XCO2 worked collaboratively with Costa Coffee and the design team to carry out a post occupancy evaluation (POE) in order to assess the in-use performance of the inaugural Costa Ecopod in its first year of operation. Situated in Wrekin Retail Park in Telford, the design features solar photovoltaic panels, a low-energy hybrid ventilation system, air source heat pumps, as well as a rainwater harvesting system. The building is the first ‘zero energy’ coffee shop in the UK.

The positives uncovered by the POE included a significantly lower energy cost than other comparative units, in large part due to the use of photovoltaics, and a satisfactory performance in terms of thermal comfort throughout the year.

Following an initial review, XCO2 have overseen the installation of additional sub-metering equipment to allow for an indepth analysis of energy use within the store, which lead to identifying a number of opportunities for further enhancement of the Ecopod concept.

The lessons learned from the work carried out on Telford have since informed the design and operation strategies of several subsequent stores. Currently, this includes two new Ecopod locations, for which XCO2 are providing a range of M&E, environmental and sustainable design consultancy services: Swansea and Carlisle.