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Sainsbury’s Millennium Store Read text
Sainsbury’s Millennium Store View images

The Sainsbury’s store at the Greenwich Peninsula represented a watershed in supermarket design. During a four-year period, Chetwoods developed and delivered the world’s first low energy supermarket building.

When it opened, the store scored the highest ever official environmental rating for a retail building with a perfect 31 out of 31 points, and was the first store to be awarded an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating.

Key design features of this pioneering building included a north lit sales area creating a comfortable market environment with underfloor heating, cooling and passive ventilation. Externally the building envelope was insulated by earth sheltering, integrating the building with its environment.

Extensive use was made of unfinished natural and recycled materials, all helping to minimise the use of oil based finishes and the associated release of volatile organic compounds into the environment. The low energy design also incorporated photovoltaics and wind turbines.

The building used half the energy required to operate a standard store and many of its innovative features were replicated throughout the world.

Key facts
  • Client: Sainsbury’s
  • Location: Greenwich
  • Value: £15m
  • Size: 57,000 sqft
  • Status: Complete
  • Awards: BREEAM 'Excellent' Channel 4 Building of the Year - People's Choice The Design Council Millennium Project Retail Week Store Design of the Year RIBA Regional Award Shortlisted for the Stirling Prize RIBA Journal Sustainability Award - Winner Selected as one of The Twentieth Century Society’s 100 Buildings for 100 Years