LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 7, 2013) -
Digging up urban roads creates massive carbon emissions compared to non-disruptive tunnelling solution. Now, savings of up to 75% in carbon emissions have been demonstrated by a web-based application (www.pipejackingco2calculator.com) which compares open-cut utility installation with non-disruptive solutions, such as pipejacking or microtunnelling, for the installation of sewers and other utilities in urban highways. The comparison tool has been developed on behalf of the Pipe Jacking Association by TRL (Transport Research Laboratory), the international consultancy that provides research, consultancy, testing and certification for all aspects of transport.
The Pipe Jacking Association represents the major contractors and suppliers in the pipejacking and microtunnelling industry. Pipe jacking, generally referred to in the smaller diameters as microtunnelling, is a non-disruptive technique for installing underground pipelines, ducts and culverts. Powerful hydraulic jacks are used to push specially designed pipes through the ground behind a shield at the same time as excavation is taking place.
The 75% saving in carbon emissions, (>370 tonnes), was achieved by comparing the installation of 500 metres of 600mm pipeline, 6 metres deep, using non-disruptive techniques with open-cut construction. Additionally, the construction period for the trenchless installation was projected to be less than half that of the open-cut construction1. At shallower depths carbon savings are typically in the range of 50-60%.
The free and easy to use carbon dioxide emissions calculator, that in seconds can produce indications of comparative emissions, has been verified by WRc plc, an independent research-based consultancy that provides sustainable solutions for the protection, enhancement and maintenance of the natural environment.
TRL's project manager, Matthew Wayman commented: "The findings should encourage water and other utilities to consider pipejacking and other non-disruptive trenchless techniques when appraising new utility installations." The application enables the user to identify more carbon (and energy) efficient options, and can therefore assist them to meet reduction targets established as a result of applying carbon regulations or other voluntary guidance, including the Department of Energy & Climate Change's CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly Carbon Reduction Commitment)2, or other independently initiated key performance indicators.
Data for the calculator has been drawn from a number of authoritative sources that include the University of Bath's Inventory of Carbon and Energy for construction materials, the Concrete Pipeline Systems Association, and outputs from the Department for Transport's QUADRO program (Queues and Delays at Roadworks) developed by TRL. Reports can readily be produced that not only provide comparative emissions data for open-cut and non-disruptive options, they also detail data sources and assumptions utilised in the calculations.
Further options are available to input detailed additional data as a project progresses.
Notes to Editors
1 Roadworks related congestion is estimated to cost the UK economy around £4 billion a year (DfT press release 26 January 2012: New powers for councils to control roadworks: see note re link below). Successive governments and London mayors have expressed concern and attempted to control the disruption caused by utility companies and in early 2012 the Government announced enhancements to the New Roads and Street Works Act enabling local authorities to charge utility companies up to £2,500 per day for digging up busy roads at peak times (lane rental). Apart from carbon savings and the disruption costs, open-cut construction followed by re-instatement is estimated to reduce highway life by up to 30% representing a substantial additional community cost for highway authorities. It is hoped that lane rental charges, together with readily available evidence of carbon savings, and the community cost of highway degradation occasioned by open-cut installation will encourage utilities to adopt non-disruptive trenchless options wherever and whenever possible.
2 CRC is a mandatory scheme aimed at improving energy efficiency and cutting emissions in large public and private sector organisations which are responsible for around 10% of the UK's emissions and features a range of reputational, behavioural and financial drivers. The Environmental Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are an initiative by Defra to help businesses demonstrate their corporate sustainability credentials, in particular across a range of environmental indicators that include water and waste.
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