Contract; Kings Cross Station Roof refurbishment

Contractor; Kier Construction Ltd

Architect; Corus Rail Infrastructure / John McAslan

January 2010 and June 2012

Package value £2.5m

ESB Services Ltd was engaged to carry out the design, supply and installation of a new glazed roof for the main train shed. This entailed the installation of 15,000m² of glazing, incorporating 2,500m² of photovoltaic glass which was required to be carried out while the station remained fully operational.

The rooflight installation comprised two large grade 1 listed, glazed barrel vaulted structures that span across the main platforms and run the entire 240m length of the station. The roof glazing system, which was required to comply with bomb blast mitigation, incorporated innovative features to help retain the glass within the glazing system in the event of a blast. Also incorporated was a series of over 150 access hatches incorporating an internal retractable frame to allow safe external access to remove, repair or replacement the internal lighting system. With an extremely tight site compound logistics had to be meticulously managed as materials had to be fed to the project on a daily basis, only being distributed to the roof when required for each shift. To avoid any visual impact, a design was incorporated into the glazing which concealed the 10km of cables used to connect the photovoltaic modules to the inverters.

The 240kWp roof top photovoltaic system comprised 1,392 custom-made glass laminates covering an area of 2,300m² which will help to generate an estimated 175,000 kWh of solar power per annum. This will provide around 10% of the station’s electricity demand saving over 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum; and is one of the largest and most complex PV systems in the country.

Kier Construction senior project manager, Simon Matthews, added: “The works have faced various challenges, which have been dealt with in an open and collaborative manner to deliver this spectacular achievement, using innovative methods that have allowed the works to be undertaken above the live station”.