This week the company responsible for the UK’s rail infrastructure awarded the contract to build its landmark nerve centre to construction company BAM.

The new National Centre aims to be a model of sustainability and will receive an Excellent rating under the building benchmark BREEAM.

Network Rail’s chief executive Iain Coucher said: “Now that we have BAM Construction on board, building work can begin next month to bring our new National Centre to Milton Keynes.

“Once completed, the new National Centre will, for the first time, unite many of our national teams and functions under one roof, helping us to work more effectively together in meeting the challenges of delivering a better, more efficient railway for passengers and freight.”

The centre will bring up to 3,000 employees together under one eco-friendly roof in Milton Keynes.

The development will use a range of measures designed to regulate temperature and reduce energy use, including optimising the building’s orientation and facade, narrow floor plans, high overhanging soffits to provide shade, and natural ventilation.

These are complemented by high efficiency, low carbon systems. The centre will also include extensive “living” roofs to encourage flora and fauna habitats and rainwater harvesting systems will be used to flush toilets and irrigate the plants.

Network Rail will also recycle material from the National Hockey Stadium which previously occupied the site.

It is also pledging to source as much material locally as possible to help limit the number of lorries and further cut the development’s carbon footprint.

David Gibbs

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