Construction News

Fri January 28 2022

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The inclusive site hut

1 Dec 21 Balfour Beatty and Sunbelt Rentals have developed what is likely to be the world’s most politically correct site cabin.

The Ecosense site cabin is not just eco-friendly but also wheelchair-accessible and neurodiverse-ready, to be a more inclusive environment for the widest spectrum of users.

The cabins have occupier-activated extractor fan sensors and lower kilowatt heaters with built-in, self-regulating digital thermostats.

Following an idea from a Balfour Beatty employee-engagement programme, My Contribution, EcoSense has wider corridors for wheelchair users, coloured plug sockets and switches to assist the visually impaired and tri-coloured LED lighting for those who are hyper-sensitive to bright light.  

The new site cabin design is being rolled out across several of Balfour Beatty’s projects in the UK and will be introduced as standard to all new site set-ups from January 2022.

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Once deployed, Balfour Beatty expects to save at least 1,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions across its site cabin portfolio each year. When combined with the company’s EcoNet technology, which effectively manages the power supply of site compounds, an additional 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes of annual CO2 savings can be expected, it says.

 Heather Bryant, Balfour Beatty’s health, safety, environment & sustainability director, said: “At Balfour Beatty, sustainability is at the heart of what we do, whether we’re attracting, training, and retaining the diverse workforce of the future, or developing innovative new solutions for the construction and infrastructure industry.

 “But we know that to truly move the dial, we must work together. EcoSense is yet another example of how, alongside our partners such as Sunbelt Rentals, we are actively becoming smarter and greener, faster, as we move towards an inclusive, net zero world.”

Sunbelt Rentals director of accommodation Ian Needham said: “Working with our partner Balfour Beatty we have developed an industry-changing solution with EcoSense. Not only is the cabin design more energy efficient, but it can be powered by low or zero carbon power sources as the norm. In addition, the disability and neurodiverse elements will help to give everyone equal opportunities when working on site.”

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