In today’s news, we will look into the new Cambridge South train station that has started construction. Meanwhile, the idea for diesel-free sites has the support of major contractors. On the other hand, construction in the UK is expanding, despite a sharp decline in housebuilding. Moreover, the building sector is undergoing a transformation brought on by net-zero design; and here is how you can make the most of this trend.
Cambridge South Station Construction Starts
Original Source: Construction begins on new Cambridge South station
The £200m station connects Oxford and Cambridge on the UK Government’s East-West rail route.
The UK Government has invested £200m in a new four-platform train station in Cambridge, UK.
Cambridge Biomedical Campus’s planned station, part of the projected East-West rail link, is accessible and will better connect the renowned medical research and health science institution to the UK’s train network.
Huw Merriman, Rail Minister, stated, “This brand-new station will not only benefit local passengers but provide a major boost to the entire city, strengthening accessibility to a world-leading academic hub while enabling local business and growth chances across the region.”
The station’s construction is projected to immediately create 300 employees in Cambridge and help the research centre’s long-term goal of improving access.
By 2025, the Cambridge South station is planned to serve 1.8 million passengers.
Cambridge Biomedical Campus Limited executive director Kristin-Anne Rutter was thrilled to hear of the Cambridge South station, which will assist the organisation’s sustainable campus aims.
“This is an institution dedicated to enhancing human health, so anything that has the potential to cut pollution in the air and take pressure off our local roads is also very welcome,” Rutter added.
“Coupled with the recent approval of the East-West Rail route directly linking Oxford to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, we believe we can create a successful yet sustainable health and life sciences cluster that can grow the economy and save lives.”
The East-West rail link will connect Oxford, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Bedford, and Cambourne.
The Department for Transport founded the East West Railway Company in 2018 to implement the DfT, Network Rail, and East-West Rail Alliance’s plans for the route.
Network Rail’s consultation on the Cambridge South station began shortly after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps authorised the project’s second phase in February 2020. The Transport and Works Act order for the station’s construction was issued in December 2022.
Major Contractors Support Diesel-free Locations
Original Source: Major contractors back diesel-free sites plan
Government and business aim to eliminate 78% of diesel machinery from UK building sites by 2035.
The Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero programme created the Zero Diesel Sites Route Map to decarbonize the industry and assist the government’s net-zero ambitions.
Zero diesel sites working group has 30 organisations. They included contractors Sir Robert McAlpine, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, plant hire businesses, universities, central government, manufacturers, and representative organisations.
The UK construction sector utilised 2.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent of diesel on sites in 2020, producing massive amounts of CO2e, which comprises CO2 and other greenhouse gases from machine emissions.
Liquefied petroleum petrol and hydrogen are diesel alternatives on the route map.
The working group highlighted that the route map is technology “agnostic” and does not seek a “silver bullet” to totally solve diesel consumption in the industry.
Instead, the authors claimed the document supports the industry by identifying the optimal ways for each business and use case, offering clarity on how to spend, and driving scale in demand to lower new technology rollout costs.
Paul Reeve, head of CSR at engineering services firm ECA, which helped draw the route plan, said fuel alternatives on sites should always be considered for health and safety.
“Every alternative to diesel on site has safety implications,” Reeve told CM. “It’s crucial that people understand how to control the safety impact of alternative technologies and fuels before considering them.”
“Key” to make UK building Europe’s greenest
Nusrat Ghani, minister for industry and economic security, said the route map “is a key step” towards making UK construction “the greenest and most sustainable construction sector in Europe” at its launch at the HS2 site in Old Oak Common, West London.
“The zero diesel roadmap sets a cross-industry commitment from manufacturers and plant hire companies to contractors and how the sector can reduce and eventually eliminate diesel in UK construction sites,” she said.
Ghani said that most plant hire at Old Oak Common is diesel-free and that big contractors in the sector are following HS2.
HS2 Old Oak Common station construction commenced in 2017. HS2 claims the new transport super-hub will be the UK’s largest and best-connected train station.
Despite House Building Decline, Uk Construction Grows
Original Source: UK construction expands despite steep fall in housebuilding
Despite the housebuilding slump, order books and new contracts grew dramatically in May in the UK construction sector.
S&P Global/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index rose to 51.6 points in May from 51.1 in April on Tuesday. Over the month, UK building sector growth accelerated past the 50-point line that distinguishes expansion from contraction.
The fourth consecutive month of activity improvement was the strongest since February. Construction categories performed differently.
Commercial building output accelerated the most. Firms cited client confidence and faster project decision-making.
Civil engineering rose to an 11-month high.
Despite rising interest rates and “subdued” market circumstances, housing activity continued to decline, weighing on the sector.
Residential construction fell for the sixth month in a row and at the fastest pace since May 2020. “Except for the pandemic-related downturn, this category of construction activity was the lowest for just over 14 years,” the study said.
