Qandor Property Magazine | Issue No. 12 | April 2021

Page 1

Qandor. ®



Steffie Broer's sustainable vision for a bright green future


The question we need to stop asking






FOREWORD A letter from our Founder, Matt Siddell




12 SPRING BUDGET: STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY EXTENSION AND 95% LTV MORTGAGES By Lee Langley Cover featuring Steffie Broer, Futures,



company with its finger firmly on the pulse of sustainable construction (p.34).


founder of Bright Green LAW










By Steffie Broer

By David Lawrence







By Oliver Lowrie

By Andrew McDonald







By Doug Johnson




IN BLOOM Qandor Founder Matthew Siddell Managing Director Kevin Taylor Managing Editor Gabrielle Winandy QANDOR TEAM Membership Manager Rekha Patel Videographer James Evans For editorial and advertising enquiries, please email: Visit our website: Contributors Andrew McDonald David Lawrence Doug Johnson Efe RIzvanoglu Emma Morby Gary Hersham Jake Pearlman Joe Mühl Jonathan More Lee Langley Oliver Lowrie Paul Oberschneider Paul Watson Peter Huf Steffie Broer Legal Qandor Ltd does not endorse any of the members or contributors to this publication. Always seek your own independent advice prior to investing or agreeing terms of business.

The clocks are forward, the temperatures are warming, cherry blossom is transforming our streets and parks and the days are beginning to stretch a little longer. Spring really does feel like the clean slate season! What’s even more exciting this year is that we’ll soon be coming out of lockdown as the country’s vaccination program roars forward – quite the contrast to this time last year. Spring is also a good time of the year to celebrate Earth Day (22 April). A day during which we should all recognise the importance, diversity and beauty of our natural world, but also – and now rather urgently – the fact that its fragile balance is under an immense threat directly caused by us humans. I recently read a rather damning statement that sums up the impact humans have on our natural world, it said: “Humans can’t survive without the earth, but the earth would thrive without humans.” It’s a stark reminder that our relationship with our world is toxic and rather one-sided, and we need to change that fast. Several Qandor members are dedicated to increasing their sustainable approach to property and construction, and are experiencing the business benefits first-hand too. From our cover story and interview with Steffie Broer about her company’s development of eco self-build communities (p.34), to Oliver Lowrie’s thoughts on how development can – and should – be leading the way when it comes to the de-carbonisation and greening of our environments (p.42). In a Qandor Property Magazine first, we are delighted to hear from Peter Huf, creator of the renowned Huf Haus, on why we should no longer be solely focussed on ROI when it comes to building sustainable homes (p.46). Continuing a recent Q. Online roundtable discussion, Doug Johnson examines the risks, changing legislation and opportunities that exist within the realm of sustainable development (p.52), and rounding off our homage to Earth Day 2021, Efe Rizvanoglu looks at two aspects of sustainability from a business and construction perspective (p.56). Now is the time for us all to make a change. Let’s do it.

Matt Siddell Founder 004 – Qandor – Issue No. 11

E-BOOKS NEW PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT Do you know your propery rights? Over 50 PAGES of relevant content Explore permitted development rights in detail, with chapters written by experts in their fields who give valuable advice and tips, including conversions from: • OFFICE TO RESI • RETAIL TO RESI




For most property developers and investors, buying an asset is done with a combination of equity and debt. At the far end of the spectrum is all equity and at the other end is all debt. How far you go towards one end of the spectrum or the other will determine your returns, in a linear fashion; the higher the risk (i.e., the more debt), the higher the ultimate returns, all things being equal. In the capital stack, the dearest slice of finance is equity. Equity carries the highest risk and gets wiped out first, ahead

006 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

of debt, which may be secured against the underlying property and has downside protection, the amount of which will depend on the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of the loan. So, by its very nature, equity will be a more “expensive” source of financing than debt. The purpose of this article is not to speculate on what that correct balance of debt or equity might be, as that will depend on many variables, but rather to discuss the composition of the equity component itself. A Developer, Sponsor, Operating Partner, or General Partner (GP) – whatever you call that person – will need equity in any deal (I will refer to that person as the “Sponsor” or the “GP”). That equity may

come out of their own pocket or it may be syndicated amongst a few “friends and family,” who, professionally speaking, would be called Limited Partners (LPs). The GP/ LP relationship is often confused with other terminology like joint venture. At the end of the day, it’s the same concept; the GP brings the deal, does all the work, and the LP brings the capital which allows the GP to scale his development business. A Sponsor’s position on the experience and size scale will determine the types of LP capital he will be able to raise. Newer Sponsors will turn to less sophisticated investors, or family and friends, and more experienced Sponsors will raise capital from professional investors such as family offices and institutions. The structure or composition of the Sponsor contribution will also typically depend on his track record. Typical textbook Sponsor contributions may range from as little as 5 percent of the equity up to 20 percent, in exchange for a disproportionate share of the development’s profits, also known as a “promote”. Promote

structures range from simplistic 50/50 profit splits to more rewards-based calculations based on hurdles or “waterfall returns”. These waterfall returns allow for the Sponsor to gain additional disproportionate profits from a successful deal after the target’s archived. With debt financing becoming more and more difficult to find in these challenging markets, the demand for equity has grown and has the appetite for junior, or mezzanine debt to replace some of the more expensive equity. The problem with junior debt is that it will carry additional legal costs, set up time, and most often a second charge over the asset, which many senior lenders do not like or care to structure, especially at lower deal sizes. Raising LP equity, structured in the right way, can alleviate some of the headaches. The thing is, there is no right or wrong way. Structuring your capital stack will fundamentally be driven by your track record, the deal itself and your ability to navigate through the different sorts of capital providers. Q. Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 007


BUDGET SPEECH DONE - WHAT NOW? JAKE PEARLMAN Chartered Accountant haysmacintyre

On Wednesday 3 March 2021, eyes across the UK once again turned to their TVs, hoping for clarity and certainty as Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his second Budget.

as well as other tax measures to kick-start the economy as we emerge out of lockdown. Inevitably this Budget will impact all UK businesses, but there are a number of particular measures affecting those working in the property industry:

The focus of his speech was around supporting jobs and companies through what we all hope are the final stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government announced various extensions to support schemes in place over the past 12 months,

New policies Mortgage guarantee scheme One of the key new schemes arising from the Budget to support the property industry is the mortgage guarantee scheme. The scheme, starting in April 2021, will provide

008 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

a guarantee to lenders across the UK who offer mortgages to people with a deposit of 5% on homes with a value of up to £600,000. Under the scheme, all buyers will have the opportunity to fix their initial mortgage interest rate for at least five years. The scheme, which will be available for new mortgages up to 31 December 2022, is designed to increase the availability of mortgages on new or existing properties for those with small deposits. Corporation tax Perhaps the most significant tax increase in the Budget announcement was the increase in Corporation Tax to 25% for companies with profits over £250,000 from 1 April 2023. The current 19% rate will remain for companies with profits below £50,000, with a tapering for those between the two thresholds. The delayed start date of this tax increase provides property businesses time to plan ahead and consider whether the structure of their business remains fit for purpose.

Super-deduction Between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery will benefit from new first year capital allowances. Under this measure, a company will be allowed to claim a superdeduction providing allowances of 130% on most new plant and machinery investments that ordinarily qualify for 18% from the main rate writing down allowances, and a first year allowance of 50% on most new plant and machinery that ordinarily qualify for special rate 6% writing down allowances. Losses The Chancellor has announced that any businesses with trading losses, both corporates with accounting periods ending in the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2020 and unincorporated businesses in the tax years 2020/21 and 2021/22, can carry back losses for three years. There is a cap of £2m that can be carried back more than one year for each accounting period or in each ➳ Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 009

who are non-UK residents. The new rates will be 2% higher than those that apply to purchases made by UK residents, and will apply to purchases of both freehold and leasehold property as well as increasing SDLT payable on rents on the grant of a new lease. The surcharge will apply to land transactions with an effective date of 1 April 2021 with transitional rules applying to some contracts exchanged before 11 March 2020 or substantially performed before 31 March 2021 and not completing until on or after 1 April 2021.

tax year. Whilst this will not be beneficial for landlords, given their business likely will not constitute a trading business, this could potentially be beneficial to property developers. COVID-19 temporary schemes Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) As many will have seen in the last nine months, SDLT had a temporary increase in the nil rate threshold for residential properties from £125,000 to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland, which was set to return to the previous threshold from 1 April 2021. The Chancellor announced an extension to the temporary increase to 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021 until 30 September 2021, the nil rate band will be £250,000 before returning to the standard amount of £125,000 from 1 October 2021, providing a further boost to the housing market. Rishi Sunak did however propose new SDLT rates for purchasers of residential property in England and Northern Ireland

