Costa Coffee has unveiled what it claims is the country’s first ‘zero energy’ coffee shop in Telford.

The building has been constructed using a special timber frame, super-insulated facade, underfloor heating system, embedded solar PV cells, and is orientated to achieve maximum levels of sun and shade.

The company claims that its new coffee shop has achieved its target of ‘zero energy’ consumption through passive ventilation and innovative construction techniques which mean that the building can generate all of its energy requirements for building temperature control through the solar PV installed in the building’s curved roof.

Builders’ merchant, EH Smith supplied 100, 270W Suntech modules of the rooftop installation. Andy Oram of EH Smith said that the company chose to use the all-black Suntech modules because they represented the most cost effective solution. He explained: “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.”

“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”, concluded Costa UK and Ireland’s managing director, Jim Slater.

The company said that it was using the new Telford store as a test bed to trail sustainable technologies. Costa added that it intends to build on “the best bits” and “incorporate these lessons into any new build coffee shops, as well as our existing networks”.