WSP’s railway sustainability experts are committed to being a positive influence on the quality of life in the communities we serve around the world. Every day, we seek new ways to develop rail infrastructure that is not only safe and reliable, but also preserves resources, protects and enhances natural environments, and promotes social and economic vitality.
Sustainability is one of our priorities when we begin any rail project. We integrate land use and public transport to create vibrant, livable communities. We incorporate energy-saving features in transit systems, develop context-sensitive designs in railways, and apply green construction techniques to salvage and reuse existing materials.
The over consumption of energy and the impact of greenhouse-gas emissions is a particular challenge for many rail schemes: 90% of the fuel used in transport is oil-based and 50% of the oil produced worldwide is consumed by the transport sector. These issues directly affect the railway industry, and we tirelessly seek to reduce our clients’ reliance on non-renewable energy sources.
Our leadership and approach
WSP is a gold leaf member of the UK Green Building Council and a sponsor of the widely used Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) sustainability rating system. We have LEED accredited professionals around the world, as well as professionals accredited in other rating systems, such as the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ SKA Rating System for refurbishment, and the WELL Building Standard.
Some of the methods we use to incorporate sustainability into rail transport schemes include:
• Understanding, planning for and responding to future social, economic and environmental mega-trends
• Creating sustainable development policies, principles and action plans
• Installing solar power units with photovoltaic panels
• Using fuel cells for efficient power production
• Maximising the use of natural lighting and ventilation
• Collecting and reusing rainwater
• Reducing the emission of polluting volatile organic compounds (VOC)
• Designing out waste, re-using site arisings, and developing business cases for innovative materials and systems
• Using light-emitting diode (led) signals and fluorescent lighting
• Installing occupancy sensors and/or timers
• Using regenerative braking, which feeds energy back into a third rail, battery, or flywheel
• Using alternative, environmentally friendly fuels
• Installing platform screen doors to reduce train heat brought into stations, allowing for a significant reduction in station cooling requirements.