010 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

Coronavirus loan schemes The Budget announced a new loan scheme to be introduced to replace those schemes launched in 2020 and now coming to an end. From 6 April 2021, the Recovery Loan Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10m to give them confidence to provide finance to UK businesses. Restart Grants In addition, Restart Grants in England will be provided up to £6,000 per premise for nonessential retail businesses and up to £18,000 per premise for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses. This cash inflow will provide much needed certainty to plan ahead and relaunch trading over the coming months. Business rates The Chancellor announced a continuation of 100% business rates relief for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties to 30 June 2021. This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to

31 March 2022, capped at £2m per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties. The Government has announced that it would conduct a fundamental review of the business rates system in England, with a final report expected to be announced in Autumn 2021. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) The CJRS has been extended to 30 September 2021. The level of grant available to employers under the scheme will stay the same as the previous 12 months until June 2021. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced, and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. This will reduce from 80% to 70% in July 2021 and 60% for August and September 2021. The Budget has also announced further grants for those who are self-employed with grants in place until September 2021. Missing parts The announcement, understandably, focussed on the positives. Rishi Sunak focussed on coming out of lockdown and how the Government will support businesses and people through a period of re-building. However, what was perhaps most noticeable was the lack of mention of any changes to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) or Inheritance Tax (IHT). There had been speculation for many months as to whether CGT rates would rise in line with income tax rates. Whilst the Chancellor has left CGT untouched for now, speculation remains that an Autumn

“From 6 April 2021, the Recovery Loan Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10m to give them conf idence to provide finance to UK businesses.” budget will bring about the increases that have been long discussed. This does provide businesses and landlords alike a further six months to plan ahead and consider their next steps. The Chancellor has also helpfully left Business Asset Disposal Relief (previously ‘Entrepreneurs Relief ’) untouched for now, providing lower CGT rates and further incentive to consider a sale before any future changes. What next? This perhaps was not the dramatic Budget many were expecting and was instead a Budget focussed on rebuilding our economy. Whilst this Budget could be described as the calm before the storm, the Chancellor has once again tried to support UK businesses as we emerge from lockdown. For the property industry, new schemes will provide a welcome short-term boost, but proposed tax hikes remain on the horizon. The industry can only watch on, digest this Budget and plan for the future, where possible, as we enter what is sure to be a turbulent period. Q.

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 011



The March 3rd Spring Budget was eagerly anticipated and saw two major announcements for the property and mortgage industries. Firstly, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the extension of the stamp duty holiday, and buyers with transactions currently underway breathed a huge sigh of relief.

012 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

The £500,000 nil-rate band will run until 30 June 2021, a three-month extension to the original date. There will be a subsequent tapering from 1 July 2021, where the nil-rate band will become £250,000, double the usual threshold. It will return to the standard level of £125,000 from 1 October 2021. The stamp duty holiday has been integral in enticing the nation to the property market during an uncertain time, and just as we started

to look beyond the original deadline, this extension has brought it to the forefront again. Research from MoneySuperMarket shows that mortgage enquiries rose by 421% in the first week of March. For many buyers, the potential saving is the difference between affording their new home or not, so they will bring forward their move. The expectation is that demand will be sustained until the end of June, leaving fewer transactions for the end of the year. The second announcement was confirmation of a 95% LTV mortgage guarantee scheme for properties up to £600,000 due to start in April. This is available for existing properties and new builds, first time buyers and home mover alike. The government will fully guarantee losses from lenders up to 80% of the purchase value, then partially guarantee losses above that, up to 95% of lenders costs for up to seven years. Interestingly, this is self-financing, with the taxpayer not facing the burden of any losses that may come about; instead, all lenders will pay into a pot. The scheme is similar in fact to an old Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee (MIG) policy, which would usually see the cost of the policy passed onto the customer via a higher arrangement fee. This is great news for those with lower

deposits, but questions remain whether this will be enough on its own for the legions of aspiring homeowners in the UK. Customers will still need to meet affordability, which is now at its worst level since the 2008 financial crisis. Earnings remained flat as many workers were put on furlough, but according to data from the Land Registry, house prices rose by almost 8% last year. As such the house price to earnings ratio, a measure of affordability, jumped from 9.5 (2019) to 10 (2020), according to property agent Benham and Reeves. It is imperative therefore that we continue the discussion on how to widen access to home ownership. Q.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Lee Langley is the Principal Mortgage and Protection Adviser at OnPoint Mortgages. OnPoint Mortgages a trading style of L&D Mortgages Limited is an appointed representative of The On-Line Partnership Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 25 Homefield Road, Bushey, Hertfordshire, WD23 3AP

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 013


WHEN BUILDERS GO BUST... CONTINUED! JONATHAN MORE Construction Lawyer Spencer West LLP Despite this and my previous article (Construction Timebomb: Detonation Date 1 March), I have been doing whatever I can in preparing current roundtable discussions we are hosting at Spencer West to cover more positive forward-looking topics – and we are discussing such topics. I do think the future for the second half of this year will be much brighter for the Development and Construction sectors. 014 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

However, we can’t avoid the “here and now” and as all developers will know, it does them no favours whatsoever for the construction industry – that will build, refurbish and fit out and finish their properties – to be on its knees, or for your contractors or their supply chain to be staggering along the cliff edge between a successful business and insolvency. As was reported in Building Magazine on 18 March, there have been more construction insolvencies in the last year than in hospitality and retail. Grim.

The recent Qandor meeting with the same title as this article suggested there was an appetite for more information on this topic, so here we go. What does “going bust” mean? This might seem a stupid question or one with an obvious answer, but it is not quite what it meant pre-COVID-19, but the basics are broadly the same and involves administration and liquidation. Administration gives a company some time to sort its affairs out as it continues to trade, in some form, under the control of the administrator(s), in an attempt to rescue the company as a growing concern or achieve the best possible result for creditors. If a company is not rescued through this process, it will be put into liquidation or dissolved. This is the last resort: to liquidate or wind up a company. Liquidation can be “compulsory” (by order of the court;

commenced by petition – often a creditor on grounds that the company cannot pay its debts) or “voluntary” (by resolution of the company, for example, by members’ or creditors’ voluntary liquidation). The new kid on the insolvency block is the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (the 2020 Act), brought in last June both to assist companies struggling with the impact of COVID-19, and also to introduce some other changes that have been in the pipeline for some time. The Act makes some permanent and some temporary changes to the insolvency rules and regulations. There is no need, for the purposes of this article, to become overly bogged down in technicalities quoting statutory legislation, but permanent changes include: • New moratorium on enforcement actions by creditors, in essence aimed to provide some breathing space for the “insolvent” company against creditor action ➳ Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 015

• The disapplication of supplier termination of contract provisions for insolvency i.e. a supplier cannot terminate a contract or do “any other thing” (e.g. amending payment terms) as a result of a company’s insolvency • New restructuring plan process (Part 26A restructuring plan) Temporary changes include (some of which will have ended by the date of issue of this article): • A director’s liability for wrongful trading, which expires on 30 April 2021 • A moratorium on Winding up Petition, which expires on 31 March 2021 and is relevant to all companies seeking payment for admitted debt or debts which have been determined as due by formal dispute proceedings.This is a particular hindrance to companies properly due money, and who may previously have managed to extract this money from a company under threat of insolvency as it restricts the creditor’s use of winding up petitions, so that creditor must have reasonable grounds to believe that COVID-19 had not had a financial impact on company, or grounds for winding up petition would have applied even if COVID-19 had not had an effect on the company. • A moratorium on statutory demands which expires on 31 March 2021 (a statutory demand being effectively a quick process by which a company can be held accountable in circumstances where it can be proven that it cannot pay a debt properly due).

016 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

Your contract is still important (but…) Notwithstanding the above, it remains important for those in contracts where there is an insolvency of one of the parties to be aware of the contractual consequences of such insolvency (albeit that some standard contractual options have been impacted by the 2020 Act). Focussing on the unamended JCT D&B 2016 contract, the standard terms allow a party to terminate if the other party is insolvent. If the Contractor is insolvent, Employer has a right to terminate the contract at any time. The Contractor loses the right to be paid (until the works are completed and defects are rectified) and its obligation to carry out and complete the works is suspended; it must remove the plant, equipment etc. and assign the benefit of any supply contracts without charge to the Employer. The Employer may also employ others to complete the works and make good any defects, and once works have been completed and any defects rectified, the Employer prepares a final account to show the balance payable (if any) to the Contractor and the costs the Employer has incurred, e.g. in employing others to complete the works and rectify defects and any other losses or damages suffered by the Employer. If any amounts are owed by the Contractor, this amount will be entitled to be recoverable as a debt . If the Employer is insolvent, the Contractor had a right to terminate for Employer insolvency but by virtue of the 2020 Act, this is no longer relevant and is not enforceable (reference the prohibition of any supplier of services to terminate a contract

where the beneficiary of those services becomes insolvent). The effect of the CIGA on contractual insolvency provisions As will be becoming apparent, the 2020 Act will have, and has had, an impact on construction contracts (which fall under the category of supplies of goods and services). The relevant changes that apply “where a company becomes subject to a relevant insolvency procedure” are permanent and will also now include the two new processes of moratorium on enforcement action by creditors and the new restructuring plan process. The Employer’s right to terminate under the JCT contract will not be affected by the CIGA as “company” is interpreted to mean the entity receiving any goods or services. However, because the definition of insolvency does not include the two new processes, then without amending the JCT Contract to include this, an Employer will not be entitled to terminate when the Contractor is subject to either of those procedures. So appropriate amendments should be made.

As indicated above, however, the Contractor’s right will no longer have any effect, and there will be no right to terminate the contract or “do any other thing” under the contract if the Employer is subject to a relevant insolvency procedure. The phrase “do any other thing” here is critical. It is reasonable to assume that if a party benefitting from the supply of goods and services is insolvent, it will not be able to pay for these services. In construction there is a statutory right to suspend works under a contract where a party has not been paid for those services. This is usually encapsulated within the relevant contract but even if not, it is implied by law. It is difficult to argue that suspending works for non-payment is not an act of doing any other thing; that said, it is a battle of one statutory right against another statutory right so there is a tension there. In the current environment, it seems nonsensical and unworkable to force a contractor or subcontractor to continue to provide services and goods where it is not, or at best is unlikely, to receive payment. ➳

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 017

However, it does appear that the 2020 Act has considered this. For example, if the court is satisfied that the contractor or sub-contractor will suffer undue hardship by continuing services due to the CIGA provisions, termination may be permitted. The key word there is “court” – so a relevant contractor will have to “tool up” with lawyers and pay to prove its case. In addition, certain exceptions apply for excluded companies, certain types of contract and smaller companies. Of course, a Contractor may still terminate if the Employer’s liquidator or administrator consents to the termination. This all being said, there is no absolute clarity as to whether or not a Contractor could suspend works for non-payment, but such actions should be treated with care and caution as if it is found that a party has wrongfully stopped its works on a contract it may be subject to the contract being repudiated (which creates a string of potential damages claims against the Contractor, which will be very gratefully received by any insolvency practitioner handling the insolvency process of the Employer). The result of all of this may all be somewhat counterproductive as Contractors may frontload claims and be more on the front foot in adjudications against an Employer to ensure that no money is left to chance as a project proceeds. Practical thoughts on how best to ensure the success of projects in the current environment Pre-contract legal steps There should be proper due diligence by both

018 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

parties who are due to sign up to a contract for any construction works, and a real effort for open and transparent collaboration on what is required for the works on the project to succeed. This includes: • careful scrutiny of the Contract Sum Analysis and cash flow schedules, and ensuring that they are not heavy at the front end, with no monies left to finish the job if there is an insolvency; • retention provisions; • ensuring the contract and sub-contract obliges sub-contractor to provide/procure: • full details of any sub-subcontractors/suppliers it intends to contract with • warranties from any sub-subcontractors with step-in rights • product warranties and guarantees • PI insurance • Vesting certificates in off-site materials (it should be noted that an Employer can include drafting in the main contract providing for a right for it to review and approve any subcontracts entered into. Clearly this would be subject to the agreement of the main contractor) • if you do have a right of review over subcontracts, or have procured your project to operate on a construction management model, include drafting in the subcontract to cover: • a right to terminate immediately on an insolvency event occurring • a system of early warnings regarding

events which may delay or increase the cost of the works (not a formal compensation event mechanism but simply a prospective approach to issues which may arise on any project) • the right of cross-contract set-off • lien over plant/machinery/materials • financial standing checks during term of sub-contract

solutions are not just “dumped” on one party. No matter the risk balance between parties to a construction contract, it does one party no favours at all if the other party has the majority of the risk but is not able to work its way through significant issues by being left to it. Yes, it is important that if a party does not comply with its obligations, the other party has rights which protect it from any losses incurred as a result, but surely it is more important for all involved that completion of the project is the focus, rather than fighting for money whilst a project is, for example, mothballed whilst the issues are sorted out. Q.

Post-contract legal steps As indicated, above parties should be aware of increased and earlier adjudication, which is why transparency and collaboration is important as much as possible. It is also why great care should be taken to properly know your contract and ensure both parties comply For more advice on any issues covered in this with it. article, and construction issues generally, If significant problems arise on the please get in touch. project once commenced, promote an environment where these are discussed and

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 019



This month we bring you a slightly more understated property. It’s not a castle, but it still has all the charm and character of one! Wilby Hall is a beautiful Grade II listed Elizabethan Country house built in the 16th century. The hall is part moated and sits in the heart of its very own 12 acres. The house is believed to have been built by Sir Thomas Lovel and over the years has had some very well-known guests, like Oliver Cromwell and Robert Wilton. The property still has 020 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

many of its original features, which include an impressive fireplace in the drawing room, original doors, oak panelling and an exquisite staircase. The historic developer in me sees a huge amount of potential to add value to the property by converting several of the outbuildings (STPP). The main country house has a number of reception rooms, as well as 7 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a snug, a drawing room, a kitchen and a library. The outbuildings include a 17th century long barn and associated barn, set within

the north of the grounds. To the west of the house are a range of storerooms and a further range of buildings including stabling, open bay garaging, chicken run, and hay loft, all centred around a courtyard. A former dairy building known as “The Cottage” has already been converted to a 1-bedroom cottage providing ancillary accommodation to the main house. The cottage has its own private garden, so it would be ideal as a rental property to boost income into the main house. You access the property via a sweeping tree-lined driveway arriving at the main house and turning area. The drive spurs off to the cottage offering private parking. To the north of the house is the Elizabethan walled garden and to the south is a large expanse of lawn, leading to the moat. By one of the many outbuildings, you will even find a swimming pool.

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 021

The country home is situated in a prime location. Just 8 miles away is Diss train station, which has regular trains to London Liverpool Street (90 minutes journey time), and it’s 17 miles from Norwich City centre. Wilby Hall is on the market for a guide price of £2,000,000 but with the right vision and tasteful conversion of the outbuildings, this could fetch upwards of £4,000,000, or perhaps with its proximity to the City centre, it could become a fantastic retreat! Q.

022 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

C R E AT I N G B E AU T I F U L S PAC E S F RO M WO R N O U T PL AC E S ANDREW MCDONALD 07711 140955 A N D R E W TAY LO R 07811 946001 RYA N W I N D S O R 07752 534905 G I OVA N N I PATA N I A 07931 050159


C R E D O L I V I N G .C O.U K



Just as youth has never been a guarantee of innovation, neither is size a guarantee of reach in today’s increasingly global marketplace. While the internet and proptech have facilitated and enabled many a start-up 024 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

and helped propel some agency brands to seemingly global market dominance, some still come up short, particularly when measured against the yardsticks of knowledge and service. ➳

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 025

026 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

The ability and willingness to work outside established norms and not to be limited by the accepted 9 to 5 routine is, and remains, a key part of the success of Beauchamp Estates and one that continues to drive growth. While larger agencies have also moved towards a more service-focused approach to meeting clients’ needs, many seem to forget or fail to understand the plethora of quirks and traits of buyers and vendors that exist in ➳ Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 027

a global market. Empathy and flexibility are essential. The advent of portals and individual websites has seen the agency world adding reach, expanding audiences and allowing

028 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

clients to make contact, with great ease. In this respect the internet has been and is an excellent way to improve visibility and attract fresh interest from sellers and buyers alike. Nevertheless, it is still very much down to the ➳

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 029

individual agent to work with an applicant in order to convert a lead into a sale and a pitch into an instruction: knowledge and service are paramount to a successful outcome. Boutique or specialist agencies are by their nature dynamic: less formal in their structure, client-focused, able to be selective on the instructions they accept and negotiate terms, while equally compliant. They are not bound by the constraints of larger firms of agents and can respond to clients’ and especially applicants’ needs spontaneously and with flexibly. The term ‘boutique’ means small and while this may be true in respect of physical size, in the modern marketplace this increasingly bears no relation to the reach or scale of the enterprise, particularly where those within the business are experts and specialists in their field. For Beauchamp Estates, this means locations of interest and relevance to High and Ultra High Net Worth 030 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

individuals, working with corporate and private clients across the globe. This same knowledge and service is equally important to the process of securing instructions, creating opportunities to be instructed on some of the most iconic and famous real estate in world. A leader in international luxury real estate, Beauchamp Estates has been appointed as the only international agent, alongside west coast USA-based The Agency, to market The

Beverly House in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles: the £90 million (US $119 million) former private palace and estate of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and his partner, famed actress, Marion Davies. Knowledge and expertise of marketing to and working with ultra-high-net-worth clients in London, Moscow, Tel Aviv, the Middle East and China/Hong Kong will be highly appropriate to an estate of this standing.

