Last week, we were delighted to host the ‘Making the future the present: delivering zero-carbon homes in Oxfordshire’ alongside Oxfordshire Greentech and the Oxfordshire Zero Carbon Homes Initiative (OZCHI) at the Perch Eco Business Centre.

With a host of expert speakers, the event aimed to shed light on what zero carbon means, the viability of building to zero-carbon standards, and how we can accelerate the move towards a zero-carbon built environment in Oxfordshire.

After being welcomed by event chair Jayne Norris, chair of OxLEP's Clean Growth Sub-Group and Director of Edgars, Emily Smith – Vale of White Horse Councillor and chair of Oxfordshire plan advisory group – introduced us to the local context and ambition around the Oxfordshire Plan 2050. Philip Wadsworth, Oxfordshire County Council’s Programme Lead for Oxfordshire Plan 2050, described the Oxfordshire Plan as a “key tool with which we can deliver a zero-carbon future.”

Ness Scott, Climate Change Manager at West Oxfordshire District Council, explained how the district was tackling the climate crisis, with a focus on the area action plan for the Salt Cross Garden development.

Clara Bagenal George, Associate at Elementa Consulting, introduced us to some of LETI’s fantastic work providing net-zero guidance to the built environment industry.

Adam Mactavish, Director at Currie & Brown, explored how we can keep our built environment projects viable and keep costs down at the same time.

Dave Barber, Climate Change Director at Warwick District Council, noted that building accounts for 40% of Warwickshire’s emissions. He highlighted the key planning policies the council is putting in place to combat this.

James Turner, Associate Director of Mikhail Riches, urged the audience to take risks and to think beyond PVs, solar arrays, and the buildings themselves. As built environment professionals, we also need to consider the streetscape, the surrounding spaces, and what will make our residents happy.

Ian Pritchett, Managing Director of Greencore Construction and Ssassy Property, stressed how crucial bio-based materials are to Greencore’s approach. Using One Planet Living® Global leader Springfield Meadows as a case study, Ian walked us through his formula for building climate-positive developments.

UKGBC Advancing Net Zero Advisor Tom Wigg walked us through the fantastic work UKGBC is doing to lead us to a net-zero built environment.

Finally, giving us an inspiring send-off, Chris Church (OZCHI and Oxford Friends of the Earth) stressed that to "make the future the present", we need strong and cohesive policy, well-developed infrastructure and effective engagement.

We’d like to thank all our speakers and attendees for such an inspiring session.

Share this article

Get in touch

Lewis Knight
Head of Sustainable Places

Fill in the form to send your enquiry direct to Lewis

Thank you for getting in touch

We will get back to you as soon as possible