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Costain and Skanska are trialling solar- and hydrogen-powered welfare cabins on HS2 construction sites, which HS2 has claimed have already cut over 100 tonnes of carbon.
The cabins, designed and manufactured by British company AJC
Trailers, and supplied by hire firm GAP Group, are being trialled across
locations run by enabling and main works civils joint ventures CSjv (Costain,
Skanska) and SCSjv (Skanska Costain STRABAG) including Camden, West Ruislip and
The EasyCabin EcoSmart Zero, which combines solar and
hydrogen power, is set to be rolled out further across the HS2 project.
Data gathered from 16 Ecosmart ZERO cabins over a 21 week
period on HS2 sites in Camden, Ruislip and Uxbridge showed that 112 tonnes of
carbon were saved – the equivalent of what would be absorbed by over 3,367
trees over a whole year. In comparison, a standard diesel generator running
would have used 40,000 litres of diesel fuel, HS2 claimed.
The hydrogen technology has been developed by scientists at
Loughborough University. The unit is near silent, and emits only pure water
The cabins provide a kitchen, seating area, separate toilet
and changing room for workers, with the power to run the heating, sockets,
kettle and microwave coming instantly from the battery bank which is constantly
fed by the built-in hydrogen fuel cell and solar panels.
Lee Davies, board member at Costain Skanska Joint Venture
(CSjv) and Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCSjv) said: “Working closely
with our supply chain, we have identified many ways to maximise our
environmental outcomes, leading to several thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide
equivalent (CO2e) saved to date. We have focused on identifying innovations and
efficiencies throughout our whole programme, from our power supplies and fuel
sources through to working methodology by reducing and recycling materials.
“Adopting these solar and hydrogen powered cabins will help
us deliver our target of reducing our carbon footprint by 50%.”
HS2’s environment director Peter Miller said: “HS2 is
supporting the UK’s green economic recovery and ensuring the UK is on track to
achieve its commitment to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050. We aim to dramatically cut carbon on our
construction sites, and constantly challenge our supply chain to introduce
innovations by using the latest green technology.
“With over 250 active work sites between London and
Birmingham, we have a huge opportunity to roll out British-made products such
as this solar powered cabin, to dramatically reduce the project’s carbon
footprint, bringing environmental benefits to local communities as we build the