BRE director to lead new business specialising in designing low- and zero-carbon buildings

One of the industry’s key sustainability players is to head a green venture for Sir Robert McAlpine.

David Strong, the managing director of BRE Environment, has left the company after nine years to set up an organisation specialising in sustainable building consultancy, research and design.

The new company, which is yet to be named, will sit alongside McAlpine’s Renewable Energy Systems (RES) companies, which specialise in developing and building wind farms.

Strong said: “We’ll be focusing on sustainable masterplanning and designing low and zero-carbon buildings. Our client base will be developers interested in low-energy sustainable buildings and community schemes.”

Strong, who began his new job on Tuesday, said the intention was to reach between 70 and 90 staff within three years.

A spokesperson for the BRE said the company would not be directly replacing Strong and that Peter Bonfield, its recently appointed chief executive, was likely to announce a shake-up in the next few weeks.

The news of Strong’s venture comes as RES announced this week that it had purchased a stake in three renewable energy companies. RES, which until now has specialised only in wind energy, has bought stakes in: Wood Energy, a provider of wood-fired boilers, EarthEnergy, a provider of ground-source heat pumps, and PV Systems, a maker and supplier of building-integrated photovoltaic systems.

Ian Mays, the chief executive of RES, said there was huge demand from the industry for renewable energy technologies that could meet their need for low carbon heat and power.

Strong’s new venture and RES’ acquisitions mark the first time McAlpine has entered the design, research and consultancy market.