Thameslink Programme, London Bridge (Main Station)

CEEQUAL Excellent 97.3% – Whole Project Award
Version 5, May 2019 | London, UK

Client: Network Rail
Designer: WSP
Contractor: Costain

Assessors: Andrew Barnes (Schofield Lothian Ltd), Isabel Simpson (Costain)

Project Summary

The Thameslink Programme is a £7 billion project in south-east England to upgrade and expand the Thameslink rail network, allowing more people to travel on new and longer trains between a wider range of stations to the north and to the south of London, without requiring passengers to change trains in London. Work includes platform lengthening, station remodelling, new railway infrastructure, and additional rolling stock, thus providing a significant increase in railway capacity through Central London.

A major component of the Thameslink Programme was the redevelopment and reconfiguration of London Bridge station and significant changes to the western and eastern approaches to the station. This case study deals with the main station and eastern approaches; the western approach structures are covered by a second standalone CEEQUAL assessment referred to as ‘Western Approach Viaduct’ that received a Whole Team Award of 92.4%’.

London Bridge Station was the key component of the Thameslink Programme, driven by the need to increase the number of Thameslink trains able to pass through the station and the need to meet the anticipated growth in passenger numbers as the station was previously operating at maximum capacity. In addition to the delivery of a world-class transport interchange we have created a grand new street level concourse providing new entrances onto Tooley Street and St Thomas Street. This gives the station the civic scale and street presence appropriate for its importance, both within Southwark and London. It provided a truly legible layout, allowing the station to feel like a single station for the first time. An upper-level terminus concourse, provided as part of the Shard development, provides convenient links out to the bus station and taxi rank. The terminating concourse is linked to the main street level concourse via a dramatic, wedge-shaped four-storey high space.

The station will now act as a catalyst for redevelopment by linking the two sides of the station more effectively than ever before.

CEEQUAL’s Influence on the Project

Sustainability was right at the heart of the Thameslink Programme and our vision was to deliver transport benefits to budget that represented value for money and created an overall positive impact on the community and the environment. To do this we worked to ensure that not only did we achieve the highest standards in sustainability, but we upheld this principle on all fronts. As part of this vision we committed to use CEEQUAL to help us strike a balance to achieve high standards of environmental and social benefits whilst achieving value for money.

Two CEEQUAL assessments were thus applied as part of the London Bridge Station Redevelopment Project to drive sustainable choices in design and construction and both saw resounding success. Aside from being an awards scheme we recognised the value of CEEQUAL in improving sustainability performance by supporting both our sustainable development policy and Network Rails wider sustainability commitments.

At the start of the design stage we held CEEQUAL workshops with our project teams, designers and suppliers to challenge the design and construction process and to identify sustainable design and construction solutions. At the workshops sustainability objectives and targets were agreed and sustainability champions identified to review progress of targets through the design process. We also worked with cost consultants to explore in more detail the whole life cost impacts of sustainable design decisions.

CEEQUAL helped to improve sustainability performance and provided a wide range of benefits including;

• Significant improvements through adoption of best practice including whole-life costing, waste minimisation, resource efficiency (materials, water, energy), responses to predicted climate change effects, as well as project management and reduction of complaints and environmental incidents.
• Reputation-building and good PR including verified demonstration of delivery of environmental, sustainability and corporate social responsibility policies.
• Cost savings through CEEQUAL’s influencing role.
• Demonstrating commitment to the sustainability agenda, and providing public recognition of our work to clients, to the industry as a whole, and/or to stakeholders and the general public.
• Enhanced team spirit through CEEQUAL’s recognition of teams and, because using CEEQUAL provides encouragement and a target for your project and contract team to deliver high performance, it helps to develop a positive performance attitude.
• Award presentations celebrating high performance and reinforcing team spirit.

Challenges and Achievements with the Historic Environment

Britain’s railway heritage is the world’s richest and the railway industry is one of the most significant owners of historic premises and structures in the whole country. Preserving our historic environment is recognised as a key component of delivering sustainable infrastructure projects such as the Thameslink Programme. Given that London Bridge station is the oldest central London railway station, the redevelopment programme had high expectations.

