CEO, Regional Rail Link Authority
With no environmental rating tool available to help guide the delivery of sustainable train stations, the Regional Rail Link Authority in Victoria committed to working with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) to set the sustainability benchmarks.
The upgrades to Footscray, West Footscray and Sunshine railway stations and the new railway stations in Wyndham Vale and Tarneit have all received 4 Star Green Star – Custom Design certification from the GBCA – making them the first Green Star-rated railway stations in Australia.
By gaining Green Star ratings for all five stations, the people of Victoria can be confident that these public assets are sustainable places for decades to come – financially, socially and environmentally.
"These stations are an example of what is possible in sustainable transport design"- Allen Garner, CEO, Regional Rail Link Authority
Extensive natural light reduces the train stations’ reliance on electric lighting, while more than 100 solar panels help to provide power and heat water in each station.
Lighting improves safety - so providing energy-efficient LEDs in car parks, forecourts, uncovered patron areas, and many internal areas, means more lighting can be installed for the same cost. Sensors automatically switch off or reduce the use of lighting and air-conditioning systems when they are not required.
Each train station uses energy and water meters to monitor consumption. A rainwater harvesting system collects rainwater run-off from the roof which is used to flush station toilets and wash platforms, and water-efficient taps, urinals and toilets further reduce the reliance on potable water, while . Low water-use and native plant species have been planted in the garden beds around the station.
The results are impressive. For example, West Footscray railway station produces 40% less greenhouse gas emissions than a standard station design, uses 60% less water and, in the middle of summer, its maximum electrical demand is 30% lower.
"These stations are representative of the huge environmental benefits of the Regional Rail Link project, which will save 14,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year." - Allen Garner, CEO, Regional Rail Link Authority
At the forefront of sustainable design – from the materials used in their construction to energy- and water-efficient features – the train stations are also good for people. The designs consider lighting and thermal comfort, use materials that are low in harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and feature air conditioning and ventilation systems that reduce the entry of outdoor pollutants into indoor areas. The result? Those waiting to catch trains or working in the stations are in a more comfortable environment – one with fewer pollutants, better ventilation and more comfortable conditions.
"Sustainability is integrated into every aspect of the stations’ design, from the materials used in their construction, energy- and water-efficient features, and the layout of the precinct as a whole."- Allen Garner, CEO, Regional Rail Link Authority
The train stations promote healthy and active living. Employment, community facilities and residences are within a short walking distance of each station, and cyclist facilities and walking routes also prioritise physical activity.
The stations also achieved two Green Star points under the ‘Safe Places’ credit. The project team undertook a crime risk assessment, selected shrubs and trees that minimise sight impediments and chose perforated aluminium screens for balustrades and on bridges to increase visibility for pedestrians. The risk assessment also advised alignment and widening of ramps and thoroughfares to minimise pinch points.
"Not only are these stations environmentally sustainable, they are also safe, accessible and user-friendly."- Allen Garner, CEO, Regional Rail Link Authority
Footscray, West Footscray and Sunshine Stations
Wyndham Vale and Tarneit Stations: