ADEPT Consulting involved in next-level IKEA

IKEA has long been known for its characteristic facilities, which are invariably a showroom layout designed to display IKEA’s catalogue in physical form, and its use of wood-based materials to create an assortment of flat-pack furniture.

Its trend towards an eco-friendly minimalism is taken to new heights with the latest rendition: IKEA Greenwich, which opened its doors to London last year. The new store has been lauded as both a "beacon of sustainability" and a communal space designed and built with the local people in mind.

This sense of purpose is unmistakeable in its flexibility, which allows a number of internal spaces and facilities to change and adapt to meet the requirements of work, leisure and group activities, and aligns with IKEA Greenwich’s goal to inspire Londoners to pursue sustainable lives through workshops. These spaces include a roof pavilion and garden, and can be used for free.

ADEPT Consulting helped shape the new Greenwich store and was involved in the development of the building’s roof pavilion, as well as its external cladding system, escape staircases and roof lights.

The roof pavilion, which was conceived as a hub for workshops on upcycling and growing food, was consequently designed by ADEPT to be open space and utilised a single-storey glulam post and beam structure. To create a sense of openness, long spans have been achieved by forming a stiff connection between post and beam members with glued in rods and steel plates. Cross-laminated panels form a flat roof above.

The external cladding system of the wider store uses glulam section lamellas to form a solar shading system. To achieve a cohesive and sleek design throughout, a suspended wire system was utilised; the lamellas are suspended from steel beams at the eaves level as well as secured into sloping posts.

IKEA buildings are intentionally designed to be exemplars of sustainability. However, IKEA Greenwich – which received an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM certification, the highest award for sustainable construction – became the world’s most sustainable IKEA store following the local authority’s stipulation that the building achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and a design & store team which went above and beyond in meeting BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ targets.

In its pursuit of sustainability, IKEA Greenwich imbedded many technologies in its design and construction, including solar PV, rainwater harvesting, evaporative cooling units, ground source heating, sustainable transport, and FSC certified timber. A biodiverse green roof and planted garden areas featuring log and sand mounds as well as bird and bat boxes also provide new habitats for local wildlife.

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