Why Innovation Holds The Key To A Sustainable Future For Construction

World Creativity and Innovation Day has never been more relevant. Earlier this year, scientists issued a ‘final warning’ that serious action must be taken to reduce carbon emissions. Yet despite its net zero pledges, the UK government currently expects demand for electricity to increase by up to 60% by 2035.

Meeting such demand while radically reducing carbon emissions can only be achieved by applying innovative technology to the problem – and that’s what World Creativity and Innovation Day is all about.

Solar power is essential for the future

The concept of solar power has been around for centuries, and the world’s first ‘solar collector cell’ was designed in 1767. But inventing the technology and implementing it – especially on a nationwide scale – are very different things.

Today, we understand that solar power is necessary. According to research from Columbia University, an acre of solar panels producing zero-emissions electricity saves between 121 to 138 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Not only is it far more environmentally friendly and sustainable – the construction of solar power generators is more likely to stay on budget and schedule. Scaling up solar power should therefore be a top priority, but today just 3.3% of UK households are generating power using solar.

Construction must lead the way

The construction industry has well documented sustainability challenges. But we also have the opportunity to champion innovation and normalise the use of solar power and other innovative technologies. 

What is needed to achieve this? It’s simple: projects need to prioritise the use of equipment that makes the most of cutting-edge technology and pushes us closer to true sustainability – which is exactly what Welfare Hire is dedicated to providing.

solar-powered mobile welfare units

Welfare Hire has always been at the forefront of innovation in our industry. As powerful new technology appears, we pride ourselves on using it to solve important problems for our partners – the most important of which today is sustainability.

Our leading mobile welfare units exemplify the qualities of World Creativity and Innovation day. Not only do they feature a Smart Water system, they use innovative technology to make construction sites more sustainable.

Features include:

Solar and lithium hybrid power

Each unit is fitted with XL solar panels, ensuring that the entire unit can be powered purely using solar power. On top of that, there is a next generation lithium battery that acts as a backup for the mobile welfare unit, and which also recharges from the solar technology. The result is a massive reduction in carbon emissions, noise pollution and running costs.

Rainwater harvesting

Helping users reduce water usage and improve their environmental credentials with ease. The toilet system in all of our units is non-chemical, so it can be fed by rainwater.  The rainwater harvesting system helps supply an XL water tank that services the entire system – all of which minimises the environmental and financial cost of servicing your mobile welfare unit.

Smart telemetry

Empowering users to monitor and manage their fuel usage, unlocking new levels of efficiency and eliminating downtime. Users can view live and historical volumetric data via a dashboard, to ensure optimal green silent running from the hybrid power system. The result? Fewer servicing trips, which means lower emissions and a big saving for your project.

Kelling Group Welfare Hire Units

Evolution is never finished

World Creativity and Innovation Day is meant to celebrate bold steps forward. But it’s also important to remember that this process is never finished. While we are proud of our products, it is essential to our ethos to continue improving them. Not just because it’s what our partners deserve, but because it’s what we love to do.

Four Keys Ways Access Zero Can Support The Security Industry

The Security Event is the UK security industry’s biggest annual event. It brings together professionals from various sectors, including cybersecurity, physical security, fire safety, and facilities management to learn about the latest technologies and innovations that will define the future of security.

This makes it a perfect platform to introduce Access Zero – our brand new fleet of fully-electric Van Mounted MEWPs – which leverages cutting-edge technology to solve some of the biggest challenges security businesses face.

Here are five ways Access Zero does this:

1. Reduced emissions

The pressure to show progress towards net zero is growing. But security businesses regularly need to use Van Mounted MEWPs that produce emissions. This is particularly problematic for CCTV installers working in urban environments who grapple with tough ULEZ regulations.

Access Zero removes those emissions from your value chain, by running entirely on electricity. Not only does that improve your environmental credentials – our electric van mounted MEWPs’ silent running reduces noise pollution, too. 

The result? Lower emissions and easier ULEZ compliance.


2. Faster deployment

Security installers have to move from site to site quickly. But traditional MEWPs tend to use outriggers, which slow deployment down dramatically. 

Access Zero’s fleet does not require such outriggers, meaning you can transport the vehicles faster and deploy them more quickly.

The result? Improved efficiency and faster deployment.

3. Safer operation

From installing new security systems to undertaking CCTV maintenance, ladder work is just part of the job for many security businesses. But working from heights was the largest cause of workplace deaths in 2022, and ensuring workers are safe is paramount. 

Access Zero offers a far safer way of working at heights. Not only are our Van Mounted MEWPs less strenuous and more secure than traditional ladder work, we also provide IPAF training and assistance to support your people to operate the equipment like experts and keep everybody on site safe.

The result? Fewer accidents and higher employee confidence on-site.

4. Flexible budgets

With unprecedented economic uncertainty, control over your supplier costs is more important than ever. A sudden, unexpected bill could send ripples through the most well-run project.

That’s why Access Zero offers flexible lease options to suit your project’s specific needs. Each option includes a total service package that ensures no nasty surprises.  This gives you the room to take control of your budget and spread the costs in a way that works for you. Plus our model allows you to save in several key ways.

The result? Greater control of your cash flow and access to the best vehicles on the market.

Join us at The Security Event

Want to learn about how Access Zero supports security businesses? We will be at stand 4/B70 at The Security Event, 25-27th April.

Innovation: How intelligent lighting and welfare systems could make your site more efficient

With a user friendly live dashboard, it’s easy to guarantee correct and full usage of the ECO power and water systems to delver optimal value and usage

The humble welfare unit: for anyone who works on or visits rail construction sites regularly, these modular cabins will be a familiar sight. Once installed, they’re static and easy to overlook – a no-frills space in which workers can take breaks, prepare food, and use toilet facilities.