Starring in the movies The Godfather and The Bodyguard and used by John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, The Beverly House is a private palace, located in 3.5 acres of landscaped grounds with a stunning swimming pool. The house was originally designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann, who was also responsible for the Hoover Dam, and built in 1926 for banking tycoon Milton Getz. With over 28,000 sq ft (2,600 sq m) of accommodation, The Beverly House has 18 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms and multiple reception rooms. Accessed by high security gates and approached via an 800-foot driveway, The Beverly House is built in striking pink terracotta stucco, with the H-shaped megamansion designed in classic Italian and Spanish palatial styles, with features including long colonnades, wide balconies, several grand entertaining rooms, panelled walls,

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 031

intricately carved ceilings, French doors and arched floor-to-ceiling windows. The house opens onto the magnificent gardens – designed by landscape architect Paul Thiene and inspired by the Emperor Hadrian’s villa in Tivoli – with reflection pools linked by cascading waterwalls leading to a near Olympic-sized swimming pool bordered by pillared Roman temple facades, in the style of the famous Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle. The house has an 82-foot long entry hall with a loggia, a state room with a 22-foot high, hand-painted arched ceiling and a twostorey library with hand-carved panelling and a wraparound galleried walkway. There is also a billiards room with herringbone parquet floors and an intricately designed ceiling and carved fireplace, both virtually identical to ones at Hearst Castle in San Simeon. The lower ground floor contains an Art Deco-style nightclub, a wine cellar, one of two projection/cinema rooms and a spa with gymnasium and massage room. On the second floor is a grand upper hallway, more than 102-foot long and 40-foot wide with a 9-foot tall Dennis Abbe mural, alongside double principal bedroom suites, VIP guest suites and separate staff quarters.

032 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

With a commercial kitchen and terraces able to accommodate over 400 guests for a seated dinner and grounds to accommodate more than 1,000 people, this is a house built for entertaining. Other facilities include an owner’s and staff offices, lighted tennis court, guest house above an eight-car garage and a gate lodge with its own kitchen and four bedrooms. Exceptional properties demand an exceptional sales team: selecting and appointing the right dynamic agent, or combination of agents, is key to securing a buyer, or as a buyer, key to securing an exceptional home. This is very much the case at the top end of the market, where many properties are unique, like The Beverly House, and rarely come to market. Q.

The Beverly House is for sale for £90,000,000 (US $119,000,000). For further information contact Beauchamp Estates on Tel: +44 (0)20 7499 7722 or visit

Creating great spaces that feel like home DAVID PHILLIPS CAN TAKE CARE OF FURNISHING YOUR PROPERTY FROM START TO FINISH. We offer an end-to-end service bringing your vision to life - taking the pressure off you. With 10,000 installations a year; a 49-strong vehicle fleet; and 150 full-time installers, David Phillips has the scale, experience and capability to manage your furnishing process, from concept to completion. David Phillips can provide Design and spatial planning | Rental furniture | Furniture packages Replacement furniture | Tailored project management Meaning you can focus on your priorities: selling, renting and getting the best returns.

Let us do the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to David Ives - Business Development Manager DAVID.IVES@DAVIDPHILLIPS.COM | 07464 540 175


034 – Qandor – Issue No. 12



Steffie Broer founded Bright Green Futures with the goal to “empower, inspire and change people’s lives” through eco selfbuild communities. Today, the project is known for its uniqueness and originality and creates an attractive case study of how home building could be in the near future. For our sustainability issue, we interviewed Steffie to find out more about not only the project, but the challenges and dreams that come with it. How did the idea for Bright Green Futures (BGF) come about? I built a house in an eco self-build housing community myself – one of a kind. It was a life-changing experience for me and my children. People would come and visit and ➳

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 035

say that they would love to do it too and asked me where to start. I’d always respond that it was very difficult and lots of coincidences had come together to make that project possible. I realised that what was needed was a purposeled business as a vehicle to develop a scalable model for such communities, not just to change people’s lives but also to show that we can build zero-carbon communities too. Since no one else was doing it, I thought: “it might as well be me”. And that’s how it all started. Can you explain a bit more what is involved in eco self-build communities? Our customers buy a plot from us and then have sessions with our architect and workshops with us and their future neighbours to design their home and their community. We then build the shell for them, and they do their own fit out. We also have custom build homes where we build a bespoke completed home for them. The homes are powered by renewables, which generate the energy on site. They catch the sun and are very comfortable, with stable temperatures and great air quality, as they are designed to passive house principles. The homes are arranged around a garden square with cars parked at the periphery or underground. At the heart of the site is a community hub for co-working, shared meals, classes, pub night and cinema night, etc. It’s a safe place for young and old to work and play together. People also share that they have a lot more privacy living in the community. If their partner or children feel sociable, it is easy to retreat to the private garden or private space 036 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

in the house, and our customers are able to upgrade on the acoustic insulation to create even more privacy. So they can really have their cake and eat it too in so many ways – privacy and community as well as being kind to the planet whilst also living in great luxury. What have been the biggest challenges in the project so far? Wow, that’s a great question. We have faced SO many challenges. We innovated left, right and centre: 1. On the sustainable technology front, we have the first carbon neutral residential microgrid in the UK. 2. On the financing front, we only had 10% of GDV equity and the rest of the finance came from customers buying in and from a loan from Homes England. 3. We sold directly without estate agents primarily through social media marketing and word of mouth. 4. We are building in one of the poorest areas in Bristol with a community hub, an old reservoir converted into a carpark with a shared garden at the top, on a sloped site, with each house being completely unique in design. 5. I picked the people in our team based on their passion for what we do and their ability to learn rather than experience, and I had limited experience myself, jumping from building one home to six - now to 33 with a completely new business model. So, in answer to your question, the challenges came from the perfect storm of all these innovations coming together. What I learnt is that if you are doing something no one has

done before, you can’t just employ a consultant to tell you how to do it, because they don’t know either. And you have to learn so quickly on your feet to be able to judge if you have employed a good expert. We made lots of mistakes along the way too. And we had to learn some things through trial and error. So we are very proud of where we got to. And I am glad in hindsight to have been so ambitious from the start, although there were times when I was pulling my hair out and wanted to run away.

2. If you give yourself a challenge that is bigger than yourself, you may find resources, strengths and talents you didn’t know you had in you.

What is one big lesson you learned with this project? Maybe there are two for me: 1. Put the right people in the right seats – put your resources into finding and magnetising the best person there is for each role you need filling.

What’s next for the project? For the main contractor to complete construction, and then the self-builders to come in to complete their fit out with our support through our workshops. ➳

Are there plans for other locations for BGF? Yes, we are actively looking for sites now, although Bristol and surrounding areas are still our preference for the time being, unless we have a delivery partner or particularly excited landowner or local authority further away.

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 037

What does sustainability mean for you? Living in harmony with the planet. Leaving the planet in a better place than if you had never existed. In which way do you think technology can help the property industry be more sustainable? Through energy efficiency, clean technology and renewable technology, we can build homes that are more comfortable and are carbon neutral or carbon negative. What do you believe are the biggest deterrents at the moment stopping developers from building sustainable or even zero-carbon homes, and how to solve this issue? I think it’s the same for developers as other industries. Many people look for quick fixes or quick money and the house builders are controlled by shareholders’ profits. Yet, deep down, what people are really looking for is to be OK, to be respected and to have meaning in

038 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

their life. We get confused because ads tell us that money is going to bring it to us. But that’s an illusion. I believe that a true focus on purpose and meaning through a business as a vehicle to create it will bring great wealth even though it is not sought. And that is because lots of resources are needed to make a big difference. There are stats that show that more people than ever before make purchase decisions around their values and purpose, and it is not a surprise to me that the richest man in the world is the one who used to be laughed at because he invested in what was understood to be the worse industries: solar, electric cars and space rockets :-) How do we solve it? By leading by example, by lobbying the government to provide policy support to those who do take responsibility, by making it mandatory for all new homes to achieve high levels of sustainability standards such as carbon neutrality.

It’s only ever a small group of committed people who create a big change. And there are many people who want to. So, if you have a passion for something, then find others with the same passion and make it happen with them. Many people really want to. So, if you start with courage, you will find that you will easily magnetise others.

These options can create a value uplift for your community. Imagine the immense value to your customer of cutting out an hour a day out of their commute, for example, or being able to work and play in an environment they really like. Likewise how nice is it not to have bins outside the homes and rubbish blowing around in the wind?

What is one way a property developer can be sustainable that is not wildly known? Think outside the box. There is a huge number of opportunities. Personal transport and household waste opportunities are often overlooked. Here are a few great wins:

Do you believe we will ever reach a zero-carbon property and construction industry? Yes, of course. We have to and we need to do so quickly. Forty percent of UK grid electricity now comes from renewable sources. Fifteen years ago it was almost nothing. We need to think more holistically and think of a zero-carbon Britain and ultimately a zerocarbon world, not just a zero-carbon property industry. We are now building communities at Bright Green Futures which are carbon negative, meaning that overall, they take more carbon out of the atmosphere than they put into it. I think that the property industry has the potential to really lead the way to make a big difference. It has a large share of the country’s emission footprint and it has potential to do so relatively easily.

