As set out in the Government’s Construction Playbook, the construction sector needs to make strides towards the 2050 net zero commitment; tackling the whole life, of our assets, but also delivering projects in a way that minimises impacts and supports the fight to lower carbon.
In Cheshire East, they are striving for an even more challenging target. Their Carbon Neutral Action Plan is striving for carbon neutrality in their own operations by 2025 – a target that requires focus and effort on behalf of everyone working in the borough.
Plant and fleet are major contributors of the carbon emissions associated with highways and public realm improvements. Eurovia Contracting, delivering public realm and highways works, is supporting the council and Ringway Jacobs as their integrated highways service provider, by trialling innovative new electric plant to create an ‘all-electric’ site team to deliver one project in Macclesfield.
The Castle Street scheme, which Cheshire East Council is funding, is part of a programme of town centre improvements taking place in Macclesfield. The scheme which has been designed by Ringway Jacobs and is being delivered by Eurovia, aims to introduce lower carbon, sustainable design into all aspects of the project.
Work on the Castle Street public realm enhancement scheme in Macclesfield town centre started this month (April 2021) and is already breaking new ground in the way in which it is delivered.
The scheme will see footways widened and resurfaced with natural stone – creating scope for cafés and restaurants to have outdoor seating – granite cobblestone-style paving in the road, new street furniture and improved lighting – all very timely improvements as we are encouraging people to maintain distancing measures as we come out of lock-down.
Jo Wise, Development and Regeneration Delivery Manager at Cheshire East Council said; “Cheshire East Council has set out some extremely challenging targets in our Carbon Neutral Action Plan. As part of this commitment, we are encouraging all businesses, residents and organisations in Cheshire East to limit their carbon footprint by reducing energy consumption.
We are delighted that Eurovia Contracting has chosen our Castle Street scheme in Macclesfield to go entirely electric. This innovative thinking will certainly help us to hit our own targets.”
Mark Heywood, Ringway Jacobs’ Construction Manager, explained the overall sustainability commitments at the site; “We consider every opportunity when designing schemes to lower our environmental impact and always strive to reduce our carbon footprint. All materials removed in Castle Street will be recycled and used again as part of our waste management strategy, and we’ll be installing LED streetlights which minimise electricity use. These are some examples of how we are contributing to Cheshire East Council’s target of being carbon neutral in their own operations and how we are committed to benefitting the environment, as well as the people visiting and working in Macclesfield town centre.”
Working with manufacturers and suppliers, Eurovia Contracting is gradually making significant changes in converting their plant and fleet to electric. The ability to deliver low carbon options on infrastructure schemes has not been possible until very recently – there is now a significant shift taking place on the ground as more electric, hydrogen or hybrid models of plant and fleet become available.
The company invested in the first 5t electric excavator into the UK last month, is trialling development of the UK’s first 7.2 tonne electric tipper, an NV200 electric short wheelbase van, and has been using hybrid Generators in their compounds since 2019. And all of this investment is now being brought to Castle Street, Macclesfield.
Matthew Stubbings, Eurovia Contracting’s Manager said; “We are incredibly excited to be able to create an all-electric site team. It is something even 6 months ago, seemed like a very distant goal. As more innovative products, alternative fuel types and different ways of working are made available, our teams are jumping at the chance to work in a greener, quieter, more sustainable way.
The schemes our teams work on make a real difference to local people – we want to make sure that wherever possible, when we are carrying out the works, they, and our people, also benefit from lower emissions and noise.”
More information on the Castle Street public realm improvements can be found here.