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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

89 per cent carbon reduction at VolkerHighways’ new Clutton depot


VolkerHighways’ Clutton depot, servicing its Bath and North East Somerset highways and street lighting term maintenance contracts, has seen a dramatic 89 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, since it was redeveloped in 2021.

The Clutton depot serves as a base for employees working on the contract, along with subcontractors and colleagues from Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The re-development of the depot, funded by Bath and North East Somerset Council and project managed by VolkerHighways, has seen the demolition of the existing office; the installation of a new office building, including conversion of the old welfare facility into stores with additional meeting and training rooms for collaborative working; an upgrade to the front gate and an increase in the number of gritter sheds. The installation of a new 3,000 litre fuel tank supports VolkerHighways’ gritter fleet operations and a 10,000 litre overnight filling facility supports its gully cleansing service. The business has also added a new materials storage compound, with palisade fencing, for increased security and a hot box, and has improved vehicle flow around the depot, with additional parking bays and refreshed surfacing throughout.

The salt barn has been refurbished, following deterioration, incorporating specialist concrete treatment provided by sister business unit, VolkerLaser, and the damaged wooden elements of the structure have been repaired.

The depot benefits from UPVC double glazed windows, LED lighting and passive infra-red lighting activation, and the business has changed over the street lighting surrounding the depot to LEDs. An efficient heating and cooling system, with timer controls, has been integrated into the building. This replaces the air in each room every 12 minutes, while retaining up to 70 per cent of the building’s heat.

Over an 18-month period of monitoring the office’s carbon efficiency, an energy saving of 14.5t CO2e has been made, equating to an 89 per cent reduction in emissions, compared to the old building. Using the average current price of electricity per kWh, a cost saving of almost £20,000 has been made.

Five electric vehicle charge points have been installed by VolkerHighways’ smart city business, VolkerSmart Technologies. These charge points are available to both employees and guests visiting the depot, and support VolkerHighways’ target of 50 per cent of company cars being alternative fuel vehicles by 2025 – a figure which has already been surpassed, with 93 per cent of all current company car orders being for hybrid or fully electric vehicles.

The team has also installed bat and bird boxes inside the gritter sheds and around the depot, and a large bat house is about to be set up for a bat found roosting in the old roof space. A defibrillator has been installed outside the depot for use in and outside the compound.

Alistair Thompson, managing director for VolkerHighways, said: “We are extremely proud of our new Clutton depot, which is cutting carbon emissions year on year and providing energy savings in many areas. This base will serve us for many years, helping us to deliver a highway maintenance contract that is truly collaborative.”

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