Green Deal Consortia Launches in Lancashire

The following is the press release from Industry Today ‘Green Deal’ service:

Wednesday 22nd February saw the launch of the Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club’s ‘Green Deal Consortia’ initiative supported by the FMB, fairsnape, DIEMltd, the NFB, SMPR (Simply Marcomms Ltd) and UCLan.

Over 40 organisations attended the breakfast launch at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. The event saw the coming together of like minded individuals keen to learn more about the forthcoming Green Deal which is set to go live in October 2012.

This Lancashire initiative is thought to be the first of its kind in the country to support local companies in preparing for Green Deal

The ‘Green Deal’ scheme, the Governement’s CO2 flagship programme for addressing building performance, will tackle fuel poverty and improve the energy performance of British domestic and non domestic properties, creating a high number of new jobs and work opportunities for the construction industry.

Whilst there remain many uncertainties in the detail of the Government’s Green Deal initiative, however, there is high certainty that it will happen and it will change the way refurbishments are funded and carried out.

Those that intend to carry out measures that fall under the ‘Green Deal’ eg insulation and re-newable installations will need to work in accordance with the recently issued standard PAS 2030:2012 “Improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings – specification for installation process, process management and service provision”.

As of October 2012, only accredited Green Deal contractors and installers (those that have achieved the PAS 2030 standard) will be eligible to carry out installations that fall under the Green Deal umbrella.

The Lancashire Green Deal Consortia members will be supported in understanding Green Deal, assisted in attaining PAS 2030, advised on improving green skills at operative and managerial levels, and importantly facilitated in forming consortia of organisations, who, through working together will be able to offer ‘whole house’ solutions and a far more robust Green Deal offering.

Those present and registering interest in the Consortia approach comprised of organisations such as Local Authorities, construction contractors, surveyors, electrical contractors, plumbing and heating firms alongside industry and educational bodies.

If you want to know more about how the Green Deal could affect your organisation or you would like to know more about becoming a member of the Lancashire Green Deal Consortia programme, contact Martin Brown, fairsnape, and chair of the Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club by emailing

You can also keep in touch with progress of the Green Deal Initiative along with other news from the Best Practice Club by following @lcbpc on twitter or on linkedin via the Lancashire Construction group.

Posted via Industry Today. Are you into it? Follow us on Twitter@IndustryToday

Contact Information

Katie Brown @katiebrowntweets
SMPR (Simply Marcomms Ltd)
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Is this the Green Deal tipping point?

Building broke with the following news today (16th Feb), which can only serve to increase the importance of preparing for Green Deal, attaining PAS 2030 and creating Green Deal consortia to deliver.

Local authorities team up to issue large-scale retrofit schemes initially worth £1.7bn

Billions of pounds worth of retrofitting work is set to be procured by some of England’s largest regional cities in response to the government’s flagship Green Deal scheme.

Councils across the north-east of England, as well as in the Greater Manchester, Leeds and Bristol city regions, Nottingham and West Sussex, are prepping plans to invest more than £300m in the government’s Green Deal over the next few months – a figure that could rise to billions as the schemes are rolled out.

The councils’ plans follow those of Birmingham council, which is currently shortlisting firms for £1.4bn of Green Deal work – bringing the total initial work to £1.7bn.

The push from local authorities to lead on the Green Deal came as retailer Marks & Spencer’s enthusiasm for delivering the scheme appeared to be cooling. Rowland Hill, M&S corporate social responsibility manager, told Building the retailer would not be interested in providing services for the Green Deal “if it goes too far from our core business”.

The government has been keen to involve major retailers in the delivery of the scheme in order to boost its take-up and M&S had previously indicated an interest.

Newcastle council, working with a number of other authorities across the North-east, is set to issue tender documents within the next three months for £80m of work to retrofit 15,000 homes. Leeds council, in partnership with nine local authorities across the Leeds city region, is drawing up plans that could see it leverage up to £75m to start retrofit work in a market it estimates could have a total value of £3.4bn.

Across the Pennines, the 10 councils that comprise Greater Manchester are considering investing £50m in a Green Deal programme, while Nottingham council is planning an £80m Green Deal contract.

Bristol council along with a range of partners is considering investing £34.6m in a programme, while West Sussex council is preparing a business case for a scheme that could see investment in the tens of millions”

Cities plan to invest billions in Green Deal retrofit work Building link

PQQ Secrets: Listening to the voice of the customer

For PQQ responses to have chance of success they need to address the requirements and aspirations of the client and project.

They also need to differentiate from the competition. So when a client organisation presents on how to differentiate at bid stage, you should be on to a winner.

But of course it’s an ever iterative game, and you will need to be better than those who also hear the customers tips for bidding.

