Genquip Groundhog reports strong demand for environmentally friendly site welfare products.

Green and clean

Today’s site welfare products are incorporating more and more innovative qualities to give greater efficiency and environmental benefits.

Demand for site welfare services is obviously driven largely by Health & Safety considerations. As the Health and Safety Executive states on its website, everyone who works on a site must have access to toilets and facilities for washing, changing, eating and rest.

Contractors are required to provide welfare facilities and clients must ensure this happens. Schedule 2 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, or CDM 2015, lists what should be in place at any site.

However, demand is also being fuelled by the need for contractors to adopt environmentally friendly working practices, an increasing trend that EHN has been following for some time. “Site managers are demanding these innovations and we are as busy now as we have ever been,” said Peter Beach, Sales & Marketing Manager with Genquip Groundhog. “There is now a general awareness of the ongoing need for carbon reduction, and manufacturers are responding accordingly.

Environmental awareness

“There is always a balance between innovation and cost-effectiveness, and there is a certain rental revenue that a customer will be prepared to pay. However, more and more contractors are adopting the latest green products to show their environmental awareness.”

The latest products on the market include welfare units, toilets and other temporary site facilities driven by eco-friendly sources such as solar and wind power, storing energy in on-board batteries for economical operation without fumes or emissions. Some manufacturers are also introducing products using hydrogen fuel cells with similar benefits.

AJC EasyCabin, which as we reported in our June issue has just celebrated its 55th anniversary, has continued to develop environmentally friendly products at a rapid pace. GAP Group recently became the first hirer to adopt the manufacturer’s Ecosmart Zero, a solar and hydrogen powered welfare unit.

Innovative services

Ken Stewart, the hirer’s Head of Procurement, explained, “At GAP, we are continually challenging ourselves and our suppliers to explore more innovative products, processes and services, ensuring that we assist our customers in meeting their environmental targets and statutory obligations.

“Our new Ecosmart Zero welfare units are powered entirely by both solar and hydrogen fuel cell power, meaning they are completely silent and emission-free at point of use. This is a great example of supplier collaboration and innovation in bringing this product to the marketplace.”

In March 2019, an Ecosmart Zero was delivered to a Morgan Sindall construction site near Heathrow Airport for a six-week trial period. This allowed one of GAP’s major customers to examine, test and use the product in an emissions-sensitive environment prior to committing to an order.

During the trial, the solar absorption was found to be so efficient that the hydrogen fuel cell only initiated a battery re-charge once and used 40% of one hydrogen bottle; without solar input, six hydrogen bottles would have been used, or, with a standard generator running eight hours a day, over 450 litres of diesel would have been required, says the manufacturer.

GAP successfully trialled an AJC Ecosmart Zero at a Morgan Sindall construction site near Heathrow Airport. 32

Graham Edgell, Director of Sustainability and Procurement at Morgan Sindall, said, “GAP has met the challenge that we have set the industry,

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