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HS2 launches green virtual tour ahead of COP26

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HS2 Ltd has launched a virtual tour of its eco-friendly Interchange station to profile how the new high speed railway will help the UK tackle climate change.

The tour has been set up to coincide with the run up to COP26 UN Climate Change Conference.

The online 360-degree tour hosts a virtual exhibition pavilion which showcases the ways in which HS2 is reducing carbon using new technology to build what it calls “one of the most sustainable railways of its kind in the world”.

Visitors can step through the entrance of the station, walk through the concourse and ticket check-in area and onto the station platform, viewing videos and virtual exhibition areas on the way.

The exhibition is made up of seven panoramic 360-degree renders from a 3D model of the railway produced by HS2’s digital engineering and Building Information Management (BIM) teams, with 30 pop-up interactive features, 25 pictures of the new Interchange station design and five new videos on how HS2 is tackling climate change.

Each area of the virtual station focuses on different environmental credentials of the project, including how HS2 will help to decarbonise the transport sector by providing a low-carbon alternative for long distance travel, reducing the need for car and domestic plane journeys.

The tour provides insights about how the project is using clean construction techniques, improving air quality, designing sustainable stations and creating a green corridor of connected habitats for wildlife and green spaces for people to enjoy along the route.

The exhibits include videos which explain how innovation is playing a major role in the construction of the railway and how HS2 is working with its supply chain, industry and academic partners to reduce emissions through new low-carbon technologies. Progress on creating new connected habitats for wildlife is brought to life with footage of new areas of tree planting, with insights from HS2’s environmental experts.

Because of its BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) Outstanding award, putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for sustainability, Interchange station in Solihull was chosen to host the exhibition. The exhibition also features pop-up information and videos about the station’s sustainable design.

Peter Miller, HS2.

HS2’s director of environment Peter Miller said: “This interactive exhibition provides a fantastic virtual tour through HS2’s many environmental innovations, as a showcase for the project during the UN Climate Change Conference – COP26. It clearly demonstrates how HS2 is playing an important role in delivering the Government’s commitment to bring all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to net zero by 2050.”

Visitors to the online exhibition can also register for HS2’s COP26 webinar series during the UN summit. These are open to anyone to attend, and recordings of the webinars featuring HS2 experts and external partners will be also available to view in the virtual exhibition afterwards.

The webinars are:

  • 4 Nov – Clean construction webinar: How HS2 is innovating to decarbonise construction and leave a legacy for the future of the industry.
  • 9 Nov – Resilient, reliable railway webinar: How the adaptation and resilience measures on HS2 will minimise delays and make sure the project is ready for a changing climate.
  • 11 Nov – Sustainable stations webinar: Why HS2’s stations are environmentally world class and how they will become hubs for other forms of sustainable travel.

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