The railway station in Hsinchu’s Jhubei City (竹北), the nation’s first “diamond-class” certified “green” station, will be officially opened next month, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday.
Chen Shih-chi (陳仕其), the director of the TRA’s construction department, said the station had previously been opened temporarily to help transport passengers heading for the Taiwan Lantern Festival, which ended on Sunday.
Chen said the station is equipped with an integrated power system combining solar panels and wind energy generators that can produce a combined 47,000 kilowatt-hours per year.
The system also made Jhubei Station the first in the country powered by wind energy, he said, adding that this would help the station save NT$35,000 (US$1.180) in electricity costs per year.
Aside from the integrated power system, the station also has a rainwater collection system that helps it save on water bills.
In addition, the station is housed in a well-ventilated building that has been specially designed to maximize air flow, reduce heat and enhance natural lighting.
Chen said the TRA decided to construct a new railway station in Jhubei because the old station had only one entrance.
The new station was built directly above the railway tracks and passengers can enter it through two entrances, where they can purchase train tickets and access the platforms.
Chen said that Jhubei used to be Hsinchu’s granary. However, as there had been plans to turn Jhubei into a biotech city, the interior design of the new station was inspired by the structure of the DNA double-helix.
The TRA’s two other certified “green” buildings — Miaoli station and Hsinchu County’s Singfong (新豐) station — are scheduled to become operational in August and at the end of this year respectively, Chen said.
Taiwan uses a “green” building certification system called “EEWH,” which stands for ecology, energy-saving, waste reduction and health.
These four general categories can be further broken down into nine sub-categories that determine if a building can be labeled as “green.”
EEWH has five levels: certified, bronze, silver, gold and diamond.