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News in Focus: Electric pylon redesign set to power the UK

And other innovations that have shaped the construction industry.

Home » Tradesman Insights » News in Focus: Electric pylon redesign set to power the UK

The British landscape is set to undergo its biggest change in almost 100 years with a newly designed electric pylon, going live in October 2022.

The winning design was chosen in 2011 in a competition organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The Danish company, Bystrup (who also won £5,000), simplified the traditional A-shaped frame with a T-shaped design. Its construction is set to be a world’s first for this type of pylon.

The pylons are a third shorter than the original design (35m) and 36 of the new pylons will cover a stretch of 35-miles between Bridgwater and Portbury.

There are over 90,000 electricity pylons connected to the national grid covering a distance of 4,300 miles.

The first pylon to be built in the UK was in Scotland in 1928. It was another ten years before the electricity grid became national, in 1938.

Other major innovations that have impacted the construction industry include:

Self-healing concrete

When the concrete comes into contact with water bacteria inside the mix produces limestone, which heals cracks and stops leaks.

Benefits include:

• Lower carbon, using less cement and steel reducing the Co2 by 72kg
• Increased water tightness leading to 30-40% less maintenance
• Greater durability, seals cracks up to 0.8mm
• 30% longer lifespan

The concrete is being used in the following projects:

• Sea & flood defence walls
• Precast retaining walls
• Concrete bridges & tanks
• Concrete tunnels

Smart Bricks

Developed by scientists at Bristol and Newcastle University, smart bricks are capable of recycling water, filtering the air inside the building, and generating electricity from sunlight.

Each brick is produced like a battery, and uses a mix of fuel cells and algae to make homes more self-sufficient.

Once joined together the bricks create a bioreactor that can generate it’s own power and water supply.

Tradesman Talk

What other major changes have you experienced during your career? Or maybe the tools and equipment you rely on to do your job haven’t changed at all.

What big ideas do you think would make your job easier?

Leave your story and ideas in the comments below.

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