From greener freezers to skylights in the roof, supermarket giant unveils energy efficient store which it hopes will provide blueprint for all future developments
The rapid emergence of green construction techniques and low carbon building technologies was underlined last week after supermarket giant Tesco opened a major new store that it claims has a carbon footprint 70 per cent lower than an equivalent sized store built just over two years ago.
The company said its new 52,000sq ft Cheetham Hill store in Manchester would provide a "low carbon blueprint" for all future stores built in the UK.
According to Tesco, a raft of energy efficiency measures - including skylights to let in more daylight, a store-wide energy and water management system for tracking usage patterns, a natural ventilation system that cuts the need for heating and air conditioning, a natural refrigeration system that relies on CO2 rather HFCs that make a greater contribution to global warming, and an automated lighting system that dims lights in sunny conditions - meant the store's energy bills would be 48 per cent lower than the company's 2006 base line.
The company did not divulge precisely how it had calculated a 70 per cent reduction in the store's carbon footprint and had not responded to calls at the time of going to press.
However, it did say that a number of measures had been undertaken to cut the so-called "embedded carbon" within the new development, including the use of a timber instead of metal frame, the minimisation of construction waste, the wider use of recycled material in store and, most significantly, the installation of a combined heat and power (CHP) plant on site that Tesco said would be fuelled by material from "sustainable sources".
Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director of corporate and legal affairs at Tesco, hailed the new store as "an exciting development" in the company's plans to "reduce significantly" the carbon footprint of its stores by 2020.
"The new blueprint, which will provide a foundation for future stores being built in the UK, demonstrates our commitment to tackling climate change," she added. "It will also considerably reduce store fuel costs going forward."
Steve Howard, chief executive of The Climate Group - an NGO that has worked with Tesco on its low carbon strategy - urged other companies to use the Cheetham Hill store as a template for future low carbon buildings.
"This new blueprint store design is an example that we hope other businesses
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