Teesside engineers issue green challenge to region

Teesside business Lynas Engineers has challenged North East builders and developers to “go greener sooner”.

The company has committed itself to becoming more sustainable in everything it does and hopes the standards it sets will inspire other firms in the region.

Managing Director Rob Lynas said: “It’s not a question of if and when – it has to be now.”

Lynas Engineers has already introduced sustainable options to the design of many of its major projects and has now set itself strict targets after devising and adopting its own Carbon Reduction Plan.

That requires the company to reduce its CO2 emissions by 5% year on year through a range of actions – from switching off lights, minimising staff travel and using drones to monitor site progress.

A real driving force for the business

But Rob believes the biggest difference will be made in the choices made when working on a new contract.  “We’re pushing all the time. We’re not ticking boxes.  It’s a real driving force for this business,” he said.  “There are some things we have to do, but we are also finding ways to ensure any kind of development – whether that’s a new building or new road – has a minimal impact on the environment.  That could be in the choice of materials used or the measures taken to ensure the biodiversity of the site is maintained or improved.”

He added: “We’re only a small business but we are doing everything we can.  There is evidence of climate changes all around us, so there is no time to wait.  I would urge all businesses to go greener sooner.”

Lynas Engineers’ approach is highlighted in its design of a number of North East projects.  These include:

  • The new Teesside Airport £200m link road.

Mile-long swales, rather than gullies and pipes, are being built to manage the run-off water. The swales are planted with vegetation which will both filter the water and enhance the area’s ecology.

  • A £3.7m project to create a 22,000 m2 extension to a concrete container yard.

The decision to re-use existing concrete for the foundations at the Bertschi container yard in Middlesbrough – and the choice of Roller Compacted Concrete for the surface – not only saved money it also prevented thousands of wagon journeys and avoided the need for waste to be disposed in landfill.

  • Mitigation of future flooding problems at Lizard Lane in South Tyneside.

Permeable blocks made out of natural materials were installed – instead of man-made materials – to soak up water.

In addition, a scheme – designed by Lynas Engineers – to install solar canopies to charge electric vehicles is part of a £3m Solar Carport, Storage and EV Charging project at Northumberland County Council’s HQ in Morpeth.

The company has also developed a flood protection scheme to protect more than 300 homes on the Saltersgill Estate in Middlesbrough.

Rob believes the changing weather patterns and, in particular, the increasing incident of heavy rainfall demand this new approach.

“We’re having to design to take into account the likelihood of more intense rain patterns in the future,” he said, but stressed that it is not just new projects that need to be futureproofed. “Take the A19, for example, the existing infrastructure is under stress because the water can’t get away quickly enough. Design standards must change as we go forward.

“What we’re talking about is not the far-fetched plot of an apocalyptic movie, unfortunately this is the reality of our times.”

And he is urging developers to get in touch so sustainable options for new projects can be identified at the outset.

Contact Lynas Engineers on 01642 438273 or via rob@lynasengineers.com