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Supermarkets turn to all-wood stores in bid to go green

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Supermarket giants Asda and Tesco have revealed plans to build three new all-wood stores.

Both companies have approached timber supplier Finnforest Merk to design, supply and install the wooden components for the new eco-friendly supermarkets.

Retailing behemoth Tesco is hoping to apply the timber construction methods to a new store in Wick, Scotland, where glulam is being considered for the structural and load-bearing elements of this scheme, as well as the panel systems for the building envelope.

Meanwhile Asda is talking to Finnforest about two new supermarkets - one an Aedas-designed scheme at Bootle in Merseyside, the other at Shaw near Oldham.

Warren Dudding, marketing manager for Finnforest UK said: 'These potential projects demonstrate the retail sector's concern over delivering on sustainability.

'Timber construction is an obvious choice for any organisation planning an environmental and sustainable scheme and as a material it can work with other areas of a building's infrastructure and organisational operations, such as lighting, heating and distribution, to move closer to a state of carbon neutrality.'

However, eco-architect Bill Dunster, the designer behind the famous BedZed development, thinks the move is little more than good marketing.

He said: 'It would be hugely better for the environment if the same supermarkets sold local organic produce in brown paper bags and engaged with the food-miles and sustainable agriculture movement, rather than promoting the superficial 'wood is good' green-wash.'

Dunster went on to question the benefits of using an entirely wood structure in terms of C0 2emissions. He said: 'Passive cooling with radiant thermally massive interior surfaces would probably have reduced lifecycle carbon emissions.'

by Richard Waite

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