Green retail development sets standard for the future

Last month saw the opening of a new retail park which sets the standard for sustainable buildings in the future

“B&Q UK has an ambitious overall carbon reduction programme to reduce its CO emissions by 90% by 2023, against a 2006/07 baseline.,” says Clarkebond Director, Martin Hathaway.  “In order to achieve this, the new building, their first eco store, had to really push the sustainability envelope, using a wide range of ‘green’ materials, design features and technologies, but also considering the end-of-life implications of the building.” Clarkebond provided civil, structural and geo-environmental services on the scheme.

Cyfarthfa Retail Park North in Merthyr Tydfil incorporated ‘Design for Deconstruction’ principals and included an intensive green roof, rainwater harvesting, solar thermal hot water, rigorous air tightness targets, LED lighting, SUD’s grasscrete permeable parking bays and the extensive use of recycled and site-won materials which included the use of locally sourced secondary aggregates and cement replacement in the structural concrete.

The development is also one of the first ever projects in the UK to use a ‘Transpired Solar Collector’.  The technology behind this renewable heating system has been available in North America for many years, but has not been adopted here.  This installation, a result of a collaborative research with the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, uses a black, perforated, steel roof-sheet which absorbs solar heat into a channel beneath the roof sheet from where it is then circulated mechanically throughout the building.

The building was designed with a ‘fabric first’ approach to meet all the challenging energy efficiency targets, which included:

  • 50% reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions relative to statutory minimum standards.
  • Band “A” EPC rating.
  • BREEAM Energy Standards in excess of minimum standards for “Outstanding” ratings (min 10 credits for outstanding, 14 currently being secured).
  • 23% reduction in embodied energy relative to industry bench mark standards for similar retail developments.

The scheme, developed by retail developer Hammerson, designed by Powell Dobson Architects and built by BAM Construction, includes a 45,000 sq.ft. B&Q warehouse, 10,000 sq.ft. garden centre, two  retail units totalling 17,000 sq.ft, 300 parking spaces and heritage trail with viewing platform over-looking the Taff Valley.