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Low-energy supermarket hasthem breathing in the aisles

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Britain's first low-energy supermarket, a sleek silver-clad and curved- roofed design (above) by Chetwood Associates, is planned for London's Greenwich Peninsula.

The building, said to cost around £13 million, will be hemmed in by trees, with its walls flanked by earth mounds to prevent heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. The roof will be an aerodynamic curve with saw- tooth and bubble rooflights.

The designers hope it will slash by half the energy used by the 5500m2 Sainsbury's store. A planning application was made this week for the project, which includes man-made lakes and ponds to help cool the building. Derek Lovejoy Partnership has landscaped the site with evergreens, deciduous trees and bushes and sweeping curved grass mounds.

'We will have no high-level ductwork,' said a Chetwood spokesman. 'Underfloor ducts will draw fresh air from the outside and channel it into the building through low-level grilles. This cuts out pumping air from high ducts down into circulation space, which can cause uncomfortable air flows.' Wind and solar power will light the shop signs.

The planned opening date is 1999. The Sainsbury's scheme outbid rival efforts from Tesco and Asda. Engineer is wsp.

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