Building a wind turbine half a mile into the sky is a tall order – but the real challenge for Skanska to rise to is achieving the highest standards of low-carbon construction.
That’s exactly what has happened on the ground-breaking Swansea Bay and Nash wind turbines built for Welsh Water in South Wales.
Both projects have been awarded the highest environmental certification on the Skanska Color Palette – our strategic tool to measure and guide green activities. Ranging from Vanilla to Deep Green, it reflects the stages between mere legal compliance and futureproof projects, to measure green performance.
The turbines have both met Deep Green criteria – which means they have a near-zero impact on the environment. This reflects the fact that they have not only reduced the carbon footprint from the original design base by 77% at Nash and 19% at Swansea, but are energy positive. This is because they were built to provide green energy to power Welsh Water’s wastewater treatment works at the two sites, with surplus electricity exported back to the National Grid.
Green build features
The accreditations recognise a range of green design and construction phase measures including:
• more than 90% of recycled materials used during the builds
• valued engineering resulted in a low-carbon turbine foundation, and design challenge on the crane pad foundation and access roads resulting in 78% less concrete being used
• all construction waste diverted from landfill
• zero hazardous materials used
• significant reductions in the use of potable water, by 100% at Nash and 40% at Swansea.
Why a green approach matters
Adam Crossley, Environment Director Skanska UK, explained the wider impact of the Deep Green projects. He said: “It’s everyone’s responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment, but as a construction leader, this must be at the very core of what we do to build for a better society that’s sustainable for future generations. We’re incredibly proud these projects are pushing the envelope on green construction.
“We know that evolving the way we do things and reducing carbon is also our customer’s expectation. Green is high on their agenda, and when we look at Welsh Water – who keep more than three million people supplied with water – a sustainable approach for them means they can pass the benefits onto their customers, every time they turn the tap.”
Ben Burggraaf, Head of Energy at Welsh Water explained:
“The energy created by the turbines will not only reduce our carbon footprint, but will also benefit our customers by reducing our overall operating costs so that we can keep bills low.”
Find out more about our approach to green.