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Last edited 07 Oct 2021
Improving Innovation and Productivity In Earthworks
A new report Improving Innovation and Productivity In Earthworks from the Infrastructure Industry Innovation Partnership (i3P) has identified areas for efficiency improvements in the earthworks sector. These represent a potential 10-20% reduction in the UK’s annual spend on earthworks, which is currently between £1bn-£1.5bn.
Productivity in the UK’s construction sector has barely improved in the last 20 years. In 2020, i3P set up a Tiger Team to research the sector; the team has highlighted 24 opportunities which, if implemented, have the potential to save the industry £100m–£300m per annum. The recommendations could also see embodied carbon reduction and improved air quality.
A total of 28 organisations were involved in the research including the creators of some of Britain’s largest infrastructure projects – HS2, the Environment Agency, National Highways, EDF, Sellafield, Thames Tideway and the Northern Ireland Department of Infrastructure.
- Expedite the use and development of Connected and Autonomous Plant (CAP) which has the potential to significantly increase the productivity, accuracy and safety of earthworks.
- Use state-of-the-art geotechnical testing technologies and real time performance indicators to improve earthworks placement quality and reduce programme delays.
- Adopt digital technology to improve communication, accuracy, control and predictability of earthworks processes.
- Encourage the use of alternative plant fuel types (e.g. electrified, hydrogen and hybrid technologies), which have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions, improve air quality and extend operational working hours.
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