EH Smith, the independent builders’ merchant, has teamed up with Costa coffee to supply solar roof panels for the country’s first “zero energy” coffee shop.
EH Smith provided all the Photovoltaic (PV) panelling for the roof of the building, which also contains a host of other eco-friendly technologies.
Andy Oram, from EH Smith Sustainable Products, said: “As a company, EH Smith has been promoting zero carbon construction for nearly a decade. It is great to see large multinational companies such as Costa Coffee buying into this message and doing what they can to reduce their environmental impact through the efficient use of buildings.
“I hope that we can continue to support future projects of this kind, not just with Costa Coffee but with other firms who can see the financial and ethical benefits of building with a zero carbon template.”
EH Smith supplied 100 270W all black panels, manufactured by Suntech, one of the leading global manufacturers of PV panels.
Mr Oram said the 270Wp were the most cost effective solution, adding: “The target output was 50kWp so we saved by using a smaller number of higher powered panels, plus savings on labour through the fitting process as well as further materials on the mounting system.
“The aesthetics of the panels were also a consideration, so the all black looked better for the client than the traditional blue panel with silver frame.”
EH Smith supplied the panels through the solar installer, New World Home Energy Ltd.
Costa said that ‘Zero energy’ is achieved through passive ventilation and innovative construction techniques which mean that the energy required to heat and cool the building is minimised and that the low amount of energy that is required for building temperature control will come from solar PV cells embedded in the specially curved roof, balancing out overall.
Internal operating equipment, including espresso machines, Panini grills and dishwasher equipment, all use power in a conventional way.
Mark Clemson, Director at New World Home Energy, said: “We have had a long and fruitful relationship with EH Smith, working on a number of projects in the solar and renewables field. We would like to thank them for their support in making this a very successful install.”
Jim Slater, Managing Director of Costa UK and Ireland, said: “This is an exciting first for coffee shop and retail design here in the UK and has the potential to transform not just how we build new stores at Costa, but the industry far more widely.”