All buildings need to be zero carbon by 2050 – so why aren’t small developers building more ‘eco-homes’ and pushing low carbon retrofit options?


18th June             4-5.30pm            Online Webinar

You can register your place via the Eventbrite link:


All buildings need to be zero carbon by 2050, and we will need new technologies that work for buildings old and new. Crucially, we also need a massive new workforce with the skills to transform the building stock in every part of the UK. The market for energy in buildings is huge – worth billions of pounds”.

George Day – Head of Markets, Policy and Regulation at Energy Systems Catapult

The Government’s consultation on energy regulations to improve the efficiency of new homes concluded earlier this year. This event asks why more small developers aren’t already building ‘A rated’ and ‘zero carbon’ homes and how, in the context of the Covid crisis, we might encourage more to take the plunge and get ahead of the inevitable surge in eco-home building and energy efficiency retrofit.

We have invited three local experts to bring their own unique perspective to this issue: Martin Valentine (Positive Homes), Richard Holmes (Third Stone) and David Radley (BWB). Representatives from the University of Derby’s Built Environment team, local Councils and Housing Associations will also contribute to the discussion.

Martin Valentine – Positive Homes:

Tales from the front line of eco-home building

Martin Valentine is the Managing Director of Positive Homes Ltd. Based in Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, the company only builds smaller homes that are in the top 1% in the country for energy efficiency. Having built all its homes using timber frames, Positive Homes has now committed to using off-site construction, starting with a live scheme in Newark.  The company’s aim is to ‘revolutionise the house building industry – from below the ground up’ – by working with local councils to develop sites for first time buyers, where low energy bills are guaranteed.

Before starting Positive Homes in 2015, Martin worked for Nottingham City Homes for five years – helping to complete a £200m improvement programme before starting the largest new council house new build programme in the country.

Martin’s frank and witty presentation will ‘tell it as it is’ for small scale eco-home developers and will raise as many questions as he will provide answers.

“The majority of modern houses are rubbish – and the estates they are on are equally badly designed. We can, and must, do better. If a little developer like Positive Homes can build to net zero carbon now, then there’s no reason why everyone else can’t”

Richard Holmes – Third Stone:

How can small developers succeed in a green market?

Richard has worked in the Environment & Energy sector for over 20 years with stints at Nottingham Trent and De Montfort Universities and Leicester City Council. His specialties include: Part L Compliance for Builders and Architects and Energy & Environmental Management support for organisation.

Upcoming changes to building regulations

  • How these will impact on construction
    • How to gain market share by using the change as an opportunity.

Green Branding in construction

  • How does this benefit developers
  • What is the size of the eco-build market
  • How to develop a green brand.

David Radley – BWB Consulting:

Traditional vs Sustainable Developers

David is Associate Director for Geotechnics at BWB – a multi-award-winning engineering and environmental design consultancy.  He is passionate about good governance, strategy and sustainability, He is an Associate Director at BWB, with fifteen years consultancy experience. He has managed accounts, people, programmes and projects, and is currently engaged in activities linked to stakeholder engagement, strategic development and contract negotiation. David is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Water and Environment Manager. He was awarded a scholarship by The Institute of Directors for an Executive MBA at Nottingham Business School, which he recently passed with Distinction.

David will present analysis from his Masters’ dissertation that compares and contrasts the qualities of ‘Traditional and Sustainable Developers’ – and explore the challenge of the skills, knowledge and aptitudes that need to be developed by the current and next generation of smaller building firms.