Sewell on the go South Cave is situated on a motorway corridor on the outskirts of two affluent villages. Customers range from commuters buying fuel with drinks and food to go, to families stocking up on grocery essentials. The old forecourt was a traditional 1960s garage, crammed into a small footprint of the space, with unused buildings to the rear. Apart from the pole sign, the forecourt was barely noticeable to motorway traffic and not particularly attractive for customers. The store was dark and dated, with limited products lines. The layout didn’t encourage browsing and there wasn’t room for creative displays. The forecourt, open 24/7, 365 days a year, needed to be designed and stocked to cater for all.
The busy forecourt and store needed to be as accessible as possible to customers during the construction period. We needed to be mindful of managing the client’s needs in terms of maximising profits while the work was completed. Therefore, we didn’t close the site until 10 weeks into the 16-week project, working in a live environment and managing the construction programme around what was best for the client. The site was built with future maintenance in mind, using marketing-leading Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology with integrated facilities management. This guarantees cost control, design accuracy and buildability, while also increasing efficiencies in asset management once operational, with all details stored within a 3D model. Speed and convenience for commuter customers are two significant elements which we designed for. Sewell on the go South Cave also serves as a local shop to surrounding villages, so designing a store that could meet the needs of regular top up shopping and fresh produce was extremely important. Ultra efficient measures are also inside the store, including a voltage optimiser, which caps voltage coming into the building, refrigeration temperature monitoring with low energy fans saving 70% of energy, and LED lighting.
Health and safety is the responsibility of all staff on site and this was communicated clearly from the outset, with regular meetings held on site and with the client. The store is now north facing with full height glazing, making it bright and airy and limiting the lighting needed in store. It has 120 solar panels on the roof, saving the client £10,000 per year. The client encouraged customers to have their say on what local produce they would like to see stocked on the shelves, pushing the site’s retail offering to 150 local products.
The forecourt has been completely transformed, with improved access and new facilities making full use of the land. It is complemented by a bright, larger, welcoming store for all and was delivered on time and on budget. The larger canopy and store – three times the size of the former – have been repositioned and are viewable from passing roads with LED lighting. With additional separate parking to the store, this is meeting the needs of more leisurely shoppers, complimented with indoor and outdoor seating areas. The site has 25 parking bays, a cycle rack, electric charge point for cars, free ATM, free WIFI, toilets and baby changing facilities.