Building for a carbon neutral future

As the biggest infrastructure project in Europe, we have the opportunity through our work on HS2 to develop and implement new construction techniques that deliver a step-change and long-lasting benefits for our industry. This includes our approach to driving down carbon that supports government targets and our own ambition to be net-zero carbon by 2045.

Credit: HS2 Ltd

Through our work on the London tunnels for HS2 Phase One as part of the Skanska Costain STRABAG JV, we are developing and implementing solutions that cut carbon and deliver wider societal benefits – including cost reduction, improved safety and quicker delivery. 

We are working with our supply chain to produce and distribute hydrogen to dual fuelled vehicles; we have achieved the first ever use of a dual-fuel hydrogen rig to install four piles to a depth of 30 metres on an HS2 site, used the world’s first solar and hydrogen powered welfare cabins for staff and trialling new low carbon concrete. 

Collaboration is key and has come as a result of close working with HS2, our joint venture and supply chain partners who bring much valued expertise to our operations.

UK’s first electric forklift trial

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Our Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture is pioneering the UK’s first electric forklift on one of HS2’s major construction sites in London.

With zero pollution, this environmentally friendly electric drive unit provides the same performance as an equivalent conventional model but without the noise and emissions of a combustion engine.

More about this trial


Green energy powered welfare cabins

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The world’s first solar and hydrogen powered welfare cabins have been trialled and installed by our HS2 Main Works and Enabling Works joint ventures, in partnership with Costain and STRABAG.  

The EasyCabin EcoSmart ZERO product combines solar and hydrogen power to eliminate carbon emissions. With zero emissions, solar and hydrogen power replaces traditional diesel power systems and reduces the overall carbon footprint of a construction site and, just as importantly, improves the environment for communities in the vicinity of operations.

More about the trial


Pioneering use of low carbon concrete

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A new low carbon concrete is being used by our Skanska Costain joint venture to significantly reduce carbon emissions on our HS2 Enabling Works site in North West London.

The Vertua Classic Zero concrete, manufactured by CEMEX in England, provides a reduction of 42% in CO2 in comparison to a standard concrete.

The first use of the Vertua Classic Zero concrete in the capital took place at our HS2 site in North West London to prepare the ground for an electricity substation which will power the tunnel boring machines excavating HS2’s London tunnels. By using this low carbon concrete, a total of 12 tonnes of carbon should be saved, with an additional 17 tonnes of residual CO2 offset.

More about low carbon concrete


New zero trim technique will transform construction

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Cementation Skanska, working jointly with the Skanska Costain STRABAG JV and specialist supplier Hercules Site Services, developed the new zero trim piling technique which has the potential to become a game-changer for the construction industry.

Zero trim will cut health and safety risks and significantly reduce carbon emissions, cost, noise and programme durations.

The technique uses a vacuum excavator that sucks out excess concrete from a pile while it’s still wet – rather than overpouring concrete and leaving site teams to break out the excess concrete afterwards. This can lead to health problems, including hand-arm vibration syndrome, hearing loss and silicosis. This new approach removes the need to do this, creating a safer method for people in the industry.

Technique wins construction award


Cutting edge 3D concrete printing will cut carbon by 50%


3D concrete printing technology will be tested in 2022 by our Skanska Costain STRABAG JV team on HS2 and could halve carbon emissions.

The innovation, which represents a nmajor leap in construction technology, is expected to simplify the build programme and deliver environmental, cost and community benefits when it is used on HS2 for the first time.

As flexible mobile technology, 3D concrete printing means the technique can be used in physically restricted areas so there is no need to develop complicated and potentially expensive logistical plans. In addition, 3D printed concrete delivers a low carbon, quick drying solution that saves time.

Find out more about 3D concrete printing

Last updated: 28/11/2023