AECB Annual Conference 2022

Building for a Future : Conversations with Experts

Friday 30 September 2022 | Shell Store and NMITE, Hereford


Download the programme here

View the highlights video of the day below


The AECB's in person live one-day event "Building for a Future" on Friday 30th September focussed on practical solutions to decarbonising buildings, with a particular emphasis on approaches which offer most potential to deliver low energy, healthy buildings at scale while minimising the use of precious resources and impact on the environment.

We discussed practical solutions to decarbonising buildings and gained a deep and detailed understanding of sustainable building & retrofit, and of the issues that need addressing to deliver low energy, healthy buildings at scale while minimising the use of precious resources and impact on the environment.

As part of the pre-conference pack delegates had access to a recording of a pre-conference webinar with Q&A by Kevin Albertson, of MMU Business School and you may now click here to access it

The Great Squeeze: The current economic paradigm shift and
its implications for greening our design and construction business models

  Kevin Albertson Professor of Economics, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Prof. Kevin Albertson is an eclectic economist with a background in statistics and economics. He is a member of the Decent Work and Productivity Research Centre, is author/co-author of over 40 refereed academic articles and book chapters, and is co-author/editor of eight books, including the Haynes Guide ‘How to Run the Country’ and ‘Decent Work: Opportunities and Challenges’.

Kevin’s work ranges from business and social forecasting and the evaluation of government policy to the impact of globalised liberal markets on the political economic prospects of the UK; the ways, means and implications of privatisation and marketisation in the public sector; and the development of social, and responsible, innovation. He is currently working in the areas of employment and society in a low-to-zero (economic) growth economy, and the wellbeing aspects of relational – as opposed to transactional – socio-economic interactions.


Hosted at NMITE’s Centre for Advanced Timber Technology (CATT), live demonstrations were front and centre to the event with particular emphasis placed on the role of innovative uses of timber and bio-based materials. The demonstration area showcased several assemblies for new build and retrofit, including assemblies developed by AECB experts, and proprietary assemblies developed by AECB partners including:

  • AECB EnerPHit and new build extension assembly
    Sponsors: Partel and Green Building Store
  • AECB ‘semi-detached’ suspended floor with EWI/IWI options assembly
    Sponsor: Ecological Building Systems
  • EcoCocon assembly
  • Steico/Ecomerchant assembly
  • GenZero Classroom

Delegates split into discussion groups to review how each assembly is constructed and gain a detailed understanding of practical best practice examples aided by our team of experts who guided discussion and thinking. This was a great opportunity to network and focus on group-style feedback to manufacturers and component suppliers.

Videos of the conference

The videos of the keynote speakers and sponsor exhibits can be found on our Youtube channel


Our experts were :

Toby Cambray, Greengauge - Expert: Building physics, monitoring and modelling

Toby is a founder-director and building physicist at Greengauge; he is particularly interested in moisture risk in retrofit and traditional and historic buildings. Toby is one of the most experienced practitioners of hygrothermal simulation in the UK, sits on the modelling and monitoring technical working group of the UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings and is currently undertaking a PhD on moisture in historic brickwork at UCL. He is also an experienced Passivhaus consultant and trainer on the Carbonlite Passivhaus Designer course. Toby and Hannah are currently completing a deep-energy retrofit of their own house.

  Jeff Colley, Passive House Plus - Expert: Embodied carbon

Jeff is the editor of Passive House Plus. He won the Green Leader award at the 2010 Green Awards for his advocacy work on the inclusion of energy ratings in property advertising, and a proposal to finance energy upgrades via utility bills. He established Construct Ireland (for a sustainable future), Ireland's pioneering sustainable building magazine, in 2003. The magazine evolved into Passive House Plus in late 2012, the world's first English language magazine focused on passive house, as well as other aspects of sustainable building. He is also a founder of Éasca, (the Environmental and Sustainable Construction Association) , an organisation set up to develop and promote a membership of approved companies offering genuinely sustainable solutions. He writes a regular column for the Sunday Times, and has authored, co-authored and contributed to articles on sustainable building for numerous newspapers including the Irish Times, The Sunday Business Post, the Irish Examiner & the Sunday Tribune.

  Beth Williams MEng (Hons), CEng MICE, Build Collective - Expert: Structural engineering

Beth is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Certified PassivHaus Designer, and associate at Build Collective, a bespoke engineering consultancy based in Bristol.

