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City Rail Link wins supreme sustainability award

26 November 2018

New Zealand’s largest transport infrastructure project, City Rail Link (CRL) has been recognised for changing the way infrastructure projects are designed and delivered.

The project has won the both the Efficiency Champion category and the Supreme Award - the NZI Transforming New Zealand Award - at this year’s NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.

The judges said CRL has “proven the infrastructure industry can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its environmental impact while developing Auckland’s much-needed public transport infrastructure. This will result in ongoing reduction in both congestion and carbon.”

CRL’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney, says the awards reflect the commitment of the project team, designers and contractors to delivering the CRL sustainably.

“We’re providing an efficient, low carbon transport option for Auckland but we’re mindful of the significant resources that go into constructing such large-scale infrastructure and aim to minimise resource use as much as possible,” he says.

Rachel Brown, CEO Sustainable Business Network, says: “The CRL will be a tremendous part of Auckland’s public transport infrastructure. It will help demonstrate how New Zealand can move to a low carbon, circular and more accessible city. City Rail Link exhibits best practice that provides an excellent model for other businesses to follow.”

The CRL project is using the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) rating tool to measure and independently verify its sustainability performance and has so far been awarded two ‘Leading’ sustainability ratings from ISCA; one for its Britomart Station works, delivered by Downer Soletanche Bachy JV, and the other for its Albert Street works, delivered by Connectus (McConnell Dowell & Downer), supported by designers Aurecon, Mott McDonald and Jasmax.

“We’ve been working closely with our designers and contractors to transform the way infrastructure is delivered in this country by making more efficient use of resources and aspiring to send zero waste to landfill,” Dr Sweeney says.

“The attitude and commitment to making sustainability an integral part of building the CRL is already making a real difference to saving money and resources and together we’re always looking for more opportunities as construction progresses.”

The project is on track to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy and material use during construction by over 4,000 tCO2e – the equivalent emissions of around 4,500 flights between Auckland and London - and has thus far diverted 97% of construction and demolition waste from landfill.

Initiatives to date include:

Replacing diesel generators with grid-connected transformers. This has saved 200,000 litres of diesel thus far
Collaborating with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to train haulage drivers in fuel-efficient driving techniques. This is being implemented not just on the CRL but across the main haulage subcontractor’s fleet of more than 100 trucks
Commissioning local steelmaker Pacific Steel to produce extra-large 50mm reinforcing bar for underpinning the heritage CPO building, reducing the weight of steel required by 83 tonnes.
Using waste power-station fly-ash as a partial cement replacement in construction concrete
Changing the piling methodology for the underpinning of the Britomart Station building from secant piles to diaphragm walls, reducing the amount of materials required.

“We recognise that there’s a responsibility that comes with delivering a project of the scale and significance of City Rail Link,” Dr Sweeney says.

“It provides us with an opportunity to lead the way - and to challenge and inspire others in the construction industry to implement their own sustainability initiatives that we can all learn and benefit from.

“CRL has made a great start on this journey and the challenge for us now is to continue building on the work we’ve done and supporting our existing and future contracting partners to deliver the best possible sustainability outcomes for the project and Auckland.”

ends

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