New HS2 station achieves outstanding BREEAM certification

An HS2 interchange station will become first railway station in the world to achieve a top award for environmentally friendly design.

The station, to be built near Solihull and the Nation l Exhibition Centre in the West Midlands, has achieved the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings – putting it in the top 1 per cent of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials.

This landmark award recognises the station’s eco-friendly features, including maximising natural daylight and ventilation, a station roof design which can capture and reuse rainwater, and features to enable net zero carbon emissions from day-to-day energy consumption.

The station’s design includes minimising demand for carbon through the use of natural ventilation and daylighting. Energy efficient technology will be incorporated, such as air source heat pumps and LED lighting. In addition, the station and Automated People Mover maintenance facility have over 2,000m2of solar panels generating zero carbon electricity.

Directing rainwater from the main station building via a network of underground pipes into a rainwater harvesting tank will assist in providing part of the building’s water requirements. The estimated volume of the rainwater harvesting tank is 150m3which will reduce the mains water demand for the station. The landscaping features sustainable drainage systems to reduce the burden on surface water drainage whilst naturally irrigating planted areas, and there will be new natural habitats created around the station, leaving a legacy of biodiversity and an enhancement of native species.  

There will be 222 electric vehicle charging points in the car parking, and cycle storage for 176 bicycles with further room for expansion as demand dictates. There will also be dedicated pedestrian access into the station from the east of the railway, along with cycle access to the new station from the north, west and south-east through a mixture of dedicated routes.

Peter Miller, HS2’s Environment and Town Planning Director said:“As part of our commitment to managing our carbon footprint, HS2 has also set ambitious targets for our supply chain to minimise the whole life carbon emissions of our assets including buildings. For stations this includes achieving net zero carbon in operation for regulated emissions and achieving a 50 per cent reduction in whole life carbon emissions against a baseline for a typical station. The HS2 and Arup teams working on the Interchange Station have developed design solutions which achieve this ambition through the use of renewable technologies and lean design as well as achieving a holistic sustainable design in the wider landscaping and urban realm.

BREEAM is the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe the sustainability performance of buildings. The Interim Certificate, awarded at the design stage to Interchange Station confirms an ‘Outstanding’ rating, putting it in the top 1 per cent of buildings in the UK and the first for any railway station in the world.

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