Burghmuir DSR: Embracing Sustainable Construction

Client: Scottish Water

Location: Burghmuir


The construction industry plays a pivotal role in the drive for sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Mackenzie Construction, facing the added challenges of a unique landscape and remote rural locations, has a responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint and pave the way for greener practices. To meet our targets, we shall be taking a step-by-step approach across our business, with everyone involved in their part of our Carbon Reduction Plan. Scope 1, fuel, is where most of our carbon is expelled and therefore the area in which we can make the most impact therefore we have embarked on our journey to zero diesel sites.


At Mackenzie Construction we are working with our Partners and Clients and are committed to reducing our carbon footprint across all our sites, guided by the objectives outlined in our comprehensive carbon plan. A significant emphasis has been placed on achieving zero diesel sites across our programmes of work for Scottish Water, we recently undertook a project in Dundee where we were tasked to reduce the overall Site Carbon Count by 25%. This contract exemplifies our dedication to implementing innovative, yet straightforward methods geared towards a sustainable site setup with zero diesel on site.

Actions and Implementation

1. Transition to HVO Fuel: Mackenzie Construction switched to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), reducing the consumption of high carbon-emitting diesel. This green fuel powered all onsite plant, equipment, and generators. We have made this mandatory for all Scottish Water sites.

2. Battery Storage Systems: These systems, charged during the generator's operation, intelligently powered site accommodation, and charged electric vehicles and plant equipment. This maximised energy storage and efficiency when burning HVO. By using the telematics, we can get a better understanding of the way each item is operating, and its power requirements. This can support the development of an assessment of ‘breakeven’ to allow the shift to new power sources as soon as is viable.

3. Aluminium Trackway System: Instead of the high-carbon activity of creating a traditional access road, Mackenzie opted for an aluminium trackway system. This drastically cut down on the fuel consumption and carbon emissions typically associated with temporary road construction.

4. Hydrogen-powered CCTV Security Units are being used on-site and are a much greener alternative to fossil fuel, another benefit is that they don’t need to be powered by generators meaning that there is no noise pollution whilst having live CCTV on-site at night.

Challenges Faced

1. Supply Chain Inconsistency: The company noted irregularities in HVO supply. These inconsistencies might be attributed to the current low demand for HVO.

2. Palm Oil Contamination: Verifying the absence of palm oil, which has environmental concerns, in the HVO supply presented challenges.

3. Minimum Order Quantities: A 1000L minimum order threshold rendered HVO problematic for smaller projects.

4. Equipment Compatibility: Several plant suppliers lacked clarity on whether their equipment was compatible with HVO.

5. Economic Impediments: Transitioning from diesel to HVO has financial implications which can an effect on contract budgets challenging Client buy in.


Mackenzie Construction's experience with the Scottish Water tank refurbishment programme of work offers invaluable insights into the challenges and rewards of embracing sustainable construction methods. The project illustrates that while transitioning to green construction comes with hurdles, especially regarding cost and supply chain reliability, the environmental benefits are undeniable. To make significant strides, a collective effort from both construction firms and clients is crucial.

Traditional 6-month site set up: c20T
Burghmuir DSR current forecast: c1.2T
% reduction: c94%