EcoNet from Balfour Beatty to reduce site carbon emissions
By Belinda Smart18 December 2020
New EcoNet technology from Balfour Beatty will reduce carbon emissions on construction sites by up to 80%.
Balfour Beatty, in collaboration with Sunbelt Rentals in the UK and Iot (Internet of Things) specialist Invisible Systems, has developed technology to manage the power supply of site compounds and reduce carbon emissions across its construction sites by up to 80%.
EcoNet technology controls and reduces energy output from key appliances in site accommocation and facility cabins.
The system manages power demand by automatically turning appliances and equipment off when not in active use. This regulates power consumption during times when demand is highest, reducing power demand on the grid and the need for diesel generators.
The system was launched in May 2020 on Balfour Beatty’s East Leeds Orbital Route project. Within the first six months of use, EcoNet resulted in an 83% reduction in carbon emissions across the site by running on a grid supply, actively managing electric vehicle charging and optimising the heating, hot water and external lighting running schedules.
So far, 21 Balfour Beatty sites are using EcoNet, including HS2’s Long Itchington site in Warwickshire, Highways England’s A63 scheme in Hull and the Motherwell station redevelopment in North Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Balfour Beatty plans to roll the system out across 50 live sites by summer 2021 and will install EcoNet on any new site in the UK with more than six facility cabins.
It is expected that Balfour Beatty will save a minimum of 2,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, with individual sites reducing their carbon emissions between 30% to 80% of their normal levels.
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.”
Jamie Fountain, Sunbelt Rental Account Director for Balfour Beatty said, “Sunbelt Rentals is totally committed to continue working alongside Balfour Beatty, acting responsibly and sustainably and this is one of a number of projects which is an important part of our overarching Sustainability 2025 strategy.”
EcoNet contributes to Balfour Beatty’s commitment to sustainability and supports ‘Building New Futures’, the Group’s updated sustainability strategy, which launched earlier this month.