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Tesco St James

Project Title: Tesco St James, Corby, Northamptonshire

Client: Tesco Property Services

Architect: Woods Hardwick

Structural Engineer: Pinnacle

Main contractor: Barr Construction

Joinery company: Wiehag GmbH

BREEAM Assessor: Gill Smith URS

Landscape Architecture: Kevin Charsley Aspect

Project Description: 

We selected Wiehag as they are a pioneer with over 160 year of experience in the field of glulam (glued laminated timber) construction. The company offer a modern, high-tech manufacturing plant for finished, factory-assembled support system solutions and individual components and their quality assurance is above and beyond the required checks.

The timber glulam frame is used for the main structure. The single-storey supermarket is clad in a combination of curtain walling and timber structural insulated panels (SIPs) faced in a larch outer rainscreen. The building is topped with Monodraught windcatchers forming a statement feature and give sustainable natural ventilation to the store. Because of the nature of the large spans created by the glulam beams, the sales floor has minimal columns, which afford greater flexibility for change and large format rooflights provide natural daylight to the sales floor.

The roof lights and sun pipes are installed with an intelligent lighting system, and natural daylight supplements artificial lighting. This benefits the sales floor, staff areas and bulk store. Additionally a system of mixed-mode ventilation via the Monodraught wind-catchers on the roof allow warm air to exit the building and cooler air to enter, reducing artificial ventilation required. When outdoor conditions are unsuitable these can shut off and mechanical HVAC will resume.

Due to the structural timber being exposed, the interior has a much softer and warmer feel than you would come to expect in a large-format food store. The big rooflights shed natural daylight into the retail space, which is further enhanced by the full-height curtain walling, giving an interesting well lit airy and environmentally comfortable space for the customers to shop in.

As this was a developer-led project, we’ve gone further with the sustainability aspect of the design than would typically be required and have achieved a high BREAM Very Good rating. However, with BREEAM requirements becoming more rigorous and sustainability appearing more evidently within statutory requirements, the larger food retail providers are more and more turning their attention towards sustainable architecture and design. The supermarket was designed to cope thermally with the additional demand placed on a building of this size and function. The walls’ heat-loss U-value was increased from previous trial stores and SIPs were installed after being manufactured off-site.

The Tesco Eco Store opened in March 2013 providing 7,670 sq m (82,565 sq ft) of sales

floor and a petrol filling station in a landscaped environment. The 7.8-hectare site presented a challenging and exacting brief to work on, Our response was driven by the complexity of the site’s heritage as well as the context. What was principally an out-of-town development was to be treated and viewed as an in-town development. The development was designed to incorporate sustainability initiatives, reduce the building’s energy consumption and significantly reduce its carbon footprint. These aims were driven by both statutory requirements and the retail operator. By working closely with the entire design and construction team we were able to deliver a truly outstanding building.