Sainsbury’s is to invite design consultancies to help it roll out its Ecostore concept, following the opening of its flagship in Dartmouth, Devon earlier this month.
In a call to design consultancies David Sheehan, store development director of Sainsbury’s says, ‘We’re looking for like-minded people to help with sustainably designed innovation, as we’re hoping to roll out two of these stores a year.’
Sheehan is welcoming ‘sustainably designed innovation’ that could include ideas on store lighting, use of materials, and energy. He says it is, ‘an objective, sustainable store solution, to reduce footprint, energy and consumption’.
The Ecostore, which opened last week, has been built into a hillside, using sustainably sourced timber in much of the design.
Sainsbury’s in-house design team has created the interior of the store.
John Ashford, Sainsbury’s head of engineering says, ‘We used signage made from recyclable materials. The main door is built out of wood and the trolley shelters have wood in them.’ The timber is sustainably sourced from 200 Austrian trees.
Ashford adds, ‘Natural light solar tubes transport light through the roof into the ceiling.’
Design Week put it to Sheehan that some people might see the environmental efforts as tokenism from such a large chain.
He responds, ‘Sainsbury’s was the first to build environmental stores. [a Greenwich store has used ecological elements in it’s design]. We’ve also been trialing individual parts of the Dartmouth store in other stores too.’
Ashford claims that the new supermarket is ’50 per cent off grid and will use no gas at all. ‘The store is heated by the burning of wood chips and run off water will be collected for use in the store – though not for food preparation,’ he points out.
It was reported today that Sainsbury’s rival Tesco has backed out of a Government-planned Ecotown project at Hanley Grange, outside Cambridge.