The new Tesco store in Corby is to be a flagship ‘eco’ store.
The firm has pledged that its eco stores will have their carbon footprint reduced by 70 per cent in comparison to similar size stores elsewhere.
It means the store will have its own special waste management plan, providing waste sorting and composting areas, and the use of timber frames and sustainable cladding. Workers will be encouraged to cycle to work and there will be improved footpaths and cycleways.
There will be roof lights and sun pipes to reduce the need for artificial lighting and there will be wind catchers on the roof to allow warm air to exit the building, and coller air to enter.
Rainwater harvesting will also be employed, as will CO2 refrigeration, which involves switching from chemical refrigerants to a natural alternative.
Although the company has previously refurbished a handful of replacement stores to eco standards, the supermarket on the former St James Industrial Estate will be the first new build of its kind.
These plans are in response to updated building regulations but the retail giant is going over and above the standard requirement of 50 per cent carbon reduction, pledging to ensure their stores are as sustainable and energy efficient as possible.
To date, only a small number of stores have undergone the eco makeover, all of which have been replacement stores.
As the Corby project is a brand new store rather than a replacement, architect Woods Hardwick were given greater flexibility in the planning and designing process.
Karl Myhill, commercial director at Woods Hardwick, said: “We were delighted to be chosen as master planners and designers of the new Tesco eco store in Corby. We have thoroughly enjoyed working on the project to date, developing new energy-saving and sustainable initiatives, and working in collaboration with the developers to maximise the site’s potential. It’s an exciting project that we are proud to be a part of and I’m looking forward seeing the end result.”
The site itself, formerly known as Soothills, has been problematic for a number of years, as it transpired the ground had been contaminated through its association with the closure of Corby Steel Works. Over the past ten years, however, it has been treated and monitored to erase all trace of the steel and its toxins, and the Environment Agency confirmed the ground was safe to be built on before the project began.
Karl added: “Throughout the planning and designing process, we have been sensitive to concerns regarding contamination and have been working closely with our environmental consultants to ensure there are no underlying risks”.
An additional element to the site is the presence of an ecology zone.
Rather than disrupt wildlife already living there from their natural habitat, the site plans were simply adapted to include an ecology zone adjacent to the store. All wildlife were carefully and successfully moved, and there are even plans to extend this zone into an ecology corridor, leading into the town centre.
The store is due for completion by Christmas this year. It is thought that the development could deliver about 400 jobs.
The development is also likely to become a benchmark for other Tesco eco stores.