R G Carter Projects »

Replacement Branch and Car Park



A comprehensive redevelopment of a food store and car park with phased demolitions of all buildings to provide a new pre-cast concrete double-storey car park with integrated steel frame store constructed above.


Following the demolition of the existing 25 year old supermarket along with the antiquated multi level car park, a new 2,500m2 store has been constructed on the existing site in Sevenoaks High Street. The original store was demolished because it no longer suited Waitrose’s forward thinking marketing strategy in such a prestigious location.

There was no opportunity to extend the store in a traditional sense, due to its High Street location and close proximity to neighbours on all boundaries.  Therefore, the new building offers a two-storey basement and undercroft car park with the store above, accessed by stairs, lifts and escalators. The car park provides a total of 160 spaces.

Three customer lifts connect the car park with both the high street and sales floor level, whilst two escalators connect the street level hospitality area to the main sales floor level.

The new extended sales floor area covers 2160m², excluding customer facilities, staff areas, back of house, etc.


Careful consideration was made when taking down the old structure, using selective methods of cutting and removal to reduce noise and vibration to adjoining properties.

The project was procured on a negotiated basis, utilising early contractor involvement to maximise added value opportunities for the project.

Full value engineering and design reviews were undertaken to ensure that best value solutions were adopted for all elements of the project, enabling us to work together with the client to produce the cost plan and then tender subcontractor packages at detailed design stage.

Any benefits gained through the tender process were shared with the client and used to agree the final cost plan.

The project was then let on a design & Build contract.

The benefits of utilising this negotiated process and early contractor involvement included:

  • The opportunity to review proposed designs and consider alternative solutions.
  • Value engineering undertaken at early design stage provided the opportunity to gain the most out of the value added process.
  • The client gained early cost advice for adopted design solutions.
  • The client gained the benefit of value engineering subcontractor packages.
  • The client was able to fix budgets at a much earlier stage, as they were dealing with live cost information well before a traditional tender stage.

Whole life costing issues in respect of maintenance where considered and the typical maintenance issues that arise during the first year following branch opening identified with the client team. Proposals where then put forward as to how these could be eliminated and incorporated in to the design as part of the  Step Change / Continuous Improvement processes.

Our Commitment:

A total of 99% of demolition material was recycled in the new building, including:

  • A concrete crusher was on site throughout the process to enable the demolition material to be recycled and used to create a piling platform and temporary road, then as backfill for new foundations.
  • Reinstating the existing securing mesh and brackets.
  • Reusing the high street roof slates and flashings.
  • Reusing brickwork from the eastern elevation to rebuild boundary walls.

A total of 99% of site generated waste was diverted from landfill.

Reduction of waste generation, including:

  • Windows designed to the cladding panel width/height to remove the need to cut panels.
  • Utilising standard 1000mm, 900 or 600 high panel sizes of Kingspan Longspan, enabled a mixture of panel arrangements to clad the external envelope and eliminate the need for cut panels on site.

Reduction of the need for materials, including:

  • Raising precast vertical panel height by 11mm to eradicate the need for handrails.
  • Reduce the amount of rainwater pipes and drainage by using symphonic drainage for the main roof structure and introducing a full length gutter to the main entrance façade with a single downpipe.
  • Reuse of some elements of the M & E equipment within the decant store.
  • Sustainable construction initiatives included:
  • water cooled refrigeration.
  • Air tightness achieving less than 2m3 per m2 @ 50 pascals or less.
  • A Transportation plan was utilised to minimise travel distances.
  • Local employment utilised as much as possible, with other accommodated locally to reduce commute mileage.
  • The Green Guide was used to specify materials, with 100% of timber procured from sustainable sources.
  • Eliminating the use of applied surface finishes to the car park areas, reducing paint material as part of the build and future maintenance.

A local child – Sam, who was interested in the activity on site was given the ‘S’ from the Waitrose sign, which was hung on his bedroom wall by site staff. The Project Manager arranged for both Sam and his sister Lydia to have bricks etched with their names, which were used in the construction of the building.

£1,000 was raised for the local theatre to help provide disabled access to their building.


The project achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.


“It is a pleasure to visit this site and see the commitment of the entire team to best practice. Sevenoaks should be proud of its new Waitrose and for the services of R G Carter during construction. Well done to the entire Team”

John Sayers, Considerate Constructors

“With only 1% of the building waste going to landfill, this is one of the most environmentally friendly builds. It doesn’t stop there either. Across the whole branch there are energy saving solutions and water efficient systems in place.”

Matt Lawrence, Waitrose Store Manager

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