Personal transport: • Position homes close to workspaces or public transport nodes and include facilities to work from home (e.g. beautifully designed in-home offices with views or coworking space). • Build communities, not homes: Design outdoor and indoor recreational and social spaces into the communities. • Create a carpool and put in electric charging points. Waste: • Design kitchens with bin facilities for the different recyclables. • Design a communal recycling shed into your community with communal bins for all the recyclables so that people can take out their recycling whenever they need to, not just on bin day.

What are three sustainable ways that developers can start their sustainability journey today? Start with visualising your dream. What do you really want to create? How do you want to show up in the world? What do you want to be known for? What’s important to you? Take some time to ponder these questions. ➳

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 039

Go out into nature and ask yourself what you really, really want. Then when you are clear what that is, you go and find a way to make it happen. Keep staying true to your vision in the face of all the obstacles that come your way, and you will get there slowly but surely.

What are three lessons that you as a property developer have learned? • Create win-win solutions. • Treat everyone with respect. • Spot the bullshit.

What are some common misconceptions surrounding sustainable construction? I think sometimes people say they don’t have the money to do sustainability. I think what they actually mean is that they don’t know how to do it (the business model for sustainability, in my view).

What would you say is the biggest achievement of your career? To have developed a new scalable housing model that addresses many of the environmental and social challenges we are facing today. Q.

Tell us a little bit about your career and how you got where you are today. I studied Environmental Science and Energy Technology and started my career as a sustainable energy advisor. I also built a sustainable home in an eco self-build housing community, which changed my life and the life of my children and co-builders. Also, the house I built, being 26 years old with a baby on my back, was worth twice as much as I paid for it, and so I thought there might be a business model in this way of building communities in a highly sustainable and people-centric way. I managed to get myself a scholarship to explore how we can go further with reducing carbon emissions in UK housing and to explore if the eco self-build housing model had potential to deliver this and could be scaled. And when I completed the PhD, I set up Bright Green Futures to do just that.

040 – Qandor – Issue No. 12



Find land & buildings in the right

Uncover the right people to

areas at the right price.

make your projects successful.








"We're here to support you on your property journey." Paul Davis, Nimbus® Maps Co-Founder 01926 355 424




The built environment is widely recognised as one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s carbon footprint, at around 40% of overall emissions. This is split between the carbon/energy required to build the buildings, and the carbon/energy used to operate the buildings. Furthermore, with the pandemic re-emphasising our reliance on green space, it’s now more important than ever that we build back better, greener environments that ensure the occupants of our future cities can live healthy, balanced lives. 042 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

Whilst there is the long-term European target to be net zero carbon by 2050, there are other, more pressing goals to achieve in the short term. To prepare for the 2025 Future Homes Standard (FHS), the government announced there is now an expectation for all new homes constructed from this year onwards to produce 30% more energy efficiency. But how is all this achievable and how do we make it easier to be green? Initially, we encourage a fabric first approach. This means ensuring all buildings we produce are well-insulated and have decent quality glazing. Developers and builders are going to see more attention paid to minimising cold bridging and making

Above: The Green Lungs of Clapham Road’s Zero Carbon Target Hotel

airtight envelopes to control air leakage. Then, we can switch to fully electrical heating and hot water systems. The UK’s National Grid has been rapidly decarbonising over the past two decades as coal power stations have been replaced by nuclear and renewable power sources. Over the past ten years this decarbonisation has happened at twice the rate of other major economies*, which should not only be a cause for celebration but also a reason to rely on electricity to fully power the homes of the future. The government has confirmed plans to ban fossil fuel heating systems in new homes by 2025, such as gas boilers, so this change to electric is coming down the road in any case. Many local authority planning departments are already pre-empting the level of energy efficiency that will come into force with the 2025 FHS. We commonly receive planning conditions on our consents that require a 30% improvement on Part L of the Building Regulations. To achieve these

levels of energy reduction is impossible without some element of on-site renewable technology. Whilst the optimum technology must be chosen on a site-by-site basis, photovoltaic solar panels are generally the most cost-effective method of providing this as long as there is sufficient roof space. If this is not the case, then individual Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) for each unit to heat the hot water, alongside electric panel heaters for space heating is generally the next cheapest option. However, ASHPs also require ducting, plant, and condensers to be incorporated so they do present additional cost. The most efficient method of renewable technology, Ground Source Heat Pumps, comes at the highest cost so on most sites the payback is too long to consider as viable. This being said, one of our current projects is a hotel on London’s Clapham Road. Here, the developer is implementing several strategies to target zero carbon operational energy, but an interesting result from our analysis of the energy load was that ➳ Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 043

“Whilst the optimum technology must be chosen on a site-by-site basis, photovoltaic solar panels are generally the most cost-effective method of providing this as long as there is sufficient roof space.”

hot water is a major source due to everyone showering at similar times of day. A ground source heat pump was identified as the best technology to meet this supply and greatly reduce the energy requirement, so these can prove hugely effective in the right context. As well as focusing on meeting the increasingly ambitious energy efficiency targets that the government is rolling out, we need to look at improving our understanding of the environments where we’re living and working. Basic principles like orientation, access to daylight, safer and healthier movement, and reduced noise all impact a development’s overall sustainability. One of the ways we’re achieving this understanding, and a route I strongly advocate, is through virtual reality (VR) technology. VR is a fantastic tool which is widely underused in our industry. It helps

044 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

understand the functionality of a space, the context and relation to surroundings, enables modelling in extreme detail and informs material choices and finishes. VR can better educate us all about a building’s lifecycle and I genuinely believe it should become a mandatory process on development, especially at pre-planning stage. Focusing on sustainability in the built environment used to be the preserve of the woolly-jumpered hippy. However, COVID has served as a wake-up call and reminded us all of the fragility of the ‘business as usual’ approach to our society. Achieving a greener future is now not only a government requirement but should also be seen as an aspirational value for a developer to promote. In a different sector, Tesla has packaged environmental efficiency, great design, a renewable electric power source, and smart technology in a consumer product that is aspirational enough to demand a higher price point than the equivalent petrol vehicle. Developers would be smart to l ook at this precedent and apply it to the property industry. Highly efficient, smart homes that provide high-quality living will command a premium and define the future of our cities. Q.

Oliver Lowrie is a director and cofounder of Ackroyd Lowrie, an East-London based architectural practice which was recently highly commended in the 2021 AJ Retrofit Awards. *Source: BioEnergy News, November 2020 uks-electricity-grid-has-decarbonised-fasterthan-other-countries-says-report

"As a practising doctor, I know that the best relationships are built on mutual trust. With each person inspiring, supporting, challenging, teaching and uplifting the other, we are both better off for having worked together. How can I support you? What can we learn from each other? Let’s connect and find out."

John Friis MD of




Twenty years ago, this was the question many clients asked me when I recommended that they install photovoltaic panels on the roof of their Huf house. They were often worried that their investment into PV panels would not pay off in the future. Today this question has disappeared.

046 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 047

Instead, my clients ask, “Are you able to install solar panels?” and “How many would you recommend?” An array of questions about air source heat pumps, insulation, underfloor heating, ventilation and building materials demonstrates a massive shift in the awareness of how important sustainability has become and the willingness to invest into a long-term solution. I’m glad that we have reached this point but, in my view, building sustainable houses and following a truly sustainable concept is far more complex, and we need to embrace a more holistic view. Too many decisions are narrowly focused and based on shortterm results. To be truly forward-thinking, we must adopt a more broad-based, longterm mindset. Not only must we ask ourselves how much energy houses will need in the future, we must also consider how much energy it takes to build a house in the first place, and whether or not the heating concept is flexible enough to accommodate new technologies in the future. We should also evaluate if the design itself follows a sustainable attitude. For instance, is the house designed in harmony with its surroundings and does the design use space efficiently? Furthermore, we need to consider how sustainable the materials each house is made of, and how these materials influence our health. Not too long ago, many of these questions were considered “philosophical” and not relevant for the “real” world. This has fundamentally changed. The “philosophical” world of sustainability has become our undeniable reality. Until recently, governments around the world

048 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

have met climate change with promises: guidelines were written “on paper” but without follow-through or implementation. Now with the very real prospect of tighter regulations, many businesses have been forced to adapt. In my sector, for example, the building regulation Part L requires all new houses to have a much better fabric efficiency, and almost every planning application needs to show an electrical charging point to accommodate the future of electric cars. Indeed, the prospect of many more electric cars on our roads has been a lightbulb moment for many in the public, who have realised that the future of sustainability is already on our doorstep. The key question here is how long business leaders will wait to adapt their business model before the government forces them to. Sustainability is no longer optional; it is a necessity. Many people think sustainability is all about us, as a human race, protecting the planet. This is certainly part of sustainability, but isn’t the reverse also true? No matter how badly we as humans treat it, Planet Earth will continue to exist. The climate crises beg a more immediate question: “Will we, or our way of life, survive if we don’t treat the planet and ourselves in a sustainable way?” While this is an admittedly alarming question, there is good news: Environmental sustainability not only has a positive impact on the planet, but also improves the quality of our own lives. The current COVID restrictions have made us all particularly aware of how important our individual wellbeing is. Restricted mobility has made people realise, now more than ever, the importance of the ➳