Despite poor house building activity, construction order books rose the most since April 2022, boosting total new business.
As construction companies remained optimistic about expansion, staff numbers rose for the fourth month.
In May, purchasing prices rose the least since September 2020, alleviating inflationary pressures. “Supply chain normalisation helped moderate cost inflation, as signalled by the strongest improvement in construction product and material delivery times for almost 14 years,” said S&P Global Market Intelligence economics director Tim Moore.
S&P Global compiles the UK construction PMI from 150 construction company surveys between May 11 and 30.
Net Zero Design is Changing the Construction Business
25% of UK greenhouse gas emissions come from commercial, public, and other buildings. 38% of worldwide carbon emissions In response to climate change concerns, individuals, organisations, and governments have pledged to cut global emissions by half by the end of the decade and eliminate them by 2050.
Despite these good intentions, a transformation of this magnitude necessitates a major shift in the construction industry. Construction firms, architects, and contractors control this change. Despite being far from these targets, the industry appears to be on the right track. Solutions for a net-zero future include reducing waste, installing green roofs, and using inventive design.
Net Zero Architecture?
Net-zero buildings must offset their construction emissions. This involves reducing carbon dioxide generation during building construction and offsetting any surplus emissions with creative designs and sustainable technologies. A structure must be net zero throughout its lifetime, not just during construction.
Helping buildings reach net zero.
First, make sure your new building is working efficiently before adding sustainability measures. Minimise energy waste before investing in offsetting measures. Updating insulation in walls, roofs, and floors is often the best method to do so. This improves heat retention, keeping the house warm in winter and cool in summer. minimising the demand for non-renewable heaters, fans, and air conditioners.
It’s easy to get caught up in Net Zero processes and technologies during building design and construction. However, building orientation is crucial to conserving energy and maximising efficiency. South-facing solar panel buildings are most efficient. Take advantage of shade from nearby buildings, trees, and other natural elements to conserve energy and optimise natural lighting. Optimal orientation during design can help accomplish Net Zero, as illumination accounts for 17%–20% of a property’s energy use.
After optimising energy efficiency, include renewable energy technologies in the building design. Solar energy is a popular renewable energy source in the UK. conserving a tonne of carbon annually. These panels convert energy into electricity without direct sunlight, making them popular in the UK.
Targeting carbon neutrality in pre-existing UK houses, where 85% are heated by gas, may be one of the hardest parts of moving to a net-zero economy. With gas boilers banned from new homes in 2025, installing low-carbon heating sources like geothermally powered ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) early on will reduce your carbon emissions and save you money on heating bills.
Biomass heating is becoming more common. Wood, plants, and other organic matter are burned in stoves to heat a single room or connected to central heating and hot water systems to heat the entire building. As long as new trees are planted, burning wood emits the same or less carbon that the tree absorbs from the atmosphere, making the process sustainable.
Green roofs, sometimes known as living roofs, are building roofs covered in plants. These architectural elements filter airborne carbon dioxide and a tiny amount produced by photosynthesis, turning it into oxygen and cleaning the air. Green roofs retain and prevent heat loss by absorbing sunlight through chlorophyll.
This cools the area around the building, which boosts solar panel efficiency. All of which lowers energy expenses and stress. This may be net zero for numerous buildings.
How may Net Zero benefit you beyond the environment?
Carbon emissions cause global warming and many other environmental problems. While transitioning to a net-zero economy is primarily for environmental benefits, businesses can still benefit from these developments.
Preparing for the next few decades is the key to maximising these rewards. Especially as national and global authorities tighten their Net Zero pledges. Energy efficiency, renewable power, and other environmentally friendly features will save businesses time and money from harsher legislation. Environmentally friendly features increase the building’s worth.
Early adoption of sustainable practices may provide a competitive advantage now and in the future as we work towards a more ecologically conscious globe. Green building sales will reach $573.91 billion by 2027. Contractors and enterprises that engage in sustainability training or renewable technology installation will start out best.
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we discussed how the British government has spent £200 million on a brand-new train station with four platforms in Cambridge. The proposed East-West rail link includes a stop at Cambridge Biomedical Campus, making this prestigious medical research and health science facility more easily accessible from the rest of the UK’s rail system. Meanwhile, the UK government and industry have set a goal of removing 78 percent of diesel equipment from construction sites by the year 2035. The Zero Diesel Sites Route Map was developed by the Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero initiative to decarbonize the industry and support the government’s net-zero goals. Furthermore, the UK construction industry had a significant increase in order books and new contracts in May, despite the housebuilding slowdown. The S&P Global/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index for the Construction Industry increased to 51.6 in May from 51.1 in April. On top of that, a quarter of the United Kingdom’s GHGs are released by commercial, public, and other building types. About 38% of all greenhouse gas emissions Many groups and governments have made commitments to reduce global emissions by half by the end of this decade and to eradicate them entirely by 2050 in response to climate change.