The retail environment has gone through unprecedented change over the last 10 or 15 years. The demise of the traditional small-town high street, the rise of out-of-town shopping parks, the emergence of superstores with vast energy requirements, stricter planning restrictions, and the growing popularity of the internet have all played a part in transforming the way that we shop.
Supermarket giant Asda is committed to sustainability through recycling and waste management, energy and carbon reduction, renewable energy, sustainable transport and distribution, environmental sourcing, and the sale of fair-trade products. Having worked on the development of a flagship store in Bootle, Rolton Group was commissioned to carry out a review of Asda’s sites to see where the application of ground source technology could be used to reduce the company’s carbon emissions and its use of energy.
We carried out a business case analysis of the use of ground source heat pumps at Asda's 400 locations, and identified 97 current stores, 17 planned stores, and 6 depots as having a high potential for application. The results of the analysis set out the potential for reduction of carbon emissions, the lower running costs that would come from use of the ground loop system, and the payback time on investments in different types of store.
Over the years, the growing popularity of Ikea has led to an increase in the number and size of its stores in the UK. At the same time, planning restrictions have become more stringent on the use of greenfield sites, out of town shopping, and surface car parking. As a result, they had to look to new locations which meant the store footprints became smaller, with car parking integrated into multi-storey retail developments that were primarily located on brownfield sites in city centres. We have worked with Ikea on new stores in Cardiff, Southampton, and Coventry. Among the issues that we tackled were archeological remains near the site in Coventry, potential unexploded ordnance in both Southampton and Coventry, and unremediated land on the site of a former gasworks in Cardiff.
For more than 20 years we have provided a series on engineering services including mechanical and electrical engineering, fire safety, and civil engineering to the management and tenants of the Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough. Our long-term close working relationship with Queensgate allows us to understand their business well and to add value across the spectrum of professional services that we offer.