Former Yorkshire colleagues help launch UK’s first zero energy coffee shop

 UK’s first zero energy coffee shop

The UK’S first zero energy coffee shop has now opened after two former Yorkshire colleagues spearheaded a new form of eco-friendly building structure.

After incorporating the latest in environmentally-friendly building design with innovative saving technologies, the first of two trial “eco pods” for Costa Coffee is now open for business, and has already saved in excess of 50% of the energy used in a ‘conventional’ unit in its first month of trading.

Located in Telford, the eco pod is the result of a working partnership between Costa, Leeds-based Projex Building Solutions (project and cost management), Emission Zero (architects) and Fordingbridge (building frame design and build).

Since receiving an A+ EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating, the highest band achievable (the UK average rating for an existing commercial unit is D,) the eco pod was nominated for various awards including the Guardian Sustainability Awards 2015.

Costa were initially approached by Projex after a joint venture with Emission Zero was launched, which aimed to how eco buildings might work in different commercial sectors.

Phil Tomalin, director at Leeds-based Projex and Costa’s global property and commercial director, Clive Bentley, first met while working as newly qualified surveyors at the Leeds office of property consultants Erdman Lewis in the early 1990s.

Costa then developed the eco-pod initiative in partnership with Hammerson , the retail property specialist, which owns the retail park and facilitated the delivery of the new concept store.

Mr Bentley said: “At Costa reducing our impact on the environment is vital and so we were delighted to be approached with such a ground-breaking initiative which, by nature, is often complicated to pull together from a commercial perspective.

“Our latest data indicates that so far the store has reduced its pure energy usage by more than 50% compared to a ‘conventional’ unit– showing that the building is performing as planned. This success is helping us to learn more about sustainable building design which in the future could potentially be incorporated into our coffee shops and help shape the wider industry.

“Our Telford Eco Pod is a real milestone – showing that through effective partnerships we can make big steps toward positive change.“

The combination of sustainable technologies, smart architecture and intelligent use of building materials means the unit has achieved its target of balancing its energy consumption to be ‘zero energy’.

Mr Tomalin added: “It is very exciting to have been part of the partnership team that led to this innovation in retail building design and Costa should be praised for getting this off the ground.

“The key design features that make all the difference include an FSC sourced timber frame as an alternative to a traditional steel frame, reducing the embodied carbon footprint of the building, an insulated façade using soft wood, intelligent orientation to achieve optimum levels of sun and shade, an under-floor heating system and passive ventilation, as well as Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the roof.“

The coffee shop achieve a ‘zero energy’ score due to the building design features. The actual internal operating equipment – including espresso machines, Panini grills and dishwasher equipment – all use power in a conventional way.

Jim Slater, managing director of Costa UK and Ireland, said: “This is an exciting first for coffee shop and retail design here in the UK and has the potential to transform not just how we build new stores at Costa but the industry far more widely. We wanted to explore new ways to serve quality coffee to our customers while managing our environmental footprint as responsibly as we can. Through a successful partnership with Hammerson, we have developed an outstanding new type of test bed building design which really does have the potential to make a massive difference if rolled out more widely.“

Tom Cochrane, asset manager at Hammerson, added: “The opening of the Costa Eco Pod at Wrekin Retail Park is a significant achievement for our team and clearly demonstrates that as a business, Hammerson is at the forefront of consumer awareness of supply chain ethics and environmental impacts. By working collaboratively, we have been able to provide Costa with an entirely new and innovative concept store, as well as a UK first. Using this as a blueprint for low carbon and sustainable design we hope to support, where possible, other retailers in creating truly sustainable assets.“

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