Mindful Employer Logo

AES signs the Mindful Employer Charter

‘Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health’

As part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Mindful Employer and its services are administered by a team of Mental Health and Employment Professionals. The team will work with AES Sustainability Consultants to adapt good mental health practice to the policies and procedures that best suit our needs.

By signing the ‘Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health’, we are making a public declaration of our organisations ambition to meet the aspirations set out in the charter, and to support the mental wellbeing of our staff.

Celebration of buyout

Successful Completion of Management Buyout

AES Sustainability Consultants and Domestic Air Leakage Testing Energy Consultants (DALTEC) announce successful completion of management buyout


The founder of both companies, Jon Bodington, was keen to protect the businesses and its staff by giving the management team the opportunity to purchase the businesses so he could take a step back to pursue other interests.  The buyout has transferred ownership of both companies to AES Sustainability Limited whose new shareholders include Jon and Sue Bodington along with members of the senior management team: Fraser Hall, Anna Farmer, Alex Brooks, Silvio Junges, Greg Lock, Andrew McManus and Stewart Boyce.

Day to day management control of the companies is retained by the existing Directors; Fraser Hall, Anna Farmer and Alex Brooks.

AES Sustainability Consultants and DALTEC provide high quality advice and technical support throughout the lifecycle of a development, from land buying and planning stages right through to post-construction testing and certification. The two companies employ over 40 staff and service clients across the UK, including many of the top national housebuilders, developers and contractors.

“I have worked with Jon since 2005 and found him to be an inspirational, driven and focused leader.  After 14 years of building AES Sustainability Consultants and DALTEC I understand his desire to take a step back from the businesses and am happy to take up the reigns and continue to deliver his vision.Fraser Hall

Founding AES Sustainability Consultants in 2005, Jon Bodington soon became the Managing Director of a growing team and whilst he won’t be in the office day-to-day, he will still have an impact on the future of AES and DALTEC through his role of Chairman.

“I have worked in AES for over eight years now and am extremely proud of the expertise and dedication of the team.  We are very grateful for the passion that Jon has instilled in us all and the high standards he has set. 

Jon has always been the driving force behind the business but as we have grown the senior managers have taken on increasing responsibility for the day to day running of the company and shaping our future direction. 

Jon’s decision to take a step back will not impact on our future growth as we have strong relationships with our client base and a passionate team dedicated to delivering the highest standards of service. Jon set up the company to deliver honest, impartial advice to the construction industry and we will continue to do this for our clients across the UK, large and small.”  Anna Farmer

Legal advice to the founders was provided by James Orpin of Tozers LLP and legal advice to the management buyout team was provided by Evelyn Adfield of Porter Dodson LLP.

Cranes in skyline

Constructing Clean Air

Today is World Environment Day, a day to raise awareness of the environmental issues. This year, we are encouraged to learn more about the air pollution around you, and how we can #BeatAirPollution.

Poor air quality within our towns and cities has been well documented over recent years, but how much the construction industry contributes to this, particularly when taking a whole life cycle approach is perhaps less well known. Air pollution is known to cause a range of illnesses including; an increased risk of lung disease, asthma attacks, Type 2 Diabetes… the list does go on. There are numerous sources of air pollution from driving and heating your home to larger scale commercial activities, such as manufacturing and construction.

What can and does the construction do to help #BeatAirPollution?


  • Specify and install energy efficient building solutions, systems and equipment reducing SO2 and NOx associated with the burning of fossil fuels during the operation of the building.
  • Travel methods for the development users must be considered as early as possible to ensure the development is designed to enable significant reductions in car-based travel.
  • Where car-based travel is required; specify electric car charging, car sharing spaces and limited car parking to encourage the use of alternative or more sustainable transport modes.
  • Sufficient ventilation in buildings to reduce indoor air pollution.
  • Specification of non-toxic paints, varnishes, woods and solvents, to reduce emissions from these products throughout the lifetime of the building.


  • Construct responsibly by reducing traffic to site through efficient procurement
  • Replace generators, excavators, bulldozers, mobile cranes and loaders etc. (otherwise known as Non-Road Mobile Machinery or NRMM) with more efficient models and gain NRMM certification through the energy saving trust. There are now some companies producing electric NRMM and battery storage for generators to help reduce diesel usage on site.
  • Devise robust control measures for dust to limit its distribution both on and off site.
  • Use non-toxic paints, solvents etc. as much as possible.
  • No burning of materials on site.
  • Testing the new buildings indoor environments to ensure levels of formaldehyde and VOCs are met.

Handover and Occupancy

  • Commission building systems, to ensure that they are working and being used correctly to minimise any detrimental impacts on both the internal and external air quality of the development.
  • Building owners and managers to be provided with robust travel management plans to ensure that car-based travel is reduced as much as possible.
  • Building Handover and User Guides to ensure that facilities managers and users are able to use the systems correctly.

