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Atkins offers an integrated approach to water, waste & environmental solutions. A client-focused structure enables us to augment and support cost-effective, quality-assured solutions and project delivery. Our expertise comprises: Acoustics Air quality Asset management Carbon trading & emissions Climate change Consents and authorisations Contaminated land solutions Data management Dams and reservoirs Due Diligence Ecology and environmental surveys Environmental assessment Environmental auditing Environmental management Environmental policy and strategy Flood management (flood risk, forecasting, warning & defence) Geospatial Geomorphology Health, safety and environment Heritage Hydrogeology Hydropower Schemes Noise and vibration Nuclear environmental services Regeneration Resource management Risk assessment and management River and coastal management Surface Water and drainage Sustainability Tunnelling & Pipelines Urban & Landscape Design Waste management & planning Water resource management Water quality Water & Wastewater treatment an


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Atkins' innovation for measuring carbon footprints

Measuring the carbon footprint of a major flood defence scheme is no easy task. However, Atkins has successfully developed an innovative solution to this problem which can be applied to a wide range of engineering projects.

The Environment Agency commissioned Atkins to undertake an appraisal of 2.7km of proposed flood defence improvements at Gainsborough. Working closely with the project design engineers and the construction contractors they undertook detailed analyses of proposed engineering works, materials and transport activities for each of the outline design options.

Through this, Atkins came up with a set of standard design components for the Gainsborough scheme. They estimated carbon emissions for embodied energy and operational energy for each component, deriving a standardised measure of emissions per 100 metres of defence, as well as an overall carbon footprint. This allowed a direct comparison of the carbon emissions associated with every design option.

The team then included the carbon footprint as a factor in the overall sustainability when evaluating the various combinations of options. As a result, we were able to select a scheme that reduces the risk of flooding, promotes the wise use of natural resources and limits carbon emissions.

Atkins' unique approach combined rigorous bottom-up analysis with ease of top-level option evaluation. This provided flexibility for use across a wide range of engineering, construction and other project applications.

Expert: Mark Hewlett, Principal Consultant, ATKINS, Chippenham 01249 455007, mark.hewlett@atkinsglobal.com

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