Architecture & Urbanism, Community Engagement

Unicorn Grocery, Chorlton

Transformative Retrofit: Unicorn Grocery’s Sustainable Supermarket

Project Overview:
Unicorn Grocery, a beloved cooperative grocery store located in Chorlton, Manchester, embarked on a transformative retrofit project aimed at enhancing sustainability, reducing carbon emissions, and elevating the overall shopping experience. Recognised for its exceptional achievements, the project received acclaim at the AJ Retrofit Awards 2017, underscoring its significance in setting new standards for retail sustainability.

Client and Location:
Unicorn Grocery, a community-focused cooperative, entrusted the retrofit project to Kinect Build, with the supermarket situated in the vibrant neighbourhood of Chorlton, Manchester. This location served as an ideal setting for implementing innovative solutions that align with Unicorn Grocery’s commitment to environmental stewardship and community engagement.

Key Players:
– Client: Unicorn Grocery
– Main Contractor and Services Engineer: Kinect Build

Project Details:
The retrofit project, completed in March 2017 at a cost of £300,000, aimed to revolutionise the supermarket’s operations while minimising its environmental impact. Through a collaborative effort between Unicorn Grocery and Kinect Build, the following key initiatives were implemented:

1. Carbon Reduction Strategies: The retrofit prioritised carbon reduction measures, surpassing industry standards to achieve remarkable reductions in carbon emissions. By integrating energy-efficient technologies and sustainable building practices, the project significantly lowered Unicorn Grocery’s carbon footprint, setting a new benchmark for environmentally responsible retail operations.

2. Thoughtful Design Solutions: The retrofit was characterised by thoughtful design interventions that enhanced both functionality and aesthetics. From optimised layout configurations to eco-friendly material choices, every aspect of the supermarket’s design was meticulously crafted to maximise efficiency and sustainability while creating an inviting ambiance for shoppers.

3. Community Impact: Beyond its environmental benefits, the retrofit had a profound impact on the local community. Unicorn Grocery’s commitment to sustainability resonated with residents, fostering a sense of pride and ownership in their neighbourhood supermarket. The project exemplified how a conscientious retrofit can serve as a catalyst for community engagement and empowerment.

Jury Comment from AJ Retrofit Awards 2017:

The jury lauded the retrofit project as “superior” to traditional supermarket renovations, emphasising its exceptional achievements in carbon reduction and sustainability. The project’s thoughtful approach and tangible impact on the community were highlighted as exemplary, showcasing how retrofitting can transcend conventional standards to create meaningful change.

Unicorn Grocery’s sustainable supermarket retrofit stands as a testament to the transformative power of thoughtful design and strategic retrofitting. By prioritising sustainability, minimising carbon emissions, and engaging with the local community, the project not only redefined the standards for retail sustainability but also underscored the pivotal role of retrofitting in shaping a more sustainable future.