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SPAR Austria develops supermarket of the future

March 1, 2017 IN THE CATEGORY: Climate, Community, Responsible retailing

  • The winning students, Nadine Huber (second from left) and Alexander Seiwald (fourth from left) with members of the jury

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  • A concept mock-up showing Rawlemon solar crystal balls integrated into a supermarket’s facade

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SPAR Austria is working with students from the Salzburg Technical College to develop an energy self-sufficient supermarket of the future.

The work is being done as part of the College’s Smart Building study programme and SPAR Austria has provided energy data and retail planning knowledge from its existing EUROSPAR store in Straßwalchen.

During a visit to the store, the students learnt about the building’s existing technologies and energy systems. This experience was factored into their project plans for the supermarket of the future. “Real life projects are an essential part of the education process,” said Thomas Reiter, Head of the study programme. “The cooperation with SPAR has been an extremely valuable experience for our students.”

The winning project

After five months, the students had the chance to present their ideas with one project being awarded first prize. In their supermarket of the future plan, the two winners, Nadine Huber and Alexander Seiwald, trialled adapting the store to the natural environment with the facade of the building being made from re-usable parts.

Their concept uses solar energy, specifically Rawlemon solar crystal balls, to generate the energy needed for the store. The crystal balls are integrated into the facade of the building and the energy generated is used for the store’s lighting, heating, ovens and refrigeration systems.

New stores based on fresh ideas

Every year, SPAR launches or renovates around 100 stores throughout Austria. Each store is built according to the SPAR Austria Construction Manual Guidelines, which were certified by the Austrian Association for Sustainable Real Estate Industry (ÖGNI). This means that every newly developed or modernised SPAR store receives the ÖGNI Gold Certificate and features environmentally friendly architecture, modern heating and cooling technology and LED lighting. Compared with conventional stores, these new buildings save approximately 50% of energy and partly produce electricity themselves through solar powered systems.

“For many years now, we have used a comprehensive sustainability concept for the construction and conversion of our stores,” said Gerald Geiger, Head of Construction, Energy and Technology of SPAR Austria. “We are always looking for fresh ideas to improve our stores and thanks to our cooperation with the Salzburg Technical College, we are achieving this goal. We have seen many interesting and exciting projects that are sustainable and feasible in practice.”