UKs First Carbon Net-Zero Restaurant

Get in touch request a quote

UKs First Carbon Net-Zero Restaurant

The Challenge

McDonald’s in Market Drayton, Shropshire, has become the UK's first carbon net-zero restaurant and the first net-zero building using Elliott’s offsite construction system. Elliott was an integral part of the project delivery team, utilising its modular solution, which features a large number of incremental improvements that combine to make a huge difference in overall performance. 

Minimising environmental impact and achieving a net-zero build were key requirements set out by McDonald’s at the very start of the project.

The innovative turnkey solution includes kitchen, servery, offices, storage, dining area and toilets, as well as car park and external landscaping works.

Carbon Net-Zero

UK's First Restaurant

December 2021

Project Completed

Our Solution

The net-zero McDonald’s restaurant was 80% completed in Elliott’s factory before being transported to site, minimising waste and maximising quality control, efficiency and speed of construction.

As part of a sustainable approach, the building utilises responsibly-sourced and recycled materials throughout, further reducing its environmental impact.

The restaurant at Market Drayton is designed to allow relocation, reconfiguration or recycling, depending on McDonald’s future requirements. All Elliott offsite modules are designed to have a service life of at least 60 years.


Building modules for the restaurant were constructed using a recyclable steel-framed system, with material sourced from a UK supplier with certified Environmental Policy Declarations.

Sustainable features within the building include sheep's wool insulation instead of fibreglass, cladding, ceiling, floor and wall tiles made from recycled plastic, a rainwater harvesting system, wind turbine electricity generation and photovoltaic car park lighting complete with battery backup. The kitchen incorporates a heat exchange that feeds into the dining area.

The lightweight structure of Elliott’s steel frame modules minimised carbon intensive foundations, which were completed at the same time as the modules were manufactured, helping to reduce the build schedule by around half compared to an on-site build.

The Results

Being net-zero means that the wind turbine and solar panel-powered McDonald’s restaurant will produce as much energy as it uses over the course of a year and there are only a small number of highly efficient buildings in the UK that currently meet this criterion.

The Market Drayton site is the first restaurant in the UK to be verified as net zero emissions for construction using the UK Green Building Council's (UKGBC's) net zero carbon buildings framework.

During COP26, countries were asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century. The fact that Elliott’s modular restaurant for McDonald’s Market Drayton achieves this provides architects and developers with a way of achieving this ambitious target now.

According to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the built environment is directly responsible for 25% of the total UK carbon footprint, and therefore creating a net-zero carbon build plays a critical role in transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Paul Beard, Design Manager (Retail) at Elliott, said: “This is a landmark project for McDonald’s, the Elliott Group and the building industry as a whole. Achieving a net-zero carbon build confirms that the ambitious targets set for the built environment are achievable using our modular solutions. As the construction sectors enters a critical decade of climate action, we urge architects and specifiers to make net-zero modular construction an integral part of their build programmes.”

Chris Armstrong, Construction Manager for Sustainability at McDonald’s, said: "We've already started to roll out some of these innovations to other restaurants, but what is exciting about Market Drayton is the fact it will act as a blueprint for our future new builds.

MCDs external restaurant

Case Studies