As the electrical industry navigates the challenge of achieving a more sustainable future, trends are emerging across the built environment to help engineers deliver on targets. Here, Pascal Stutz, CEO of Legrand UK and Ireland, explores this issue and how the company is set to support professionals into the future.

To achieve the UK Government’s net zero targets, construction professionals across all sectors have been tasked with the challenge of decarbonising operations and buildings. In particular, the drive towards renewable energy puts further demand on electrical infrastructure and those that install it.

Along with this comes continual pressure to complete projects within ever-ambitious timescales and to tight budgets. To face these mounting challenges, trusted partners to electrical engineers, like Legrand, must provide expertise to make integration of suitable solutions in residential or commercial projects as quick as possible.

Efficiency driving

A key part of reducing emissions is through installing efficient electrical building systems to reduce overall energy consumption across the built environment. Modern electrical products are designed with efficiency in mind, whether they are distributing power, data or optimising consumption across a building.

Over the coming years, homes and commercial buildings will be increasingly relying on sustainable electrical supply to substitute traditional higher, emission fuel and power solutions. This means that electrical consumption will increase, and infrastructure must be reliable and remain energy efficient across its lifespan. To mitigate the effects of increasing energy demand, the solutions supplied to electrical engineers must be future proof.

A connected, digital industry

Recently, we have been more reliant on technology to improve efficiency, convenience and our lives in general. This is true of the built environment as well. With changes in our living and working habits affecting how we use our homes, workplaces and other spaces, there is pressure on engineers and consultants to deliver buildings that are fit for our modern lives.

In the light of sustainable development, professionals also face the challenge of futureproofing buildings with connected technology to meet these changing occupant requirements over their lifespan. With a focus on developing smart technologies, Legrand is supporting electrical engineers with the products and training to meet demand for a more digitally connected world. Beyond this, across its business units, product development is focused on creating reliable and efficient digital infrastructure, from energy-efficient data centres to the smart buildings we inhabit.

Modern methods of construction

Efficiency driving measures aren’t just being taken in terms of reducing energy consumption. Time saving measures for the construction process that simultaneously reduce emissions are also becoming more popular with time-poor construction professionals.

Modular and offsite construction is growing in popularity as entire sections of buildings can be prefabricated ahead of arriving on site. This lowers the amount of time on site for engineers in terms of installation, and overall, the time a building site is causing disruption or creating emissions. The offsite process also reduces waste as carefully designed prefabricated units are manufactured exactly to specification.

The factory environment also allows for better control of energy consumption than a building site, meaning operations can be made more efficient. For example, at Legrand’s Consett manufacturing site, efficiency driving measures such as solar panels and lighting sensors have been implemented demonstrating how efficiency in the manufacturing environment can be improved further. With remote monitoring of consumption and smart infrastructure to control usage at peak times of consumption, such sites can optimise energy usage, saving money on bills as well as emissions.

People-first future

All of these requirements that are placed upon electrical professionals culminate in one overarching goal – leaving fit-for-purpose buildings that meet the needs of future generations for years to come. While ensuring buildings are meeting sustainability targets in terms of energy efficiency, it is crucial that we do not lose sight of wellbeing and safety. This is where the business direction of Legrand is setting the precedent across the industry to tie these important elements together as part of their mission to improve lives by transforming the spaces where people live, work, and meet.

Products developed by Legrand take into account the latest legislation around safety and contribute towards making building services solutions both long-lasting and efficient. However, beyond this, we are demonstrating with all our operations that promoting wellbeing among people is intrinsic to ensuring buildings are suitable for generations to come.

This means ensuring our own people are engaged and motivated to support customers in reaching sustainability targets on their projects. We achieve this by looking after the mental and physical wellbeing of our people across all areas of the supply chain, ensuring training and development is challenging and engaging for everyone, and that our sites are fit for purpose from a safety, wellbeing and energy efficiency perspective.

With an engaged team of experts, we have been the reliable partner to electrical engineers across all sectors in the UK for the past 50 years. To continue this legacy into a sustainable future, we are committed to providing the services and expertise to solve challenges both existing and new.

To find out more about how Legrand is supporting electrical engineers in a more sustainable and futureproofed industry: