Co-op, Steeple Claydon

Interior Design

A pioneering new Co-op store for Steeple Claydon, designed to cut carbon and energy use.

    With the Co-operative Group’s commitment to its ten point climate plan we were appointed alongside consultants Hilson Moran, Ramboll, Henry Riley and SI Sealy to design a new store for the retailer. The aim was to explore innovations and learnings that could support their carbon reduction ambitions.

    It was agreed that the Co-op would look beyond the industry norm and adopt a Whole Life Carbon ‘cradle to cradle’ approach, reviewing and exploring carbon reductions that could occur in the next life cycle of the building / materials.

    Together we reviewed opportunities and ideas to identify the optimum way to minimise or reduce the buildings carbon footprint and energy consumption in every area. With each decision we ensured that the store would not compromise on operational function or the customer experience. The final building represents the optimum balance of form, fabric, operational performance, and usability. Key elements include:

    • Hybrid timber and structural frame – timber due to its lower embodied carbon and steel for its ability to be disassembled and reused.
    • 80%-100% of the foundations, superstructure, glazing, cladding and insulation materials used in the construction of the store are fully demountable and able to be used again.
    • Integration of a green/living wall - made from recycled car battery housings, it can be irrigated through rainwater and has been shown to reduce noise, create habitats for wildlife and reduce pollutants occurring in the air through particle capture.
    • Lightweight, roof mounted solar PV array providing an annual yield of 18,800 kwh.
    • Sheep wool insulation
    • Back of house areas are served by a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery unit (MVHR) which extracts air from the WC and bakery spaces, recovers up to 95% of its heat through a plate heat exchanger, and supplies pre-conditioned fresh air into the office and staff room.
    • Provision of a draught lobby to minimise heat loss – original modelling identified excessive levels.
    • Improvement in refrigeration efficiency – modelling identified this was responsible for 55% of the baselines store’s energy usage.

    The store opened to customers in May 2022 and energy performance will be monitored, and learning taken. The ambition is for learnings from this project to be used on future stores as part of the measures in place to supports Co-op’s ambitions to be net zero for its direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2040.

    We are delighted to have the opportunity to serve-up a new-look, extended and improved store to serve the community. It is also exciting to be involved with a store with so many initiatives designed to not only help Co-op achieve its carbon reduction ambitions, but also help our Members and customers make small changes to their everyday lives which, together, can add up to making a big difference to the environment…

    Lyndsey Barber, Steeple Claydon Store Manager Co-operative group