Nando’s restaurants: Building sustainably for the next generation

The use of PEFC-certified timber is one of the sustainability measures implemented by Nando's first ‘Next Generation’ restaurant, opened in Cambridge.

Nando’s restaurants: Building sustainably for the next generation

18 May 2021 Sustainable construction

Restaurant chain Nando’s opened the first ‘Next Generation’ restaurant in Cambridge, UK. The restaurant was developed as a prototype to trial a number of sustainability measures, including PEFC-certified timber.

The sustainability measures will contribute positively to the commercial future of the restaurant, as well as making an eco-friendly contribution to the surrounding area. PEFC-certified timber was specified for this build to reduce the carbon footprint while creating a high-performance building envelope.

The structural form, designed and constructed by B&K Structures, includes timber wall cassettes with glue laminated timber (glulam) roof beams and visual Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) roof panels.

On the flat sedum green roof, there are 97 solar panels, providing 10% of the energy needed to power the restaurant. A rainwater harvesting system hydrates the plants within an external ‘living wall’. 

The restaurant’s smart heating system automatically dies down when the air-conditioning is on and switches off when the temperature rises above 15°C. The design allows natural light to flood in to create a bright and welcoming space.

Rapid construction thanks to offsite building technology

The project is the perfect example of how the use of offsite technology can quickly transform an area of unused car parking into a retail outlet that makes a positive contribution to the surrounding area.

Most of the work took place offsite and the factory manufactured components were assembled, rather than constructed, onsite. This allowed to optimise the speed, cost, performance and sustainability of this development.

The building was completed in only 30 weeks – from possession of the site to the fit out and opening. If the project had used traditional onsite building methods, it would have taken nearly a year to construct.

“Nando’s Next Generation is a fantastic, positive example of what restaurants can do to reduce their footprint, providing a destination for people to visit, where they can eat and enjoy a meal that isn’t costing the earth,” said Andrew Stephen, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Retailers are recognising that creating the optimum customer experience can be worth millions in annual revenue. Now is the time for contractors to position their strategies around factors such as sustainability and aesthetics, to create the best customer experience.

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