Emission-free construction site

leie elektrokjele

What does an emission-free construction site look like?

By 2030, all building and construction activities in the largest cities in Norway must be emission-free. All energy needs, from construction machinery to heating, from tools to material delivery, must be covered with help from fossil-free and emission-free energy sources. In the long term, the goal is for every construction site in Norway to be emission-free.

Utslippsfri byggeplass
Emission-free construction site

Until today, fossil energy sources have mostly been used on construction sites in Norway, especially diesel and propane. More and more are choosing fossil-free sources, but building and construction activities still account for a large proportion of greenhouse gas emissions on a national basis. To change this, more climate-friendly alternatives must be used.

What is the difference between emission-free and fossil-free?

No greenhouse gases

An emission-free building site only uses renewable energy sources, which do not give emission of greenhouse gases such as Co2 and NOx (nitrogenous gases). Even fossil-free energy sources such as pellets and biofuel do not meet the requirements to be emission-free, and currently, only a few technologies do so.

Fossilfri byggeplass
Rental of fossil-free district heating

In order to achieve the requirement to be completely emission-free, one must also avoid both direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. This means that not only construction machinery and heating must be emission-free, but also the transport of construction machinery and building materials must be emission-free.

This means, among other things, that construction machines must be electric, either with a battery or a connection cable, and heating must use alternatives such as district heating, electricity or hydrogen.

The demands are high, and there is a lot to deal with. The various options for emission-free options on the construction site are listed in the table below.

Emission-free energy sources Warming Construction machinery
District heating x
Electricity x x
Floor heating and heat pumps x
* Not commercially available today

Emission-free building heating

Drying barley has traditionally been a major source of pollution, but with modern solutions, the challenges can be handled both economically, efficiently and climate-friendly. Today’s equipment provides full control and the possibility of monitoring so that you can ensure safe heating that does not waste energy.

Utslippsfri byggeplass
Mobile heat pump

An example of a solution for emission-free building heating is waterborne heat and industrial heat pumps. More and more construction sites require a waterbased distribution system for heat, both for climate reasons – but also to have full control over the temperature, and to avoid moisture in the air.

Fossilfri Byggvarme
Fossil-free building heating

With such a system, it will be possible to achieve emission-free building heating , which streamlines and simplifies the construction process in addition to being environmentally friendly. Win-win situations that are worthy of the future!

Emission-free building site of the future

To have an emission-free construction site, electricity, district heating or hydrogen must be used in the equipment. Currently, hydrogen as an energy source on the construction site is not commercially available in Norway, so the focus is mostly on electric solutions. Within 20 years, it is estimated that 90% of building and construction activities in this country will be electrified.

But if you are to achieve the goals, you have to think strategically, and the builders have to make wise choices that take care of all the various requirements that are faced. This includes, among other things, setting requirements for suppliers, having an overview of power requirements, making strategic choices for the placement of charging points and equipment, and much more. It can quickly become a challenge, and it is difficult to keep track of everything you have to think about.

Here we have collected some checkpoints that you should make sure to take into account when planning the emission-free building site of the future:

Power requirement on emission-free construction site

The need is often based on heating, construction machinery and drying of concrete. The power requirement of the finished building is also important to take as a starting point.

Available Power

Clarify available capacity and possible power draw with the grid companies. If the power requirement is greater than the available capacity, the need may need to be reassessed, or perhaps a solution for additional temporary power may be found.

Construction machinery

As previously mentioned, construction machinery must be electric in order to be categorized as emission-free, if one is to choose what is available on the market today. But there are also options among electric machines, where cable electric machines are currently the most used in this country – due to the low availability of larger battery machines. But development is constantly moving forward, and it can pay to keep your eyes open for the various variants entering the market.

Charging points on the construction site

Electric machines that run on batteries must be charged, and then it is important to avoid strategically placed connections to the charging points. If you use a lot of energy driving back and forth to where the machine is charged, it may be appropriate to reconsider the location.

Other strategic measures

Short driving, uneven indoor temperature, and choice of material are all examples of things that affect the energy demand on an emission-free construction site. Make choices in advance that reduce the need and streamline work tasks.


Creating a map with an overview of connection points can contribute to the efficiency of planning, and the strategic placement of machines and equipment. If everyone on the construction site has an overview of charging points and available equipment, less energy is used for boom driving and the like.

Evaluation in progress

Constantly having an overview of energy use is important to maintain efficient operations. Both during a project, but also for planning the next one. Being able to make good choices after the project is already underway can be decisive for the final sum of energy consumption.

Preparation on an emission-free construction site

There are strict requirements for how electrical installations must be operated and maintained. It requires professionals, and it may be a good idea to have an electrical safety officer on site. Competent people within modern solutions can make a big difference to the power requirement.

There is no conclusion on how an emission-free building site should be laid out for efficient energy utilization, it depends on the project itself. But with adapted solutions, modern equipment and good strategic choices, you can ensure that the construction site meets requirements for efficiency and zero emissions – and becomes an emission-free construction site.

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