The Story Behind Darren Evans Assessments
In issue 6 of Insulate Magazine we went behind the scenes at Darren Evans Assessments with a in-depth with the Managing Director Darren Evans.
Based in Chipping Sodbury near Bristol and with offices in Birmingham, Darren Evans Assessments Ltd is a busy, fast-growing and dynamic company offering energy saving assessments, research and consultancy services. Working for large commercial developers through to independent investors with a small private rental portfolio, architects, housebuilders and public sector organisations, this leading independent consultant can provide a broad range of energy efficiency and sustainability services.
How did you become involved in the industry?
My start in the industry developed from my interest in buildings, and an interest in sustainability. I saw an opportunity to help and add value to the construction industry
and the built environment. I also believed that it would be difficult for architects, M & E companies, property developers and managers etc, to keep up to date with regulations as they changed whilst at the same time follow their passion. I set up the company in 2007 from my home, with a vision to have a team of 50 people with regional offices across the country. We have come a long way in ten years and our client base is testament to that. We work with large and small organisations to support and help them with tenders, and discover and develop the ‘best’ methods for building.
What is your definition of ‘best’ when it comes to buildings?
My definition of ‘best’ and ‘sustainable’ is what is acceptable from an environmental perspective and also acceptable from a financial or business perspective. Things are not sustainable unless you are making money and a profit – an important part of sustainability that sometimes gets lost in the mix. I’d add that value and profitability will only occur in this market when there is quality, robustness and trust in the methodology, the calculation and the outcome.
What changes have you seen in the industry over the years?
There are a lot of good things going on, however, we struggle to articulate the sustainability element from a profitability perspective. We use buzzwords such as “BREEAM, reducing carbon, responsibility and sustainability”, but we struggle to define exactly what that means. One thing to one company means something else to another company. But the language every company understands is profit. We are ultimately trying to define and articulate that. So when you have a BREEAM assessment done for example, this is what the pounds and pence is going to look like. That is where I want to go. One of the best scenarios is having someone who understands and has bought into sustainability within an organisation, and someone who doesn’t as much, but is open and transparent.
As an industry, we have made huge steps forward in ensuring that buildings perform better. It would be great in the marketplace if we continue to move forward. One way is to look at planning applications and the expectation of when a building is going to be completed. Why buy a house in 2017 which has been built to a 2006 Building Regulation for example?
What excites you in the world of sustainability?
Some might say we don’t need another building standard, but the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL), industry’s first benchmark for human health and wellness is a step in the right direction. It’s also something Darren Evans Assessments is going to be adopting and encouraging. The needs and requirements of people within a building is something that everybody can identify with, irrespective of where you are from and what belief system you have. The health and wellbeing agenda is looking at the things we connect with, both purposefully and with an end in mind. This will help drive and encourage the owners of a building or company to connect with their staff better. When you work for a large organisation, it’s sometimes hard to feel connected with it. By creating an environment that is better for employees, there is a greater likelihood of them being connected to their workplace, from which they can be productive and flourish. It’s good for us all to work for organisations that are actually interested in their people and take employee health and wellbeing seriously.
What developments in the industry will help the testing process?
Pulse air pressure testing is a new way of testing the air pressure within a building and is quite different to the conventional ‘Blower door’ airtightness measurement technique. It measures building airtightness by generating an instant low pressure rise inside the building envelope. This new device has potential to deliver a number of benefits related to on-site testing and will allow quick and simple measurements to be made at various points within the build process.
To find out more or for more information visit the Darren Evans Assessments website.
Darren Evans will be on the esteemed panel of judges for The Insulation Industry Awards 2017, taking place at the East Midlands Conference Centre and Orchard Hotel in Nottingham on 30th November 2017. For more information visit the Insulation Industry Awards website.