Construction Climate Talk 9: Sustainability is at the heart of Crossrail

Created: March 28, 2017. Updated: January 25, 2018.

As the Crossrail project constructs a new 120-kilometer-long railway line in and across London, sustainability has been at the heart of the whole process. “It was built into the strategy from day one,” says Mike de Silva, Sustainability Manager at Crossrail, in the latest episode of Construction Climate Talks.

Crossrail is one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects and will connect eastern and western London. It consists of a section through central London with over 20 kilometres of twin bored tunnels and several new underground stations that interface with the current London underground system. The first section is due to open in December 2018. From early on in the project, for Crossrail it has been important to identify where in the process you can reduce carbon.

“We took a collaborative approach to work with our supply chain through our tier one contractors to identify where we could best cut carbon and used that to set targets. We also developed a carbon measurement tool that allows us to identify any carbon interventions against our baseline,” says Mike de Silva.

On a project like Crossrail 75 percent of the lifetime carbon is in the operation. Crossrail has worked with the design teams to minimize the operational energy use in the stations and have also set out specifications for the rolling stock provider.

“At the end of the day we construct what we design, so I think that one of our greatest achievements is actually looking at the amount of energy that we use in the actual operation of an asset,” says Mike de Silva.


Learn more about Crossrails work with energy efficiency and carbon:


See the first eight episodes of the Construction Climate Talks here:

Johan Rockström on the present state of our climate.

Josefina Lindblom on what green building is.

James Drinkwater on how sustainability is turning into common sense in the construction industry.

Martin Weissburg on sustainability as good business.

Carina Borgström-Hansson on reducing carbon footprint in cities.

Roland Hunziker on how to redefine value.

Paul Toyne on restoring eco system services.

Helen Pineo on solutions to challenges in cities.