Canberra Light Rail Design Receives an 'Excellent' IS Rating - ISCouncil

Canberra Light Rail Design Receives an ‘Excellent’ IS Rating

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) has awarded an 'Excellent' Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Design Rating for the Light Rail project. This Rating has been awarded on the project’s score of 73.7 out of 100.

Transport Canberra & City Services Director General Emma Thomas says, “This is a great achievement for the Light Rail project and confirms that light rail is being developed as a sustainable infrastructure project.”

“Independent evaluation gives the project creditability.”

Ms Thomas said the process has also created a number of connections and strong relationships across the industry nationwide.

“The IS Rating process has been extremely beneficial for the Light Rail and Transport Canberra. It has provided insight into to national best practice and a benchmarking opportunity against other national infrastructure projects.

“The rigours of undertaking the rating process has highlighted the project’s alignment on a number of key aspects of the Territory’s sustainability agenda.

“It also provides validation of the project’s direction and a rationale for some modification within the project’s life cycle,” said Ms Thomas.

ISCA’s acting CEO, Ainsley Simpsons is delighted with Canberra’s commitment to driving sustainable outcomes.

“We’re particularly proud of Canberra Metro Light Rail to not only lead the way in infrastructure for the ACT, being the first project to achieve a rating but also for their Australian first for their innovative method of reducing water,” said Mrs Simpson.

In awarding the score, ISCA noted the Light Rail design ranked highly in the key areas of:

  • Innovation – reducing water usage with the application of a polymer as a soil bonding agent and dust suppression has been recognised as an Australian first
  • Energy – development of an energy strategy that optimises energy efficiency in operations, installs solar panels on the Mitchell depot roof and achieves zero emissions running supported by the ACT Government reaching its Renewable Energy Target of 100% by 2020
  • Climate change – risk assessment to inform the design, incorporating adaptation measures to mitigate the impacts and improve resilience to extreme climatic events

ISCA evaluate projects using the Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating industry developed, owned and operated tool. Launched in 2012, the IS ranks all phases of project’s life cycle in terms of sustainability (including environmental, social, economic and governance aspects) of infrastructure and assets.

Projects can be awarded rating levels of Commended (25-49 points), Excellent (50-74 points) and Leading (75-100 points).

This is the first time an ACT project has undergone a IS Rating for the design phase. In 2013, the ACTEW Enlarged Cotter Dam received a Commended level “As Built” Rating with a score of 40.9.

The IS Rating tool evaluates sustainability initiatives and potential environmental, social and economic impacts of infrastructure projects. The initiatives are based on industry best practice and were developed as a practical collection of voluntary best practices designed to help asset owners integrate sustainability into their projects.

ISCA is the peak body for sustainable infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand. It is a member-based, not-for-profit organisation that advances sustainability outcomes in infrastructure. The principal means by which ISCA advances sustainability is through the IS rating scheme, a third-party assured, performance-based reporting framework deployable throughout the asset lifecycle.

Users of the scheme include State and Territory transport and planning authorities, engineering consultancies, construction contractors and asset owners and operators. At the start of 2018 ISCA had certified over $20B of capital value of projects (since 2013). The IS rating scheme is currently being applied to more than $83 billion worth of infrastructure projects across Australia and New Zealand. With infrastructure making up around half of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, implementation of the ISCA rating tool will help Australia reach its Paris Agreement commitments of 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2030.