Lead engineers on HS2’s Old Oak Common station, WSP, have revealed a 27% reduction in the structural steel of the station roof at the west London super-hub

Engineering and professional services consultancy, WSP, with SME Expedition Engineering, have continued to undertake a series of value engineering reviews for Old Oak Common, following the station designs which were revealed in February this year.

Taking advantage of the results from wind tunnel tests and a snow load review, the team of structural design engineers, in partnership with architects Wilkinson Eyre, concluded that structural thicknesses and profiles in the station roof could be modified to allow for 27% less material to be used with a total steel reduction of over 1000 tonnes. This is an amount equivalent to a 2700 tonne reduction in embodied carbon and a cost saving of £7m.

OOC roof detail

Adrian Tooth, Project Director at WSP, says:

“Taking the benefits from wind tunnel testing and snow modelling, we have been able to make small incremental changes and reductions in material thicknesses of the roof resulting in a significant saving in the cost of the station”.

“Further applying the benefits from these techniques, we were able to harness savings and due to the reduction in material tonnage, realise the logistical benefits of reduced crane sizes”, continues Tooth.

Matthew Botelle, HS2 Programme Director says:

“By challenging the standard design approach, the WSP-Expedition design team have realised savings in the roof steelwork tonnage that has significantly reduced cost, construction complexity and embodied carbon.

“This work is a great example of how the latest design thinking and techniques are being used on the HS2 programme to provide best value to the UK taxpayer.”

Dr. Pete Winslow, Associate Structural Engineer at Expedition, explains:

“As the roof shape is not fully represented in the wind and snow loading design codes, testing was carried out together with specialists RWDI to establish more representative loads; proving them to be less than the code suggests.

“The WSP-Expedition team has then refined and validated the structural design all whilst maintaining Wilkinson Eyre’s architectural vision for the station”.

The roof at Old Oak Common comprises a series of tapered vaults with glazed rooflights to provide ventilation and daylight for the station. Spanning up to 65m, the vaults are formed from fabricated steel box section arches and are supported on box section primary beams founded on tapered steel columns.

Fabricated using weathering steel, the visible parts of the roof steelwork will be painted for aesthetic reasons.


For further information please contact Senior PR Executive Katie Brown on katie.brown@wsp.com, 02030572228


Notes to editors

About WSP

WSP is one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower. We are technical experts and strategic advisors including engineers, technicians, scientists, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Property & Buildings, Transportation & Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors as well as project delivery and strategic consulting services.

With more than 8200 talented people in the UK and approximately 48,000 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high-profile UK projects including the re-development of London Bridge Station and Quarter, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, HS2, Transport for the North Strategic Development Corridor studies, One Blackfriars and the Shard.



About Expedition

Expedition Engineering is an SME-sized civil and structural design consultancy based in London, and is both a registered Social Enterprise and an Employee Benefit Trust. Since its creation in 1999, Expedition has established a reputation for producing high-quality engineering designs on a wide range engineering projects and, amongst many others, has been awarded the Institution of Structural Engineers Supreme Award twice.

Notable projects for which Expedition were design engineers include the Infinity Bridge at Stockton-on-Tees, the London Olympic Velodrome, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre in Athens and the Intesa San-Paolo Tower in Turin.  Part of Expedition’s ethos is to explore new approaches to design and creative engineering to make better projects. Expedition works collaboratively with a wide range of other consultants and organisations to help achieve maximum project benefits through design quality and innovation.


About Wilkinson Eyre

WilkinsonEyre creates bold and beautiful architecture for people to enjoy that enhances its surroundings. From the restoration of Battersea Power Station, new stands at Lord’s Cricket Ground, One Barangaroo tower in Sydney to Toronto’s CIBC Square, we have landmark projects around the globe.

Our first major delivered projects were the Jubilee Line Extension depot at Stratford and Stratford Regional Station in London. Since then the practice has worked on numerous rail projects including commissions for the Elizabeth Line (previously known as Crossrail). We have also been working on HS2 since 2011 in various capacities.

Our expertise in transport-oriented development includes master planning work at Euston and oversite developments such as 21 Moorfields, a substantial commercial-led scheme including Deutsche Bank’s HQ and a new public square above Underground and the new Elizabeth Line tracks.

As one of the world’s leading architecture practices with offices in London and Hong Kong, we won the Stirling Prize for Architecture for the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the Magna Science Centre in Rotherham, and RIBA’s Lubetkin Prize for Guangzhou IFC and Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, which also won the WAF World Building of the Year.