The global construction industry produces 23% of the world’s total CO2 emissions [Bellona]. And roughly 5% of these emissions are related directly to activities on the construction sites [Bellona], such as powering tools with generators.
Therefore, instagrid is taking part in the EU LIFE project which pilots clean power supply devices in construction and urban green care to reduce emissions. The project was started in 2019 and will come to its end this year, 2022. At the moment, 13 construction companies are testing instagrid ONE max portable power stations at their construction sites in seven different countries as part of this project.
Amsterdam, Netherlands is one of the cities where instagrid ONE max units are being tested in multiple different construction sites by four Dutch construction companies: KWS, Markus-Veekens, Rutte Groep, and Gebr. Beentjes GWW B.V. We visited some of these construction sites to see how they are using the instagrid units and advancing zero-emission construction on their behalf.
“Amsterdam’s sustainability goal is to become a zero-emission city”
Amsterdam is one of the European cities that is working openly in becoming a zero-emission city – meaning residency, mobility, but also the construction sites. We discussed with Marten Klein, board member from the engineering office at the municipality of Amsterdam, to get an understanding of the vision the city of Amsterdam has.
Marten highlighted the long-term viewpoint when moving towards a zero-emission city. “The mission to move to zero emissions can’t be achieved in the short term, because it interferes with the production processes of the contractors we work with. It can’t be a one-time trial, but we must build relationships, have time and be able to make mistakes”, Marten stated.
The goal for the city of Amsterdam is not only to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and therefore emissions, but also to create cleaner and quieter working environments. “The beauty of this is that it doesn’t only reduce the use of fossil fuels in the long term, but we are also creating a quieter and cleaner work environment and better working conditions”, Marten continues.
KWS Infra: Building Amsterdam’s first climate-neutral district
KWS Infra aims to achieve 100% circular infrastructure by 2040 [KWS Sustainability Goals] Tim Rietmeijer, sustainability advisor and tender coordinator at KWS, stated that the company is aiming to achieve their sustainability targets as quickly as possible.
“It is important to have sustainability goals to demonstrate that you comply with the Paris agreement and the other regulations in the Netherlands. We started transitioning from old school diesel to HVO100, and we’ve been electrifying our machinery. We developed the first electrical auto crane with one of our transport partners and now we’ve got a fully electrical asphalt set, which was the first in the world. Sustainable innovations such as PlasticRoad, the HERA System for the recycling of asphalt KonwéCity 5 Circulair are introduced by KWS”, Tim states.
KWS utilizes the instagrid ONE max power stations for example in their project in Houthaven residential area, which is going to be Amsterdam’s first climate neutral district [Sustainable Amsterdam]. On the construction site, KWS powers for example bandsaws, concrete drills, concrete mixers, and welding equipment with instagrid ONE max. “What makes the instagrid unit efficient for us is that it is smaller portable variant of a generator. It is very versatile, and it’s great you can do several things with one unit. This makes it very user-friendly”, Tim describes.
Markus-Veekens: Winning tenders with sustainability focus
Markus-Veekens, another Dutch company piloting instagrid ONE max, is working with the units also on a residential area. Markus-Veekens specializes in paving, and powers for example their innovative pavement equipment with instagrid ONE max. In residential area, the construction companies need to also consider the noise pollution, especially as workdays can start already early in the morning. The fact that instagrid ONE max is completely silent, makes the environment more pleasant for the people living in the residential area.
Recently, the city of Amsterdam released a tender for city-wide pavement work, which had a strong sustainability perspective. The tender didn’t focus just on the price but considered the environmental impacts of the processes used in the project. Markus-Veekens won this significant tender with the most environmental-friendly approach to the project.
Rutte Groep: Commit to circular construction materials
One of the most polluting construction site elements is the transport and production of construction materials, like carbon-intensive concrete. The cement production alone, is responsible for the emission of 10% of the global CO2-footprint. To tackle that, Rutte has invented a game changing technology on “liberating” the original raw materials in concrete: sand, gravel and cement. By reusing these raw materials, the company can produce circular concrete and reduce the CO2-footprint by astonishing 95%. Next to that, the company is trying to implement a zero-CO2 policy for all of it’s subsidiaries working on construction related activities. [Rutte Groep]
The aim of Rutte Groep is to replace all their generators with battery stations in the long term to decrease overall CO2 emissions. Rutte Groep is testing the instagrid ONE max units in their construction sites, powering for example jackhammers, vibratory plates, and tampers. Right now, Rutte Groep charges the instagrid ONE max units with energy from their own solar panels, which decreases the CO2 emissions of their energy usage even more.
Gebr. Beentjes GWW B.V: Focus on carbon footprint
In 2012, Amsterdam-based Gebr. Beentjes decided to start focusing on their carbon footprint and applied for “CO2 Prestatieladder” certification. From then on, they have worked continuously to decrease their carbon footprint, and already in 2014, they were certified at the highest level (Level 5) in the “CO2 Prestatieladder” scheme. [Gebr. Beentjes] Now as part of their CO2 emission reduction activities, Gebr. Beentjes is testing instagrid ONE max units in their everyday construction work.