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124 TECHNOLOGY / GLARE CONTROL CASE STUDY


NEW START FOR NEW STREET


Due to be completed in 2015, the redesigned Birmingham New Street train station has undergone meticulous glare studies by Arup to ensure its new façade does not dazzle train drivers and members of the public.


Over 140,000 passengers use Birming- ham New Street Station every day, more than double the number it was originally designed to cater for. The station is dark, unwelcoming and overcrowded and with poor access for passengers. Network Rail and delivery partner Mace are transform- ing it into exactly the kind of station that passengers deserve and that the people of Birmingham will be proud of. The £600m Gateway project, a joint scheme between Birmingham City Council, Network Rail, Advantage West Midlands and Centro, will double passenger capacity and create: • a concourse that is three-and–a-half times bigger than at present and enclosed by a giant light-filled atrium; • more accessible, brighter and clearer plat- forms, serviced by new escalators and lifts; • an iconic new station façade, adding to Birmingham’s growing reputation for good design; • better links to and through the station for pedestrians with eight new entrances; • a stimulus for the physical regeneration of the areas surrounding the station leading to the potential creation of over 10,000 new jobs across the city.


THE ICONIC FAÇADE The striking concept design clad in shim- mering, reflective stainless steel will create


a bold, modern gateway to the city for the millions of people using the station each year. The iconic design is the work of the renowned AZPA (formerly Foreign Office Architects) who won an international RIBA competition to land the prestigious project. However, the quest for creating this innovative, iconic façade, not seen on any major project in the country created its own challenges. These were not limited to just attaching it to the 1960’s structure, but also the effects the highly reflective facade would have on the local environment and especially train drivers approaching and leaving the twelve platforms during sunny periods. Safety for all passengers and train crew on the operational rail network is of utmost priority to Network Rail. Therefore any risk that the highly reflective façade may affect the train drivers’ visibility when approach- ing the station required a clear, concise and accurate approach for mitigation. The task to identify and resolve any poten- tial risk of reflected sunlight glare from the façade was given to Azhar Quaiyoom, Senior Engineering & Sustainability Manager at Mace, seconded into the Network Rail Gov- ernance team for the New Street project. The requirement to analyse glare from such a highly reflective façade has not been ex- perienced by Network Rail until now. Arup


was approached with a remit to provide a highly visual output to predict and illustrate any potential glare effects to Network Rail’s stakeholders and train operating companies at varying times throughout the year. LIGHTING ANALYSIS OBJECTIVE The risk identified was due to sunlight reflected from the façade towards the train drivers. The potential hazard was that the intensity and direction of the reflected sunlight may prevent them clearly identifying a signal as they approach the station. Arup was appointed to analyse and interpret the magnitude, timing and duration of any debilitating glare effects associated with reflected sunlight from the facade.


GLARE TYPES Two different glare types could be considered relevant to this type of project; disability glare and discomfort glare and they are defined by the CIE as follows: Discomfort glare: glare that causes discomfort without necessarily impairing the vision of objects. (eg, snow in bright sunlight can have a luminance of ~30kcd/ m2


, which is uncomfortable, but can be


remedied with sunglasses.) Disability glare: glare that impairs the vision of objects without necessarily causing discomfort. (eg, viewing undipped


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