Ikea’s new London branch will be its “most sustainable” in UK

The furniture store will include a range of green energy features, such as solar panels and rainwater collection systems, and will have a roof garden open for use by the local community.

Image: SRA Architects

A new Ikea store set to open in Greenwich has been designed to be its “most sustainable” branch in the UK, complete with a roof garden and a range of green technology.

The 32,000 square metre store, which opens its doors on 7 February, also aims to be a community hub, with new features such as flexible working areas and green spaces open to the public.

A Learning Lab and a roof pavilion where people from the local community and customers can come to learn about how to live a more sustainable life are also being launched. Workshops will take place here where people will be able to learn about upcycling, growing food and prolonging the life and use of things they own.

Hege Sæbjørnsen, country sustainability manager at Ikea UK and Ireland, says: “The pavilion has been designed as a flexible space that is able to adapt to changing store patterns and needs of the community.

“For example, it can be used as a meeting or conference room, or as an event venue that can open up to fully integrate the wider roof garden.”

Sliding glass panels connect the pavilion and garden areas, allowing for movement between the two.

Renewable energy

The store has incorporated solar panels, a “geothermal heating system” which draws heat from the ground, and a rainwater harvesting system, making it Ikea’s “most sustainable store in the UK”, according to the company.

Ikea says its goal is to use “100% renewable energy” at the new store – to help facilitate this the interiors have been designed to let in a lot of natural light with lots of large glass panels along its walls, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Image: SRA Architects

Sæbjørnsen says: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do.

“Ikea is playing a key role in the shift towards a circular economy, and the new Greenwich store will be a leading example for circular retail in London as we aim to inspire and enable people to live a more sustainable life at home and support them to reuse, refresh or recycle their products,” she adds.

The concept of a circular economy is centred around minimising waste and reusing resources as well as creating long-lasting designs.

The store is made out of renewable construction materials, according to Ikea, and has been designed to “respond to the distinct settings” of the Greenwich Peninsula.

“The use of timber is a reference to both a key material used in the design of our products and Greenwich’s maritime heritage,” Sæbjørnsen says.

Reducing carbon footprint

In terms of location, the store has been designed with the aim of getting more people travelling via public transport to get there, rather than driving their own cars, in a move to further reduce its own and its customers’ carbon footprints. Buses will pass the store “every 1.5 minutes”.

There are also charging points for electric vehicles and covered cycle bays on the site. A range of delivery options are available at the store, including 24-hour delivery for those living in the borough of Greenwich and a bike courier service.

Ikea has also sponsored an ecology park near the new store and is working with three local schools to teach children how to live more sustainably, as part of its Live Lagom programme.

The store will sell Ikea’s furniture and homeware products and will also include a restaurant, a creche and a Swedish Food Market.

Ikea’s new branch opens on Thursday 7 February 2019 at Millennium Way Retail Park, Greenwich, London SE10 0QJ.

Images: Visualisations of the new Ikea Greenwich store.

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  • Sabine January 25, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Great work Hege Sæbjørnsen! (who is a woman by the way, not a ‘he’).

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