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 049

space we live and work in. If your clothes can be described as your second skin, then the space you choose to live in is your third skin, influencing not only your mood but the way you project yourself to the outside world. Being bound to our homes for months has motivated many people to ask themselves, “What kind of space do I actually want to spend my time in?” Instead of focusing on market trends and resell value, people are increasingly considering how their homes promote the wellbeing and health of their families. Architects and developers need to respond with spaces that are healthy and sustainable. Caring honestly for our wellbeing needs to be a priority, and a return on the investment will follow. The market value of a Huf house, for example, is growing in sync with the clear trend towards homes that are truly sustainable. The virus has forced us to take stock of our lives and has reminded us of the 050 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

importance of investing in our own health and wellbeing. We can no longer afford to ignore sustainability. Each of us, in our personal and professional lives, must reflect on how to incorporate a sustainable approach. “When do I get my money back?” is a question of the past. The question each of us must reflect on now is: “How much longer can I afford to put off the investment into a sustainable future?” Q.

Hilltop Credit Partners

Funding and investment for the new normal

A JV with global real estate and asset management firm, Round Hill Capital




Whether you are ready or not, the next 12 months in residential proper ty development will see some big changes, with sustainable design becoming increasingly more desirable to the consumer and Building 052 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

Regulations taking big strides forward. We discuss the rising risks, changes in legislation and significant opportunities for those prepared to learn more about intelligent and profitable sustainable development.

Don’t be fooled… Design risk is rising. For the uninitiated, it may not be obvious, but design of buildings (sustainable or otherwise) fit for purpose in an everchanging world is becoming trickier. Buildings are becoming more complicated than they ever have been with integrated services and new construction methods challenging the design team and construction professionals. Added to that, the tightening performance, emissions and wellbeing targets for buildings means that the line is getting far finer between success and failure. There has always been a delicate interplay between form, orientation, ventilation, fabric efficiency and occupant comfort, but this is becoming ever more important to optimise and minimise unwanted adverse effects.

Unfortunately, our tried and trusted experience means less as the pace of building design and development accelerates and the reliance on more robust building design to navigate these complexities will soon become the norm. As a result, we will have to rely more heavily on design team collaboration and planning. To compound risk further, as clients become significantly more emotionally invested in sustainability, thinking about the impact this will have if sustainability targets are inadvertently missed will become more and more important. If you don’t move… you’ll get shoved. It was announced in January of this year that energy efficiency, ventilation and overheating legislation is being tightened in line with the government’s aim to bring in the Future Homes Standard in 2025. The Future Homes ➳ Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 053

“There has always been a delicate interplay between form, orientation, ventilation, fabric efficiency and occupant comfort, but this is becoming ever more important to optimise and minimise unwanted adverse effects.” Standard will mean that by the middle of this decade, new buildings in the UK will have to prove as much as an 80% reduction in carbon emissions compared to today’s Building Regulations levels. To get moving to this point, after consultation in 2020 it has been agreed that, by the end of 2021, the Part L section of the Building Regulations affecting new home or residential building construction will have to reduce carbon emissions by 31%. This will come into effect in Q1 2022. In addition, a new section of the Building Regulations (We think it will be called “Part S”) will regulate for overheating of buildings and your development will have to prove that overheating analysis has been carried out to mitigate against rising climate temperatures. There is no one-solution-fixes-all to meet these regulations, and every scheme will have to carefully analyse and calculate the most efficient and cost-effective way of achieving these targets.

054 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

Opportunity (and profit) await the brave. There is good news. It is not all doom and gloom. Whilst building design risk and energy efficiency targets are rising, they can be successfully managed and in fact create unseen opportunities for delivering better, more desirable and more profitable sites. With more consideration of sustainable design and an improved due diligence process, there is not only a reduced chance of project failure but, instead, an increased chance of planning approval due to a better and more robust scheme being put forward. The development will be more socially relevant and appealing and stand out to potential renters or purchasers. There have also been numerous studies that suggest domestic premises are worth on average 6% more, and, commercially, businesses can attract a 20% rental premium compared to their non-energy efficient counterparts. If done properly and you aim to retain the ownership of your sites, operational expenditure could be significantly less with little to no uplift in the original developments cost. The numbers do stack up, in a good way! I am of course biased, but there really are some fantastic projects waiting to be transformed and big wins to be had for developers more willing to understand the opportunities, manage the risks and keep ahead of the competition by making sustainable development a key feature of their ongoing business strategy. Q.

Visit for more information and to start a discussion about your next project.

Let Catax uncover the hidden value in your business today.

Maximise your Innovation Investments If you are developing and refining your business, we can help you uncover thousands of pounds in tax relief.

Research & Development tax relief rewards those innovating; if you have invested in anything from Passivhaus construction to new materials or processes, Catax experts could help you claim an average of £68,000! Or are you planning any innovative projects? We can also help you receive funding for your future activity – we assist in identify, apply and manage the UK and EU grant funding process. We are the trusted specialists for thousands of clients across the UK, offering a consultative approach to maximising your return on investment. So far, we have helped our clients uncover over a quarter of a billion pounds.

“The expertise and insight of Catax was invaluable to lead us through the Government grant application process. I was confident of success based on their input, and we were delighted when the results came in." Antony Quinn, CEO Maverick Aviation

Contact Shaun today on: 0781 750 8904



Sustainability is a very popular word in this era, and we come across it quite often nowadays. This article is about two types of sustainability that I would like to go over. Firstly, sustainability in business, especially in property investment: a brief discussion on how the business is sustainable from a financial continuation aspect. Secondly, sustainability in construction and development that we should all be aware of if we desire to 056 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

live better and environmentally aware by decreasing CO2 emissions and pass the legacy to next generations like we inherited. Sus tainabilit y in Proper t y Investment as a Business Change comes too soon too quick. Some of the great companies in history, even industry dominators, were wiped out because they couldn’t take the necessary steps. Industry leaders like Kodak, Nokia etc. failed to innovate in order to sustain their business.

For some reason, most business encounters I have been envisioning must have a sustainability angle, and therefore needs to provide stable income/cash flow. I have always feared (but admired sometimes) the “debt up to neck” type of one’s position where the entrepreneur/business owner is on a makeor-break line. Who can refuse the capital in the age of capitalism? I’ve always believed what comes quickly, goes quickly. Therefore, sustainable growth in business is achieved through know-how, effort, strategy and wellthought structuring. In my opinion, real estate is one of the few business sectors that are sustainable. We, as a family, operate in various sectors and I can confidently state that property investment is the most stable and sustainable out of all. As part of our property investment model, we are currently operating both emerging and developed markets, of which the UK is the most promising one. Diversification in types of investment is the key to our success, slowly, but surely. We hold residential and commercial

properties which from time to time one performs more than the other so that taking advantage from both is inevitable. According to PropertyData, average house prices in London have doubled in the last 10 years. In addition, rental yield provides healthy cash flow in some areas. Commercial investments are also lucrative. Prices are usually calculated by multiple factors which current lease(s) have serious weight. Purchasing a commercial property with its current lease(s) expiring soon and re-letting to a national tenant with a long lease is extremely profitable. Along with property investment, I diversified into planning gain, value-add and renovation/ development as well. Taking advantage from cyclical movements in property requires tools to play with. Therefore, diversifying is essential. Sustainability in Construction & Development As I pointed out in my previous Q. Magazine article in February 2021, housing shortage in the UK is around 300,000 dwellings per ➳ Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 057

year for the next decade or so. As the world’s population grows, we see a lot of activity in construction industry, and it became one of the major sectors that drive the economy. We built homes senselessly; as a result, the activity in the construction industry has been growing exponentially. According to Chatham House, cement is the source of about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and if the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world. In addition, European Commission states that construction industry in EU has significant environmental impact with a third of all waste generated, 40% of energy consumed and a third of fresh water used. Figures tell us that this is not sustainable going forward, and the construction industry faces substantial challenges in reducing its environmental footprint. We can agonize over the issue day and night, but as we see usually in politics, only problems are being discussed. Solutions to the problems and starting to act are the only key if we want to move forward. Therefore, we as a nation/world need to increase the awareness and work on simple but effective solutions. As technology is far advancing, sustainability in construction industry can be increased more effectively by materials, construction methods and operation of completed buildings: 1. Sustainability in construction materials There are respective factories/companies that produce sustainable materials. Cellulose-based insulation is one of the most eco-friendly construction materials. In addition, precast concrete slabs’ sustainability factor is higher than many

058 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

traditional concrete options because it takes considerably less energy to produce. 2. Sustainability by alternative construction methods Timber frame construction method is far more environmental than steel frame. In addition, SIP (structurally insulated panel) as well as prefabricated method has far less impact on the environment, with SIP being a breakthrough in solving housing production need in UK. 3. Smart buildings with BAS (building automation systems) Utilizing building automation systems, especially with IoT (Internet of Things), is much more energy efficient; therefore energy consumption is less than traditional buildings. According to the European Commission, the latest sustainable technologies in construction processes could potentially deliver a remarkable €410bn a year in savings on global energy spending. In conclusion, sustainability in various angles of our life brings the ability to exist constantly if that’s a concern at all. We should all reckon that we inherited the world from our ancestors, and we will pass the legacy to our children and to their children. Therefore, the world we inherited should be lived ethically, and rightful legacy should be passed to our children. Adopting and practising sustainability into various angles of our life is the proper way going forward. Good luck in your business encounters and keep safe. Q.


FAILURE TO CHANGE – LESSONS WE CAN LEARN. JAN TORE GRINDHEIM Founder, Co-Owner and CEO Fonn Construction DAVID LAWRENCE Vice President Fonn Construction

Change management is one of the biggest hurdles that everybody faces, whether in their personal life or their business life. We make thousands of decisions every day and, as humans, we are creatures of habit. Doing what we know makes us feel comfortable. Most people are generally risk averse.

060 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

In construction, this mentally is magnified because of the way we are educated in a ‘passed down’ manner. Apprentices and newcomers are trained by our expert tradesmen, and they were trained by those before them. Nobody wants to be different, and the industry suffers from ‘casual bullying’ for anyone bold enough to do something different. I saw a guy get a load of grief at break time because he had a red hard hat.

When I explain to people outside of construction how a project is typically managed, they wonder how anything ever gets built. Disjointed teams, remote workers and poor information flow have plagued the industry for as long as I can remember. And the change is slow. Taking a step back, one of my favourite cases of change failure is the story of Blockbuster Video – a company that failed to see the writing on the wall, failed to see a genuine opportunity and ultimately added itself to the history books. Here was a company that was by far the market leader – globally! And 2nd place wasn’t even close. Their attitude was borderline arrogant given their dominance. They failed to see the threat of new disruptive companies like Netflix, who at the time were struggling to establish themselves. So much so, that Netflix approached Blockbuster for an acquisition that would see the brands merged and Netflix renamed to for just $50 million. Today Netflix has a revenue of $24 billion (2020). And Blockbuster is just a memory. Construction is in the midst of a similar revolution. BIM is fast becoming the new way of doing things, and most companies are yet to start their digital journey, finding clients who still work the ‘old way’ – but times are changing. Clients are starting to see the benefits of working in a new technological world, time and cost savings, accurate records, real-time data to improve decision making and better ways of managing a remote workforce. Until now, it’s something that’s only been available to the elite companies with deep pockets. But the last few years have seen the emergence of tech disruptors like Fonn who are aiming to target those construction companies who

want to change but don’t know where to start. Luckily, there are a variety of platforms and solutions on the market that are suitable for the construction industry, and many of the new software companies on the market are ‘disruptive’ – offering low pricing and superior user interfaces that make them feel familiar before you even start using them. Generic tools like Monday, Slack and Zoom have now become commonplace in many companies, even in construction. Specialist tools like Fonn focus on the AEC sector, building in key features like revision control, audit history and project visibility that can all add huge value to the project and company. In a recent report, McKinsey said that investing in the correct project tools can see a dramatic increase in productivity and margins. Adopting a digital strategy also forms part of a strong organisation structure. Clients, endusers and financial institutions are increasingly looking for cutting edge companies to manage their projects – companies with superior processes and procedures are favoured over the more traditional approach, and this desire has intensified over the last 12 months with added pressure from the global pandemic on remote working and safe delivery of projects. Careful consideration should always be taken when making a change, and the process and results are not instant, but now is the time to start exploring ways to improve the way your business operates to ensure it is correctly positioned for the construction industry of the future. Q. Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 061



I’ve spent much time on the new Clubhouse App over the last month. In and amongst all the selfpromotion, there is actually some valuable content and the occasional gleaming nugget to pick up! As I straddle now between running our commercial agency, Tandem Real Estate, and pushing the message out on our new property repurposing platform, Credo Living, I’ve been co-hosting a weekly Clubhouse room on commercial property and the opportunities that lay within it. 062 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

From these, it’s clear there’s going to be a rush to the high street over the coming year(s): a sentiment espoused by the other participants in the various virtual ‘rooms’ I’ve been in. This doesn’t mean a rush back to spend our hardearned (shiny) pennies, more like a rush to grab the commercial conversion opportunities that lie ahead as our high streets re-open with inevitable vacancies post-COVID. That, combined with a softening of the planning system, seemingly to permit an easier path for retail to residential conversion, do we now face the new ‘office to resi’ which sent the market into a tailspin a number of years back. ➳

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 063

“...remember that property is a ‘long game’. We really only get judged at the end of our time in it, and a steady and gradual accumulation of assets should see us there with some riches and our sanity intact.” An oncoming ‘Gold Rush’ is a phrase which was bandied around recently while hosting a Clubhouse room. Of course, a Gold Rush can lead to the potential pitfalls that getting caught in the sirens’ wail of a new strategy may entail. I Googled the phrase Gold Rush while writing this article: ‘the headlong pursuit of sudden wealth in a new or lucrative field’. Mining further through Google and sifting through the debris, I was also reminded that many died along the rocky paths leading to the gold streams and rivers – others perished through typhoid and squalid conditions while lawlessness and bandits also claimed the lives of many. Ok, so while the comparison may be stretched, I do wonder whether a new ‘Gold Fever’ will lay waste to many starry-eyed property speculators

064 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

hurrying along the path to property riches ahead. I can already feel the fervour in the market as the training academies ‘big up’ the seemingly lucrative ‘retail to resi’ potential, whipping property speculators into a frenzy. Of course, mix this with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, for us oldies!) and there’s a potent mixture which I’m sure will lead to a variety of miscalculations as developers, new and old, rush in to beat the competition. There’s a tightrope to tread at this stage, of course, as getting one’s ducks perfectly in a row and ‘analysis paralysis’ may mean missing out on some of the low hanging fruit. Alternatively, go gung-ho and without the necessary research, understanding of the new planning laws and delicate state of the retail market, and face the prospect of being painfully uneducated, underprepared and unaware of the pitfalls ahead. So, what to do? Well, first of all, remember that property is a ‘long game’. We really only get judged at the end of our time in it, and a steady and gradual accumulation of assets should see us there with some riches and our sanity intact. That would be my opening salvo. Not to say don’t jump at the chance but, have in mind, we’re told the current economic climate is the poorest for 300 years, and with furlough and other Government initiatives to prop up the economy due to tail off as 2021 unfolds. Now, I’m well aware that ‘no one likes a bear’, and I’m not being one, but it is my firm belief there will be some very attractive deals to come towards the back end of this year so biding one’s time might be prudent. Institutional investors with huge exposure to retail property pretty much view the sector

as one might do a trip to the dentist on the 25th December. They will be selling, and institutionally owned property, especially at a smaller scale, often comes with juicy fat on it as they rarely sweat their smaller assets to the same extent as the SME developer. Regrettably, there are likely to be foreclosures on existing landlords who have suffered at the hands of Rishi’s ‘tenantfriendly’ COVID measures. Keep an eye on what the receivers are up to and scour the

auctions, too. Get up-to speed and fully conversant with the new PD rights which are filtering through this year. Work out which retailers are still taking space (you may still need one at ground floor level) and which micro-locations in your various target areas find favour. Strengthen your relationship with the commercial agents and pound the streets looking for appropriate opportunities to canvass. We at Credo Living are super excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Planning is softening, internet sales will continue to rise, ‘retail’ and our town centres will go through a seismic repositioning and a golden opportunity lies ahead for the ambitious developer. While the situation with PD unfolds over the next few months, we’ll continue to strengthen our relationships with investors and start mining for interesting opportunities. Happy prospecting! Q. Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 065



Stories about property development projects crumbling due to nightmare lenders abound. As a property developer, having a solutionsfocused lender you can trust as part of your A-Team and inner circle can make or break a deal. I have been in the property lending market long enough to appreciate that in property lending, more than in any other 066 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

business, it is key to build and nurture lasting relationships with your borrowers, and I know that building those relationships comes down to being a solutions-focused lender. Due to the nature of the business, the large number of unforeseen circumstances that may occur over the lifecycle of a property development project and numerous risk factors along the way, it is paramount that lenders build a partner-

type relationship with the borrower instead of a stick and carrot lender-borrower-type relationship. This was made even more palpable throughout 2020 when the COVID-19 ‘black swan event’ resulted in the property market being effectively shut down for weeks and many projects being frustratingly delayed. At Blend Network, we were lucky enough to have plenty of liquidity even at the height of the pandemic, which enabled us to keep actively lending and supporting property developers who had been left out in the cold by their previous lenders You Get What You Pay For Our conversations with borrowers reveal that property developers’ experience over the past year has taught them the hard way that a solutions-based lender is worth its weight in gold. It has also taught them that cheaper is not always better; that in property development, like in any other sector, you get what you pay for and that often it is worth paying that extra penny to get excellency, flexibility and access to a lender you can trust. As we say at Blend, ‘If you think it’s expensive to borrow from a professional, wait until you borrow from an amateur’. As lenders, one of the things we have learnt at Blend Network is that if you support a borrower when things are tough, you have been able to build a relationship that’ll last a lifetime. As the saying goes, ‘If you can’t handle me at my worst, you sure don’t deserve to handle me at my best’, and that is the way borrowers we speak to feel about the relationship with lenders.

