The Challenge:

At Kier our purpose is to sustainably deliver infrastructure which is vital to the UK. For over 90 years we have been delivering for communities across the UK, and now, more than ever, it’s important that we do this sustainably.

Our sustainability framework, ‘Building for a Sustainable World’ outlines our commitment to preventing environmental and social harm, replenishing our natural systems and renewable resources and having a positive impact on the communities and environments in which we operate.

An example of action we’re taking is at our Cattle Market Road project in Bristol, which involves the demolition of a former Royal Mail sorting office to make way for the University of Bristol’s new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus. At this project, we have been working to offset carbon by using solar hybrid lights supplied by Sunbelt Rentals.

The dark winter months meant that a lighting solution had to be sourced which would enable the team and their subcontractors to carry out evening work. Since the site adjoins Bristol Temple Meads train station, the environmentally conscious team were active in seeking a greener lighting solution that would be effective and offer minimal noise and emissions.

The Solution:

Although lighting isn’t ordinarily in the project team’s remit, Chris Whitfield, Planner for Kier Regional Building Western & Wales and member of the Kier environmental working group, said “We wanted to actively seek an effective greener lighting solution that could demonstrate to our sub-contractors the types of sustainable equipment available in today’s hire market. Not only does it have positive environmental impact, they are also cost effective in the long run with far lower running costs and reduced maintenance, easily out-performing older metal halide units”

We opted to hire two solar hybrid lighting towers over a four week period, the lights required no maintenance whilst on site and provided ample light for difficult and at times delicate night operations. The lights were task specific, so switched on and off when needed, but are also capable of running all night, 365 days a year or can be controlled by on board timers.

The Impact:

The Kier team and all sub-contractors were impressed with the on-site performance of the solar hybrid tower lights, they didn’t need re-fuelling and provided a ‘fuss free’ lighting solution. These lights can run an average of 3000 hours from a single tank with a full photovoltaic charge providing four days’ light.

Compared to older metal halide units these lights resulted in an 86% reduction in carbon emissions, 90% reduction in fuel usage  and 99% reduction in fuel costs. With minimal maintenance, low running costs, no noise and an outstanding performance, the Solar Hybrids impressed across the board and are now being championed on Kier sites across the South West, replacing older, fuel guzzling metal halide units.

The Solar Hybrid lights have been made exclusively for Sunbelt Rentals by Italian manufacturers Trime and have been recognised with a prestigious Green Apple Award. The Green Apple Environmental Awards offer global recognition for innovations that can make a real difference to the environment.

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