Greener foundations are the future

Liam Thorpe, Trainee Project Manager at Woodhead Group, completed his dissertation on embodied carbon and collaborated with our Client Nottingham City Homes undertaking a focus group/presentation with their new build team. Influencing Nottingham City Homes to consider the impact of embodied carbon in their projects and how to reduce it.

His learning has been applied to the Eastglade site in Nottingham, (106 new build homes) to reduce embodied carbon, considering carbon emitted into the atmosphere in lieu of cost. Plots 92-102 at tender stage, featured deep strip foundation footings (average depth 2.3m) due to poor ground conditions, we undertook a carbon engineering exercise to reduce the carbon that would be released into the atmosphere in comparison to ground improvement works (Vibro-compaction).

The team implemented the change and prevented 116 Tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere subsequently reducing the carbon footprint of the foundations by 76%.

Further steps have been implemented to reduce the environmental impact of the Eastglade scheme, lean construction techniques have been applied to the scheme to minimise wastage on site through ordering materials cut to size.

Materials have been sourced from local business and depots where possible, contributing to the local economy and reducing transport emissions.

Design reviews have been undertaken prior to starting on site to design out waste and review materials to identify materials that are high in embodied carbon and potential low embodied carbon more environmentally friendly alternatives. The spoil from the cut and fill, drainage works, and foundation excavation has been recycled at a local facility.