Birmingham New Street Station

Enhancing sustainable urbanization, Developing climate change mitigation
Nbs actions:
Urban regeneration through nature-based solutions, Nature-based solutions for increasing the sustainable use of matter and energy
Topics (Keywords):
Green infrastructure, Sustainability, Resilience, Green wall
Start/End date
19 December 2009 to 19 December 2015

Network Rail

Design Team




Runner up - UK GreenBuild 2013

UK National Rail Industry Awards 2014 – Award in Environment & Sustainability

Winner – Award for Excellence in Sustainability at the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Awards.

Runner up – Environment and Energy Awards 2015

Runner up – Sustainability Leaders Awards 2015

Area Characterisation

The site is in the centre of Birmingham, a highly populated city located in the English midlands.


To convert an energy intensive system of heating, cooling and ventilation, which was poorly maintained and controlled into a modern, green, sustainable development while adhering to stringent rail standards.


Network rail worked with a number of designers and regulatory bodies to create a station that would achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’. The completed station includes, low energy LED lighting, efficient water spray taps to conserve water, combined heat and power, natural ventilation where possible and rainwater harvesting which provides 60% of toilet flushing demand.  Alternative materials such as carpet tiles with yarn made from recycled fishing nets were incorporated and waste was designed out and reused where possible.

Network rail also worked with ecologists, which led to the creation of a 325m² green wall using 25 different plant species along the Moor Street link to the station and a green roof on and the adjacent accommodation building.

The project also created its own project procurement policy to ensure legal and responsible sourcing of materials. The trains were used to carry material to the site to reduce the need for carbon intensive lorries.

Potential impacts/benefitis

Potential impacts/ benefits

Challenges addressed

Enhancing sustainable urbanisation

Restoring ecosystems and their functions

Developing climate change mitigation

Developing climate change adaptation

Climate resilience

· More energy efficient buildings

· Reduction of energy in the production of new buildings and building materials

Urban Regeneration

·  Changing image of the urban environment

Green Space management and enhancing/conserving urban biodiversity

· Improve air quality

· Increase well being

· Increase biodiversity

Water management

· Reduce cost for water treatment

· Reduce run-off

· Reduce load to sewer system

NBS benefits
  • Reduce load to sewer system
  • Reduce run-off
  • More energy efficient buildings
  • Reduction of energy in the production of new buildings and building materials
  • Increase Biodiversity
  • Changing image of the urban environment
  • Improve air quality
  • Increase well-being
  • Reduce costs for water treatments
Transferability of the Results

Can be used for other train stations in need of regeneration.

Lessons learned

The project was successful because sustainability was thought about before the designs were drawn up.

It is important to keep all stakeholders involved from start to finish and keep continuous communication throughout.


Funding came from the local council and Advantage West Midlands.


The carbon Trust,

WRAP (Waste and Resource Action Programme)



Department for Transport

Birmingham City Council


Network rail


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