M&S to Open its Most Sustainable Store

Marks & Spencer has announced plans to open its most sustainable UK store at Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. The store will be the first of a number of planned ‘Sustainable Learning’ stores, which will further increase the retailer’s understanding of sustainable construction techniques and processes.

The new 12,400 sq ft Simply Food store, due to open in April and built from scratch on a former brownfield site, incorporates a host of sustainable and innovative design and construction features. The store is set to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent, and has received a Considerate Constructors Scheme score of 37.5 out of 40, making it one of the most sustainable retail outlets in the UK.

When it is fully unveiled the store will feature materials that have been carefully selected in order to reduce waste and energy use:

* 100% of the construction waste produced in the building of the store has been recycled;

* The project is undergoing full FSC certification and we expect 100% of the timber used in the building will be FSC certified, a first for M&S;

* All the bricks have been reclaimed from an old mill;

* Polished concrete floors will remove the need for additional floor covering.

The new store will operate sustainably:

* Harvested rainwater will supply all the toilets and irrigate the store’s green ‘living wall’, reducing water costs by up to 40% compared with a conventional similarly sized store;

* The store will also be heated by expelled heat from its refrigeration units, helping to reduce the its carbon output by 23%;

* Highly efficient LED lighting will be used throughout the store, a first in the UK, and sun pipes will bring natural lighting onto the shop floor.

The store will also create wildlife habitats:

* A sedum roof and green ‘living wall’ will create wildlife habitats as well as insulate the building and act as a pollution filter;

* Bird boxes around the perimeter wall of the site;

* In total, 62 types of plants are being planted on or around the store.

Sustainable transport solutions will also be provided for customers:

* Electric car charging points will be available in the car park;

* LED screens in the store will give customers real time local transport information;

* Trolley and cycle shelters, located in the car park, will also be made from FSC certified wood and have a green sedum roof.

All employees at the store will be fully trained to understand its environmental features and will be encouraged to share this information with customers.

“This store represents a big milestone in our sustainable construction programme as we are installing a host of unique technologies and features,” points out Clem Constantine, director of property & store development at Marks & Spencer. “Each of these sustainable features is remarkable in its own right, however by bringing them all together in one development, something that is rarely done by retailers, we will achieve a whole that is worth far more than the sum of its parts. The learnings we have taken from building the store, coupled with those we will make over its lifetime, will help us achieve our goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015.”

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