HS2 Ltd today [Wednesday 1 September] announced the shortlist of bidders for the contract to build the eco-friendly Interchange Station at the heart of the UK’s new high-speed rail network in Solihull.
The bidders shortlisted for the contract were Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited, Skanska Construction UK Limited, and Unity - a Joint Venture between Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick, supported by a subcontractor, WSP
HS2’s Stations Director Matthew Botelle said: “This is a major milestone in the delivery of our HS2 stations. We’re looking forward to working with the winning bidder on our award-winning designs, to build a world-class, eco-friendly station that will play a major role in helping us deliver Britain’s new low-carbon railway.”
The Solihull Interchange Station contract
The winner of the contract, worth up to £370m, will develop the detailed design of the station before construction begins and the station takes shape over the next few years.
The contract is set to support 1,000 jobs, creating a major economic boost for people and businesses in the Midlands. The wider regeneration opportunities around the station will support 30,000 jobs, up to 3,000 new homes, and 70,000m2 of commercial space.
The construction site for the station covers an area of 150 hectares and is located within a triangle of land formed by the M42, A45, and A452. Work so far has included construction of modular bridges over the M42 and A446, and remodelling of the road network in the area to facilitate access to the new station.
HS2 Ltd has worked with multi-disciplinary design team Arup to design the station to be net-zero in operation, which is a key part of HS2’s strategy to reduce carbon and build the most sustainable railway in the world.
There will be up to five trains per hour passing through the station in both directions, with an estimated total of 175,000 seats per day, making this one of the best-connected transport interchanges in the country and a new gateway to the UK.
HS2’s Procurement and Supply Chain Director Andrew Cubitt said: “Congratulations to the organisations who have been shortlisted for this significant HS2 contract, which will not only boost jobs in the Midlands but will open up fantastic supply chain opportunities for businesses right across the country. The benefits go even further, with the wider opportunities for commercial development around Interchange Station set to drive local investment and regeneration.”
The station is the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification at the design stage – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings – putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials.
Eco-friendly features and job support
This recognises the station’s eco-friendly features including maximising natural daylight and ventilation, a station roof design that can capture and reuse rainwater, and features to enable net-zero carbon emissions from day-to-day energy consumption, HS2 said. Energy-efficient technology will also be incorporated, such as air source heat pumps and LED lighting.
The huge growth plans around the site, being led by the Urban Growth Company, will support 30,000 jobs, up to 3,000 new homes, and 70,000m2 of commercial space. These will form part of the UK Central Hub area plans for 70,000 jobs, 5,000 new homes, and 650,000m2 of commercial space, generating £6.2bn GVA per year and bringing 1.3m people to within a 45-minute public transport commute of the station.
The contract is due to be awarded in 2022.
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