WWT feature: Build Back Better and SMART

3 Jul 2020

WWT – ‘Build Back Better and SMART’

Rich Matthews, our managing director, talks about being more strategic and thinking smarter in a post-Covid world.

As the construction industry looks towards a road map for recovery pos-Covid, the emphasis is on Building Back Better. This will focus the attention on a number of practices and methodologies that have previously presented large barriers that can now be overcome in a more timely manner. Initiatives that continually encourage collaboration models with the supply chain are essential for reform, facilitating the transferable knowledge from wider construction and delivery models.

For the water industry, this presents an opportunity to implement the changes it has been seeking for some time. As the post-Covid journey now beings, we will go through a Restart, Reset and Reinvent evolution, all of which offer leverage for real transformation. However, Build Back Better requires inspiration and acceptance, so it is important to recognise that innovation is not necessarily invention, but the creativity of an existing approach or technology in a novel manner.

This is highlighted through the discussions around offsite build and how it can work for the water industry. Once the practice is accepted it becomes not about how much can be built offsite, but what can minimised onsite, and the real benefits that can be achieved – such as programme, safety, efficiency. Therefore, the real step change is engaging with suppliers that are often working across multiple sectors, utilising their transferable knowledge in this field. There is an abundance of experience to be nurtured from the wider industrial, rail and manufacturing environments.

Packaged plants embrace a ‘SMART’ delivery concept – Standard, Modular, Agile, Responsive, Treatment. As such, modular systems are well aligned to the ambition of the industry to drive for efficiencies and prove that AMP7 can be achieved in a sustainable manner – Building Back Better.

Environmental performance

The delivery of SMART solutions for wastewater requires increased engagement and collaboration with the supply chain. It will enable the water industry to draw on and benefit from experiences of other industries that are deploying responsive modular solutions. As an example, the use of Dissolved Air Flotation in the food and beverage sector provides a SMART outcome for not just FOG applications, but also highly loaded TSS; the use of a packaged plant in this manner is proven in reducing the load on existing processes. If this type of process is proven, flexible and readily deployable, then it has a place in the water sector’s SMART delivery chain. It can then be coupled with other packaged plants and become a complete works solution.

With the focus on environmental performance for the UK water industry, now is the time to evaluate resilience strategies to demonstrate the capabilities of the sector working together with the supply chain …………………………………………….


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Link to the feature online in WWT