City Rail Link - Contract 2 (Albert Street Tunnels)

This project by City Rail Link achieved a 'Leading' Design v1.1 IS Rating.




The City Rail Link (CRL) will extend Auckland’s passenger rail system past Britomart to connect to the existing regional rail network at Mt Eden. Britomart will become a through station with new stations near Aotea Square and Karangahape Rd and a redeveloped station at Mt Eden.

The CRL will have twin 3.4km long tunnels up to 33 metres below city centre streets. It’s estimated to take five and a half years to build.

City Rail Link has been awarded a ‘Leading’ IS Design rating by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA), the highest possible achievement in the IS scheme. The rating was awarded to Auckland Transport for the design and construction planning (with Connectus) of Contract 2 – Albert Street tunnels and a stormwater diversion.

CRL Project Director Chris Meale says AT worked closely with Mana Whenua to tailor the IS tool to suit not only the NZ context but the cultural context of Tamaki Makaurau. In the same vein that the CRL design is developing a cultural richness and sense of place with input from Mana Whenua.

“We are committed to setting the benchmark for sustainable design, construction and operation of infrastructure in New Zealand. The sheer scale and significance of CRL to this city and nation means taking a sustainable approach throughout the project lifecycle just makes sense."

The submission to ISCA consisted of design documentation produced through the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) phase with AT’s Principal Technical Advisors (Aurecon with Mott MacDonald, Jasmax, Grimshaw and Arup) and delivery partner Connectus, the McConnell Dowell/Hawkins joint venture.

The CRL team put together a very high quality submission demonstrating well prepared management plans, good policies and procedures, opportunities for energy reduction and strong stakeholder engagement and Mana Whenua participation.

Key CRL sustainability initiatives planned over the project lifetime include:

  • Switching from diesel generators to grid electricity during construction
  • The use of LED street-lighting for the Albert Street reinstatement
  • Collaborating with EECA to train drivers and monitor machinery during construction to reduce fuel use
  • Changing excavation methods to reduce diesel and water use
  • Installing tree pits in the street to collect and filter stormwater runoff.


  • Rating Type Rail
  • Rating Score 78.7
  • Registered Date August 2014
  • Certified Date August 2016
  • State NZ
  • Suburb Auckland
  • Assessor Liz Root
  • Capital Value $150 Million
  • Other Key Stakeholders AureconMott MacDonald, Grimshaw, Jasmax, Arup, Connectus (McConnell Dowell/Hawkins)

Rating Highlights

Innovation The process CRL has undertaken to engage and partner with Mana Whenua to embed cultural values into an industry recognised sustainability framework has been acknowledged as a ‘world first’ innovation.