A survey of the requirements for emission-free building and construction sites

Executive Summary

The City of Oslo’s Climate Agency has engaged SINTEF to carry out a survey of emission-free building and construction sites for Oslo Municipality’s projects. The principal themes are electricity supply, emission-free construction machinery and vehicles, and charging logistics, studying associated experiences and barriers.

This report assesses building site experiencefrom relevant projects and includes detailed studies of machine fleets, energy consumption and energy supply. The results indicate that the development towards emission-free building and construction sites is progressing rapidly, although some barriers and challenges remain.

All of the municipality’s building and construction sites shall be emission-free by 2025. Standard climate and environment requirements for Oslo Municipality’s building and construction sites were introduced in 2019. With this new framework, contractors who can offer emission free construction machinery and vehicles in building and construction projects are awarded contracts where Oslo Municipality is the building owner. This is an innovative use of procurement, targeted to promote a quicker transition to emission free completion of building and construction activities in Oslo. In 2019, access to emission free equipment was limited, and the market for emission free building and construction services was still in an early phase of development. Standard requirements were introduced to contribute to the Municipality’s goal that all building and construction activities in Oslo Municipality’s public sector shall be emission free by 2025.

This survey shows that development so far is in line with the goal of Oslo Municipality’s public sector shall be emission free by 2025, and the framework has succeeded in its purpose. Between 1st January and 30th June 2021, 73 competitions for tender were published on behalf of Oslo Municipality for the construction sector. Of these, 66 competitions followed Oslo
Municipality’s standard contractual requirements and award criteria, and eight stipulated the use of emission-free concepts, the minimum requirement in six of these being the use of
emission-free excavators. This means that seven of these 73 projects were either too small or did not use electric construction machinery. There are now at least 36 construction projects in Oslo Municipality (mapped in this report) that use emission free construction machinery, vehicles and equipment.

This mapping shows that it is unproblematic with smaller electric machines and equipment. But there are some challenges relating to energy supply and charging logistics when multiple,
large construction machineries operate at the same time. It is reported that electric construction machineries generate less noise, less pollution, better air quality and a better working

The results show that there are different understandings of what an emission free building or construction site involves, and that definitions of these terms should be standardised. This will most likely be achieved through the on-going development of a Norwegian Standard prNS3770 for emission free building and construction sites.