HS2 becomes first UK project to secure a BREEAM Infrastructure rating

The high-speed rail network HS2, has announced that it has become the UK’s infrastructure project to secure a BREEAM Infrastructure scheme certificate for its sustainability strategy on Phase 1 of the major project.

The assessment demonstrates that HS2 is committed to going beyond enhancement and protection of the environment, to address the key social and economic impacts of the development. It includes features such as working in harmony with communities, being a great neighbour, putting safety and wellbeing at the heart of the project, and building sustainable economic benefits for the whole of the UK, such as better skills and career opportunities for a new generation.

HS2 environment director, Peter Miller, said, “We are very pleased to receive this BREEAM Infrastructure certificate. Our goal with HS2 is to design and build the most sustainable high-speed railway of its kind in the world, working in partnership with our supply chain and local communities to leave a positive legacy for future infrastructure projects both in the UK and beyond. This certificate is a testament to our sustainability commitments and to the lasting benefits of the HS2 project.”

HS2 is a project which aims to be the backbone of a rail network taking passengers from London all the way to the north of England. The first phase of the £56bn railway is due to open in December 2026, with trains to travel at high speed between London and Birmingham before continuing on the existing West Coast Main Line. The second phase to Manchester and Leeds could start being built in the middle of the next decade, with the line open by 2032-33. The Department for Transport says the project will cut Birmingham-London journey times from 1hr 21min to 49min.

BREEAM Infrastructure is part of the international BREEAM family of sustainability standards for buildings and infrastructure. Later this year the best of BREEAM Infrastructure will be brought together with market leading sustainable infrastructure scheme CEEQUAL to provide a new world-class international scheme for the future called CEEQUAL (2018).

BRE director of infrastructure, Chris Broadbent, said: "From 2014, HS2 was the first project to engage with BRE in the development of BREEAM Infrastructure working with us to pioneer a new approach to a sustainability strategy which applies right across the entire HS2 project. This is a first for the UK and it will set the standards for future infrastructure projects around the world."

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