Press Centre

ASDA to Build the Country’s First Ever Store with Sustainable Timber Frame

  • Store will be 20% more energy efficient
  • Blueprint development for ALL new ASDA stores
  • Reinforces ASDA’s aim to become 100% energy efficient in the future, with zero waste going to landfill by 2010.

ASDA today unveiled details of the country’s first ever purpose-built timber frame store, which will open in Shaw, Oldham in February 2007. The move forms part of ASDA's commitment to invest nearly £200m in trialling new environmental technologies over the coming years. 

The new 35,000 sq foot ASDA store will be sited within the old Dawn Mill, a 105-year-old red brick cotton mill, which housed a clothing outlet from 1965 until 1999. Constructed from a sustainable timber frame using wood from certified PEFC* sources, rather than steel, the carbon footprint of the building will be significantly reduced whilst at the same time eradicating the need to use 500 tonnes of steel and saving 450 tonnes of carbon emissions. 

The store will also see a new natural ventilation system trialled for the first time in an ASDA store. This helps to reduce the need for air-conditioning during the summer months by drawing cool air into the building through louvre style vents at the bottom of the wall and pushing hot air out of vents at the top of the wall. 

In addition the store will incorporate a south-facing 'saw tooth' designed roof to capture light and heat from the sun, reminiscent of the type used in factories during the industrial revolution.

The roof will reduce energy consumption by offsetting the need to use artificial lights during the day, and will reduce the need to air condition or heat the store. Made from aluminium rather than PVC, the roof will be longer lasting and 85% recyclable.  

As well as environmental developments, the heritage of the site is central to the development. The demolition of the Shaw mill is being done through a staged and methodical process to salvage as many bricks from the original building as possible to use in the construction of the new store. Parts of the original brickwork will remain exposed so that it remains visible to shoppers.

Bob Simpson, head of sustainable store development at ASDA, commented: “Through the addition of a range of innovative energy efficiency measures to our plans, we expect that the completed Shaw store will now be 20% more energy efficient than when we first planned to build it. Through the construction of this store our aim is to create a template that will become the model and blueprint for all our future store developments. 

“At ASDA we are fully committed to the targets we have set ourselves for improving the energy efficiency performance of our buildings. The development of the new store in Shaw is just the first step and there will be many new environmental initiatives introduced over the coming months and years that will help us achieve our goals.” 

In October last year, Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart outlined his long-term environmental goals for the company:

To be supplied 100% by renewable energy

To create zero waste

To sell products that sustain our resources and our environment

To help restore balance to climate systems

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions

To reduce dependence on oil As a result Wal-Mart has set itself a four-year target to reduce the carbon footprint for all its new stores across the globe by 30%, and a seven-year target to reduce the carbon footprint of its entire chain of six thousand stores by 20%.  

ASDA has already committed to reduce carbon emissions by 80,000 tonnes by 2007. Last year ASDA trialled a remote energy monitoring system in 90 of its stores to drive in-store energy efficiency. The supermarket also entered into a Climate Change Levy (CCL) agreement with the Government and committed to reducing energy consumption in the most intensive areas of its store operations by 10%.

Posted in Press Centre on 27 September 2006