Setting new standards for rail
Crossrail has set new standards in sustainability practices. For example, as a result of collaboratively working with the Building Research Establishment, BREEAM assessment criteria for environmental performance in underground stations have been developed. An ambitious community investment program, with legacy driven objectives, has also been established.
Dedicated to advancing the practice of sustainability, the Crossrail project team piloted the use of hybrid diesel-electric excavators, hydrogen fuel cell-powered lighting and noise monitoring stations, and used LED lighting instead of traditional halogen or fluorescent lights to reduce energy consumption.
Through a combination of new engine performance standards, retrofitting of particulate controls, hybrid technologies and training, Crossrail has significantly reduced particulate emissions across some 40 construction sites, and 250 machines, with 84 percent of equipment compliant with this requirement. Moreover, Crossrail was recognized as the first infrastructure project in the United Kingdom to adopt these strict emissions controls across all of its work sites. It has also introduced newer, cleaner machines across London, and encouraged suppliers to upgrade their equipment. The success of this program on Crossrail has helped to support the Greater London Authority's intent for a wider-scale introduction of these controls.
More than seven million tonnes of material excavated from the tunnels has been used to build nature reserves and breathe new life into recreational facilities, agricultural and industrial land.
Benchmarking for the future
Bechtel has managed Crossrail's adoption of two widely recognized sustainable design and construction assessment methods and accreditations:
- Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) — the UK standard for best practice in low carbon and low environmental impact design, construction and operation
- Civil Engineering Environmental Quality (CEEQUAL) — a comprehensive sustainability rating system for assessing environmental, economic and social performance.
The Crossrail project represents the first time the BREEAM standard has been applied to evaluate underground stations, and it is establishing a benchmark for other stations. All of the station designs have achieved 'very good' ratings at design stage under BREEAM, and the tunnels, portals and shafts have attained an 'excellent' rating at design stage under CEEQUAL.