‘Element One’ project has received a substantial grant of £4,872,653 from the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, signifying a profound commitment to transitioning towards cleaner energy sources in the construction industry.
Transforming Construction Plant with Hydrogen
The ‘Element One’ project is designed to adapt and advance dual-fuel technology, transforming a variety of construction plant machinery to operate using hydrogen-fueled generators. This transformation is not limited to the machinery alone; it encompasses the entire hydrogen manufacturing and supply chain. This includes both off-site and on-site production, off-grid compression, and the development of cutting-edge storage and distribution solutions.
Commencing this month, the project is scheduled to run for approximately two years. During this period, it will offer practical solutions that can be demonstrated on an operational construction site for at least one month, putting these innovations to the test in real-world scenarios.
A Collaborative Effort Towards Sustainability
One of the primary goals of the ‘Element One’ project is to significantly reduce the construction industry’s dependence on fossil fuels. To achieve this ambitious objective, the project has brought together a consortium of contractors and suppliers spanning various sectors.
Leading construction companies BAM and Skanska will provide operational construction sites to showcase the hydrogen-powered solution. The hydrogen supply will be managed by GeoPura, while a hydrogen-powered generator will be supplied by the same company. Reynolds Logistics will focus on hydrogen transport and logistics, while NanoSUN will develop storage and on-site distribution capabilities. ULEMCo will leverage its dual-fuel technology expertise to adapt construction plant machinery provided by Flannery and Plantforce. The project will benefit from independent assessments and metrics provided by BRE, ensuring transparency and accountability in achieving its sustainability goals.
Shifting Hydrogen from Concept to Reality
Colin Evison, Innovation Technical Lead for BAM, expressed enthusiasm about the ‘Element One’ project’s potential impact. He highlighted the collaborative spirit among project partners, emphasizing the importance of addressing barriers in hydrogen production, supply, and usage, including skills and training, safety, and regulatory considerations. The project’s demonstration phase will play a pivotal role in assessing its real-world impact on site productivity and emissions compared to conventional diesel-powered machinery. Ultimately, the goal is to transition hydrogen-powered plant use from an experimental concept to practical, scalable solutions suitable for deployment on busy construction sites. Importantly, the knowledge and insights gained from this endeavor will be shared across the industry, promoting broader adoption of sustainable practices in construction.