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Published: 20 March 2020 in Industry News

Can Off-Site Construction Methods Be Used To Create Small-Scale Power Stations?

Off-site construction is an ever-expanding and popular technique used in a variety of industries, such as education, commercial and healthcare. However, there is scope for it to develop further and branch into the mainstream construction sector and be applied to alternative building types and industries. A prime example of this is the development of the next generation of compact nuclear power stations.


The 2050 Zero-Carbon Target

Government match funding has been granted to develop the next generation of compact nuclear power stations. This proposal was created to help meet the government’s 2050 zero-carbon target. The UK was the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050, and off-site construction is playing its part.

The Government’s UK Research and Innovation will provide £18 million of match funding to the consortium of companies that are designing the new nuclear reactors. The firms involved include Assystem, BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Rolls-Royce, Atkins, Wood, The Welding Institute and Nuclear AMRC. This group is aiming to generate a joint investment of £500 million for the design of the first small modular reactor, which would form the core of the new compact plants.


The New, Small-Scale Power Stations

These new small-scale power stations will be designed and manufactured using off-site construction in regional factories. They will then be transported to existing nuclear sites for rapid assembly inside a weatherproof canopy. This avoidance of weather disruptions will not only reduce costs but also secure efficiency savings by using streamlined and standardised manufacturing processes.

The government have predicted that by 2050 a full programme of 16 power stations could create around 40,000 jobs. It would also be adding £52 billion of value into the UK economy. On top of this, each of those power stations will be operational for 60 years and provide 440 megawatts of electricity – that is enough to power a city the size of Leeds.


Why Choose Off-Site Construction Methods?

Besides the benefits of weatherproofing, cost savings and streamlined manufacturing processes, meaning time-saving, there are a variety of alternative reasons why off-site construction is a great concept. These include:

  • Safety
  • Sustainability
  • Predictability and quality guarantee
  • Less disruption

In order to tackle climate change, projects such as this are vital. To make these projects possible there needs to be collaboration across multiple industries and the government to find affordable, high-quality and sustainable means to achieve climate targets. This is a very positive step forward for the off-site construction sector that sheds a positive light on the benefits of our industry.

At Springfield, our off-site methods mean that we are able to be more detailed in the construction of our expansive range of buildings, to meet the ever-evolving needs of our clients. With over 40 years of experience in the industry, we provide a truly unrivalled service.

If you would like to find out more about the buildings we produce, take a look around our website, or contact our fantastic team on 01744 851958.

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