posted on 1st May 2020 13:37
The new HS2 station, to be built near Solihull and the NEC in the West Midlands, has become the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings – putting it in the top 1 % 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.
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% of buildings in the UK and the first for any railway station in the world.
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 2,000 m2 of 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 150 m3 which 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.
The station design scored highly on a broad range of criteria including Health and Wellbeing, Energy, Transport, Water, Materials, Waste, Land Use and Ecology, and Pollution. In addition a further seven exemplar credits were achieved at design stage, including one for committing to undertaking a Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) of the building to monitor its energy and water usage against the design predictions, three credits for generating a material efficiency metric and analysis into the embodied carbon of specified building materials, one for a commitment to manage construction traffic and the installation of electric vehicle charging points, and for achieving a higher standard of resilience to climate change.