Construction industry report plugs in to a greener electrified future
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
A report published today which solicited opinions from across the construction industry calls for the sector to lead a “clean recovery” from the Covid-19 pandemic. The report – An Electric Decade in Construction published by the battery designer and manufacturer Hyperdrive Innovation – anticipates “a rapid growth in demand for cleaner, electric equipment”.
Input to the report came from some of Europe’s biggest construction firms as well as the Chartered Institute of Building and the construction section of Innovate UK. Views were given on how the sector and governments responded to the pandemic and a consensus emerged that it had provided a “once in a lifetime opportunity to rebuild economies and communities in a cleaner, more considerate way”.
These objectives already existed before Covid-19 but were now of paramount importance. Support for Boris Johnson’s pledge to direct investment into infrastructure and construction to help the UK “build, build, build” its way to recovery is tempered by the acknowledgement that this strategy should incorporate improvements in the sustainability and efficiency of new buildings.
It was felt that governments everywhere needed to tighten air pollution legislation and to ensure that all carbon emission reduction targets are met unequivocally.
The report identifies four central themes for the next decade in construction.
Speed: The delays resulting from Covid-19 would see projects under pressure to get back on track. This can be achieved by more flexible working hours requiring the use of innovative construction processes such as a switch to electric equipment.
Sustainability: Since construction is responsible for 39% of global emissions, the sector has to be seen as a leader in meeting climate targets and can do so by embracing cleaner construction.
Safety: The pandemic highlighted the need for a renewed focus on safe working practices, work-life balance and the importance of minimising air pollution. Replacing noisy pollutants such as diesel engines with cleaner, quieter electrified machinery is imperative.
Simplicity: A more streamlined approach to construction is desired with a move towards electrified equipment and standardised components developed off-site.
Mike Pitts, a contributor to the report from Innovate UK, said: “Times of crisis can often focus minds and lead to rapid change [and] the adoption of technology to help speed up construction processes”.