UK's first zero energy retail buildingEmission-zero has announced the completion of the UK's first zero energy retail building.

The new 'eco-pod' which is situated at the Wrekin Retail Park in Telford, represents the fruits of a collaboration between architects Emission-zero, Costa (the client), Hammerson (which owns the park) and Breathing Buildings, appointed to provide design consultancy and implementation of a bespoke ventilation solution.

The ‘eco-pod’ includes the latest pioneering energy saving technology, including a roof mounted photovoltaic array, a heat pump coupled to an underfloor heating and cooling slab, and an e-stack ventilation system.

Breathing Buildings says that creating a zero energy retail building, with the seasonal heat gains and losses associated with large glazed areas, together with the continuous footfall and doors being frequently open, was no mean feat.

To achieve it, the company created a system that communicates between and controls ventilation, underfloor heating / cooling, and air conditioning, to ensure that the individual components are working in harmony. The controller also ensures that the internal air is kept fresh, by monitoring temperatures and CO2 levels and reacting according to demand.

Breathing Buildings supplied an e-stack ventilation system comprised of 3no internal mixing e-stacks and 3no Mushroom Roof terminations, and a number of low-level glazed-in dampers. As with all natural ventilation systems, the e-stack offers a reduction in fan power over mechanical systems. However, Breathing Buildings says that additionally and uniquely, its system delivers further energy savings by bringing air in at a high level and mixing it with air in the room, rather than passing it over heating batteries.

Shaun Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer of Breathing Buildings said: “For this type of control system to be installed it was critical that all the contractors worked collaboratively throughout the project to achieve a seamless installation and optimal operative conditions going forward. We are extremely proud to have played an important part in creating the UK’s first net zero energy retail building.”

Simon Kirton, Architectural Director, Emission Zero, said: “This project has been designed to be the first zero energy retail building in the UK and marks a significant achievement for Hammerson, and all of the partners involved in developing this unique and exacting project.”