- The country's top contractor by revenue, Bechtel, has joined the Atlantic Council's Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance as the sole engineering and construction partner to help fight the impacts of rising temperatures and support urban preparedness against heat waves around the world.
- As part of the alliance, the Reston, Virginia-based engineering and construction firm will use its experience in designing resilience standards and developing guidelines supporting climate-proof construction to make existing infrastructure more robust and efficient to support projects that protect communities from extreme heat.
- "Heat waves are one of the most dangerous weather hazards facing communities around the world, said Tam Nguyen, Bechtel's manager for sustainability, in a statement. "Mitigation and adaption measures will positively impact the quality of infrastructure, the services it provides, and the health and well-being of people, enabling communities to tolerate extreme heat, as well as preventing heat rises in the first place."
The alliance is made up of 30 global cities impacted by extreme heat, as well as disaster relief charities and experts in the fields of public health, climate change risk and disaster management. The Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that galvanizes U.S. leadership and engagement in the world, in partnership with allies and partners, to shape solutions to global challenges.
Bechtel’s contributions will also include cost-benefit analysis of innovations that can make infrastructure more resilient and collaborating with regional institutions to make existing infrastructure more robust and efficient.
Other major contractors have recently launched environmental-focused initiatives designed to reduce carbon emissions on their construction projects. In December, Balfour Beatty announced it has developed technology to manage power usage on its jobsites and reduce carbon emissions across its construction sites by up to 80% and Lendlease Europe released it’s “Roadmap to Absolute Zero Carbon,” a 20-year plan to reduce emissions on construction projects.
In addition, Black & Veatch said that it will cease participation in coal-based design and construction projects in an attempt to focus on more renewable energy work.
“The global power industry is in the midst of a historic transformation away from coal-based power,” said Mario Azar, president of Black & Veatch’s power business. “As our clients work to transform to low- or no-carbon energy, we felt that now is the time to focus the diverse skills of our team on advanced class natural gas power generation, energy storage technologies and new combustion fuels such as hydrogen.”