Sunday 24 March 2019
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Flagship sustainable Marks & Spencer store

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) has completed a £4.1 million sustainable mechanical and electrical package at the new flagship Marks & Spencer (M&S) at Cheshire Oaks – the company’s most environmentally conscious store.

Designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson and built by main contractor Simons Group, the Cheshire Oaks store is one of the most high profile sustainable retail projects ever undertaken in the UK. Specifically designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, the new 148,000 sq ft store incorporates a range of cutting edge technologies and building materials to deliver energy and carbon savings of between 30% and 35% when compared to the company’s traditionally built stores.


For the delivery of the building services package BBES employed a range of sustainable manufacturing and installation techniques, such as the offsite prefabrication of the building’s plant room. This has helped to minimise energy use in the store’s construction process.


BBES’ comprehensive M&E package included full fit out and external works including energy monitoring, waterless urinals, lighting controls, a biomass boiler, HFC free air handling units, displacement ventilation, electric car charging points and an 80,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank. Also, in line with a nationwide energy efficiency scheme which has seen BBES upgrade the lighting in 170 of the retailer’s existing stores, LED low energy lighting has been installed externally at Cheshire Oaks.


As well as sustainable M&E systems, environmental impact has been carefully considered throughout the design, specification and construction process. Materials, systems and building fabrics were all carefully selected, such as bird boxes and roof insulation made from recycled bottle glass, a roof-light, hydrocarbon refrigeration system and walls made from Hemclad® – a revolutionary and renewable hemp and lime based cladding system which allows the store to ‘breathe’.


The building’s complex roof structure incorporates an impressive exposed ceiling that was made using only 100% FSC certified glulam beams, which removed the need for a suspended ceiling. This once again reduces the use of materials and complements the project’s sustainability credentials, including responsible specification of materials and minimisation of waste.


Officially opened on the 29 August, M&S Cheshire Oaks will stand as a flagship development for sustainability in retail construction. Support for Marks & Spencer’s aim to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015,  was perfectly demonstrated by the use of BBES’ sustainable M&E solutions which helped create the most carbon efficient mainline store in the company’s estate.



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