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The role of hybrid machines in the green building movement

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Posted by Sophia Rostron

Construction equipment manufacturers are stepping up and pioneering some of the latest in energy-saving technology to help Australian plant hire companies and contractors alike reduce greenhouse gas emissions. .

Green Building Council of Australia’s pledge to drive the industry to net zero

Climate change discussions continue to dominate both national industries and international politics. Following the Paris climate talks in December, green building councils around the world made a number of commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA’s) Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew, a new label will be introduced in 2016 to recognise buildings that achieve ‘net zero’ impact in energy, carbon and water.

“This new label will also recognise buildings that go beyond net zero to make positive contributions to the environment, such as generating more renewable energy than is consumed. 

The Australian market is already leading the world in terms of sustainability in some sectors – and we have five years at the top of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark table to prove it. We have more than 1000 Green Star certified projects around Australia. These certifications save the equivalent of 128,000 average households' electricity use, and 625,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each and ever year. Our next challenge is to move beyond 'low carbon' to 'no carbon'. "

The GBCA’s vision is to recognise and reward projects that make a positive contribution to the environment. 

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Source: Curtin University awarded Australia's first 5 Green Star Communities rating

Innovation through equipment technology

With contractors now seeking to build Green Star certified projects, it's important to know how sustainable equipment will fit into the equation. 

Environmental management is a core driver of performance for major project supply chains. Both Government and Australian contractors are becoming increasingly committed to protecting the environment and doing business with ethical and socially responsible suppliers to foster a viable Australian market for sustainable products and services.

You need to let major project supply chains know that your firm understands the importance of environmental management and that you are taking steps to minimise the impact on the environment.

How do you manage environmental performance in your firm? What practices do you use on site to minimise impact?

Hastings Deering sales manager Brett Lenz recently spoke with Contractor Magazine and confirmed "The competitive market we find ourselves in the post-mining boom, means our customers are more concerned than ever about fluid burn, high running costs including component life and reliability, and how to differentiate themselves to be profitable." To meet these and other legislative standards, Hastings Deering has introduced CAT Tier 4 Final solutions across a number of product lines. "Cabs with clear air, state-of-the-art ergonomics and offering standards like Cat-grade control, Cat-dig assist and Cat-payload control all contribute to better productivity" said Lenz.  

Over the last five years, there have been several projects undertaken by major manufacturers worldwide in developing hydraulic hybrid construction machinery. The majority of projects were aimed at hybrid excavator and hybrid wheel loader. A few examples include: 

How do you feel about the changing requirements of construction equipment and their emissions? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Sophia Rostron

Sophia Rostron

As the Content editor at plantminer.com.au, Sophia works behind the scenes to keep our blog machine in motion. A student of Law and Business, she's very dependent on coffee and loves any excuse to travel.