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New stations star in sustainability

07 Mar 2018

Melbourne’s reinvigorated train stations are receiving high praise across the sustainability sector thanks to a range of industry-first initiatives saving time, money and the environment.

Using best-practice Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) rating tools, all stations rebuilt under the Level Crossing Removal Project are subject to independent reviews and scored in categories such as energy, waste and innovation.

The opening of Noble Park’s elevated station in February represents the first of five new stations to be rebuilt under the Caulfield to Dandenong Project, with each station achieving an unprecedented five out of six stars in the Green Star ‘Design’ review.

This is in addition to the eight stations across the city – Bentleigh, Ormond, McKinnon, Gardiner, Heatherdale, Ginifer, St Albans and Bayswater – already completed and ‘As Built’ certified under the GBCA standard; the first train stations in Australia to achieve this status.

From self-sourcing energy by using rooftop solar panels, to implementing mandatory bins for general waste and recycling, the results prompted GBCA’s chief executive Romilly Madew to label Victoria’s rail infrastructure as “arguably the world’s greenest” in a2017 ratings review.

Level Crossing Removal Authority CEO Kevin Devlin said the Authority was breaking new ground in a rail context, using the rating tools as a driver of continual improvement.

“By setting high benchmarks in sustainability, we are encouraging contractors to think outside the box and ensuring that our works are delivered with environmental and social impacts in mind,” he said.

“Lessons learned are shared for the benefit of the wider construction industry, helping each of our projects to continually improve upon what others have done, which is in turn driving new discussion amongst interstate transport agencies.”

In addition, ISCA awarded final ‘As Built’ scores of 63 (Excellent) and 80 (Leading) for the Level Crossing Removal Authority’s first two packages of works, including perfect scores under the category of innovation.

Some of the positive outcomes highlighted included a net increase in secure bike parking at stations; the recycling of 98.6 per cent of waste generated from the demolition of St Alban and Ginifer stations; and the halving of greenhouse gas emissions across Gardiner, Bentleigh, McKinnon and Ormond station builds.

Additionally, Bayswater’s new station received a 93.5 for its ‘Design’ submission – the highest category score across Australia and New Zealand in 2016 – which included the world-first use of a dewatering centrifuge, ultimately saving 5.6 megalitres of water and $1 million in overall costs.

These sustainability-driven builds have led to broader recognition, with the project awarded the Infrastructure for a Strong Climate Future Award at the 2017 UNAA World Environment Day Climate Action Awards, in addition to ISCA’s 2017 Organisational Leadership in Infrastructure Sustainability Award.

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