Marks & Spencer

The sustainability credentials of timber are so compelling that it’s no surprise that this is beginning to catch on with big business.

About this project

The Project

The sustainability credentials of timber are so compelling that it’s no surprise that this is beginning to catch on with big business.

At Wood for Good, we’re always keen to showcase the best in timber projects, which is why we’re hugely excited about the new Marks &Spencer store at Cheshire Oaks near Chester.

The most noticeable feature of the store is its roof, which is comprised of 1,400m2 of curved glulam beams. Externally, the roof is distinctive, and immediately recognisable. Internally, its pleasing aesthetics negate the need for an additional façade and the associated material costs required.

The light weight timber frame roof reduces the overall structure’s dead weight by 20% allowing the scale of the building and foundations to be significantly lower, again reducing the amount of materials required.

Similarly, 2600m2 of Hemclad® panels were used in the external walls, including hemp fibre for excellent insulation. More than 100 tonnes of CO2 are stored inside the building – 2600m2 of Hemclad® panels were used in the external walls to give a U-value of 0.12W/m2.K and saving around 360T of CO2 emissions.

Even more impressive was the project’s commitment to rigidly sticking to only using Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood, and only then if all of the right paperwork was in place, and at the right time. Indeed, if a shipment of wood turned up at the site without the right paperwork in place, they would be turned away as a matter of course – the project received Full FSC® project certification (TT-PRO-003615:2012) under license of Simons Construction (FSC® C106846).

The project also broke the mould in that it took the unusual step of making the environmental champion on the project responsible only to the business director, rather than the project manager. This meant that sustainability concerns were not compromised by the usual project pressures of time and cost.

What the M&S store at Cheshire Oaks shows that timber can be the answer to many of the challenges of low carbon construction – specifying timber means materials can be reduced, carbon reduced and waste reduced.

The way in which the team so steadfastly stuck to their goal of having no ‘illegal’ wood in the store also shows how quickly supplier behaviour can change. If we all work together to say ‘no’ to illegal timber, eventually those few rogue businesses that do still use illegal timber will quickly be suffocated.

Read more information here on Cheshire oaks eco features.

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