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M&S Cheshire Oaks store rated as 'Star Project'
Oct '13
Marks & Spencer’s (M&S) Cheshire Oaks store has been highlighted by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board as a “star project, with core business benefits aplenty” in a comprehensive and independent post-occupancy evaluation (POE).

Funded by the Technology Strategy Board’s Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) grant, the report evaluated the performance of the store in its first year. Key highlights include:

- 42% reduction in energy use compared to an equivalent store – against a target of 30%;

- 40% fewer carbon emissions than an equivalent store – against a target of 35%;

- Excellent building insulation, with less than 1°C of heat lost overnight in winter – compared to 9°C in other store environments;

- The rainwater harvesting system supplies a third of the store’s water – against a target of 25%;

- A net increase in biodiversity on site, with 88 plant species such as white willow and wild cherry;

- Feedback from Cheshire Oaks customers and employees using the ‘Building Users Survey’ (BUS) methodology placed the store within the top 1% of all buildings for “design” and “image to visitors”, top 5% for user satisfaction and top 7% for improved employee productivity against the BUS 2011 benchmark of 66 other buildings.

The findings and recommendations of the report will be shared with the industry to help meet the UK Government’s targets for improving the sustainability of buildings. The successes of the store’s design and construction strategy will enhance M&S’s ongoing sustainable property development, with the most successful sustainable elements at Cheshire Oaks now part of the standard specification for new M&S stores.

Clem Constantine, M&S Director of UK & International Property & Store Development, said: “At Cheshire Oaks we aspire to encapsulate the latest and very best of M&S design, technology and customer experience so we’re encouraged by the findings of this study.

“Plan A is central to M&S’s property development programme, and the results of Cheshire Oak’s POE have highlighted the importance of learning from stores that are not only sustainable and part of the communities in which they operate but also create a connection with our employees and customers too.”

Ian Meikle, Head of the Low Impact Buildings Programme at the Technology Strategy Board, said: “M&S Cheshire Oaks is one of our star projects, with core business benefits aplenty.  M&S is fully committed to improving the performance of its Cheshire Oaks store.  The performance results are outstanding, as are staff and customers measures of satisfaction.  M&S is taking a leadership position in demonstrating that good, energy efficient design is good for business.”

Energy and Climate Change Minister Gregory Barker said: “Marks & Spencer’s Cheshire Oaks store is a fantastic example of what can be done to become more energy efficient.  It’s great to hear that the innovative design features put in place since the store’s launch in August last year have cut carbon and saved money on energy bills.”

Launched in August 2012, M&S Cheshire Oaks is the second biggest M&S store (behind Marble Arch in London) with over 148,000 sq ft of selling space over two floors. It is M&S’s fourth sustainable learning store. These stores aim to build a strong bank of knowledge and experience in sustainable learning practices. They form a key part of the retailer’s Plan A commitment to support continuous improvement in its property development programme.

Plan A is M&S’s eco and ethical programme which aims to make M&S the world’s most sustainable major retailer.

Marks & Spencer

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