McDonald’s in Market Drayton, Shropshire, has become the UK's first carbon net zero restaurant - using the Elliott offsite construction system.

Being carbon net-zero means that the wind turbine and solar panel-powered 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 meet this criterion.

Market Drayton 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.

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.

McDonald’s carbon net zero restaurant was 80% completed in the Elliott factory before being transported to site, minimising waste and maximising quality control, efficiency and speed of construction. Once on-site, the modules were connected to services and underwent final fit-out ready for handover.

As part of a sustainable approach, the building utilises responsibly-sourced and recycled materials throughout, further reducing its environmental impact. The restaurant 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 Market Drayton are constructed using a steel-framed system, a 100% recyclable material sourced from a UK supplier with certified Environmental Policy Declarations.

Sustainable features include sheep's wool insulation instead of fibreglass as well as 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. These 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.

Graham Stevenson, Construction Manager 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 and offsite solutions.”

McDonald's spokeswoman Beth Hart 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. We believe that our food needs to be served in restaurants that are sustainable for the future. Market Drayton is a big step towards making that a reality."

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.

To find out more about the McDonald’s Market Drayton carbon net-zero build, visit: www.elliottuk.com/case-studies