ASDA (part of the Wal-Mart Stores Inc.) has long strived to become 100% energy efficient, hence they were the first in UK to build a sustainable timber -framed store, which is 20% more energy efficient than their traditional stores, as well as lowers the store’s carbon footprint by as much as 50 per cent. 

We developed the designs for the prototype, which were to become a blueprint for all ASDA’s future eco-stores. The design was centered around the main principle -a large format timber frame utilising Glulan.  The PEFC- sourced timber frame eradicates the need for 500 tonnes of steel, thereby saving 450 tonnes of carbon emissions, while also allowing “greater design flexibility” creating a low maintenance and highly insulated building. 

Bricks from the old mill originally on the site were used to further lower material costs, use of natural light ingress was promoted and low level motorised louvres helped to aid cross-ventilation- all designed to make the store optimally energy efficient. The south facing roof captures light and heat from the sun and is made from 85% recyclable aluminium which has the added benefit of being
longer lasting than PVC.

The first store opened in Shaw, Oldham in 2007, followed by the £27 million, 40,000 sq ft store in Bootle,  Merseyside in 2008, which on top of the expected bio-mass boiler and low-energy freezers  (Mistral), also has higher levels of daylight than it’s traditional branches. The eco stores cost about £2 million more than a traditional ASDA store to build at the time, hence only a handful were constructed, but Atom designed elements of the eco-store have become the blueprints of all new ASDA stores across the UK.




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.

Bob Simpson, Head of Sustainable Store Development at ASDA, UK

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