Firms can tap into eco-homes opportunities

Building and construction firms from across Norfolk are to get the chance to learn how to take advantage of opportunities arising from plans to build thousands of new eco-homes to the north of Norwich at a major conference next month.

The 'Constructing the Future' conference, which is a partnership between Broadland District Council, the Build Norfolk Network, and the LCIC building research establishment, is designed to brief the construction and supply chain industry on how companies can grab a slice of a multi-million pound market being created by plans to build 7,000 new homes in the Rackheath, Sprowston, Old Catton and Thorpe St Andrew area.

The 'Growth Triangle' includes more than 4000 homes as part of the Rackheath eco-community development.

The council's head of economic development, Chris Hill said the whole ethos of Broadland's growth agenda is to build environmentally-friendly and sustainable communities, which means the traditional construction industry needs to adapt to cash in.

He added: 'We want to explain the innovative and low carbon practices, technologies and working measures that will be used as the growth strategy evolves and make sure Norfolk firms understand our vision so they are in a strong position to compete for the work.

'It's about developing a modern and environmentally-aware construction and supply chain industry for the future and ensuring our local companies are geared up to win product and service contracts.'

The conference –at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park on December 1 – will explain the ground-breaking energy efficient measures that have been incorporated in a small affordable home development at Trinity Close, Rackheath, which set a benchmark for future new build.

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Delegates will hear from the contractors on that scheme, Dove Jeffrey Homes, and from the University of East Anglia's Low Carbon Innovation Centre, which is monitoring energy use from the Trinity Close development.

They will also be briefed on how the industry can benefit from low carbon renovation work to existing properties, and attend a networking session where they can find out more about current and future work opportunities.

Companies wishing to attend should book online via and click on the Events tab.