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Episode 5 of our Building Talks Net Zero podcast series features an interview with Ben Houchen, Tees Valley mayor, on his ambitions to make the region a hub for the government’s so-called “green industrial revolution”.

Houchen is a strong advocate for hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage technology, and in this episode he criticises recent Whitehall policy that delayed any decision on whether to develop hyrdrogen as a fuel source until 2026.

Ben Houchen at Teesworks

Ben Houchen at Teesworks

We hear why he is so critical of the strategic decision to back heat pumps and why he calls for a “technology agnostic” approach to net zero research and development (you can read or listen to our full interview with Houchen later this week).

We also hear from Maria Smith, who is director of sustainability and physics at Buro Happold and has been involved in the Built Environment Declares recent survey of the sectors attitudes to radical net zero policies.

Simon Wyatt, partner at Cundall, provides our regular jargon buster session, this time explaining the term carbon sequestration, the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide which is most commonly associated with trees growing and then turning those trees into timber. But how do you get the maximum benefit and how should carbon accounting work?

You can hear episode 5 of the podcast by clicking on the player above. But, if you wish to subscribe so that you receive each podcast in the series at the time of release each Monday, then go to one of the main podcast providers such as Spotify and Apple.

st pancras renaissance hotel low res

Episode 5 was recorded at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London. Designed by George Gilbert Scott it underwent a £200m refurbishment by Manhattan Loft Corporation and Marriott Hotels and reopened in 2011. The architects were RHWL and Richard Griffiths.

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We’d love to know how you are working towards net zero on your projects, so write in and we’ll read out your comments in the next episode.

Listen to all the Building Talks Net Zero episodes so far, plus bonus material for subscribers