Balfour Beatty has joined forces with Sunbelt and Invisible Systems to develop new technology to reduce carbon emissions across its construction sites by up to 80%.
The system, known as EcoNet, controls and reduces the energy output from key appliances in construction site cabins, such as those in kitchens, drying rooms and office spaces.
EcoNet autonomously manages power demand by automatically turning appliances and equipment off when not in active use. This helps to regulate power consumption during times when demand is highest.
Traditionally, construction sites are powered through connections to the National Grid or with the use of diesel generators. With the use of EcoNet, power demand on the grid or the use of diesel generators is greatly reduced by limiting unnecessary usage, ultimately reducing overall carbon emissions.
The system was first 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.
‘Modernise the approach to energy consumption’
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, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Balfour Beatty and Invisible Systems to work on this innovative way of reducing carbon emissions on construction sites.
“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.”
Pete Thompson, chief executive officer of Invisible Systems, added: “Invisible Systems are proud to have developed and delivered the solution which enables the construction industry to work towards carbon-neutrality, by leveraging the power of the Internet of Things.
“The outcomes achieved from our mutual collaboration with Sunbelt & Balfour Beatty will serve as a benchmark throughout the construction sector.”