Waitrose Chester

Project Background

Designed by award-winning architects Broadway Malyan, Waitrose opened its new £20 million supermarket in 2015, located within walking distance of Chester.

The supermarket has a footprint of approximately 4,500m2 with a sales area of circa 2,500m² of retail space, including a café overlooking the canal, and a lower level car park.

Overlooking the city’s canal, this retail development forms part of the wider Chester Central masterplan and Waitrose’s expansion into the north of the UK.


Project Scope

We were appointed by long-standing client John Lewis Partnership to develop a fire engineering strategy for a new Waitrose supermarket in Chester from the early design stages through to construction completion.


Tenos Solution

Tenos worked with the client and the two appointed architectural firms, Broadway Malyan (shell design) and Farrell & Clark (fit-out design) to develop a fire engineering strategy for both the buildings structure and its internal fit-out.


To allow flexibility in the architectural design, Tenos used various fire engineering techniques, which included:

  • Using computer aided modelling to justify the extensive use of unprotected glazing on the façade of the building, thus avoiding the high cost of fire resisting glazing.
  • Real time data gathering of the occupancy statistics to justify a reduction in the exit widths.


Other challenges encountered during the project included:

  • Open balconies;
  • Restricted fire service vehicle access;
  • Restricted ventilation arrangements within the car park.