HS2 have revealed the first design images for the Washwood Heath Depot, where the maintenance facility and main control centre will aid in the creation of over 550 jobs within the local area. This site will be situated north east of the Birmingham city centre and is where the HS2 trains will be maintained, serviced and stored whilst they’re not in use. All the infrastructure within the depot has been designed to celebrate engineering and provide sustainable working facilities.
The designs for the Depot infrastructure have been produced by HS2’s Engineering Delivery Partnership (EDP) and will provide availability for high levels of controlled, natural lighting, which will drastically reduce the need of artificial lighting during the day. The sustainable building designs will include solar roof panels, a system to reuse natural rainwater that is collected through the roofs of the buildings, sustainable drainage, renewable energy and the use of low carbon materials.
As has been a consistent theme within the HS2 projects construction designs, natural landscape incorporation as well as green spaces play a key role. Each building within this depot will have specially designed landscape themes and areas that will help to restore the rich biodiversity and wider habitat connections that surround the site. Integrating environmentally sustainable designs throughout HS2 has been a key factor in the support of the net zero pledge from the government.
The designs have also ensured the inclusion of the local community as accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists have been incorporated with dedicated travel routes that connect with Birmingham’s future transport network.
In addition to car parks, provision is included for electric vehicle charging points, cycle and motorcycle parking for staff and visitors, and parking for individuals with limited mobility at all depot facilities, alongside taxi and delivery vehicle drop off zones.
Works that have been carried out so far include the demolition of buildings and groundworks to prepare the site for the further construction of the Depot and Control Centre.
Richard Kirkham, HS2’s Head of Delivery Project said:
“Our design team have been focused on ensuring sustainability is incorporated into our Washwood Heath Depot site and it is a great example of HS2’s environmental ambitions. It’s also a pivotal site providing hundreds of crucial jobs for people in this area of Birmingham, highlighting the long-term economic benefits that HS2 is delivering for the region.
“We’re also working closely with Birmingham City Council and other key stakeholders to achieve aspirations for the wider area to the south of the Washwood Heath Depot site which provides the opportunity to create more jobs, connectivity, and environmental benefits.”
Russ Dale, Project Manager at HS2’s Engineering Delivery Partnership said:
“These images are part of an ongoing design process which will be refined and developed over the coming months by our expert team. Before we submit the designs to the local Council for approval later this year, we are sharing them with the community and asking people for feedback around areas of our design.”
The Maintenance Building will be the primary hub of operations within the site and will be used for the train fleet maintenance, with facilities for the storage of materials and equipment. It is expected to host around 250 members of staff within the building, including the management teams, production, cleaning teams and depot drivers.
The projects control centre will oversee the entire HS2 network, acting as a standalone building designed to accommodate the operational and management functions across the network. This will act as the home base for an extra 100 members of staff.
The Cleaners and Drivers Building is located in the depot’s western area and will host facilities for train servicing teams and driver training. This building will be linked to the stabling yard area, where trains will be cleaned and replenished, ready for passenger service. Around 200 staff will be based here.