1st January 2011

Monodraught has long been the natural choice to help the retail sector reduce its carbon footprint. WINDCATCHER top down natural ventilation systems and SUNPIPE natural daylight systems have been installed in British convenience stores, supermarkets and superstores for Asda, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose, as well as in stores and warehouses for Decathlon, Hipermercados E Leclerc and Intermarche in Portugal.

According to the UK Green Building Council, existing buildings account for 17% of the UK’s total carbon emissions and need to be in the front line of efforts to tackle climate change. Taking up the challenge, Sainsbury’s discovered a way to make its Durham store 50% larger, while reducing the amount of energy it uses by 10%. Using a number of technologies, including the installation of sixty-three Monodraught SUNPIPE natural daylight systems, makes the energy efficiency of the building so much higher. In fact, Sainsbury’s claims the carbon generated in building the extension itself will be neutralised after just two years. Sainsbury’s property director Neil Sachdev, who has previously described Monodraught SUNPIPEs as providing ‘amazing natural light’, says: “We regard this extension as a great feat and a sign of things to come.”

A total of sixty-three SUNPIPEs were supplied and installed by Monodraught including nineteen of the company’s 1000mm Diamond Dome models, which are fitted in the extension’s double-height sales areas. These larger SUNPIPEs are designed specifically to meet the demand for higher lux levels in the UK and mainland Europe, where buildings such as retail outlets and warehouses are increasingly being designed with ceiling heights of 12 metres or more.

Reinforcing the retail sector’s initiatives with SUNPIPEs, University reports show that natural lighting in supermarkets does significantly improve sales; and by eliminating the unnecessary use of electric lighting during daylight hours SUNPIPEs are also helping to ensure that supermarkets being built today will be up to 50% more energy efficient and emit up to 50% less CO2 compared to stores built just a few years ago.

Tesco, which is committed to reducing the operational carbon footprint of all its stores by 50% by the year 2020, also installs SUNPIPE natural daylight systems in its retail outlets and has awarded Monodraught preferred supplier status for its environmental store programme for 2010/2011. Like many supermarkets Tesco has also installed Monodraught WINDCATCHER roof-mounted, top-down natural ventilation systems – most recently in its new 17,000 sq ft superstore in Marlborough, Wiltshire.

Hollyann Holdsworth of Tesco says the WINDCATCHERs, which will deliver natural ventilation to the store’s main sales area, have been specified to reduce the amount of energy used in its stores, which in turn reduces energy bills and Tesco’s carbon footprint. Commenting for Tesco’s environmental consultancy WSP, Peter van Os explains: “The natural ventilation strategy for Tesco stores operates between 18ºC and 25ºC, allowing the air conditioning to be turned off at certain times when the outside temperature can be used to cool or heat the interior, particularly in spring and autumn. The WINDCATCHER systems also help to balance the ambient temperature in order to optimise running costs for the store’s open and glass door chiller cabinets which, after air conditioning, are among the highest consumers of electricity in supermarkets.” Designed to operate with virtually no moving parts, WINDCATCHERs use established atmospheric principles and the natural effects of the wind to bring fresh air into the store and extract stale warm air, using only natural forces. Warm air rising to roof level decreases the air pressure within buildings, allowing cooler air to enter the building via the WINDCATCHER units.

WINDCATCHER and SUNPIPE are registered trademarks owned by Monodraught Limited.

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