At least, that’s what you might have come to expect. Certainly you can up-spec for more spacious and comfortable facilities. But additionally, could the onsite equipment we all take for granted help you run your site more effectively?

The simple answer is ‘yes’. Powered by telemetry, a new generation of intelligent lighting and welfare systems is making it easier to manage sites, review and optimise fuel usage, and even report on ESG performance. Below, we’ll explain how, thanks to smart tech, these modern assets could make your site smarter and more efficient.

What is intelligent onsite equipment?

In this case, we’re talking about equipment fitted with telemetry (data measurement) systems, which provide insights into power and performance. Site managers can review this data, using it to inform decisions about energy use, servicing, and even security.

While not yet the industry norm, many top-of-the-range products now boast this functionality. And it isn’t reserved for highly complex equipment; everything from lighting towers to welfare units (including the most advanced systems in Welfare Hire’s range) can be fitted with smart tech.

But what kind of challenges could telemetry help you to address onsite?

Managing onsite services efficiently- keeping your workforce happy and productive

Onsite equipment must be managed and maintained. If you’re using lighting towers to illuminate a sprawling rail construction site, you’ll need to keep track of them as they’re moved from area to area – not to mention managing fuel use as required. WC facilities must be serviced regularly, with their water tanks filled and their waste tanks emptied.  

Smart tech enables site managers to monitor their equipment remotely, issuing alerts when fuel is running low or tanks need to be emptied. This, in turn, allows them to take a more informed and cost-effective approach, minimising trips to site and booking services only when they’re required.

Perhaps your eco-friendly lighting towers use hybrid battery power? Smart tech would allow you to remotely control noisy backup generators, switching them on when they’re least likely to disturb lineside residents, as well as optimising silent, green running.

Equipment can even be tracked and protected via geofencing, with alarms for crossing a virtual boundary, and allowing you to locate it quickly and easily.

Indeed, making the simplest equipment more intelligent can lead to considerable time and cost savings onsite, while also keeping your facilities performing optimally to support your employees, keeping them safe and productive onsite.

Managing power usage- reducing costs and saving downtime

It can also support and inform your power management strategy. As discussed, telemetry provides granular insights into energy usage, showing which power source an item of equipment is drawing from, battery charge status, and how much power is consumed.

These insights won’t just enable you to manage your onsite services more effectively, anticipating refuelling needs and minimising downtime. They’ll also help you to ensure that equipment is operating as efficiently as possible, and to identify and address inefficiencies. With smart tech, there’s no guesswork – just accurate data, available in real time.

Monitoring ESG targets- supporting your green credentials

With managers under increasing pressure to meet ESG (environmental, social and governance) and sustainability targets, tracking onsite energy usage is more important than ever. The smarter the equipment, the easier this is; with telemetry, you can generate a comprehensive report on a product’s energy usage at the push of a button. And the most ubiquitous onsite equipment – those tower lights and welfare facilities that are essential – is a great place to start.

Intelligent equipment can even help you to manage your carbon footprint, by helping eliminate unnecessary services and site visits, and taking HGVs off the road.

Indeed, when it comes to site management, you could unlock cost, time and carbon savings in unexpected areas. Simply put, it pays to make basic equipment more intelligent and invest in future-proofing your projects. 

Article published in association with Rail Business Daily.

How Kelling Group Helps You Keep Costs Under Control

Staying on a budget is always a challenge for construction projects. Research shows that nine out of ten construction projects experienced cost overrun, with an average overspend of 28%. But what is more surprising is how predictable the cause of these problems is.

Every project manager knows that the true cost of their equipment is not just the price of hire – it’s the sum of everything it takes to operate it effectively. Vehicles like Mobile Welfare Units and Van Mounted MEWPs are essential for many projects. But what can leaders do to ensure they maximize the value of every unit?

The answer is forecasting

Cost overruns don’t happen because leaders don’t know there will be unexpected costs; they happen because leaders, in some cases, cannot accurately plan for them. There are multiple ways a piece of equipment can lead to unexpected cost increases, which makes it difficult to anticipate the cost. 

This is changing though, as suppliers today can provide far more accurate total cost forecasts – or even offer supply agreements that remove the risk altogether.


Historical data increases accuracy

Welfare Hire is a perfect example of this. Our mobile welfare units and lighting towers run on more sustainable power sources, which dramatically reduces operating costs. But we have also gathered a large volume of data from real projects, together amounting to over half a million operating days, enabling us to build our Eco Calculator.

While every project is unique, the running costs of mobile welfare units and lighting towers are relatively predictable. The ECO Calculator allows you to estimate the savings in running costs you will gain through Welfare Hire with a high degree of accuracy – and finetune your order to fit your budget.

Removing hidden costs

Forecasting is highly valuable, but another way to keep hidden costs under control is to simply remove them. Maintenance accounts for up to 30% of the total cost of most vehicles, which is why Access Hire includes full support and maintenance packages. 

By removing the guesswork around maintenance costs, project managers reduce their risk and enable more accurate budgeting. But this isn’t the only way they can take control of their budgets.

The power of leasing

Access Lease enables leaders to lease their Vehicle Mounted MEWPs for the duration of a project. Not only does this allow them to access best-in-class vehicles at a lower cost – and avoid long manufacturer lead times – it also allows you to spread costs and save as much as 50% compared with loan repayments.

With all of these innovations, keeping strategic equipment costs under control is no longer a question of guesswork – it’s a decision project leaders can make. Whether it’s mobile welfare units or Fully-Electric MEWPs, Kelling Group is ready to support your project in creating visibility, consistency and long-term savings.