says the building industry in general has taken the new tax
“I’d say the construction industry has reacted to it as it
would to any other new tax,” he said. “Things have become
a little bit more costly, but that’s what the tax system is all
about. Everything is done for a purpose, for a bigger purpose.”
According to Hague, the U.K. also has numerous initiatives
aimed at promoting environmental sustainability within the
For instance, the sovereign state has a legally binding
commitment to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in carbon
emissions by 2050, which could make precast piles that are
produced offsite a more favoured piling option in the
“The carbon zero target is becoming more and more of a
buzz word, but I’d say it’s not necessarily happening. There
is still a lot of in situ work happening, a lot of large diameter
in situ pile, a lot of large bridge abutment in situ pores,” said
Hague. “However, there are one or two companies who are
trailblazing the use of pre-cut foundations and precast piles,
which is what we do.”
Hague contends that the precast offsite manufacturing
option is more environmentally friendly “because it is a
much more controlled environment and there’s less traffic
movement as well.
“Something that’s hidden is the quality side of it. If we get
it right off-site, we’d like to think it will be right in installation.
If it’s right in installation, it’s a one-time process. And if it’s a
one-time process, it’s executed only once,” he said.
“There’s no corrective work, which means it’s more efficient
and things get built more quickly, therefore reducing the
overall build program and in theory, reducing the environmental
impact of the project.”
Hague says other initiatives aimed at increasing environmental
sustainability within Britain’s building industry
involve promoting plants with low greenhouse gas emissions
as well as the use of alternate construction materials.
“We are very carbon conscious in our factory. We target
some Green KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). We recycle
rainwater and we also recycle waste products. We’re looking
at more sustainable materials, trying to incorporate waste
products into construction materials such as glass, PFA
(Pulverised Fuel Ash) and shredded tires,” said Hague.
“We’re modernizing our fleet, using technology more and
bringing in more efficient engines and machines which can
actually react to the ground conditions,” he said.
“We’re not just sticking the machine on high rev and letting
it burn off diesel oil all day,” he added.
“We’re educating our people as well. Green has become a
topic of conversation in our briefings and we are constantly
reminding the guys, ‘Switch your engines off on a break if you
don’t need to use the machine.’”
Hague says one of the ways new technology is having an
impact on the construction industry in Britain involves
“We’re starting to embrace virtual reality analysis in the
U.K. It’s more of a virtual world where people can experience
construction in the virtual space,” he said.
Hague notes that his company plans to eventually roll out
virtual reality training for its workers, enabling them to see
and experience what they’re meant to be doing on the job site
while they’re in the virtual space.
Shah says computerized, remote control data acquisition
and sharing systems are among the new tools and techniques
that are transforming the construction industry in Canada.
According to Shah, these systems make communication
between the company office and the job site much
“The office always knows what is going on, and if anything
needs to be changed, they can communicate with operators
and the crews in real time,” he said.
“It also gives the designer more timely control of their
design assumptions and changes if needed, and it gives the
worker more insight into what they are doing and why they’re
According to Shah, more and more construction companies
in Canada are adopting a one-stop shop approach to project
“Perhaps years ago, the construction industry and piling
companies specifically might have been doing only one
technique, let’s say either drilled piles or driven piles,” he said.
“Now, many cannot sustain their business if they don’t
offer more. Sometimes single projects require two or three
different techniques, so a client may want to go to someone
34 Q4 2019 www.pilingcanada.ca