Solutions-Focused Lender... One thing that we know for sure is that some things will always go wrong or get delayed in property development. That is just the name of the game. It may be due to bad weather, market changes, supply chain disruptions or, as it was the case last year, totally unexpected factors. So, as a borrower, it is key to work with a lender who a) is able to grasp the issues that come up along the project’s lifecycle, and b) is flexible enough to help the borrower find solutions instead of adding to the pressure and stress by putting a spoke in the borrower’s wheel. Due to their nimble setup and more flexible structure, alternative lenders and peer-to-peer (P2P) property lending platforms have proven to be able to offer a higher degree of flexibility compared to traditional lenders and banks who are often held back by heavy management command chains and tight credit policies. In summary, the experience of the past 12 months has made borrowers realise the importance of working with a solution-focused lender they can trust. Q.

Blend Network is a peer-to-peer (P2P) property lending platform that provides development finance and bridging loans from £150,000 to £3,000,000 to experienced SME property developers and small construction companies. More information can be found at Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 067


GETTING THE MOST OUT OF QANDOR MEMBERSHIP. JOE MÜHL Managing Director Contracts & Commercial Projects Ocean Bathrooms joined Qandor in 2019 as an affiliate, and I have been a Platinum member since 2020. I have worked with Qandor and its members to add value to each project, from single dwellings and HMOs to flats and large projects. I worked closely with members to ensure their projects have all the requirements at the budget they have and also give them opportunities for upgrading in certain areas or using brands they didn’t think would work out cost-wise for them. We can offer various service levels. We can help with the design if members don’t have an interior designer working with them. We can also help a member or architect put together product ideas, layouts, photo renders and elevations of rooms. The specification side is very important; this is where the budget should be worked out 068 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

as there is no point putting in something double the budget. We work with the member and architect to specify products that will work within their budget and the look and feel of how the finish should be. We can also educate them on which brands to use, because even if something is cheaper, it doesn’t mean it’s best option. Brands that offer guaranteed replacement parts and refitting costs are very important if you do 10 or 100 flats; if there is a product defect and you have to cover the cost of the refitting, that could be and normally is the most expensive part. We also can offer a full sub-contraction bathroom installation or specialist trades, e.g. bespoke glass fitter, tiler etc. as the finish needs to be of the highest standard, and we can help you reach that. It has been a privilege to work on some prestigious projects and collaborate with members with whom we are already working again.

Brighton Heights, Brighton Grazinna Thompson, Dapatchi Group Brighton Heights is a sympathetic conversion of an old school to 25 luxury loft style apartments in central Brighton. We collaborated with Dapatchi to ensure the right specification for this project. It was important to achieve the most appropriate design and look at the price bracket that reflects the overall vision for the development and would give the end buyer the most optimum and homely result. Grazina, who has a great eye for detail and design, selected the high-end branded products we proposed to fit with the ethos of the development. This can be seen in the finish of the rooms and the luxury apartment

“We have been particularly pleased with the exceptional service that Ocean Bathrooms provided, who went the extra mile and assisted us to achieve swift deliveries in these challenging current times.” feel. We used Dornbracht brassware, which at the project costing worked out at a competitive rate to other lesser quality brands. We needed a quality matt black setup which offered all taps, showers and other parts in matching finish. 10mm thick majestic shower frameless enclosures are in all rooms which add to the luxury feel and were finished off with Duravit ceramics. ➳

Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 069

Co-living Project, Cambridge Emma Stubbings, Ikon Property

“Working with Ocean Bathrooms was great as they have an amazing range of luxury, durable products at competitive prices. Joe and his team have so much knowledge and offered fantastic service all the way through the project.”

070 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

The latest project by Ikon Property is the Cambridge Townhouse, a luxury co-living Victorian building with nine large ensuite bedrooms, shared working and social living spaces in the centre of Cambridge. The property will become home to a group of working professionals who enjoy having their own space but also want the benefits of living in a community with other like-minded people. The property is design-led with each room having its own unique features and decor. The development required sanitaryware that needed to be hard wearing but also didn’t require to be of the highest spec. We still managed to use a range of Hansgrohe that will ensure that spares are available easily, and also use Geberit ceramics and shower enclosure, a brand people trust and can be easily maintained.

Craft Mews, East London Denis Gleeson, Gleeson Build & Develop We worked with Denis on a modern mews development; the fittings were a high-quality setup using Hansgrohe, Duravit and Majestic Essential ranges to give a high-end feel and using well-known brands that potential clients will recognise and value. Craft Mews is a truly unique development. The complex was designed as a traditional style build and Gleeson’s architects drew inspiration from the charming Arts and Crafts movement which was popular between 1880 and 1920. Each property is named after famous artworks or artists from that era. The development is perfectly positioned on a quiet residential cul-de-sac to provide the ideal setting for an exquisite mews of homes, tucked away from the hustle and bustle. The properties at Craft Mews have been designed as the perfect marriage between classical style and modern building materials, incorporating distinctive features to make this development really special. From the stable-style arched gateway and the traditional cottage brickwork to the enchanting courtyard garden, Craft Mews is a set of homes designed for those who are looking for somewhere to live and love. ➳

“Joe and the Ocean team’s flexibility and pro-active approach were invaluable in helping us deliver this scheme during national lockdown.”


Issue No. 12 – Qandor – 071

Knowle Close, Kent Christopher Hammond, Beau Property We worked with Chris who wanted to create a nice finish and ensure the houses stood out. We used Hansgrohe, Majestic, Geberit (ceramics, furniture and frames) to create a high-end feel for the properties.

Daniel Skotheim, Fonn We worked with Daniel in creating a project management service for all our retail clients so that the client, architect, designer, project manager and other trades can keep up to date with the way a project is going and also to replace 3x other software and cloud services with a single app that can be used by all. Issues can be flagged prior to meetings, and progress can be monitored and ticked off. We have now added it to our contracts and projects side so contractors, designers and architects can keep track of the process, from delivery updates to bespoke item measures and installs.

“It has been a pleasure working with Joe and his team on digitalising and improving processes for the supply & fit retail business. Joe and his team are futureready and proactively drive the industry forward, using technology to improve.” 072 – Qandor – Issue No. 12

“I found Joe and Ocean Bathrooms via the Qandor property networking group. We are so glad we did; the speed of service, helpfulness and patience have been exceptional and we are about to use them on our next scheme.”


REGISTER FOR... Live Webinars


Recorded Case Studies Financials & Floorplans Planning, Legal and Tax Insight And MORE!


REGISTER to receive invites to future webinars and regular case studies Add to your contacts to avoid our emails landing in your junk folder




Brought to you by


Unlock access to the best program online and start ‘building’ your dreams today!

The best property strategies for 2021 Do you... Need more knowledge Need more experience Need more time ​Need​to​find​the​right​people​to​work​with ​Need​help​to​understand​the​costs ​Not​understand​the​planning​system ​Not​know​how​to​find​good​deals ​Not​know​how​to​manage​the​builder​and​other​professionals?

The​Tropolis Accelerator Program​covers​a​large​variety​of​property​strategies,​all​ through​online training,​including;​ Self-build,​land​buying,​development,​refurbishment,​auctions​and​flips,​JVs,​newbuilds,​HMOs,​finance,​legal,​planning,​construction,​building​regulations,​project​ management​and​design And​that’s​not​all,​the​program​also​reveals​the​insider​secrets​to​creating​homes​from​ various​types​of​commercial​property​such​as​offices,​shops,​industrial​property​and​ barns!


Access to live Masterclasses with over 30 experts Lifetime access to the online 10-week program Be part of a connected community

Qandor Affiliates



David Phillips

Capital allowances



Hilltop Credit Partners

Keystone Law

Leadenhall Wealth Management

Stretch senior funding

Legal services

SSAS Pensions


Nimbus Maps

Ocean Bathrooms

Lighting & automation

Property Software


OnPoint Mortgages Mortgage brokerage

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.