At last weeks CSkills Forum in Salford, Urban Vision Partnership presented what they look to as differentiators when marking and selecting PQQ’s, either as direct bids, as part of a consortia or within a supply chain. Urban Vision’s overall remit is to manage, protect, maintain and enhance development within the city.

Key Differentiating Factors:

– Creation of community benefit

– Workforce development

– Added value and innovation

– Environmental performance, eg 14001 and CO2 monitoring

– Health and Safety practices, eg 18001

– An IMS (Integrated Management System) approach to quality, sustainability and safety

How many of these can you honestly tick as being well established, or well in development, within your organisation, to articulate within bids?

Many of these have been part of the construction business improvement agenda for many years now, certainly since Egans Rethinking Construction back in 1998, whilst others are relatively new as Methods of Modern Construction Management.

Through fairsnape we can help with advice or support in these areas, in practice or in bid articulation. Why not have a conversation? You can follow and join me on twitter @fairsnape, subscribe to or share this blog post, or get in touch.

Bhutan’s ecosystem and green wealth is worth nu 700bn a year

As the UK calls on countries to start green accounting, putting value to nature, biodiversity and ecosystems, Sonam Pelden writing recently in Bhutan Business recently gives a fascinating insight into the country’s Gross National Happiness accounting system. Based not only on the market economy but also natural, social, cultural and human wealth, demonstration perhaps that a triple bottom line economy can work at national levels. A demonstration also then of NSR National Social Responsibility?

A new study on Initial Estimate of Value of Ecosystem Services in Bhutan revealed that the country’s ecosystem is worth more than Nu 700bn a year, much higher than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nu 72.3bn a year.

The staggering value of the ecosystem in Bhutan was arrived at to come up with a new national accounting system apart from the GDP. The accounting system, based on Gross National Happiness (GNH), would not only count what market economy produces but also consider natural, social, cultural and human wealth. Benefits are in terms of clean air, healthy soil, recreation and other values.

Recognising the value and importance of forests, not just as market value but as environment and social value is a key component. Something we here in the UK need to heed …

Bhutan’s constitution mandates the country to preserve a minimum of 60% forest coverage for all time to come. Today, Bhutan has total forest coverage of 74.5%.

Sonam and Business Bhutan are on twitter at @sonampelden and @business_bhutan

#Greendeal and the @LCBPC balanced view

The following great article written by David at DIEMLtd appeared on his blog (well worth reading, liking and subscribing to by the way)

The impending Green Deal is really whipping some people up into a frenzy, but I’ve been here before.  Without naming names and these people should have had some professional responsibility, many years ago I attended a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) and Home Information Packs (HIPs) briefing where these persons were saying you could earn £150 per energy assessment and do up to 8 a day.

I knew at the time that these fees were way off the mark and qualified as a DEA expecting a sensible rate, in line with other work I do. Well, lots of people were whipped into a frenzy and bitterly disappointed when there was little work, which was down to the housing market’s problems and the disgraceful management of and dithering with the scheme of the last government.  People got trained, then it was delayed by the politicians, but wages needed to be paid. In the meantime, until some more stringent quality approval arrangement were brought in, which actually penalises the ones who do things properly, there were people doing a DEA for as low as £30 (minus about £7 lodgement fee for the report, travel etc which doesn’t leave much profit) and stories about people doing them over the telephone and Google maps.

That wasn’t meant to be a rant, but set the scene to where we are today with Green Deal.  As someone thinking of applying to be a assessor, it’s difficult to write a business plan as nobody knows how much certificaiton will cost, or will the market be swamped by people looking for a fast profit, or assessments being done as a loss leader, making the small firm or sole practictioner be cast adrift.

I was very pleased that RICS addressed some key problems of impartiality of assessors and other factors in their consultation response to DECC (available from and a very good read), but it is an unknown and people do feel slightly lost.

Yes there are Green Deal web domains registered, but the quality of content varies greatly and some could be deemed to lack transparancy on some websites in terms of ownership and professional standards. 

I’m most encouraged about an initiative launching locally to me in the North West by Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club who are looking at setting up a Green Deal Club which will bring interested parties together at UCLan in Preston on 22 February 2012. More details can be found at:

I’m very enthusiatic about this Green Deal Club as it’s not suggesting any immediate answers, but are going to address the unknowns and the solutions as they happen in an open, balanced and honest environment.

The only certainty the club is offering is that Green Deal will happen and Construction organisations wanting to become involved in this, and maybe other eco refurbishment schemes, will need accredited certification to PAS 2030, which the club will be looking into giving support.

So, there are more questions than answers with Green Deal, but I’m convinced that we can seek the answers more effectively working together rathern than in isolation.