Scotmid unveils energy-efficient store after ground-breaking retrofit

Scotmid Co-operative has unveiled its new energy-saving store, following one of the UK’s most innovative sustainability retrofits. Eco council pupils from Craigour Park Primary School joined representatives from Zero...

Scotmid Co-operative has unveiled its new energy-saving store, following one of the UK’s most innovative sustainability retrofits. Eco council pupils from Craigour Park Primary School joined representatives from Zero Waste Scotland and other dignitaries for the first look at the store in Moredun, Edinburgh, on 3 October.

At the heart of the refit is a building management system which uses real-time data to make efficient use of lighting, heating and refrigeration. Store lighting uses sensors near the windows to automatically adjust to natural light levels outside, switching off when it is sunny and turning on when it is dark.

The lights have been upgraded from fluorescent to LED dimmable fittings, and will switch off when certain areas of the store are not in use. Even the store’s ATM has been fitted with energy-efficient LED lights.

Heat generated by fridges is recovered to help heat the building, while an air curtain blows out ambient air to stop heat from escaping when the doors open. All fridges have doors to improve their energy efficiency, and selected fridges are programmed to switch off when alcohol is not for sale.

A modernised post office, open seven days a week, will be provided from three counters, including a modern open-plan position, a secure fortress position and a combi-counter, where the post office terminal will sit alongside the shop till.

The project has received support from Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland initiative, Post Office Ltd and contractors CBES, Climate Electrical Services Ltd, Curve Energy Ltd, KB Refrigeration and Thermal Image UK. CBES, Scotmid’s building contractor, minimised waste during construction, and recycled and reclaimed as much as possible to reduce the carbon footprint.

“We’re immensely proud to be opening our first eco store,” said John Brodie, chief executive of Scotmid. “From lighting that automatically turns off when it’s sunny outside, to drinks fridges that only switch on during licensing hours, we’ve worked closely with Resource Efficient Scotland and our contractors to introduce as many energy-saving measures as possible into the store.”

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, added: “Using resources more efficiently can save businesses significant sums of money and make their operations more profitable, and it also reduces their environmental impact. Scotmid has really embraced these opportunities, and the Resource Efficient Scotland team have helped them to identify the most advanced resource efficiency technology available to create a truly ‘smart’ store.

“Taking this approach with an existing store is a genuinely innovative move, as while retailers can easily specify new build stores to high efficiency standards, it is considerably more challenging with an older building. As one of the first retrofits of an existing store of this kind in the UK, this is a bold example of what can be done to embrace resource efficiency. I hope that many other businesses are inspired by the store.”

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