(August 2020 – June 2021)


SDS Design Engineers (SDS) acted as civil and structural design engineers for Lidl Ireland GmbH on this brand new €6m development in Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow. This supermarket is the first of its kind in Ireland, achieving a Building Energy Rating (BER) of A1. Lidl’s leadership in the field of sustainable building is evidenced in the store’s use of only renewable electricity as part of its ISO 50001 certified energy management system. Lidl is an international, award-winning supermarket chain that entered the Irish grocery market in 2000. This global brand has gone from strength to strength, and now employs over 5000 people across 200 stores. In 2020, Lidl commenced a development project for a new store in Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, which opened on 24th of June 2021. The 2,268 sqm store features a spacious interior layout, high ceilings and wide isles, and includes an on-site café and free EV charging points for customers. Also integral to this project is the installation of a rooftop solar panel array consisting of 337 panels.


As the first supermarket in Ireland to achieve a BER rating of A1, Lidl Bagenalstown is unique among Irish supermarkets. As part of its ISO 50001 accredited energy management system, Lidl’s use of entirely renewable electricity attests to the company’s leadership in the field of sustainable construction, providing free EV charging points to customers, and the installation of highly efficient solar panels. The U-value of the roof is 0.05 less than the maximum allowable NZEB value and the U-values of the glazing and ground floor are 0.5 and 0.02 less respectively. This demonstrates the construction expertise applied to this project. Large feature windows and window bands on the perimeter of the building envelope maximise natural light entering the warehouse, therefore minimising the requirement for artificial lighting. Ensuring that all characteristics of an A1-rated project of this scale were achieved was an arduous task and a reason for distinction. From airtightness to renewable energy, the A1 rating is not easy to achieve. Excellence was achieved in all aspects of the design and construction of this building. Innovative thinking resulted in the building being an example for others to follow


In order for this building to reach the A1 BER rating, thermal performance of the building needed to be of the highest standard. We encountered many technical challenges when trying to ensure the characteristics of windows, doors, heating systems, lights, insulation, etc. were at a level of thermal performance that reaches the A1 score. Thermal bridging is also critical to achieving an A1 rating but technical difficulties are encountered in this process. These include ensuring architectural details of all items mentioned above included for thermal bridging and that the correct materials are used to reduce its effects.

As part of creating a friendly and inviting entrance to the store’s car park, extensive remodelling of the neighbour’s existing entrance way was required so that the new road junctions complied with the relevant traffic management plans designed for the project. This was always done in consultation with the neighbour and meant they were satisfied with the final product.

The use of precast concrete building elements reduced time and cost on the project. This meant that the concrete structural elements could be produced prior to the project commencing on site and were ready for assembly sooner than if they were poured in situ. Using precast materials also ensured a quality product arrived on site, which was devoid of any visual or structural defects.


Sustainability was at the forefront of the design process from the outset and was considered at every point throughout the project. The new Bagenalstown store incorporates a range of strategies to reduce environmental impact:

  • A1 BER energy rating
  • ISO 50001 certified energy management system
  • Thermal simulations are completed for each store to determine optimal balance of daylight into the space whilst limiting glare, heat losses and solar heat gain.
  • Maximises natural lighting through glazing and high-level windows, this high-performance glazing limits solar energy heat gain (g-value) transmission, whilst permitting adequate daylight transmission.
  • 674m² (337 panels) of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to produce 150kwh of solar power
  • Free EV charging points
  • Sustainably sourced glulam roof structure throughout the building
  • Retention and protection of multiple existing trees


Our clients are in public and private sectors, including government bodies, developers, main contractors and owners. Market areas in which we currently work are commercial, residential, industrial, hotel and leisure, education, and water engineering. 

Shane O’Farrell
Lidl Head of Property NW London
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SDS design engineers & architects developed a prototype precast concrete store in London. The aim was to reduce the construction time by at least 20% but also to maintain the visual appearance of the store. The SDS team completed the brief successfully.
Cillian Owens
Contracts Manager, John Sisk & Son Limited Ireland
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I have worked with SDS design engineers since 2005. In my experience SDS provide quality, cost effective designs on time and within budget.
Cathal Scott
Practice Manager, CQS Group
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We analysed numerous foundation solutions for retail stores over the years and found that the SDS designed lean raft foundation for store buildings is the most efficient foundation with respect to cost and materials used.