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December 18, 2023

HS2 Edgcote Viaduct: Reducing Carbon Footprint with Innovative Structural Redesign

HS2 Edgcote Viaduct: Reducing Carbon Footprint with Innovative Structural Redesign


High-Speed Two (HS2) has successfully reduced the carbon footprint of its Edgcote Viaduct by over 13 percent through a strategic structural redesign. Inspired by the success of the Thame Valley Viaduct near Aylesbury, this innovative approach not only diminishes environmental impact but also revolutionises construction efficiency.

The Redesign Process

Engineers at HS2 opted for a lighter weight, modular design that drastically minimises the use of concrete and steel compared to the previous design. Taking cues from the successful application of this pioneering approach in the Thame Valley Viaduct, the team aimed to replicate its environmental benefits.

Key Changes

The heart of the redesign lies in the reduction of beams per span from five to just two larger 'u' shaped beams. Unlike the traditional method of securing beams with concrete poured in situ, the new design secures the beams directly to the next pair. This subtle modification maintains the height and length of the viaduct while significantly decreasing the amount of material used.

Off-Site Manufacturing

One of the most noteworthy aspects of this initiative is the decision to shift manufacturing off-site to a facility in Kent. This move not only streamlines the construction process but also contributes to the overall reduction in carbon emissions. Prefabrication allows for precise engineering in a controlled environment, minimising waste and enhancing quality.

Environmental Impact

By adopting this eco-friendly design, HS2 has not only cut the carbon footprint of the Edgcote Viaduct but has also significantly reduced the number of lorry movements associated with the construction process. This is a crucial step in aligning with global sustainability goals and mitigating the environmental impact of large-scale infrastructure projects.

Speeding Up Construction

Apart from the environmental benefits, the streamlined design is set to expedite the construction process. The reduction in components and on-site assembly requirements not only accelerates project timelines but also contributes to the overall efficiency of the construction phase.


The structural redesign of the Edgcote Viaduct stands as a testament to HS2's commitment to environmental sustainability and innovation in infrastructure development. By adopting a modular, off-site manufacturing approach inspired by the success of the Thame Valley Viaduct, HS2 has not only reduced the carbon footprint but has set a new standard for green engineering practices in the construction industry. This triumph not only benefits the present project but also serves as an inspiration for future endeavors in creating infrastructure that is not only efficient but also environmentally responsible.

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