M&S Cheshire Oaks – Ellesmere Port

Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port Building, England Architecture

M&S Cheshire Oaks

New Retail Building in north west England – design by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson with AECOM

24 Jun 2013

M&S Cheshire Oaks

Design: Aukett Fitzroy Robinson

Location: Ellesmere Port, north west England

Flagship eco-store wins three RIBAs

Cheshire Oaks, the new ultra-green superstore for UK retail giant Marks & Spencer, has picked up three prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awards: the North West Sustainability Award, a North West Award and a National Award.

M&S Cheshire Oaks M&S Cheshire Oaks M&S Cheshire Oaks M&S Cheshire Oaks
photographs © Paul White

Designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson and innovatively engineered by AECOM, Cheshire Oaks is the most eco-friendly store in the country and a landmark development for the retailer. RIBA describe it as “extremely well envisioned” and “a powerful new statement about the company’s belief in its future.”

Impact on the environment has been considered through every aspect of the design. For Jonathan Porritt, founder of sustainable development NGO Forum for the Future, the project has raised the bar for everybody.

The building is designed to utilise sustainable materials and save energy wherever possible. Heat recovery from fridges, powerpoints for electric vehicles, rainwater harvesting, ‘hempcrete’ walls, 100% FSC Glulam Timber lattice roof structure and a natural biodiversity area are just some of the measures threaded through this groundbreaking development.

AECOM’s experts provided civil and structural engineering, sustainability consultancy, as well as fire, geotechnical and transportation services. Their technical expertise helped M&S to go further, realising their boldest ambitions in terms of sustainability.

Steven Ferguson, project director, describes it as a “rewarding design that stayed true to its early conceptual and sustainable aspirations.” RIBA clearly agrees.

RIBA National Award winning buildings set the standard for good architecture and are amongst the most rigorously judged awards in the country. Cheshire Oaks is now eligible to be shortlisted for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize, which will be announced later this year.

Project Description

Cheshire Oaks Flagship Sustainable Superstore was designed as part of Marks & Spencers’ sustainable operations initiative called ‘Plan A’.

AECOM worked with the client from project inception to design a building that was to meet both their operational needs and sustainability targets. Engineering from concept was led from the AECOM team in Edinburgh, led by Steven Ferguson is Regional Director for C&S.

In a truly holistic approach the building shape and form was developed to maximise daylight and access to natural ventilation while providing an internal environment that complements the building function.

Both the building substructure and superstructure are designed to utilise sustainable building materials. Lime stabilizing techniques were used to improve the ground conditions without the need for extensive piling or concrete works. Glulam Timber was used extensively through the superstructure to minimise the need for structural steelwork.

The building is designed to be recyclable, demountable and easily extendable with repetitive units.

Externally Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, biodiversity areas and grey water harvesting are all used to encourage storm water recycling and cleansing.

Key Features:
– Glulam timber floor beams and rafters
– Timber floor slabs designed in Laminated Vineer Lumber (LVL)
– Reduced structural frame carbon footprint
– Structure designed to maximize repetition and prefabrication
– Holistic building design developed around sustainable initiatives
– Thorough optioneering to deliver value and quality
– Complex 3D structural modeling to maximise material efficiency and minimise internal columns, reducing structural cost
– Sustainable Urban Drainage System
– Grey water harvesting
– Neutral cut & fill
– Sustainable ground improvement techniques

The Marks & Spencer Cheshire Oaks store officially opened on August 29, 2012 and is currently the company’s largest store ever built.

Contract Value: GBP £22,000,000

AECOM Appointment: Civil & Structural Engineering, Fire Engineering, BREEAM Assessor, and Geotechnical Engineering

Cheshire Oaks – Building Information

Project Team:
Architect: Auckett Fitzroy Robinson
Structural Timber: Evolve
MEP: Sustainable Design Solutions (SDS)
Main Contractor: Simons Construction

M&S Cheshire Oaks information received 240613

RIBA Awards


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M&S Cheshire Oaks – page

Website: corporate.marksandspencer.com