The new Waitrose supermarket at Boughton retail centre in Chester signifies one of the biggest investments the retailer has made in a single store. The superstore, complete with a 190-space car park, new shops and bars, anchors the Renaissance redevelopment scheme. The 29,000 sq. ft store was built by contractors Barr Construction, with local materials and using alternative construction techniques to minimise carbon emissions. Benefitting from the GLASSOLUTIONS VS-1 mullion only curtain walling system, this vibrant and distinctive building allows plenty of natural light into the store. The building’s stunning design includes large, continuous vertical expanses of curtain walling which are achieved through the VS-1’s unique design. The 10.5m mullion spans were achieved without the need for mid-point lateral load restraint from horizontal midspan steel. 3.5m high glass panes are solely supported by the structurally robust mullions allowing uninterrupted vertical sightlines in this transom-less system. After the first design concepts were approved, it was thought that a bespoke system might have been the only option to deliver the architect’s vision. GLASSOLUTIONS, however, was able to demonstrate otherwise with the VS-1 system, which is available in a range of sizes, and reduces façade lead times and costs significantly. VS-1’s highly engineered simplicity delivered remarkable aesthetics for Barr internal Architectural division, in association with Broadway Malyan. The store’s bronze rainscreen cladding is matched sympathetically by the exterior real bronze fins carried on the VS1 system and the bronze PPC mullions internally. The store was designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. Key sustainability dimensions include 75% of the energy needed for the supermarket being provided by an on-site wood burning biomass plant. The VS-1 system contributed to sustainable design in a more fundamental way thanks to its structural integrity. With the VS-1 façade designed and installed to comfortably accommodate larger than normal building movements, the whole building could be constructed using a lighter steel framework, which also delivered financial savings for the client. GLASSOLUTIONS utilised SGG COOLLITE® SKN165ii glass to help achieve an optimum internal environment which balances natural lighting with solar control and superior thermal performance. Complementing the VS-1 façade, GLASSOLUTIONS was also appointed to install glazing for the north and south entrance lobbies using the SPIDERGLASS® bolted glazing system. This ensured consistency with the rest of the building and meant Barr Construction could benefit from a single sub-contractor for all glazed façade elements. The store, which features a stunning frontage overlooking the Shropshire Union Canal, was opened by city MP Stephen Mosley and Lord Mayor of Chester Cllr Bob Rudd. Barr Construction also delivered piazza style public realm areas, planted trees across the site and installed a new bridge spanning the canal.