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We believe we are the first construction company to use battery energy to power most of our equipment on a site.

Our project at West Bar, Sheffield is probably the first site in the country where the tower crane, mast climbers, hoist and temporary site supply to two buildings are all powered by only two batteries – this has saved 27 tonnes of CO2 in just the first two weeks of using this energy source.

The successful implementation of this sustainable energy is the culmination of years of research and development. Our group crane department has worked tirelessly with specific suppliers and site teams to change attitudes, guaranteeing that we are at the forefront of adopting sustainable power for on-site tower cranes and other plant.

Initially their research and persistence recognised the carbon savings associated with the Punch Flybrid kinetic energy recovery system.

Initially developed for Formula 1 to recover energy from regenerative braking systems, the Punch Flybrid uses a robust and durable flywheel energy storage system to significantly downsize generators powering tower cranes and other dynamically used equipment on site.

Construction site generators are inherently inefficient. Adding a flywheel to store kinetic energy however, introduces efficiency, dramatically reducing fuel consumption and reducing carbon emissions.

On average we run 20 tower cranes and 200 mast climbers on our sites at any one time; traditionally powered by generators. The crane team conducted months of research into Flybrid feasibility and testing with our supply chain and instigated a first year roll out of the tech nationally across our construction sites ensuring Bowmer + Kirkland was the first UK contractor with multiple Flybrid units on one site.

Pushing the boundaries further led the team, in conjunction with equipment supplier Select, to investigate the possibility of battery power to enhance sustainability on site. As a result we were probably the first company to power two tower cranes from one battery unit on trickle charge using a mains grid connection – this saved 98 tonnes of CO2 in just three months.

That pilot scheme was so successful that on the West Bar site in Sheffield, we are powering the tower crane, mast climbers, hoist and temporary site supply to two buildings via only two batteries on trickle charge and saved 27 tonnes of CO2 in just the first two weeks of operation. We are now looking into using green renewable power to trickle charge the batteries – which would reduce carbon emissions even further.

To enable B+K to do this and change long-held attitudes and habits, the crane team organised a number of pilot trials for the Flybrid and battery technology, involving all parties to demonstrate reliability and capability in reducing fuel consumption and realise carbon savings. To support this, the team formulated a self-populating carbon spreadsheet and included all combinations of lifting equipment to demonstrate to site managers the fuel and carbon savings, which was instrumental in persuading them to adopt the technology. Equipment was tested to operating limits which was only made possible by the technical experience and dedication from B+K’s group crane team to drive innovation.

Flybrid and battery technology is now a standardised offering across Bowmer + Kirkland sites and our project managers are on board with this technological innovation.

Bowmer and Kirkland Director, Matthew Cruttenden, said: As the company strives for our zeroby40 target, our group crane team has been instrumental in changing attitudes and increasing awareness and understanding of sustainable energy sources available. Traditionally, construction sites have powered plant with diesel-guzzling generators. Our operational staff now understand the possibilities open to us to protect the environment, reduce our emissions and save money.

“Our development and collaboration with specialist suppliers has revolutionised the way we power our site operations – who would have thought we could power an entire site by plugging into a couple of battery units on trickle charge? Within the construction industry we are leading the way with our research and innovations.”

The West Bar development site is situated in the North of Sheffield City Centre adjacent to the Crown Court and is part of the regeneration masterplan for West Bar. The project consists of 368 Build to Rent to apartments, being delivered in two separate buildings of 15 and 19 storeys respectively.

The project integrates seamlessly with the remainder of the masterplan which consists of offices, car parking, cafes and further potential residential along with extensive public open space. As part of the project, Bowmer + Kirkland will deliver an upgraded HV power supply complex to provide power for the remainder of the regeneration scheme, the associated public open space and the S278 works. The form of construction will be a traditional concrete in-situ frame bearing on piled foundations. The buildings will be wrapped in rainscreen brick slip facades and aluminium windows.