HS2’s new eco-friendly interchange station, which is to be built in Solihull, has been granted approval by Solihull Council. The planner’s report said the design creates “an exciting contextual response to its setting”.
The station, which will be a the heart of the HS2 network within the Midlands, recently became the first railway station in the world to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification its design stage, a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings, putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials.
Solihull Council’s planning department said the design of the new station “draws upon the historic and agricultural character of the local area and delivers a strong sense of place and identity through its architectural form and the design of its landscape”.
The station’s design makes good use of renewable technologies, and in operation, the station will use natural ventilation, daylight, harvested rainwater and solar energy to cut carbon. The Automated People Mover will also link to the Birmingham NEC, Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport, and will have the ability to carry 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction, with a service every three minutes along a 2.3km route.
HS2’s Stations Director Matthew Botelle said:
“We’re extremely pleased to receive approval for the design of Interchange station, which will be net zero carbon in operation, and adopts the latest eco-friendly design and sustainable technologies. The operation of our stations will play a key role in the UK’s fight against climate change and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Our architects and engineers have worked together with landscape architects, soil scientists, ecologists and water specialists to develop a truly unique, landscape-led, contextual proposition which draws on the local Arden setting for its inspiration, with lots of new habitats for wildlife.
“We have also worked with our local stakeholders to design a station that considers future major growth plans around the site. These are being led by the Urban Growth Company, will support 70,000 new and existing jobs, 5,000 new homes and 650,000m2 of commercial space across the UK Central Hub, generating £6.2bn GVA per year and bringing 1.3m people to within a 45-minute public transport commute of the station.”
HS2’s design consultant ARUP has worked closely with landscape architects Churchman Thornhill Finch to develop a design which celebrates the local context and biodiversity of its native landscape associated with the Forest of Arden.
Kim Quazi, Director at ARUP Architects, said:
“Creating the world’s most sustainable station has always been at the heart of HS2’s design vision and this planning approval is testament to everything we have been working towards. This represents a significant milestone for station design and a step forward in our quest for greener rail.
“From the striking roof supported by light-weight glulam timber – inspired by the form of a leaf – to the green open spaces, everything has been selected to minimise the station’s carbon footprint and ensure that it reflects its surroundings and unique location.
“Equally significant is the approval for the Automated People Mover, which links Interchange Station directly to the NEC, Birmingham International Rail Station and Birmingham International Airport. A truly modern, world-class, elevated connection has been designed to complement its varying settings and includes new crossings of the M42 motorway and the West Coast mainline”.
HS2 Ltd is a partner of the UK Infrastructure Show (UKIS), the UK’s leading infrastructure and supply chain event, which explores the latest developments across the sector. This year, UKIS is going online and will be delivered as a live, online interactive event on Wednesday 9 September 2020.
More information on what you can expect from this new digital event experience can be found by visiting the UKIS website here.
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