HS2 Ltd is the company responsible for developing the HS2 Project, Great Britain’s new high-speed railway.

About HS2 Ltd.

HS2 Ltd is the company responsible for developing the HS2 Project, Great Britain’s new high-speed railway. HS2 Ltd is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Transport.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Once operational, HS2’s British-built bullet trains will provide zero carbon journeys between the UK’s two largest cities, Birmingham and London, with services continuing on to Manchester, the North West and Scotland using the conventional railway network, cutting journey times.

HS2 and Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator

Zoë Edmonds, Senior Innovation Manager, said:

HS2 Ltd welcomes the opportunity to innovate with SMEs in the UK, to benefit from their fresh thinking and expertise as we seek to constantly improve the sustainability and efficiency of our delivery. The Made Smarter programme is a great opportunity for SMEs with digital innovations to be supported to engage with large companies like HS2 and our delivery partners. We very much look forward to working with the programme, combining lean thinking with digital innovation, to make some of our current processes more sustainable.

Challenge – Data-driven decisions for the circular economy

Challenge Background

HS2 is Great Britain’s new high-speed railway: It is the first new intercity railway to be built north of London in over a century. Construction of the line is well underway, with almost 30,000 jobs supported by the project and over 3,200 UK-based businesses helping to build it.

HS2 is Britain’s biggest build, comprising 140-miles of track, four brand-new, state-of-the art stations, two depots and 32 miles of tunnel. It will involve the building of some of Britain’s longest viaducts, spanning valleys, lakes and rivers,

There are over 350 active sites between the West Midlands and London. Work at these sites includes the prefabrication of tunnel rings, construction of viaduct pillars, provision of site accommodation, plant and materials’ storage, spoil removal facilities and so on.

When construction is complete and sites / storage yards are no longer needed, they must be removed safely, efficiently and sustainably. HS2 aims to divert 95% of construction and demolition material from landfill as part of its environmental commitments.

To achieve this, some of the temporary fixed assets that were installed to facilitate the construction of the railway (hardstanding, car parks, structures and roads, etc) will need to be broken down into their component materials for reuse.

Managing all the necessary factors that feed into the deconstruction process is a significant challenge that requires data from the multiple contractors involved in HS2. Currently, the contractors collect different data in different formats about their temporary assets, not necessarily in a central repository. This makes it difficult to make data-driven decisions to plan the management of deconstruction waste and meet the 95% diversion target in the best way.

Factors to be complied, but not limited to include:

  • Quantity of assets on site and their component materials
  • Equipment required to perform deconstruction processes
  • Permits required to perform deconstruction processes
  • When is the asset available for deconstruction; any deadlines for reuse
  • Carbon costs for material deconstruction & transport
  • Value of component materials
  • Options for deconstruction and the processing into reusable materials
  • Time for deconstruction and processing
  • Geographic location of assets and potential processing / reuse sites

For this Challenge

HS2 is seeking an innovative solution to effectively manage and integrate data collected by contractors on the factors for deconstruction, to enable optioneering to find sustainable, efficient outcomes for the constituent materials.

Successful applicants should present a solution that can aggregate data, provide data analytics and recommendations for efficiencies. It should demonstrate the value of good data management and policies, as well as data-driven decisions, to encourage process improvements across the HS2 estate by driving significant cost and carbon savings.

A potential solution is one that can collate and analyse available data on a site’s current materials and fixed temporary assets within a reasonable expected timeframe. It will use that to evidence the overall total available materials, which could be reused. It may make recommendations based on analysis of information on the carbon costs of different disposal options (e.g. distance to processing plant) as well as the available heavy machinery and possible required consents to break down those fixed temporary assets.