The project worked collaboratively with the supply chain and regulators to minimise the impacts on the built heritage through the following approaches:

Sympathetic design: we have created a grand new street level concourse providing new entrances onto Tooley Street and St Thomas Street. This gives the station the civic scale and street presence appropriate for its importance, both within Southwark and London. It provided a truly legible layout, allowing the station to feel like a single station for the first time. The rippling, reflective canopy ribbons give a clear identity to the station form. The design is an appropriately bold response to the Shard, creating an ambitious and dynamic piece of twenty-first century architecture, but one which respects the scale and grain of its historical context.

Salvaging of materials: the redevelopment involved the demolition of the Grade II listed train shed, dating to 1867, under listed building consent. One of the conditions of the demolition was to retain various elements of the train shed roof for potential reuse, namely 10 of the upright columns and 10 of the foliate spandrels (decorative angle pieces). The project exceeded the consents requirements by retaining 16 columns and 14 beams, but the process was very complex and challenging. This was partly due to complications of working round operational requirements; in part due to the logistical difficulties of the demolition process as a whole and also due to the nature of the retained objects – made of brittle cast iron and in the case of the columns weighing approximately 10 tons each. The removal of the columns was further complicated by the fact that their base plates were buried within concrete below platform level; the platform area had to be excavated down to the base plate level and then the four bolts connecting the column to the base plate removed. The base plate and columns were then split apart prior to lifting out of the columns to which the spandrels (in most cases) were still attached. Whilst the column and spandrel removal process was underway, the project had successfully negotiated with the Vale of Rheidol Railway to take all the agreed savage items together with various additional materials to form the cornerstone of their planned new locomotive museum in Aberystwyth. The railway, which operates small steam trains for tourists in mid Wales, will be home to a ‘unique historic collection’ of around 30 locomotives and rolling stock, much of which was built in the UK and has never been displayed in public.

Retention, reinstatement and repair of heritage features: the Grade II listed polychrome brickwork façade along St Thomas Street and the Grade II listed Warren Trusses at Joiner Street were both refurbished. The project worked closely with English Heritage, the Railway Heritage Trust and Southwark Council’s conservation officer to uphold high levels of workmanship. The listed train shed was replaced with a fine piece of contemporary architecture designed by Grimshaw and was praised by Southwark Council for its design quality. The 1836 quadripartite arches in the Western Arcade area of the station were retained and refurbished and extended via a modern interpretation to retain the character and identity of the station’s rich history.

Recording: detailed above ground archaeological building recordings were undertaken by a team of dedicated buildings archaeologists, to record and catalogue those elements of the works that were not retained. These have now been deposited with the Museum of London.

Challenges and Achievements with Energy and Carbon

In the design station we undertook a carbon footprint to identify our key carbon hotspots. This enabled us to understand where our biggest energy/carbon impacts were, including embodied carbon of materials such as concrete and steel, construction energy and operational energy. An options appraisal was subsequently developed to propose a range of operational energy saving measures, which were investigated in terms of feasibility, energy cost savings and carbon emission reduction. The selected measures included:

• The design of a naturally ventilated concourse that does not require heating or air conditioning and allows for as much natural lighting as possible, resulting in significant energy savings
• A geothermal energy pile system delivering carbon reductions of 6.1%, an approach which is a first for Network Rail
• Intelligent control escalators that allow reduced energy use during station off-peak hours with annual savings of 36.46 tCO2e and over £9,000 in operational costs
• Use of reinforced steel with 98% recycled content that has delivered a 8,353 tCO2e saving.
• Installation of LED lighting in the majority of the station concourse to provide annual CO2e savings of around 235t
• Inclusion of active energy efficient measures in the final build including efficient lighting controls, high efficiency heat recovery, efficient air and water distribution, regenerative technology and efficient control gear systems for lifts
• Development of an Operational Waste Management Plan and delivery of a brand new service yard. Prior to the redevelopment the station recycling rate was 43% (late 2015) but when the service yard was fully operational in 2017 and the plan implemented, improved rates of 70-75% were achieved

Furthermore the embodied energy and carbon impact of the materials and components proposed for the station were investigated in detail as part of a project lifecycle energy and carbon analysis. Again this identified the key contributors to the overall carbon footprint and focused attentions on lower impact options.

