Environment & Sustainability Initiative of the Year

A toolkit to facilitate reduction in construction emissions

The construction sector, responsible for 21% of global carbon emissions faces a significant challenge in air pollution. Whereas other industries, such as transport, are decreasing their polluting emissions, those produced in construction have in fact increased its overall share in the last decade. The Construction Emissions Toolkit, developed by Arup and commissioned by Impact on Urban Health, aims to deliver a truly innovative project to work with existing sites and develop the evidence base to demonstrate how the construction sector can reduce emissions to improve air quality.

Nature-based approach to combined storm overflows

This initiative by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, Morgan Sindall and Arup uses a nature-based approach to address spills from Pont-y-felin combined sewer overflow (CSO) into the Afon Lwyd. In a UK first, the initiative uses a reedbed and integrated constructed wetland (ICW) system to remove pollutants from the CSO during heavy rainfall. Avoiding the need for a 3,000tonnesCO₂e ‘grey’ solution, our carbon-neutral approach will reduce the CSO impact and deliver a broader range of positive river-health outcomes and community benefits. Learnings from Pont-y-felin are contributing to research and policy supporting the wider rollout of nature-based solutions across the water sector.

Civic Engineers, FORE Partnership and Webb Yates Engineers
‘Urban mining’ at The Elephant and TBC.London

In a landmark for the Carbon Net Zero agenda, Civic Engineers and FORE Partnership conceived of and executed a plan to reuse 40 tonnes of pre-war steel reclaimed from The Elephant – the refurbishment of Oxford Street’s former House of Fraser – at FORE’s development TBC.London, a transformational low carbon office retrofit at Tower Bridge. The trailblazing project marks a breakthrough in material reuse, as it’s thought to be the first time pre- war steel has been used in a UK construction project. With a commitment to collaboration at its heart, the initiative is an exemplar the industry.

Davies Maguire
Large Scale Architectural Use of EFC

Within the vibrant landscape of Sheldon Square, the amphitheatre stands as a testament to innovation, sustainability, and collaborative excellence. This submission proudly demonstrates the use of EFC® in an urban feature and a commitment to reducing embodied carbon, with the cornerstone of the project’s success lying in the stakeholder collaboration, early design stage engagement and pre-construction concrete trials. Adopting a large-scale architectural application of Wagner's Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC®). The project’s pioneering use of EFC® showcases its versatility and efficacy and the power of early stakeholder collaboration with suppliers and specialist contractors to bring new technologies to fruition.

European Metal Recycling
EMR Reusable Steels

EMR Reusable Steels is delivering a circular economy for the highest-quality steel sections from end-of-life buildings – making them available as an ultra-low carbon building material for developers and architects. Our team has achieved an incredible 97.5% reduction in the embedded carbon of these sections, compared to virgin alternatives. EMR Reusable Steels’ material creates 47kgCO2e per tonne compared with the World Steel Association’s global average for steelmaking of 1,850kgCO2e. This new material has already been used in Multiplex’s renovation of 76 South Bank and its gamechanging sustainability will help projects achieve net zero and reduce self-imposed carbon taxes.

Mott MacDonald Bentley
Witches Oak Waters: Floating wetlands as water pre-treatment

Witches Oak Waters is a ground-breaking scheme combining the expertise of Mott MacDonald Bentley’s (MMB) civil engineering expertise with innovative nature-based solutions. MMB are providing fully integrated design-and-build services to recommission the existing infrastructure and increase daily water into supply capability of the new works up to 89 ML/day. The additional water will improve Severn Trent’s resilience to hot dry summers and secure water resources for future generations. The addition of floating wetlands as an innovative, low carbon preliminary water treatment solution improves water quality and brings an unused water resource back to life.

Network Rail
AVA footbridge

AVA is an innovative rail footbridge concept, designed and built by a consortium of companies, incorporating modern methods of construction and design for manufacturing techniques. It aims to achieve significant Capex and whole life carbon savings as well as a step change in passenger experience and maintenance needs/ongoing Opex.

Riverlinx CJV
Silvertown Tunnel: Pioneering Sustainable Material Management Solutions

Effectively integrating sustainable waste management into major infrastructure project with the goal of repurposing brownfield land in an urban setting poses significant challenges. By tradition, excavation methods indiscriminately mixed uncontaminated, lightly contaminated and hazardous materials in stockpiles that were eventually designated for landfill. However, Riverlinx CJV prioritised understanding the obstacles in materials management and unlocking the full potential of the brownfield site through circular economy principles, carbon footprint reduction, environmental emissions mitigation, social impact enhancement and economic resilience. These efforts have driven the establishment of new sustainable standards in large-scale projects, marking a pivotal shift towards responsible resource management.

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