carriageway.
A21 Stocks Green Bypass embankment stabilisation – Innovative earthworks solution saves 30%-40% carbon.
Design and build joint venture Mott MacDonald-Balfour Beatty used electro-osmosis in combination with soil nailing and improved drainage to stabilise a failing dual carriageway embankment in Kent.
In contrast to conventional stabilisation techniques the solution required no removal, replacement or reprofiling of the embankment slope and was achieved by installing 195 perforated steel tubes into the ground.
Half were angled downwards, acting as nails, and half upwards, acting as drains. An electrical current was passed through the nails, driving pore water from the soil matrix into the drains. No lane closures were required and embankment vegetation was largely undisturbed.
Carbon emissions were 70% lower than using a traditional granular fill and 40% lower than a standard soil nail solution. Stocks Green was the first use of electro-osmosis on a UK highway.
Source: Construction Enquirer