For the project to continue to reduce its impact during the construction phase, the following measures were implemented;

• The site office accommodation was signed up to a 100% renewable Green Energy tariff and was thus carbon neutral and reduced CO2e emissions by 650t/year
• Smart Meters were installed on each floor to allow us to monitor energy use and run Energy Efficiency Campaigns, challenging each floor to reduce their usage. This resulted in a saving of nearly 2% (equivalent to £2,500/year).
• Eco-Driver Training was provided and this identified where and how savings could be made by driving efficiently. A diesel reduction of 20% saved around £10,000 and 71 tCO2e
• Energy saving dehumidifiers provided a carbon saving of 167 tCO2e
• ‘Caretaker’ IT software managed our office energy use, saving 429 tCO2e over the project duration. Caretaker is an energy usage management and monitoring tool which regulates IT systems to help reduce energy wastage, CO2 emissions, and energy costs via the utilisation of set policies.
• Energy and water saving measures were employed in the office, including zip boilers, Dyson hand dryers (80% energy reduction), automatic taps, dual flush toilets, waterless urinals and PIR sensors
• Equitrac Print Management System had huge savings on paper and toner usage, therefore reducing associated carbon
• Hybrid or electric plant such as MEWPs and tower lights were utilised on site wherever possible, reducing fuel usage
• Transport of 200,000 tonnes of waste soil via barge resulted in a 60% carbon emissions reduction compared to road transport

Challenges and Achievements with Noise Management

Major Infrastructure Programmes such as the Thameslink Programme will enviably generate noise and vibration and aside from the built heritage and town planning aspects, this was our most significant impact on the local area. As part of our vision to deliver a sustainable project, we committed to implement robust controls to keep these impacts to a minimum.

During the early stages of the Thameslink Programme the potential impacts and effects of noise and vibration were considered within the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as part of the planning process. The purpose of the EIA was to aid planning decisions by identifying and assessing the likely significant environmental effects of the scheme and describing the measures to avoid, reduce or, if possible, remedy significant adverse effects.

During construction the project tackled the complexity of delivering a multifaceted infrastructure development in a densely populated area of London whilst keeping impacts to a minimum. We did this through a comprehensive set of project specific policies, procedures and systems that were developed to mitigate impacts during both the construction and operation of the scheme. The Thameslink Programme Noise and Vibration Policy set out the broad approach adopted, with the underlying principle being to avoid significant adverse effects of noise and vibration arising from either construction or operation of the scheme, wherever and whenever reasonably practicable. Control measures were then developed in accordance with a defined mitigation hierarchy.

The TLP Noise and Vibration policy and controls were embedded into Thameslink’s Programmes IS014001 Environmental Management System which enabled us to successfully manage noise and vibration risks through the following:

• Impacts register – identifying noise as a key impact for the TLP in our Environmental Impacts Register.
• Inductions and toolbox talks – our new starter’s induction programme included a Consents, Sustainability and Property (CSP) induction which highlighted noise and vibration as a key impact from the project and the importance of managing this risk in design and construction work. For our work sites, noise and vibration risks were regularly briefed to site staff via toolbox talks.
• Design and construction – noise and vibration mitigation were embedded in our design and construction process in line with our policies, procedures and best practice guidance.
• Control plans – noise and vibration management plans were established as part of our project management process.
• Resources – the TLP had a dedicated noise and vibration specialist who provide technical expertise and guidance across the project and supply chain. We also employed a night time noise and nuisance officer during our most significant construction periods to oversee work and liaise directly with our neighbours, providing them with a direct contact and familiar face.
• Section 61 applications – all our work required a Section 61 agreement with the local authority which was prepared by our suppliers and reviewed by our noise and vibration specialist.
• Notifications – clear, concise and advanced notification of our work for our neighbours. Where different suppliers were working in the same location the suppliers and communications teams worked together to develop and co-ordinate a joint notification covering all aspects of the project.
• Noise and vibration inspections were undertaken by our supply chain and CSP team.
• Audits – noise and vibration audits regularly featured in our annual audit plans.
• Incidents and complaints – all incidents were investigated according to our incident procedure covering all suppliers and corrective measures put in place. Any significant incidents were communicated across all staff on the TLP via our health and safety cascade. Our complaints were managed swiftly through our suppliers, CSP and communications teams working together in accordance with our complaints procedure.
• Performance – our performance in relation to noise and vibration was formally reviewed every six months with our executive team as part of our ISO14001 Management Review. All best practice and lessons learnt were shared with the TLP and our supply chain.

As a result of this regime the project has been very successful in gaining trust so that consent applications were granted, including, for example, necessary extended working hours overnight and at weekends. As an indicator of the success of this approach, the project was awarded the Noise Abatement Society ‘John Connell Silent Approach’ Award.

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