Climate Change

Addressing climate change during the redevelopment of London Bridge station

Thameslink Programme has delivered a number of climate change interventions to meet our commitment of placing sustainability at its heart. At London Bridge the Network Rail project team and designer WSP identified in early design the opportunity to carry out a dedicated climate change adaption study and secured funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to do this.

There were six stages to the study:

  1. A climate Change Adaption Focus Session
  2. A Climate Change Adaptation Risk and Opportunities Report
  3. Opportunities Feasibility Study
  4. Opportunities Design development
  5. Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Report
  6. Dissemination to industry.

The study was initiated with the Focus Session attended by the key design disciplines and NR. This was followed by an in-depth study of climate change related risks and opportunities focused on impacts on comfort within the station, on water related issues and on construction elements, and an opportunities feasibility study.

The study identified the following findings:

Overheating on the concourse

The design target of the station was not to exceed external temperatures by more than 5 degrees. The station’s ventilation was determined to be sufficient for this criterion to be met throughout the next century under modelled conditions.

Cooling capacity of designed equipment

Was already found to be designed for an external temperature of 35°C, which is exceeded for just 36 hours in the 90th percentile of the 2080 High Emissions future climate scenario.

Water availability

Rainwater harvesting was identified as the best available option to ensure a more efficient use of water resources at the station. The large roof available would allow collecting over 40% of the water necessary for toilets and urinals flushing. This would help against expected increased cost of water over time end help ensuring a more sustainable use of this natural resource. Unfortunately due to costs rainwater harvesting was not an option that was taken forward. An alternative solution was provided in the form of attenuation tanks.

Tidal and surface water flood risk

The site is within the defended tidal floodplain of the River Thames and within an area with drainage issues. In order to increase resilience to flooding it is proposed raising mechanical and electrical plant where raised and an emergency plan developed to ensure the appropriate emergency procedures are in place.

Damage from thermal expansion

The current design was found to be able to cope with climate change related thermal expansion.

Damage and H&S risks from an increase in the frequency and intensity of lighting

The current design was found to be able to cope with climate change related increased number of lightning events.

Damage from increased wind speeds

The lack of quantifiable climate change predictions for peak wind speeds meant that this risk could not be investigated.

Overall the study identified that the design and construction of London Bridge station would meet future climate change predictions and was therefore resilient to future changes in climate.

REBs and flood risk mitigation

It was identified in the early stages of design that REBs would be at a risk of flooding due to an increase in rainfall. The design team (Balfour Beatty Rail) consulted the Southwark Council Strategic Flood Risk Assessment to identify the levels at which the REBs would need to be raised to protect this asset from future 1 in 100 year flood events.

Through collaboration with the NR project and Balfour Beatty design team the REBs were raised onto up stand concrete beams so that all REBs now sit above future flood lines thus protecting this asset from the future effects of flooding in the area.

Further information

For more information on this Learning Legacy case study please email