London is forecast to grow by nearly one million people over the next 20 years. Seventy per cent (70%) of all railway journeys are already into or within London and the South East area, with the Thameslink route recognised as one of the busiest.
To cater for this growth, Blackfriars station will be completely redeveloped for passengers, as part of the £5.5bn congestion-busting Thameslink Programme, providing them with access to a higher number and frequency of services that will run to and through the Capital.
Construction will take place on both banks of the River Thames plus extensive work on Blackfriars Rail Bridge, creating the only station in the UK to span a river. It will feature a new station entrance on the South Bank, the first built in this location for over 120 years, and will give passengers direct access to key local attractions such as the Tate Modern.
Due for completion in spring 2012, Blackfriars rail station will be equipped to handle 12-car trains for the first time and significantly more trains will stop at the station every hour. The Underground station will also be considerably enhanced, as part of this landmark project.
Use of CEEQUAL
The Programme Environment Team considered CEEQUAL to be important for benchmarking the sustainability credentials of the project against the rest of the industry. More importantly, it was considered to be a useful tool for driving sustainability into the early stages of design and also for measuring sustainability performance through into the detailed design and construction stages.
The Thameslink Programme has committed within its Sustainability Objectives to achieve at least a “Very Good” score for relevant projects. The Blackfriars project team committed within its own documentation to achieve an “Excellent” score. This commitment was enshrined within various contract information documents.
By the very nature of the project it scored well in the transport section. Of the other sections the project scored well in the energy section. This was as a result of a very early sustainability optioneering exercise that identified possible sustainable improvements to the design.
The recommended option was a substantial PV cell scheme, which, when completed in 2012, will for a time be the largest array in the UK. The early timing of the report allowed a proper case to be made for funding and allowed it to be integrated into the design without significant re-design.