Balfour Beatty expects to reduce carbon emissions across its construction sites by up to 80% with the installation of a new technology.
It has partnered with Sunbelt and Invisible Systems to develop the technology that manages the power supply of site compounds and helps reduce emissions.
Called EcoNet, the technology works by controlling and reducing the energy output from key appliances in cabins, such as those in kitchens, drying rooms and office spaces.
It is configured to autonomously manage power demand by automatically turning appliances and equipment off when not in active use, helping regulate consumption during times when demand is highest, such as when site compounds are fully occupied and equipment is being operated.
Balfour Beatty trialled the system on its East Leeds Orbital Route project – the large-scale highways contract to built seven kilometres of outer ring rounds around Leeds city centre – earlier this year.
Within the first six months of use, the technology helped reduce carbon emissions across the site by 83% while running on grid supply, actively managing electric vehicle (EV) charging and optimising the heating, hot water and external lighting running schedules.
So far, 21 of the company’s sites are using the technology, with plans to roll it out across 50 live sites by summer 2021 and install it on any new site in the UK with more than six facility cabins.
That is expected to help Balfour Beatty save a minimum of 2,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, with individual sites reducing their carbon emissions between 30% to 80%.
Kari Sprostranova, Balfour Beatty’s Sustainability Director said: “The construction and infrastructure industry traditionally use a significant amount of energy to deliver large-scale projects shaping the communities in which we live. To counteract this, it is our responsibility to modernise the approach to energy consumption and help to reduce carbon emissions from our operations.
“With solutions such as EcoNet, we can improve our sustainability practices and the impact construction sites have on the environment.”