Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Pieces of eight

Eight engineering projects were shortlisted this week for an award aimed at putting the environment firmly on the construction industry map. Andrew Mylius takes a look.

UK mega client BAA has been pushing for improved environmental performance from its infrastructure, consultants and contractors for over a decade. BAA published its first annual environment audit in 1993.

Already noted for innovations in the way it runs construction projects - partnering and supply chain management, for example - BAA increasingly links environmental performance to its overall business and financial performance.

In a bid to identify projects where best environmental practice is put into effect, and underlining the importance it attaches to raising its own and construction industry standards, BAA launched an environmental awards competition in May last year. More than 20 projects were put forward.

Research body CIRIA is cosponsoring the awards - it will draw on information submitted in support of entries to draw up case studies for sustainable construction. Forum for the Future, an organisation set up to advise business on environmental issues, has been brought in as one of the judges.

This week, the judges announced a shortlist of eight schemes. A winner will be named on 15 March.

All have been measured against criteria including:

innovation and enthusiasm shown by the project team consideration given to the project life cycle - from design and construction through operation to decommissioning early identification of ways to limit environmental damage shared learning and knowledge transfer demonstration of a holistic approach to environmental issues involvement of the supply chain in the design and construction process improvements in performance against environmental key performance indicators, supported by external benchmarking, adoption of new technologies and processes, technology transfer and benefits delivered to business.

The judges said they were looking in particular for conservation of natural resources, waste minimisation, rigorous pollution control and intelligent use of new technologies.

Project details will be disseminated among BAA's suppliers, and via CIRIA to the construction industry more widely, with the aim of raising environmental performance across the board.

The shortlist Stansted surface car parks Project team: BAA Projects Team, Stansted Retail, TPS Consult and Laing Minimising environmental harm through sustainable design and construction has been given equal status with cost, customer satisfaction and financial return on delivery of two car parks at Stansted Airport. Both are incorporated within the existing, agreed area of the airport to minimise impact on local communities.

Environmental highlights:

Environmental impact study included flora, fauna, visual impact, surface water drainage, noise, air quality, waste management and archaeology.

Heathrow constructed wetlands Project team: BAA Projects Team, TPS Consult and Laing Heathrow constructed wetlands are designed to improve the quality of surface water discharge from the airport, particularly glycols released into surface water during aircraft de-icing. BAA Heathrow is investing £20M in the construction of a reed-bed treatment system.

Environmental highlights: The wetland treatment system is environmentally sustainable.

Recycled materials have been used instead of imported aggregates, the reeds are grown locally in peat free compost, wind driven aerators are used where possible, and building techniques are geared to minimising material and energy costs.

Stansted and Gatwick satellites projects Project team: BAA Projects and WSP Environmental At Stansted and Gatwick new satellite buildings are designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20% against BAA's best performing satellites and pier structures. Gatwick satellite is to help the airport reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 3.5% on 1990 levels by 2010.

Environmental highlights: Energy use was a key design consideration. BAA corporate policy on environment and energy and supply chain management was ratified against Government climate change targets to produce figures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions during construction and operation. Focusing on carbon dioxide emissions rather than energy consumption meant heating (gas) was deemed less critical than lighting. Use of daylight and the incorporation of photovoltaic cells has made a surprisingly significant contribution to the CO Heathrow Terminal 3 waste management Project team: BAA Projects, SITA and Wilson James Site waste produced by remodelling the landside concourse and construction of a new security search area is transported to a waste transfer station and sorted for recycling.

Environmental highlights: Waste going to landfill is minimised while recycling means project costs are reduced. Some 334t, amounting to 47% of waste, has been recovered.

This includes 78t metal, 43t wood and 231t inert waste. The trial has demonstrated to BAA and SITA that off-site sorting of construction waste is economic. BAA is adopting it across all projects.

Concrete recycling and concrete mix development Project team: BAA Airfield Engineering and AMEC Civil Engineering The BAA Pavement team has established a system for reusing waste concrete. It has redesigned concrete mixes using recycled concrete aggregates and increasingly substitutes pulverised fuel ash for cement.

Environmental highlights: Demand for quarried primary aggregates is dramatically reduced through using crushed concrete. At the same time less material is going to landfill. It is estimated that in five years 210,000t of material have been recycled, saving 42,000 lorry movements.

Overall savings of £7/m 2new pavement have been achieved.

Terminal 4 chiller replacement Project team: BAA Heathrow, BAA Projects and chiller supplier Carrier BAA embarked on a major £2.86M overhaul of air conditioning in Terminal 4 to comply with new legislation on the use of CFCs and to achieve operational savings.

Environmental highlights: The team has focused on life cycle costs to improve financial and environmental performance - CO 2emissions are dramatically reduced. Thermal mass and convection cooling replaces mechanical systems. Ozone water treatment has been used instead of chemical dosing in the cooling tower circuit.

Heathrow Terminal 5 Secretary of state for the environment John Prescott has still to announce whether construction of Heathrow Terminal 5 will go ahead. However, designs for the terminal set new BAA environmental performance standards.

Terminal 5 Energy expert group, incorporating BAA, British Airways and WSP Environmental The group will set targets for energy efficiency and advise on environmental management.

Environmental highlights: Use of renewable energy sources is planned to satisfy a significant part of T5 electricity demand. Energy consumed in baggage handling will be lowest possible. The group is also investigating use of alternative fuelled vehicles to reduce CO 2emissions.

Terminal 5 Water expert group -BAA, British Airways and WSP Environmental Use, re-use and conservation of water are key concerns at T5.

Targets have been set for potable and firefighting water systems and for foul drainage.

Environmental highlights: Key elements of the combined water strategy include a potable water supply and distribution system, plans for abstraction and treatment of groundwater from the deep chalk aquifer, the capture and treatment of rainwater and distribution of non-potable water around the campus. The dual supply of potable water eliminates any need for storage.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs