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M&S to open its most eco-friendly store in the UK

March 14th, 2011
newsimg_m-and-s-ecclesallMarks & Spencer will open its most sustainable shop this April.

The new 12,400 square foot Simply Food shop, in Sheffield, will minimise its environmental impacts in its construction and operation.

Green building
The new shop is being built on a former brownfield site. Building the store, rather than renovating one, is allowing M&S to use more recovered materials in the store’s construction.

The timber used is expected to be 100 per cent FSC certified, and all of the bricks that will be used are to come from an old mill. Once the walls are up, the floor will be made of polished concrete. Any waste generated during construction is set to be recycled.

Eco-friendly features
Not only is the construction of the building going to have fewer environmental impacts, but the store’s water supply, heat and lighting are all also eco friendly. The toilets will use rainwater, and the heat given off by the refrigeration will contribute to the store’s heat supply. Reusing the heat is expected to lower CO2 emissions by 23 per cent. To keep the shop well lit, LED lights as well as sun pipes will be installed.

“This store represents a big milestone in our sustainable construction programme as we are installing a host of unique technologies and features,” said Clem Constantine, M&S director of property & store development. “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.”

Benefiting people and animals
Customers with electric cars will be able to charge them directly in the car park while they shop.

A’living wall’ also supplied by rain water will provide shelter for native animals while insulating the store and filtering out pollution. Birds will also find homes on the site’s bird boxes, and the shop will be adorned with 62 different types of plants.

Sustainable learning
The store in Sheffield is to be the first of two “sustainable learning” shops M&S plans to open. The goal of these stores is for M&S to learn the most appropriate building techniques so that future stores can be built from 100 per cent recycled material, have a net carbon emission of zero during construction as well as benefit the biodiversity of the area.

Green certification

Once completed, the store should receive two separate recognitions for its design. It’s expected to earn an ‘Excellent’ rating from BRE Environmental Assessment Method, one of the most recognised accreditations.

The shop is also set to earn 37.5 of 40 points from the Considerate Constructors Scheme, a nationwide construction initiative to help recognize positive efforts of the construction industry.

“Sustainability is increasingly important in the construction and property sector and major companies like M&S have a crucial role in driving that process, particularly given the relationship not just with suppliers, but also with consumers,” said Paul King, UK Green Building Council CEO. “This new M&S store at Ecclesall Road is an impressive achievement, not only for its host of environmental features and the positive social effect it will have on the local community, but also the lessons that will be learnt for both M&S and the wider construction industry.”

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