Bowmer + Kirkland trial EcoPro Solar Welfare welfare cabin


Reactive Hire has been working with leading UK construction company Bowmer + Kirkland to trial our new EcoPro Solar Welfare cabins on their worksites.

Despite the short days and overcast conditions since the trial began on 20th January 2023, the project has proved an enormous success with the EcoPro Solar Welfare cabins performing exceptionally, obtaining vastly more than sufficient PV (free solar power) charge to provide for all the electric demands of the units throughout the period of the trial.

The trial has been conducted jointly by Bowmer + Kirkland and Reactive Hire in conjunction with Reactive’s welfare manufacturer Boss Cabins and set out to prove beyond doubt that a welfare cabin could operate perfectly with full functionality all year round without the need for a diesel generator with all its associated fuel consumption, emissions, servicing and repair costs.
The trial was carried out on purpose during the worst low light conditions of winter and in the smallest 12ft cabin size, where less room is available to deploy solar panels but which still has a relatively high energy requirement for up to 7 people at one time using it throughout the day.

During the period of the trial, the EcoPro Solar Welfare cabin performed flawlessly with full functionality at all times. Data shows that by using no fuel to power to electrical operations of their cabin and only a very small amount in the ultra-low consumption heating system, Bowmer + Kirkland saved 340 litres of fuel and avoided over 911 kg of CO2 emissions during the 8 and a half week period of the trial to date compared to a standard ‘eco’ 12ft cabin. Over a year, the saving on a 12ft cabin is calculated to be 1983 litres of fuel worth £4263 with a CO2 emissions reduction of over 5.3 tonnes.
In addition, removing the generator from a welfare cabin has the following positive benefits:

  • Removes all generator noise, making the cabins 100% silent in operation and a quiet restful place to work and relax
  • Removes the need to regularly attend the unit to service the engine. In a 12ft cabin, this would avoid 5.2 service visits per year with a related cost of nearly £1500.
  • Removes all generator-related emissions. With only a low-consumption heater using fuel, the majority of CO2, particulate matter and other harmful emissions are avoided.
  • Elimination of all generator-related outages and breakdowns. In welfare units, statistically, most repair callouts are for generator issues and therefore these are avoided.


Following the success of the trial Bowmer + Kirkland have committed to the EcoPro Solar Welfare concept, placing orders with Reactive Hire for long term hires of a number of EcoPro Solar Welfare 12ft and 24ft cabins.

John McClure, Managing Director of Reactive Hire, stated “These Solar Welfare units are proving a game changer for us in so many ways. Clearly, there are the obvious No. 1 benefits of minimal fuel use and emissions plus a noise-free environment. But equally important for us as a hire company is the fact that, like with electric cars our newest Solar Welfare units have considerably fewer serviceable working parts so nothing that can really fail, reducing the potential for service engineer call out levels and cabin downtime significantly.

“In addition, we and our clients love the built-in remote telemetry system. We can see in real time how our units are being operated and advise clients accordingly how to obtain the most efficient, lowest cost operation from the asset they are hiring. We can also easily produce reports showing our customers the environmental benefits of the welfare choices they have made.

“We are so impressed with these Solar Welfare units that we are already taking delivery of a number of 12ft cabins that are heading straight out to customers we’ve had on the waiting list. And in addition, Boss Cabins is currently manufacturing 24ft Canteen Office units for us using the same Solar Welfare concept, as this is a really popular size and layout for us. We can’t wait to add them to the fleet”

Bowmer and Kirkland also had an extremely positive reaction to the trial results.

Daniel Birkinshaw, Sustainability Manager for Bowmer + Kirkland commented:
“Great to hear Bowmer + Kirkland Ltd are yet again leading the way with another low carbon solution on our construction sites to reduce our carbon footprint and work towards our zeroby40 ambitions.”

Sophie Hill, Cabin Co-ordinator for Bowmer + Kirkland commented:
“Really pleased Bowmer + Kirkland have been able to work with Reactive Hire to be the first company to trial this exciting new solar unit – supporting us to work towards zeroby40. With the electrics powered entirely from solar energy, removing all generator-related emissions and the unit having 100% silent operation it will create an environmentally friendly, noise free welfare solution for many of our B+K sites nationwide. The unit is performing extremely well and the site team at Henley on Thames are very pleased with it… Amazing results – even during the dark winter months!”

Bowmer + Kirkland is one of the largest and most successful, privately owned construction and development groups in the UK. With a turnover exceeding £1.1bn, Bowmer & Kirkland is a trusted construction partner to many public sector and private clients.

Bowmer & Kirkland is committed to improving the sustainability of their practices and operations. As stated on their website the company recognises that meeting the current needs of society should not have a harmful impact on future generations and have committed to a target of Net Zero Carbon by 2040, with the aim to achieve 50% Net Zero Carbon by 2040. Bowmer & Kirkland state:
“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, working with our supply chain to source more sustainable materials and using technological advances to ensure that our processes are more efficient. We are investing in technology to help us achieve our targets and through our Planet Mark certification are measuring and reporting our carbon reductions.”

As part of this stated aim, they partnered with Reactive Hire to lower their fuel consumption, emissions and carbon footprint on site by trialling the brand new EcoPro Solar Welfare cabins on their sites.