Electric Blue will be partnering on an Innovate UK funded Freight Traffic Control (FTC) project, with the aim of improving efficiency in construction sites, and other congested urban areas. The project is being led by Grid Smarter Cities – a technology and smart solution provider, whose mission is to enable the smarter management of kerbside by using technology to connect communities and people with transport, parking, goods and services.

The FTC system is based on Grid’s innovative kerbside management solution; Kerb. It dynamically manages city kerb space through digitisation, allowing drivers to park in restricted areas for fixed periods of time.

In partnership with the London Borough of Croydon, this project will pilot the system in a live construction development in Croydon Borough from March 2020.

Electric Blue’s involvement will be to provide analysis of movement data from telematics devices, installed into a range of HGVs; providing emissions data, deviation from prescribed routes, site operation geo-fence breaches, along with an EV feasibility report for the freight vehicles. As with all of our telematic analyses, we will also provide recommendations for electric vehicle charging locations in order to appraise any EV fleet options.Using this data, in combination with Kerb, construction vehicles will be tracked to and from holding areas, where they can be called to the construction site when ready. The construction industry is one of the biggest contributors to poor air quality and global greenhouse gases. This procedure will prevent unnecessary circling of congested construction sites, reducing air and noise pollution in busy urban areas. This procedure will prevent unnecessary circling of congested sites emitting additional air pollutants, and further contributing to the poor air quality which surround the construction industry.

“The Kerb FTC Project represents a great opportunity to showcase how practical innovation can deliver real impacts and we are excited to be working with the London Borough of Croydon who are a trailblazing local authority intent on leading the way. Improving air quality is a key issue for society to address, and we are intent on being able to deliver technology that offers simple, easy to adopt process improvements to assist in construction freight logistics and the wider transport sectors.”

Neil Herron, CEO and Founder – Grid Smarter Cities

Why target the construction industry?

Emissions from construction sites are estimated to account for 5-10% of production based emissions in cities (1). Polluting commercial vehicles contribute to congestion by circling sites, and the harmful levels of emissions attributed to the construction industry, either from waiting to access sites, or from increased travel. By using holding areas, congestion and emissions are reduced, and there is a known “stopping location”, making electric alternatives a possibility.

Electric Blue’s James Benjamin says, “This project shows that using technology innovatively will not only reduce construction congestion, but has the added benefit of reducing harmful transport emissions. It is fantastic to see more and more industries considering the use of electric vehicles as a viable transport solution.”

Following the Building and Infrastructure Consumption and Emissions Report, 60% of consumption emissions from building and infrastructure construction in C40 cities (2) are associated with the production and delivery of building materials. In London, 14.5% of Particulate Matter 2.5 is attributed to local construction sites (3). With air and noise pollution often very localised, and varying from street to street, the introduction of electric construction vehicles, or Freight Traffic Control measures such as Kerb, could have a huge impact on local air quality.

Emissions from the construction industry are predicted to form the largest single contributor of consumption-based emissions for C40 cities between 2017 and 2050. So, it is now more crucial than ever to look towards encompassing sustainable solutions into the production and operation methods of this industry. With innovation, strategy, and appropriate infrastructure in place, moving towards electric vehicle technology could be an answer to the problem of localised pollution surrounding construction sites.

Footnotes:

(1) DNV GL, 2019, Perspectives on Zero Emission Construction

(2)C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. C40 supports cities to collaborate effectively, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change.

(3) Bellona Europa 2018, The Possibilities and Barriers of Electric Construction Machinery

Date: 08/01/2020