CIHT Sustainability Award

Winner

Hertfordshire County Council and Ringway Infrastructure Services
 
PFI to LEDIn 2010, the Council was successful in securing £174m of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits towards the total replacement of Hertfordshire’s 115,000 lighting columns, including a central management system. Subsequently, the impact of PFI withdrawal was compounded by the introduction of the austerity agenda. 
 
This presented the challenge and opportunity to develop a sustainable street lighting strategy based on affordable, safe and operational principles. This started with part night lighting (PNL), completed in 2012 and the phased roll out of a comprehensive Light Emitting Diode (LED)/Central Management System (CMS) project starting in 2014.  
 
Benefits include:  
  • Environmental - reducing energy demand, carbon emissions and light pollution plus  protecting wildlife;  
  • Innovation & Sustainability – unique blend of making best use of existing infrastructure by installing new technology on structurally sound apparatus to reduce wastage and maintenance visits, whilst maximising recycling  
  • Economic - revenue savings of £4.6m p.a. have more than covered the cost of borrowing £40m capital, plus carbon tax costs avoided;  
  • Social & Safety - PNL has had no adverse impact on criminality, or road safety and LEDs have transformed the night-time scene;  
  • Professional - approach shared regionally, nationally and internationally; 
  • Future Potential - CMS utilisation for dynamic dimming and smart sensors.
Judges' Comments
"Hertfordshire’s strategy is based on installing new technology on structurally sound existing infrastructure. The process involved a comprehensive infrastructure testing programme, providing an evidence base for a maintenance strategy based on structural integrity of assets, rather than age. This resulted in very significant reductions in column replacement requirements, in addition to notable reductions in carbon emissions from the use of LED technology. Particular attention was paid to the potential impact on local bat habitats, with effective liaison with local wildlife groups, and cooperation with University researchers on local impact trials. Opportunities to extend the application of the Central Management System are being explored in areas such as dynamic dimming of street lighting, ice detection, and environmental monitoring. A strong submission with sound sustainability credentials and good value for money."
 

Commended

R&W
 
wet wasteTR&W Civil Engineering utilises gulley suckers and road sweepers on its highways projects to remove gravel and debris from Hampshire’s roads. Changes to EU regulations prohibit road sweepings and gulley waste going to landfill so R&W undertook extensive research including visiting operations in other sectors and detailed discussions with equipment manufacturers. They gained full management, customer, local authority and Environmental Agency support, which ultimately resulted in a permitted waste transfer station being built at R&W’s Hursley site in central Hampshire. In doing this they directly responded to the regional waste challenges faced and – at the same time - benefited the local community.

R&W has now established its own environmental company within the organisation to look at identifying and implementing further sustainable and environmentally sympathetic policies and procedures that it can adopt/make available to its partners and others operating in the sector as well as promoting them as best practice across the industry.
 
Judges' Comments
"Judges were impressed by the adaptation of existing technologies in a novel manner to meet regional waste challenges. A practical solution was developed which processes gully waste at reduced cost, whilst meeting Environment Agency requirements, reducing the requirement for landfill, generating savings in water usage, and achieving reductions in haulage related carbon emissions. The process has significant wider implementation potential across UK local authorities, and supports the sustainability agenda in a practical and cost effective manner."
 

Commended

Kier
 
Area 1 Habitat ConnectivityThe Kier Area 1 MAC Team worked with Environment Systems and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) to undertake a habitat research project for Highways England. This ground-breaking study took a holistic approach to assessing the habitat connectivity of key habitats on the Strategic Road Network soft estate. This was a new and innovative approach using remote sensing and earth observation techniques to create GIS datasets which could be used to help identify the locations where habitat creation would add the greatest value to ecological networks. This has never been done before in order to enhance and manage a highway network. 
 
The data and imagery used to undertake the study exists for the whole of the UK and the project could be replicated on varying scales at a relatively low cost. This is in comparison to the cost of a major development which may threaten to irrevocably fragment habitat connectivity.
 
Judges' Comments
"This entry showed evidence of effective collaboration between the highways sector and the research community. This habitat research project took a holistic approach to assessing habitat connectivity on and around the Strategic Road Network, with innovative and effective use of remote sensing and earth observation techniques to create new GIS datasets. These datasets are used to identify the connectivity status of different types of habitat, and identify the locations where habitat creation would add the greatest value to ecological networks, overcoming migration barriers. Such data and imagery have wider application potential, mitigating the potential impacts of land use and infrastructure developments, and the potential longer term impacts of climate change on eco-systems."