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Canberra Metro Light Rail Stage 1 Awarded 'Leading' IS Rating

Case Study: Canberra Metro Light Rail

Canberra Metro Light Rail Stage 1 has been awarded a ‘Leading’ IS As Built Rating.

The Canberra Metro Light Rail will provide a 12-kilometre public transport corridor from the Gungahlin Town Centre to the City along Flemington Road, Federal Highway and Northbourne Avenue. The rail infrastructure will revamp access to transport between key residential and business sectors of Canberra and include 14 state-of-the-art Light Rail Vehicles manufactured by CAF, an internationally recognised supplier of railway stock.

There will be 13 stops with the vehicles and boarding/disembarking areas designed with comfort and safety in mind, encouraging walking and cycling that is integrated seamlessly with the bus network.



86% reduction in construction and operational emissions:
This has been achieved through the use of renewable energy, using efficient plant and equipment, and monitoring of the idling policy, achieving a 20% reduction in emissions. Any residual construction emissions during the IS Rating period were offset with NCOS certified offsets. In operations, reductions in emissions realised through the installation of solar panels at the depot, efficient driver training, and a regenerative braking system, achieving a 39% reduction in operational emissions.  In line with the ACT Governments Renewable Energy Target of 100% by 2020, the Light Rail is powered by 100% renewable energy, any residual scope 1 and 2 emissions emitted during operations will also be offset to create a zero net carbon transport option for Canberrans.The Project also installed Bike Racks on the Light Rail Vehicles which supports the ACT Low Emission Vehicle Strategy by encouraging active travel.

40% reduction in water use in construction and operation:
Reduction in water use in construction and operation through a water efficient train washing facility, an innovative soil polymer, a reduced delivery period, rainwater harvesting from the track into the landscaping and by designing out reticulated areas from the landscaping design.

107 Years: The architect of Canberra; Sir Walter Burley Griffin back in 1912, planned the city with main avenues for rapid transport that would be lined with social and economic activity. The original documents and drawings done by Griffin clearly show a proposed railway/tramway to service the city centre. The Project was able to enhance Canberra’s heritage by delivering on Sir Griffin’s original plan more than 100 years after its creation.



Soil Polymer - Due to the limited space within the Project and erosion and sediment identified as an important construction risk, the primary erosion and sediment control has been on surface stabilisation, representing an important social and environmental concern. As a result, an innovative soil binder was developed by the Project in conjunction with Vital Chemical as a new approach to address the clean water discharge criteria and also to address construction erosion and dispersive local soils. The innovative soil binder blends gypsum into a biodegradable product (Bon-Matt HR) that causes flocculation of dispersed sediment as water runs over the surface.
Horse Crossing across Light Rail – The Project built an equestrian crossing across light rail tracks that created a safe waiting area for the horse and rider, mounting blocks, and a dedicated extended crossing phase so the horse and rider can cross the intersection in one pass, prioritising the safety of both the horse and rider.
Development of a protocol to safely hydrovac around known asbestos - Through a collaborative approach with WorkSafe, an innovative hydro-vaccing protocol was developed to allow high pressure water to be applied to known and unknown asbestos assets/debris throughout the Project alignment with minimal risk to the workers and public.

It is acknowledged that this achievement has been the result of multiple stakeholder input including:

  • Support and encouragement from Tom Percival, Marcus Sainsbury, Duncan Stuart, and Nick Bryant from Major Projects Canberra leading to incredible precedent set by the Project.

  • Our ISCA Project Managers; Kirsty Bauer, Kieren Heikkinen, and Claudia Sylvestre who provided sound and patient advice and support.

  • Our ISP and Auditor Glenn Hedges who provided many hours of his time ensuring the Project would achieve leading sustainability outcomes.

  • Support from John Holland and CPB Contractors, specifically Simon Hooper, Christine Mueller, Patrick Ilott, Keely Easterbrook, Julie Blain, Bharath Ramakrishnappa, and Xin Liu.

  • Byron Serjeantson and Lauren Lambert from Beast Solutions for their endless and patient support in all matters energy related.

  • The Canberra AECOM Environment team including Jielian Beh, Nick Davison and Julia Jason-Smith.

  • The Vital Chemical crew especially Carlos Mira and Paul McMullen.

  • The wider Canberra Metro Construction team.

“The ISCA rating process has been incredibly valuable to the Canberra Light Rail Project by not only driving sustainability but providing a vehicle for positive sustainability benefits and outcomes to be captured, evidenced and verified. The Project’s score of 88 – a Leading Rating is a testament to the hard work and fortitude of the Canberra Metro Construction team in delivering exceptional sustainability benefits not just for users of the Light Rail but for Canberra as a whole.”
Mark Jones - Deputy Project Director Canberra Metro Construction (JHCPB JV)

Project Name: Canberra Metro Light Rail 
Location: Canberra, ACT
Proponent: JHCPB JV
Assessor: Margot Andrew and Patrick Giltrap
IS Project Manager: Claudia Sylvestre