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Construction site equipment in London to meet world-first air quality standards

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Staff writer ▼ | September 8, 2015
Construction site managers throughout London will from today be required to retrofit or replace old, polluting machinery in a world-first step to help clean up the capital’s air and reduce damaging emissions from diggers, bulldozers and related vehicles.
Construction site London
United Kingdom   The Low Emission Zone for construction machinery
The Low Emission Zone for construction machinery will complement the Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s ground-breaking efforts to reduce emissions from transport including the introduction of an Ultra-Low Emission Zone in central London from 2020.

Under the new rules, all construction sites in the centre of London and sites building more than ten homes or larger than 1,000 square feet in Greater London will have to replace or retrofit polluting equipment which is more than 10 years old.

Some exemptions will be provided where pieces of equipment are not available at the emission standard stipulated or in the volumes required to meet demand in a construction environment as dynamic as London’s.

Currently, it is estimated up to 12 percent of nitrogen oxide and 15 percent of particulate pollution in London come from construction and demolition activity. It is important both of these sources be dealt with together, and London is the first city in the world to impose emissions standards for construction equipment which address both pollutants.

Dealing with this issue, on top of the main challenge of transport emissions, is key to cleaning up London’s air. The new Low Emission Zone for construction machinery is expected to cut particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions by nearly 50 percent by 2020, improving the health and wellbeing of Londoners.

The Mayor’s efforts to improve London’s environment extend beyond just air quality. He has just celebrated his 100th pocket park, creating rejuvenated small green spaces all over London, and has invested £2 million through his Big Green Fund into improving six areas of London.