Arup contracted as sustainability program manager for CHSRA

July 19, 2023
Arup will lead a team of 12 consultants to support the delivery of sustainability services along the entire high-speed rail syste

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has contracted Arup to support its sustainability program. Future rail service will carry travelers between Los Angeles/Anaheim and San Francisco in under three hours. The high-speed rail system will transform mobility in California for the benefit of communities and the environment.

As sustainability program manager, Arup will lead a team of 12 consultants to support the delivery of sustainability services along the entire 500-mile route. Key tasks will include renewable energy modeling and procurement, climate change adaptation and resilience, setting sustainable design criteria, managing greenhouse gas and air quality emissions, carbon offsetting and sustainability reporting.

The new high-speed rail line will be designed to operate with 100 percent renewable energy, with an estimated capacity of 1.9 million MWh per year supported by solar power and battery storage systems. To safeguard this critical infrastructure for the next generation, Arup will also be conducting hazard analysis and developing resilient design approaches to mitigate climate change–related risks.

“The authority is dedicated to creating a transformative transportation project," said Margaret Cederoth, director of planning and sustainability for CHSRA. "We are excited to have Arup support the delivery of this ambitious project and help maintain our focus on setting a standard for sustainable infrastructure. We are eager deliver the backbone of sustainable transportation for California.”

CHSRA's system will provide mobility alternatives to one of the busiest short haul flight paths in the U.S., saving an estimated 62,000 annual airplane trips and taking an estimated 400,000 cars off the road annually. By linking together California’s population centers, the system will serve as a lever for positive economic growth for communities along the route.

The project has achieved Envision Platinum certification, the highest standard in the framework for sustainable, resilient and equitable infrastructure developed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). As a charter member of ISI, Arup has been an early adopter of Envision and has implemented holistic sustainability for this project. Arup will be assisting the authority in its effort to maintain its Envision certification through a rigorous process of data collection and validation.

In addition, Arup will be helping implement authority-driven sustainability strategies into the project specifications to ensure the construction of the rail infrastructure, systems and stations include the use of zero emission construction vehicles and minimize the embodied carbon of concrete and steel used to build the project. Arup will also maintain the authority’s first-party local program for carbon offsetting.

The full project team is comprised of Arellano, BASE, Bio Studio, Build Momentum, Convey, ERP, GlobalASR, ICF, OMCI, Polytechnique, Strategen and Terraverde.