Engineers from the Manufacturing Technology Centre are working with four major transport organisations on a project aimed at removing diesel from construction sites, which will drastically cut carbon emissions.
Experts at the MTC have teamed up with High Speed 2 (HS2), Network Rail, National Highways and Transport for London to examine ways of achieving net zero construction sites, in line with Government strategy.
Cutting carbon emissions associated with the development and operation of the transport network is a key strategic objective of the Department for Transport (DfT). Construction and its associated processes are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
The DfT-supported Diesel Free Construction Sites project will bring together a community of interested bodies including contractors, technology providers and governing bodies to agree and drive a programme for diesel-free construction sites within the transport network.
Project manager at the MTC, Jade Myall said the construction sector was responsible for nearly a quarter of the world's CO2 emissions, with around 5.5 per cent of this coming directly from activities on construction sites, mainly due to machinery and equipment powered by fossil fuels.
There are many activities happening among the project partners. In May this year HS2 announced its first completely diesel-free site at the Canterbury Road vent shaft site in South Kilburn. HS2's civils contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, introduced a range of diesel free technologies and greener equipment. This included biofuels to power plant and machinery, an electric compressor, access to mains power on a 100 per cent renewable tariff and the use of the UK's first 160-tonne emissions-free fully-electric crawler cranes.
This project, aimed at contributing to achieving net zero construction, is the result of discussions at a workshop at the MTC earlier this year with the partner organisations and the Department for Transport, identifying the challenges thrown up by net zero.
The project team will look at ways to build on the work the partners have already done in the field and will develop and support a future strategy to implement innovation and best practice into the mainstream.
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