Ikea Greenwich

BREEAM Outstanding for IKEA Greenwich's planet positive ambition

This new IKEA store in London was Envision’s highest scoring BREEAM building yet, reflecting its cutting edge sustainable design and construction.


The new IKEA store in Greenwich had set a target of achieving a BREEAM rating of Excellent, and exceeded their goal. This building has many innovative features to improve environmental performance and give shoppers and staff alike a good experience. From the green roof to water saving technologies, sustainability was considered at every stage of the design and construction.


IKEA is a global home furnishing brand that brings affordability, design and comfort to people all over the world.


All IKEA developments worldwide are committed to demonstrating cutting edge sustainable design and construction. They must all achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ as a minimum standard.

For this project, the local authority in Greenwich made it a planning requirement to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent. The design and store teams at IKEA Greenwich were dedicated to improving existing sustainability targets for the project, making the highest possible rating - BREEAM 'Outstanding' - the focus.

IKEA Greenwich has many sustainable public transport options.
IKEA Greenwich has many sustainable public transport options.


IKEA aims to have an overall positive impact on people and the planet, contribute to protecting vulnerable communities and biodiversity, and strive for sustainable resource use.

IKEA Greenwich used many technologies and environmental features in its design and construction, including:

  • Photovoltaic (PV) solar: A 850 kWp solar array supplements the store’s energy requirements and reduces the energy dependence from the grid.
  • Water efficiency: two rainwater harvesting tanks alongside low water use fittings reduced the store’s water consumption by up to 50%. Leak detection systems also alert building managers to any issues to minimise water loss.
  • Evaporative cooling units: evaporative cooling help reduce energy demand from the store's air conditioning system.
  • Ground source heat pumps (GSHP): these meet 88% of the store’s annual heating and cooling demands.
  • Biodiverse green roof: a green roof provides fantastic new and varied habitat for local wildlife.
  • Sustainable transport: staff and store visitors have sustainable transport options when travelling to the store, including public transport links, cyclist facilities and provision for electric vehicles.
  • FSC certified timber: the store used 100% FSC certified timber in the build.

The scheme demonstrates exemplary energy performance throughout thanks to zero carbon technologies such as PV and GSHP. Small power and refrigeration equipment were assessed against industry standards and showed reduced energy consumption.

IKEA Greenwich uses 100% LED lighting that performs above industry standards for energy efficiency. The acoustic performance and thermal comfort create optimal conditions for both staff and visitors. Indoor air quality was also designed in line with best practice, with air quality monitoring during the final construction and fit‐out phases.

The building benefits from the biodiverse green roof and planted garden areas surrounding the store. The landscape also includes log mounds and sand mounds, bird boxes and bat boxes along with green roof bike shelters that incorporate insect habitats.

IKEA Greenwich aims to take sustainability to the next level, not just in its design and architecture, but by inspiring and enabling Londoners to live a more sustainable life at home.
– Helen Aylett, Store Manager, IKEA Greenwich (2019)
Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells on the roof of IKEA Greenwich.
Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells on the roof of IKEA Greenwich.


BREEAM helped the team to achieve the environmental objectives on site by giving them pragmatic targets in areas where they could add value to the project’s sustainability strategy. By aiming for an ‘Outstanding’ rating, the BREEAM assessment process allowed the design team to implement the necessary environmental objectives without hindering wider design ambitions.

IKEA Greenwich is the highest scoring BREEAM building Envision has been involved with. The achievement is thanks to the vision of the client and the determination and commitment by the contractor and design team. This was a truly fantastic project to be involved in.
– Simon Rainsford, Director, Envision Sustainability and Energy

In the process of working towards BREEAM ‘Outstanding’, the project reached many other achievements.

  • During construction of IKEA Greenwich, the construction scored 42/50 demonstrating ‘beyond compliance’ in the Considerate Contractors Scheme assessment of the site’s considerate construction attributes.
  • The biodiverse roof achieved compliance with the Green Roof Code, enhanced ecological features on site, and has featured as an exemplary case study in the new London Green Roof Report.
  • The building achieved an innovation credit for the inclusion of evaporative cooling with rainwater harvesting from the roof.
The minimum aim for this project was to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’, but early on we came together, worked hard and stretched the boundaries to reach ‘Outstanding’. This achievement is definitely a reward to all parties involved in this project.
– Miguel Bonina, Construction Project Manager, IKEA Construction

Summary for Case Studies


SRA Architects LLP
Building Services:
Waldeck Associates Ltd
IKEA Properties Investments Ltd
New Construction 2011 – Retail
BREEAM rating:
Outstanding (90.4%)

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