The construction industry can go a long way in helping reduce air pollution, by constructing buildings to help reduce air pollution and minimise impact of construction activities. In essence, the industry has a large role to play to help construct clean air for our future generations.

Written by Maxine Goodey, Senior Consultant 

BREEAM Local Plans – South West

Local Planning Authorities across the UK have a responsibility to secure solid progress against the country’s targets to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change impacts. What can they do to ensure sustainable construction practices are embedded in non-residential development? Please read the attachment.

BREEAM Local Plan – South West

We will distribute other regions in instalments over the next few months. If you would like to discuss this attachment, please contact Maxine Goodey

Good news for the indoor air quality and overheating project

Building Alliance are delighted to confirm that they have secured funding from Birmingham City University to support a 3 year PhD student to provide full time support for the indoor air quality and overheating project. The PhD will be supervised by Dr Monica Mateo Garcia supported by Professor David Boyd and Mike Leonard. Silvio Junges, of AES Sustainability Consultants, will continue to Chair the steering group for this important work.

This program of research and real time trials is vital as we seek to demonstrate the value of thermal mass combined with efficient heating and effective ventilation. There is growing evidence of poor indoor air quality leading to respiratory illness putting an increased burden on the NHS and overheating which is resulting in premature deaths. The promotion of lightweight structures, increased use of insulation and an ageing population will only add to this issue.

The Government has recognised this and have confirmed that they will consult on changes to the guidance on Part F (Ventilation) at the same time as they consult on Part L. We are planning a further event with MHCLG on this subject. The Government has written to Building Alliance to commit their full support for this initiative.

Building Alliance will now begin the process of recruiting the right person who will commence in September 2019.

CPD article

Zero Carbon Councils – The Climate Emergency Declaration

This informal CPD article was written by Aaron Moon, a Graduate Sustainability Consultants at AES Sustainability Consultants for CPD UK.

Prompted by the IPCC special report on Global warming of 1.5°C released in Autumn of 2018, as well as increasing pressure from community groups and youth climate protests, multiple councils in recent months have passed motions of ‘Climate Emergency’. This declaration marks the councils’ acknowledgement of the immediate need to take action, and in turn have set aspirational goals for their respective regions to be carbon neutral.

The framework for declaration has involved a set of common commitments within each council:

  • To set a target date for carbon neutrality, ideally by 2030.
  • To establish a working group to develop and implement the climate action plan. This must be reported to the full council within 6 months, including the proposed strategy to reach the target and the associated budget required.
  • To call on national government to provide the powers and resources necessary to meet the 2030 target.
  • To work in association with other councils to determine best practice, and implement similar strategies.

As of April 2019, 42 councils in the UK have made a declaration of climate emergency, of which 27 have set the target for 2030.

Achieving Carbon Neutrality

To achieve these ambitious targets will require an extensive overhaul of infrastructure, the economy and societal norms of these communities. One integral area for decarbonisation will be the reduction of energy demand from the built environment; both new and existing. This suggests that future Local Plans in these regions will place greater emphasis on low energy/zero carbon developments, and set a precedent for all new developments to be resilient to climate change. However, as these motions have only passed in recent months, the strategies for meeting the targets across the 42 councils remain in continued development. Currently, South Cambridgeshire council is seeking to establish a carbon-free area in the next local plan, which will consider not only the dwellings, but also land-use, transport links and waste systems. This demonstrates the whole-systems, holistic thinking that will be required to meet the rapid decarbonisation goals effectively.

Milton Keynes council are also in discussion on a proposal to trial post-occupancy monitoring of new-build household energy performance, overheating and air quality to facilitate continuously improving standards for planning. A recognised monitoring scheme would be established to achieve this, which would intend to monitor these factors within 10% of each new developments’ dwellings for the first five years of occupation. This would drive up performance of new dwellings in terms of energy-performance, whilst also ensuring that the homes are resilient in the long-term to climate change, and additionally could establish a proven monitoring program that could be implemented in other councils.

Decarbonisation of New Developments

While the decarbonisation of new developments is vital, the importance of existing buildings cannot be underestimated – with 80% of homes in occupation today projected to still be in use in 2050. The decarbonisation of the built environment will therefore require the roll-out of large-scale retrofitting programs, which would drastically reduce the energy demand of existing homes, whilst also tackling other problems such as fuel poverty and unhealthy living environments (e.g. damp). Such schemes have been pioneered in the Netherlands under the ‘Energiesprong’ program, with a similar project now being implemented in Nottingham (with the support of a £5m EU Regional Development Fund). This innovative program demonstrates Nottingham’s commitment to their targets, having already achieved their 26% reduction target for 2020 two years early, and having set the earliest target for carbon neutrality (by 2028).

