M&S set to launch flagship eco-store

Marks & Spencer has unveiled plans for its largest sustainable store yet as part of its Plan A commitment in Cheshire Oaks near Ellesmere Port.

An artist's impression of the new store

An artist's impression of the new store

The store, which is expected to open later this year and create 350 new jobs, aims to become the retailers most carbon efficient and provide a business showcase.

This follows M&S' sustainable stores success in Ecclesall Road, Sheffield and Westfield Stratford, London.

Architects Aukett Fitzroy Robinson won a competition to secure the project with a design, which reflects the Plan A concept. As a result, the design strategy addresses several sustainability issues, including; carbon, waste, biodiversity, community, material, travel and access across the 209,068 sq ft store.

The design uses a range of sustainable technologies and practices, such as low carbon and carbon absorbing products, including; 100% FSC-certified engineered softwood timber and hemp and lime external wall panels.

In addition, M&S claims the store is on track to achieve, and in some cases exceed, a number of other sustainable and environmental standards, including; sourcing all timber from sustainable sources, achieving a BREEAM excellent rating and for 70% of the store's heating to come from heat reclamation and a biomass boiler.

It also aims to generate zero construction waste to landfill and use rainwater harvesting to supply all toilets are irrigate the store's 'living greenwall'.

M&S Plan A property project manager Rachel Mellows, said: "These stores are test beds to try new technologies and new ways of working. Trying things out in a real environment and evaluating them alongside staff and customers is key."

Ms Mellows and Simons Group environmental champion Ed Dixon, who helped M&S develop the initiative, will be speaking about the project at the Greenbuild Expo 2012 on May 9.

Carys Matthews


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