Sustainable design can make places work better, help to mitigate against climate change, add value to an interchange enhancement business case, and meet with the needs of people who want to use the interchange facility or zone now and into the future.

Is the interchange zone future-proof?

The interchange zone should be designed and managed so as to provide seamless, efficient movement for passengers and be operationally efficient. The planning and design of an interchange zone must be based on current patterns of use and conditions and also a view of how conditions may change in an agreed future design year.

In particular, the design should take account of planned and potential changes in the density and mix of land use in the local area, the volume and pattern of passenger movements between destinations and the nature of the public transport services operated at the interchange zone. These changes may require modifications in the amount of capacity for passenger movement or the relative priority of these movements, changes in capacity of waiting areas (including platforms and bus stop waiting areas), relocation of transport or ancillary functions and/or provision of additional functions.

Are materials high quality and durable?

High quality, durable materials can minimise whole-life costs, through requiring longer periods between replacements, reduce maintenance needs (although a regular maintenance regime will still be required to ensure longevity) and improve user perceptions.

Where performance is not hampered, the designer should seek to utilise wholly or partially recycled materials or materials derived from sustainable sources.

The balance between durability, functionality and quality of design will vary depending on the situation but should take account of the needs and priorities of all interchange zone users.

Is the interchange facility's design and management environmentally sensitive? 

Is it as energy-efficient as possible?

The design of a new interchange facility and the management of all interchange facilities should meet with national carbon emission, water and waste targets, and minimise their ongoing energy requirements. They should seek to maximise on-site energy generation, source materials locally and use alternative energy sources where possible.

There are already many examples of how this is being successfully achieved, for example:

  • Use of natural light to reduce the need for artificial lighting and to light pollution
  • Excellent insulation of indoor/heated areas
  • Self-stopping escalators
  • Generation of on-site sustainable energy
  • Use of natural ventilation to reduce the requirements for air conditioning
  • Provision of recyclable waste containers
  • Use of recycled or partially recycled materials or materials derived from sustainable sources
  • Safeguard existing trees and green areas and provide planting opportunity for large landscape trees

Various methods exist to assess the environmental credentials of a building, and can be used to influence design from an early stage and help formulate an environmental plan for sustainable interchange facility or zone management.

Case study examples