Collaboration between Councils

Lastly, communication between councils is highlighted as a key aspect of the declaration. This drive towards collaboration between councils suggests a promising direction towards the establishment of best-practice for decarbonisation. This has the potential to strengthen policy and provide guidance to further councils that make the declaration going forward. A collective approach would also facilitate easier implementation within the relevant business sectors, for example a standardised improvement on planning requirements would have to be met by the industry in all regions.


To summarise, over the coming year we can expect more councils to declare climate emergencies, with the councils to already have made the declaration announcing their decarbonisation strategies. By working collaboratively, and with increasing pressure on the government to support councils in these targets, best-practice approaches to rapid decarbonisation will be identified and over the coming years implemented.

We hope this informal CPD article was helpful. Please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles.

Big Devon March

The Big Devon March is a month-long challenge to see which Devon workplace can achieve the most steps, organised by Active Devon. Charlotte, Office Manager at AES Sustainability Consultants, put together a team to encourage her fellow colleagues to move more during a working day.

“I am aware the amount of time people spend sitting down has been linked to poor health and long-term medical conditions but I am as guilty as my fellow colleagues and regularly sit at my desk too long during the working day, so I thought some healthy competition would make us all more aware of the damage we are doing to ourselves by not moving regularly.” Charlotte LW

Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death. We cannot ignore that research, we must act now to protect our health for the future.

100 Step Challenge


Our team consisted of 26 employees, we noticed a difference from day one; parking down the road instead of the car park to get in some extra steps, walking over to talk to colleagues instead of emailing and group walks together at lunch time.




“I wasn’t sure this would really change my routine much, given I was pretty active beforehand, but once I got going it did actually make me want to do more and be more active.” Fraser B


“It made me rethink. By using an activity tracker and seeing the difference in steps on days when I have actively trained vs. days with little activity. Therefore after the challenge I am trying to introduce more casual activities like walking to the shops to keep a fairly consistent step record throughout the week.” Maggie S


“I just wanted to beat Jono” Fraser B

Lunchtime Walk

We came 34th (out of 101). We are really proud of our team for their consistent effort throughout the month and really backing this challenge. We hope the outcome of this is that we are more mindful during the working day and choose to move more and sit less.

Position Member Total Steps 
1 Fraser B 534,442
2 Jono 525,460
3 Ed 459,990
4 Alex 400,157
5 Alice 398,146
6 Charlotte D 345,389
7 Ella 343,104
8 Ross 329,098
9 Mitch 305,873
10 Maggie 270,666
11 Max 260,649
12 Laura 240,538
13 Anna 222,028
14 Charlotte LW 213,948
15 Row 206,733
16 Lindsey 201,233
17 Sarah 200,218
18 Andrew 197,661
19 Mel 185,505
20 Aaron 159,643
21 Kat 156,498
22 Fraser H 147,414
23 Kieran 138,355
24 Lisa 88,117
25 Yasmin 52,105
26 Ben 9,300
Total 6,592,270

Fingle Bridge Branscombe to Beer


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And the winner is…

BREEAM Awards Winner Image with Lisa and Maxine
Lisa Coggins (middle-left) & Maxine Goodey (middle-right)

AES Sustainability Consultants are winners at the 2019 BREEAM Awards.

An annual fixture for built environment professionals, the awards recognise excellence in the sustainable building arena.

“It’s a real pleasure to highlight and applaud the ‘best of the best’ buildings across the globe,” comments Dr. Shamir GhumraBREEAM Director at BRE“They reflect an exceptional commitment to sustainable construction in a variety of ways and epitomise the value that BREEAM certification brings to projects at all stages of a building’s lifecycle.   Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.”

Public Sector Project – Post Construction Award goes to National College for High Speed Rail, UK. Working alongside Willmott Dixon and Bond Bryan Architects. AES Sustainability Consultants were appointed as the BREEAM assessor for this landmark building.

The building pushed the boundaries of best practice, achieving BREEAM Excellent using a well-balanced quality design, providing unique learning spaces in a highly efficient and comfortable building that will stand the test of a changing climate.

“This project differed from the others in its category in its function but also in its simple and understandable approach to sustainable design. The clarity and transparency of the design solution together with a clear focus on robust, cost-effective solutions and well-presented biodiversity gains were noted as were the references to the architectural heritage of the railway network in the UK. A simple but accomplished project.” BREEAM Awards

Congratulations to all involved. Please see below some images kindly provided by Bond Byran Architects.

London Plan Update

The latest draft of the New London Plan was published in August 2018, and once it has been through examination in public it is expected to be adopted towards the end of 2019 or early 2020.

The draft plan contains a number of policy changes relating to sustainable construction and carbon emissions reduction, which are likely to have a material impact on energy strategies for new development. In advance of adoption, updated guidance on the calculation of carbon emissions for new developments from January 2019 has also been published, so some of the changes will impact all new applications from the start of this year.

We have reviewed the policy and supporting documents and produced a summary of the key impacts and things that our clients should be aware of – for further details please contact our office to discuss how we can help.