Bradfords hosts ‘Building Sustainable Communities’


Bradfords Building Supplies last night hosted ‘Building Sustainable Communities’, kicking off a new series of events aimed at promoting sustainability for the built environment in the South West.

The event took place at Somerset County Cricket Club and was created in partnership with TrustMark. Delegates came from across the region to hear from experts who addressed the topics of both retrofitting existing properties and the challenges and opportunities in taking a low carbon approach to new builds.

The main sponsor was ROCKWOOL, the UK’s leading manufacturer of non-combustible stone wool insulation.

Speakers included: Phil Mason, Head of Regulatory Engagement at TrustMark, who brought delegates up to speed on both the Government’s heat and buildings strategy and the national retrofit strategy, including a look at what these mean for the region’s construction sector. He also discussed some of the main takeaways from COP26.

Andy Sutton, Co-Founder at Sero Homes talked about the key lessons learnt from the Optimised Retrofit programme, which has retrofitted over 1,700 social housing properties in Wales to make them more energy efficient.

Chris Woodfield, Knowledge Exchange Officer for the Low Carbon Devon project discussed the challenges that Devon, and Plymouth specifically, see in achieving a lower-carbon built environment for the city and beyond by the end of the decade – and the innovative ways in which they’re tackling this.

Tom Carr, Co-Founder at Verto Homes tackled the fears which often stop house builders embracing a low carbon approach. He revealed some of his secrets into how this developer is able to incorporate low carbon into every aspect of a build and why this makes sense from both an environmental and commercial perspective.

“With the built environment contributing to around 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, it was no surprise the construction industry was on the agenda at COP26 in Glasgow this month,” said Giles Bradford, Head of Sustainability at Bradfords Building Supplies.

“From self-builders, home renovators and architects to construction students and their tutors, we were excited to see a broad range of attendees at the event, who all face similar challenges when approaching construction projects from an environmentally sustainable perspective. We hope we’ve given them the information – and inspiration – they need to feel more confident about the challenges ahead and the solutions available.”

Simon Ayres, Chief Executive at TrustMark, added: “It’s heartening to see the level of interest from attendees on how we can work together to improve outcomes for customers and sustainability for industry, particularly in the retrofit sector. With the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in order to meet the UK’s net zero targets, it’s vital that we build understanding by sharing information in these key areas. This series of events is another step along that path.”

Mark Bungay, Commercial Director, ROCKWOOL UK, said: “We can’t tackle climate change without tackling the energy efficiency of buildings, so we were honoured to be a part of this important event. The session prompted critical discussions around how we can work better together to improve the thermal performance of buildings in the South West, making a difference for both current and future generations.”

Additional event sponsors included Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation, a company that specialises in developing and delivering engineered water and climate management solutions for the built environment, plus ACO Technology, a provider of sustainable water drainage systems, and Marshalls, a leading landscape product supplier.