Balfour Beatty launches sustainable, neurodiverse-ready site cabins
01 December 2021
In a first for the construction and infrastructure industry, Balfour Beatty, in collaboration with Sunbelt Rentals, today launches EcoSense – a sustainable site cabin design with integrated disability and neurodiverse features.
EcoSense boasts a range of sustainable applications and components including occupier-activated extractor fan sensors and lower kilowatt heaters with built-in, self-regulating digital thermostats, which will reduce carbon emissions on site by up to 30%.
The new site cabin design, which supports the company’s refreshed sustainability strategy “Building New Futures”, is currently being rolled out across several of the company’s projects in the UK and will be introduced as standard to all new site set-ups from January 2022.
Once deployed, it is expected that Balfour Beatty will save a minimum of 1,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions across its site cabin portfolio each year. When combined with the company’s EcoNet technology, which effectively manages the power supply of site compounds, an additional 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes of CO2 savings can be expected annually.
Following an idea born through its employee-engagement programme, My Contribution, EcoSense also incorporates wider corridors for wheelchair users, coloured plug sockets and switches to assist the visually impaired and tri-coloured LED lighting for those who are hyper-sensitive to bright light; marking a positive step forward in making site cabins a more inclusive environment for neurodivergent people.
Heather Bryant, Balfour Beatty’s Health, Safety, Environment & Sustainability Director, said: “At Balfour Beatty, sustainability is at the heart of what we do, whether we’re attracting, training, and retaining the diverse workforce of the future, or developing innovative new solutions for the construction and infrastructure industry.
“But we know that to truly move the dial, we must work together. EcoSense is yet another example of how, alongside our partners such as Sunbelt Rentals, we are actively becoming smarter and greener, faster, as we move towards an inclusive, Net Zero world.”
Ian Needham, Director of Accommodation at Sunbelt Rentals said: “Sunbelt Rentals is committed to advancing technology for a lower carbon future and to making our industry as inclusive as possible.
“Working with our partner Balfour Beatty we have developed an industry-changing solution with EcoSense. Not only is the cabin design more energy efficient, but it can be powered by low or zero carbon power sources as the norm. In addition, the disability and neurodiverse elements will help to give everyone equal opportunities when working on site.”
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Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group with 26,000 employees driving the delivery of powerful new solutions, shaping thinking, creating skylines and inspiring a new generation of talent to be the change-makers of tomorrow.
- We finance, develop, build, maintain and operate the increasingly complex and critical infrastructure that supports national economies and deliver projects at the heart of local communities.
- Over the last 112 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including: the £1.5 billion A14 improvement scheme - Britain’s biggest road project; Hong Kong’s HK$5.5 billion world-class harbour theatre project for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; and the 12.5 mile $429 million North Metro Commuter Rail line in Colorado, US.
- In December 2020, Balfour Beatty launched its refreshed sustainability strategy, “Building New Futures”, which sets out our ambitions to achieve net zero emissions, generate zero waste and positively impact over one million people by 2040. The strategy focusses on three specific areas – the Environment, Materials and Communities – with each area assigned a 2040 ambition. To guide us in our journey to achieve these ambitions, Balfour Beatty will be reporting annually on each area, with defined 2030 targets to ensure the Group is on track to achieve its 2040 ambitions.