HS2 new construction site to act as green milestone within industry

HS2 new construction site to act as green milestone within industry

HS2 ltd announced yesterday its first completely diesel-free site is the Canterbury Road Vent Shaft site in South Kilburn, where HS2’s civils contractor Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV) have introduced a range of diesel-free technologies and greener equipment.

The HS2 project has been continuously championing the aim of being net-zero carbon from 2035, with this new site becoming the first of many future diesel free construction sites. The goal is to have every site diesel-free by 2029.

HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said:

“HS2 is boosting transport across the UK, creating thousands of jobs and levelling up communities throughout the North and Midlands, all while leaving the environment better off than how we found it.”

The Canterbury Road site will incorporate innovative new technologies, such as the use of the UK’s first 160 tonne emissions-free fully electric crawler cranes; the use of biofuels (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) to power plant and machinery on site; an electric compressor; and access to mains power on a 100% renewable energy tariff.

The carbon net zero plan from HS2 seeks to improve the green status of the rail sector and influence the industry standards wherever possible. Other sites are set to follow suit, with innovations including retrofit technologies, biofuels, hydrogen and solar power helping to cut carbon across the whole of the route.

Peter Miller, HS2’s Environment Director said:

“We’re delighted to reach this key milestone in our Net Zero Carbon Plan. HS2 is playing a major role in the decarbonisation of the construction industry, collaborating with the industry and our supply chain to accelerate innovation in low-carbon technologies. Reducing emissions and improving air quality on HS2 construction sites is crucial for both the environment and surrounding communities.”

Innovations being trialled and introduced on other sites include:

‘Clean Air Gas Engine’ funded through Innovate UK and led by OakTec, which replaces diesel power with ultra-low (bio-LPG) emission engines in Advante Welfare units and standalone units.

‘EcoNet’ developed by Invisible Systems, Balfour Beatty and Sunbelt which controls and reduces energy output from key appliances, reducing power demand by 30%.

Non-Road Mobile Machinery retrofit solutions which adds pollution control equipment onto older vehicles as an alternative to replacing the machine or the engine, reducing emissions.

CESAR Emissions Compliance Verification which is a resilient system to show the EU Stage engine emission class of all construction plant.

Proactive dust management solutions reducing impacts associated with on-site activities.

Fully Electric Renewable Energy using solar and wind to power noise and air quality monitors, site security cameras and site briefing areas and solar pods powering sites by combining solar PV, battery storage and a back-up generator.

Hydrogen Technology trials across sites considering both fuel-cell technology and combustible hydrogen solutions.

HS2 continue to progress industry standards in their implementation of greener construction methods, which should be incorporated into the sector whenever possible moving forward.