Five Victorian rail stations have been awarded 4 Star Green Star Custom Design certification by the Green Building Council of Australia. The GBCA worked with the Regional Rail Link Authority to develop a custom tool for the design and construction of railway stations, which was used for upgrades to Footscray, West Footscray and Sunshine stations, and for new stations at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit.

The station projects were part of the Victorian Government’s $3.9 billion Regional Rail Link program.

Specific sustainability initiatives include the installation of more than 100 solar panels to provide power and heat, extensive use of natural daylight, energy-efficient LED lighting for carparks, forecourts, patron areas and many internal areas, and sensors that automatically switch off or reduce lighting and airconditioning when they are not required.

Rainwater harvesting systems have also been installed with the water reticulated for toilet flushing and washing down platforms, and water-efficient plumbing and fixtures have been used. Energy and water metering has also been incorporated so usage can be monitored. Low water use and native plants have been used for garden beds around the stations.

GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said the sustainability achievements were impressive, with West Footscray railway station, for example, now producing 40 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than a standard station design and consuming 60 per cent less water.

The projects also won the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award in the Infrastructure and Buildings category.

“From early days, we set out to achieve sustainability outcomes that were better than industry practice for railway projects, and to generate innovative practices that could be used on future projects. The Regional Rail Link project highlights that sustainability can be successfully embedded in large scale infrastructure projects from project inception,” Regional Rail Link Authority chief executive Allen Garner said.

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