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Costa Opens the First 'Zero Energy' Coffee Shop in the UK


With the latest in environmentally-friendly building design and packed full of innovative energy saving technologies, the Eco Pod is the first ‘zero energy’ coffee shop building in the UK.

We’ve developed the cutting-edge building design and fit out in partnership with Hammerson, the retail property specialist, which owns the retail where Costa leases the building.

The new Eco Pod provides all of the irresistible quality food and beverage menu choices available in ‘regular’ Costa coffee shops but, crucially, all of this happens inside a ‘zero energy’ building.

‘Zero energy’ is achieved through passive ventilation and innovative construction techniques which mean that the energy required to heat and cool the building is minimised and that the low amount of energy that is required for building temperature control comes from solar PV cells embedded in the specially curved roof, balancing out overall.

This is the first time in the UK that a ‘zero energy’ cafe/restaurant building has been built and opened commercially. The Eco Pod is a test bed for Costa to trial and learn lessons about sustainable design and technologies.

We intend to draw on the best bits and what works well so that, where possible, we can incorporate these lessons into any new build coffee shops as well as our existing network. 


  • A special timber frame constructed using FSC sourced timber as an alternative to a traditional steel frame, reducing the embodied carbon footprint of the building.
  • A super-insulated facade using soft wood with excellent energy retention properties (keeping more heat in during the winter and also helping to keep the interior cool in summer).
  • Intelligent orientation of the building to achieve optimum levels of sun and shade, impacting on overall energy requirements for heating and cooling.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the roof.
  • An under-floor heating system and passive ventilation.

The building design features are what give the coffee shop its overall ‘zero energy’ score. The actual internal operating equipment – including espresso machines, Panini grills and dishwasher equipment – all use power in a conventional way.

“This is an exciting first for coffee shop and retail design here in the UK and has the potential to transform not just how we build new stores at Costa but the industry far more widely. We wanted to explore new ways to serve quality coffee to our customers while managing our environmental footprint as responsibly as we can. Through a successful partnership with Hammerson, we have developed an outstanding new type of test bed building design which really does have the potential to make a massive difference if rolled out more widely.” Jim Slater, Managing Director of Costa UK and Ireland.

Marking Success in the first month of trading

On 27th May, the newly appointed Mayor of Telford, Councillor Leon Murray, formally opened Costa's Eco Pod, and Costa gathered its development partners, sustainability experts and the local community to thank those involved in the project and mark the success of the Eco Pod’s environmental performance – saving 54% of the energy used in a ‘conventional’ unit in its first month of trading.

The combination of sustainable technologies, smart architecture and intelligent use of building materials means the unit has achieved its target of balancing its energy consumption to be ‘zero energy’. The Eco Pod also received an A+ EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating, the highest band achievable (the UK average rating for an existing commercial unit is D).

“We are proud to host the first ‘zero energy’ Eco Pod building in the country right here in Telford. Telford has a history of innovation and engineering, so we are delighted that we can continue this tradition and pave the way forward in sustainable design.” Councillor Leon Murray, Mayor of the Borough of Telford and Wrekin.