UK low carbon pioneer Anglian Water scoops award for Europe’s largest pre-cast reservoir

In 2017, Anglian Water was the winner of the “Carbon Reduction Project of the Year 2017” at the British Construction Industry Awards.

The award was for the creation of the largest pre-cast concrete reservoir in Europe at Grafham in the UK. The project spans 15 different sites and includes a new reservoir, five pumping stations and over 3km of pipeline.

The reservoir which has a capacity of 44 million litres of water is screened by an earth embankment with over 1,500 trees planted, to restore any habitat lost by the development.

In desiging the “Grafham Resiliance” project Anglian Water opted to use existing assets where possible and not build a new pipeline. It also constructed above ground as much as possible.

As a result the project reduced its total embodied carbon by 62% (16,803 t/c02e) and reduced capital expenditure by 50% (£32m).

The company’s meticulous pre-planning focused on maximum offsite building, maximum use of low carbon materials. In an innovative move the planners decided to not replace some 37km pipeline but re-engineer the existing piping for its new role. Much carbon was eliminated by building above ground rather than below.

Speaking at the London Seminar on Implementing PAS2008, Chris Newsome, Asset management Director at Anglian Water and chair of Green Construction Board Infrastructure Working Group, explained that between 2010-2015 the UK’s Anglia Water has had huge success in reducing its capital and operational carbon.

Indeed capital carbon has been cut by 45% overall from 2011-2015 from a 2010 baseline and capital carbon has been reduced by 54%

It has been a conscious plan, Newsome explained, that started in 2008 when Anglian Water put a big demand both on itself and its suppliers to reduce carbon. The company believed that by reducing carbon it could drive innovation that would reduce cost.

Given his position as director of Asset Management Newsome admits he was fortunately in a position not only to influence but to implement the process.

In 2017 the world’s first specification aimed at managing whole-life carbon in infrastructure, PAS2080, was issued by the UK Government’s Construction Leadership Council and the Green Construction Board.

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November 21, 2017