CHRONICLE readers interested in the future of environmentally-friendly homes and how to 'decarbonise' the UK's housing stock are invited to a talk at the University of Reading.

The role of that community engagement has on informing decisions around building improvements and energy efficiencies will be on the top of the agenda at the Delivering Net Zero event, held tonight (Thursday, July 11).

Builders the Acivico Group will present their knowledge and experience in neighbourhood-led retrofit schemes at the university’s Society for Public Architecture, Construction, Engineering & Surveying (SPACES) event.

The event gives Acivico Group an opportunity to highlight to attendees the challenges that exist within the sector and present how their work factors into the national net zero aims.

The Acivico Group will also showcase their work related to their Local Authority Delivery Phase 3 (LAD3) project, a £7 million programme of works to retrofit nearly 700 properties in Balsall Heath, Birmingham.

The project involved making building improvements to increase energy efficiency performance to help reduce fuel consumption and costs, lower carbon emissions and create more comfortable and healthier living environments for residents.

Their work on LAD3 will be co presented at the event in Reading by Ying Man, of the Acivico Group and Nigel Lloyd, civil engineer, ethical entrepreneur, and chair of local Birmingham community association group, Acocks Greener.

Ying Man, director at the Acivico Group, said: “This event taking place at University of Reading later gives us a wonderful opportunity to showcase to others how we have successfully delivered our retrofit projects and a chance to discuss ways we can further accelerate our targets to become net zero.

“We believe that community and resident engagement are both fundamental to reducing carbon emissions and the success of our LAD3 project is testament to that notion. Reaching national net zero targets will be a collaborative effort so educating others on the importance of switching to sustainable energy is vital.”

Ying has previously worked on a plethora of housing grant schemes and was involved in the first scheme for retrofit works under the London Mayor's Warmer Homes scheme; a £4m project retrofitting properties for residents on benefits.

Nigel Lloyd, chair of Acocks Greener CIC and civil engineer, added: “The Acivico Group’s work in some of the poorer suburbs of Birmingham showcased the importance of empowering local community groups, like the MECC Trust and Acocks Greener, to take the lead in helping residents to access the retrofit grants, obtain the appropriate measures and overcome any difficulties.

“With funding support from Acivico, the community groups were able to help both the residents, many with English as a second language, or old and with health problems, and the contractors to work to tight time-scales and achieve high levels of satisfaction. Helping ordinary people to benefit from retrofit not only tackled their fuel poverty, comfort and health issues, but encouraged the more sceptical and more vulnerable to follow suit.

To book a place to attend the event, visit