Beth has over 10 years’ experience in low-energy and low-carbon design and construction, focussing on timber frame PassivHaus buildings. Her project experience ranges from domestic extensions to new build sports halls and high security NHS facilities.

Alongside practice work, Beth is a visiting tutor at Bath, Cardiff and UWE architecture schools, and group leader for the AECB Bristol & Bath local group. Beth is passionate about making low-energy buildings simple to build, affordable and available to all.

  Tim Hulse, EcoVert Solutions - Expert: Buildability

Returning to England after 12 years in Canada cast the UK housing stock in a very poor light from both a comfort and energy efficiency perspective which led to Tim obtaining a Masters Degree in Architecture from CAT and starting EcoVert Solutions to do something about it.

Focused on building new homes and retrofits to the Passivhaus and AECB Building Standard and celebrating its tenth anniversary last year, Ecovert Solutions prefers to use sustainable insulation materials built around timber frame.

Tim certified as a Passivhaus Designer and Tradesperson and is completing the AECB Carbonlite and Retrofit Coordination courses.

  Gervase Mangwana, Waxwing – Expert: Airtightness and whole house modelling

Gervase carries a Masters degree in Renewable Energy and the Built Environment and has done AECB CLR training and CEPH (Passivhaus).

He is a fully accredited IATS  Level 1 Blower door tester with more than 10 years’ experience testing the airtightness of buildings specialising in existing housing retrofit and very air-tight new builds including for Passivhaus certification. He is also a trained Thermographer.

Over this time, he has built up a deep feel for the airtightness issues of the existing housing stock.

Additionally, Gervase has been doing whole house retrofit assessments for over 10 years.

Since 2015 he has sub-contracted as an assessor and modeller for Carbon Co-op on the scheme now known as People Powered Retrofit of which he is a founding board member.

He now also works independently using both People Powered Retrofit’s HRP SAP model and PHPP in Herefordshire where he resides.

In this capacity he has done assessments and proposed whole house plan measures for the deep retrofit of around 100 homes.

  Tim Martel, PHribbon - Expert: PHPP and Embodied CO² energy calculations for new build and retrofit projects

Tim is an AECB Expert Advisor and an expert in CO2 calculations for buildings. He qualified as a Passivhaus Designer in 2012 and worked on new build, retrofit, domestic and commercial PHPP models. For several years he contributed data for the AECB Retrofit course. Later he also qualified as a Retrofit Coordinator and coordinated 90 retrofits in London. Four years ago he started developing the AECB’s PHribbon software, combining his experience in PHPP with earlier work in research and as a programmer.  Tim saw a great need for Embodied CO2 calculations that could be easily done in PHPP.  He has continuously improved the software ever since, given many talks on it, and there are now Canadian and US versions.

 Matt Stevenson, EcoSystems Technologies – Expert: Homegrown mass timber design, manufacture and install

Matt is a recognised industry leader in digital construction technology and low carbon building designs, having previously founded and developed early industry pioneer Carbon Dynamic. Matt is a serial collaborator with industry and academia to drive forward applied innovation, specifically in timber technology to add value to the homegrown timber, and this has most recently been demonstrated through the pioneering work Ecosystems has been focussed on in demonstrating the commercial viability of homegrown mass timber.

Trish Andrews, AECB Training Manager

Trish is the AECB's Training Manager. Qualifying as an Architect 23 years ago she has a wide-ranging experience in Sustainable Design. Prior to joining the AECB, Trish worked at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) as Programme Leader/Senior Lecturer on the Masters in Sustainable Architecture in the Graduate School for the Environment for 15 years, as well undertaking the roles as Environmental Building Consultant and Sustainable Buildings Manager.

Her specific experience includes contribution to the education of sustainable architecture, developing and running the UK’s first fully holistic environmental architectural Masters degree course, involving integrated pedagogical approaches complemented with ethical business and cooperation management skills. She was listed as one of the top 20 Women Influencing Sustainable Architecture (AJ, 2013).

Her involvement in the higher education sector has both enriched and forged a desire to share her knowledge and skills with building professionals and educators within the sustainable building and construction industry and to pursue an interest in implementing low carbon training courses, best practice methods, ethical pedagogical teaching methods with a determination to improve low carbon practices/knowledge, quality and standards for a net zero future.

Barbara Jones, EcoCocon – Expert: Straw based construction

Barbara Jones, trailblazer in natural building, is also an entrepreneur, designer, teacher & qualified carpenter. Awarded Woman of Outstanding Achievement Award (UKRC) & Lifetime Achievement Award (Women in Construction) she has starred in Dragon’s Den, Country File, and had work featured on Grand Designs in a career in construction spanning 40 years.

