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Climate Change Innovation

8 July 2014

Costain has announced the winners of its Climate Week Challenge, which was launched during Climate Week to showcase some of the innovative ideas being generated on site.

Costain’s Climate Week Challenge, held earlier this year, celebrated the use of new materials, construction techniques and equipment to reduce the impact of climate change, and identify innovative ideas from Costain’s employees and its supply chain. The prize-winning ideas came in two categories: Existing Innovations and Future Innovations. Entrants had to submit a one page outline of their idea along with the associated financial and environmental benefits. The winners are:

Existing Innovations:

• Vehicle Idling, Heidi-Ann Wood, Safety Health Environment (SHE) Adviser, A-one+, Area 12

Vehicles sitting in depots with their engines running waste fuel, money and creates unnecessary pollution, but it wasn’t until Heidi-Ann Wood recorded and analysed how much this practice took place that the size of the cost really hit home.

“We added recorders to our fleet that revealed some shocking statistics. We calculated that our fleet was wasting £450 per week in fuel. To address this we delivered a programme of tool box talks to educate drivers. Within a few weeks a significant reduction was recorded and idling fuel consumption was reduced by around 90%, equivalent to a saving of £100,000 over the life of the contract. Future initiatives include remapping engine management systems to a more efficient setting potentially generating a further fuel saving approaching 10% overall,” said Heidi.

Prize: Two tickets to Twickenham in the autumn (Sponsored by Costain’s Power Sector)

• Paddington Sustainable Transport – Paddington Station Team

The C405 Paddington team arranged for the excavation of clays and sands to be transported to Wallasea Island where, using the excavated material as mudflats, the RSPB is creating a bird sanctuary. Rather than drive the excavated material to a transfer station in east London, Costain Skanska JV (CSJV) coordinated the delivery of the material to the local Willesden Waste Transfer Station 7km away. This drastically reduced the distance travelled by road, potentially reducing the carbon footprint for the first movement in this operation by 50%. At Willesden, the material was loaded onto a train and transported 46km to Northfleet to complete the final leg by barge along the River Thames.

Being carried by train meant there were 60 times fewer journeys that would otherwise have been made by lorry. This also reduced the amount of particulate matter emissions which affects air quality and respiration.

Prize: £50 voucher to spend at Nigel's Eco Store (Sponsored by Open Energi)

Future Innovations:

• 3D Printing – Adam Golden, Quantity Surveyor – Heysham to M6 Link Road

Adam came up with the idea for an on-site 3D printing capability which can be housed in a container to create products like plastic pipes and associated drainage products.

“I believe gains can be attained in the medium-term but as technology improves, costs reduce and the speed of production increases, this innovation can be utilised across a broader range of construction materials and products. If successful this innovation could be rolled out across Costain construction sites with relative ease,” said Adam.

Prize: IPad Mini (Sponsored by Costain’s Innovation and Knowledge Team)

• Sustainable Whole Life Cost - Sandra Reis, Senior Building Information Modelling (BIM)  Technician

3D Model-based quantities linked to the cost plan and integrated embodied carbon values per cost item. The Embodied Carbon quantities tagged in the cost plan can be passed through the entire asset life-cycle from early feasibility studies, design, construction and operation and maintenance. If the design changes, the quantities, cost and embodied CO2 (ECO2) changes too. This innovation can be done using Vico Office-5D modelling tool.

“The creation of customisable reports helps us to achieve a better understanding of ECO2 values and data and can be created earlier in the project, maintained and passed to our customer’s Facility Manager. Improved data visualisation enables us to make intelligent sustainable decisions about changes and future operations,” said Sandra.

Prize: £50 voucher to spend at Nigel's Eco Store (Sponsored by Open Energi)

Climate Week was sponsored by some of the UK’s biggest water companies, including Severn Trent Water. Howard Perry from the Energy and Climate Change Team at Severn Trent Water was one of the judges on the challenge. He said: “Severn Trent sponsored Climate Week this year because responding to climate change is essential to safeguarding the services our customers rely on and the natural environment on which we all depend. We were happy to support Costain’s Climate Week competition and really impressed with the entries submitted. Congratulations to the winners.”

Other members of the judging panel included Tim Embley, Group Innovation & Knowledge Manager; Ian Graves, Power Sector Director and Steven Clarke, Business Development Director at Open Energi.

Tim Embley, Costain Group Innovation and Knowledge Manager, said: “This competition is very important to the business, demonstrating that we are tackling an issue of global significance in our operations and generating solutions that will improve the performance of our customers’ businesses.”

Ian Graves added: “For Costain to continue to enjoy sustainable success with our customers, innovation and our ability to challenge the status quo is essential. We are proud to have run this competition and delighted with the range of solutions presented. Innovation comes as a result of many moments of inspiration and our colleagues have certainly provided a few inspiring thoughts.”




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