Building type:




Project Status:


Gross Area:

19500 Sqm


BREEAM 2006 Retail Excellent

Climatic zone:



Thumbnail M&S Cheshire Oaks / 0 © Courtesy of Marks and Spencer
Thumbnail M&S Cheshire Oaks / 1 © Courtesy of Marks and Spencer
Thumbnail M&S Cheshire Oaks / 2 © Courtesy of Marks and Spencer
Thumbnail M&S Cheshire Oaks / 3 © Courtesy of Marks and Spencer
Thumbnail M&S Cheshire Oaks / 4 © Courtesy of Marks and Spencer
Thumbnail M&S Cheshire Oaks / 5 © Courtesy of Marks and Spencer


Marks and Spencer Cheshire Oaks is our biggest greenest store, designed to be the most carbon efficient M&S store built
using innovations to reduce the impact on our planet. The architectural and design strategy address several areas of sustainability at once.

It is our most carbon efficient, biodiverse and materially innovative store which has engaged the community at every step. Being located in a heavily populated area with 600 homes situated immediately behind the store and thriving businesses located on every side resulted in the build generating lots of local interest and important stakeholders to consider.

It is also our third Sustainable Learning Store, which aims as part of our Plan A commitment to build a strong bank of knowledge and experience in sustainable building practices. We will continue to improve and learn about the building through a post occupancy evaluation study and embed the successes of this project in our future specifications.

Through the construction of Cheshire Oaks we strived to create a positive store environment which improves the health & well being of our staff, customers and the community which we serve.


FSC Outstanding Achievement Award

Carbon Trust Triple Award


High efficient façade

Biomass heating systems

Rainwater harvesting

Water-saving sanitary appliances

Recycled materials

Sustainable sourced timber

Green or brown roofs

Recycling facilities provided


The Cheshire Oaks Store was designed to be more resilient to climate change incorporating a number of material, landscaping, energy and water strategy.

Building orientation/site issues:
BREEAM requirements concerning the improvement of the quality of flora and fauna on the site challenged the design team to deliver net gain in biodiversity, guaranteeing improvements to landscaping and creating new habitats for a number of species. Prior to the commencement of construction works the site team also undertook a two-year programme to facilitate the translocation of native great crested newts, toads and frogs, eventually re-homing over 14,000 amphibians to a safe environment less than one mile from the site.

A £5m highways scheme improving junctions, crossings, cycle ways and footpaths was designed and delivered in advance of the store construction programme. Funding from the project also contributed £100k per annum over a 10-year period towards improvements to the existing bus services and an electric car charging point was installed which is already being used regularly. Upon completion of the store a shuttle bus was provided throughout neighbouring retail park to improve local access and improved facilities for cyclists including a cycle lane, staff showers and 100 covered cycle stands were installed to encourage sustainable travel.

Energy Efficiency:
The store is designed to maximise the use of natural light with North lights and clerestory glazing complimented by a fully dimmable DALI lighting to the sales floor and integrated daylight control. An extensive displacement ventilation system which facilitates free cool air handling is woven into the steel and glulam hybrid frame with 6ft diameter earth tubes carrying partially cooled or heated outside air under the building and feeding it in around the main structural members. Passive design measures were incorporated by the architects wherever possible including the maximisation of solar gains from the South and East elevation controlled by cedar brise soleil and a natural insulation bund constructed from surplus soils and clays. Hemp wall panels with 400mm thick hemcrete insulation and recycled glass wool in the roof construction also help to regulate the stores internal temperature.

Water Efficiency:
Rainwater harvesting is predicted to displace 25% of the store’s mains water demand with an 80,000 litre underground tank which irrigates the green wall and serves the customer toilets. Waterless urinals, dual flush W.Cs and sensor taps all contribute to water efficiency and metering and leak detection measures ensure that nothing is wasted.

The store’s design team achieved 30% recycled content by value including 100% recycled aluminium roof, fermacell dry lining board and 40% recycled ceramic floor tiles. Concrete mix designs were adapted to include recycled content and recycled insulation was used in the roof lining.
Supply chain partners were encouraged to be holders of ISO14001 and use products which have BES6001 certification. A number of subcontractors were helped through the FSC certification process ensuring that all timber products delivered to site were accompanied by full chain of custody. Over 60% of aggregates used in the ground works were from locally recycled sources, with virgin aggregates and gabion infill natural stone also locally sourced.

Operations and maintenance:
An industry leading post occupancy evaluation programme part funded by the Technology Strategy Board is now underway examining the building’s efficiency and performance with the addition of academic focus on soft analysis from University College London. The 12 month study will incorporate specialist engineers, academics and store staff and is designed to prove the value of energy efficient design whilst also uncovering what it is like to shop and work in sustainable buildings.

Waste reduction:
100% of waste was diverted from landfill during the build process with 87.5% of all waste segregated on site. Resource sharing of left over materials and packaging through community initiatives enabled 126 tonnes of material to be diverted from the waste stream including plant pots, pallets, plywood, cable drums and timber sections. Lime stabilising ground below the building and car park helped reduce the quantity of concrete required in the foundations by 25% and the enabling works involved a bulk earth removal totalling almost 55,000 tonnes of soils, stones and clays of which 100% was used in local projects

Cheshire Oaks boasts M&S’ largest living wall system with a huge variety of local plants and grasses covers one elevation of the 958 space car park, acting as a pollution filter and biodiversity habitat. 9 swift boxes on the building and a further 6 bird boxes in perimeter hedgerows and trees provide habitat for local species and bat and bird boxes were also installed in the community using recycled untreated timber sourced from FSC certified formwork off cuts collected on site. 229 new trees and enhanced existing hedgerows were planted including nationally endangered and significant species such as Oak and Black Poplar. 12,000m2 of planting and an enhanced Sustainable Urban Drainage System with an attenuation pond designed to attract wildlife were constructed on site including gabion walls, insect boxes and log piles.


• BREEAM (Retail 2006) Excellent 74.65%.
• First retailer to use Hemclad® panels in the external walls. 2600m2 of super insulated breathable panels used to give a U-value of 0.12W/ m2.K and saving around 360T of CO2 emissions.
• Cheshire Oaks achieved Full Project Certification at 99.5% timber to FSC® standard FSC-STD-50-001(TT-PRO-003615) through Simons Construction (Licence code C106846).
• Anticipated to be 30% more energy efficient than our others stores with 70% of heating for the store coming from a biomass boiler plant and heat reclamation. 100% of mains electricity is supplied from green tariffs.
• Climate change resilient features, including an 80,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank, a re-landscaped swale, SUDS, mature trees, a green wall, white reflective roof, rainwater harvesting, displacement ventilation and earth bunding around the store.


Energy consumption:

N/A (N/A )

Consumption type:

Annual carbon footprint:

N/A (N/A )

Climate zone:


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No product info available



Marks and Spencer plc



Aukett Fitzroy Robinson


Building services engineer:

Sustainable Design Solutions Ltd


David Evans Project Services Ltd

Specialist consultant:

Gleeds , Oaksmere Design

Structural Engineer:




Simons Group Ltd


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