Sponsor Experts

 Ecological Building Systems : Neil Turner, Technical Manager UK

Neil is Technical Sales Manager of Ecological Building Systems and is former TIMSA/BBA competent U-value scheme. He has been involved in development of CEN European Standards and has extensive experience within the natural insulation sector.

 Steico & EcoMerchant : Martin Twamley, Technical Director, STEICO

Martin Twamley BSc (Hons) is the Technical Director of STEICO UK Ltd who are a subsidiary of STEICO SE, the world’s largest producer of wood fibre insulation.

Martin trained as Architectural Technician, working on numerous projects across Europe, and has been involved in the supply, design and specification of both structural timber products and natural insulation materials for over 30 years. He has also been a guest lecturer on various EU funded skills workshops, which promote the use of natural and sustainable building processes.

In his spare time Martin is actively involved with The Conservation Volunteers who aim to connect communities with the green spaces around them

 Hugh Whiriskey, Technical Director, Partel

Hugh is the Founder and Director of Partel. He is an accredited Certified Passive House Designer and a leading specialist in sustainable building and energy efficiency, with extensive knowledge in design and construction management, building fabrics, technical engineering, and R&D. During his career of over 23 years, he has been involved in many different projects ranging in scale and complexity from large commercial developments and residential developments to bespoke residential dwellings. Hugh has wealth of expertise within low-energy construction sector across various roles such as consultant sales engineer, product training, contracts manager, technical engineer, project manager and in recent years as a technical director - BEng MIEI MCIOB CEPH.

Passionate about innovative low-carbon materials and sustainability, Hugh strongly believes that we all can accelerate our contribution to a carbon-neutral built environment, with a keen focus on the holistic approach to building envelope systems.

  Green Building Store : Andy Mitchell, Managing Director

Andy Mitchell has been the Managing Director of Green Building Store since February 2022.  Under his leadership he continues to build on the company’s established position at the forefront of the low energy and Passivhaus building market. Andy previously worked for 12 years at Natural Building Technologies, in a variety of roles including Managing Director and previously both Technical and Sales Director. He has also held Directorship roles within a number of other companies and organisations working within the field of sustainable construction. Andy’s knowledge and experience ranges from modular construction to the thermal performance of buildings and construction product innovation.

The AECB conference 2022 is very grateful for the kind support of our sponsors


Ecological Building Systems

Established in 2007 and based in Ireland and the UK, Ecological Building Systems believe in a “Fabric First” approach to the design of healthy low energy sustainable buildings.  We support architects, contractors, consultants and homeowners with high-quality, high-performance diffusion open natural building materials and solutions. Paired with our industry leading technical support and training, we help all sectors create a better built environment for newbuild and retrofit projects.

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Green Building Store

Green Building Store offers products and support for energy efficient homes and buildings. Founded in 1995, it has been at the at the forefront of sustainable, low energy building, offering product innovations and services to helping to support the uptake of Passivhaus in the UK.  Products and services, including triple glazed timber and alu-clad windows and doors, advanced MVHR heat recovery ventilation, specialist airtightness and insulation products, as well as consultancy and building services. 


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 Partel is a leading developer and supplier of high-performance systems for the low-energy building sector. They combine their knowledge in architecture and engineering with technical expertise and a unique building physics approach to build up bespoke solutions for your project.

Technical excellence is at the core of their R&D process, providing an integrated range of Airtight and Windtight Systems, Thermal Bridging Solutions, and Ventilation Systems for improving the environmental performance of both residential and commercial buildings.

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EcoCocon straw panels are structural exterior wall elements that consist of 98% raw, renewable materials - straw and timber. Thanks to a special straw pressing technology, the panels achieve excellent insulation properties. Together with an interior clay plaster, an exterior airtight membrane and a protective layer of wood fibre board, the entire system is Passivhaus standard certified. Airtight, yet vapour-permeable, the system has no thermal bridges and provides exceptional indoor comfort.

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STEICO is a major supplier of I-joists and wood fibre insulations. STEICO aims to promote both the environmental and health and wellbeing benefits of using its ecological wood fibre insulations and is collaborating with many organisations to endorse the credentials of natural materials in the built environment. STEICO is actively driving the trend amongst architects and specifiers to select natural, breathable wood fibre solutions that meet the UK government’s ambition for healthy homes and buildings.

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