HS2 ‘super-hub’ station at Old Oak Common recognised as ‘outstanding’ for environmental designs

HS2’s new ‘super-hub’ station in West London, which will be the largest newly built station in the UK, is currently under construction, and has been awarded an outstanding rated score under the internationally recognised Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) assessment. BREEAM is the sectors principle indicator for excellence in building design, construction, and sustainability

Old Oak Common joins, HS2’s Birmingham Interchange Station, in achieving the Outstanding rating; a level of performance met by only 1% of new build assets globally. The station design team, WSP, have pursued and met multiple areas of best practice in design and innovation throughout the completion of the detailed design phase.

Huw Edwards, Project Client for Old Oak Common, HS2 Ltd, said:

“From the design of our stations and structures for HS2, to the rolling stock and operation of Britain’s new high speed railway, long-term sustainability is a prime consideration for HS2. The recognition of HS2’s Old Oak Common station being in the 1% of the world’s most sustainable buildings is something we are hugely proud of.”

“The most effective way to cut transport carbon emissions in the UK and improve our air quality is to invest in rail, including HS2. HS2 will help the UK’s fight against climate change and the drive to reach net zero carbon emissions.”

The awarded credits which have raised the design and sustainability performance of the project even further have included responsible construction practices, aftercare planning, cyclist facilities, life cycle impact, exemplary waste management practices, and the adaptation of the building to climate change.

The assessment is based on several factors including the environmental performance of the station when operational. The rating recognises that the station will deliver net zero emissions and will require minimal or no grid supplied energy when in use. Low and zero carbon technologies have been intelligently incorporated into the design of the station through a combination of multiple systems providing a station that is carbon negative in terms of regulated energy.

Further elements of the stations design reduce its operational reliance on energy, including an open plan layout with an atrium that allows for natural ventilation, and occupancy and daylight sensors that reduce demand for artificial light.

Novel innovation awards have been gained on practices related to materials efficiency measurement and management, and the reuse of felled timber from the site to a range of community sources. Wider sustainability best practices and approaches have also been key at Old Oak Common, including the use of a spoil conveyor system to remove large volumes of excavated materials with a significantly reduced requirement for lorries to use the road network.

The station is designed to accommodate sustainable travel to and from the super-hub. This includes exceptional cycling facilities, as well as EV charging facilities making up 16% of the parking facilities at the station – far higher than the 3% required by BREEAM standards.

The design was also awarded an exemplary credit for its adaptation to climate change, taking into account thermal modelling showing that the station won’t overheat as a result of potential climate change impacts and events. Rainwater harvesting at the station is expected to cover 100% of the demand for urinal and WC flushing at the station. In addition it was acknowledged that the station has been designed for durability and resilience with protective measures taken for vulnerable and exposed parts of the station that will avoid the risk of deterioration and reduce maintenance demands.

Simon Regan, WSP Project Director for HS2 Old Oak Common, said:

“We’re delighted to see Old Oak Common receive an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM rating for its sustainability credentials. This is testament to the collaborative partnership between HS2 and WSP to create solutions which contribute to a more sustainable built environment.”

“Our railways have the unique ability to both decarbonise the transport network and drive economic and social prosperity across the country, with stations such as Old Oak Common being the access point to the opportunities this provides.”

During the station construction, there is a commitment to waste efficiency, going beyond best practice to promote resource efficiency and reduce construction waste, with 95% of site materials sent for beneficial reuse. The team constructing the station are keeping this under review and finding more ways to reduce waste further as construction continues.