New Green Jack New Green Jack

57 responses to “Our new Zero Carbon HQ”

    • Racheblue

      Wow! Looks lush – great plans – hope it all works out 🙂

      One comment – am wondering why there are so many car-park spaces? Perhaps less of those and more bike parks would be appropriate??

      Apart from that I look forward to seeing the grand designs come to fruition.

      How about re-naming it Green Unicorn (drop the house altogether)?!

      Best wishes, Rache x

        • paul

          Hiya Rach – nice to see you over here 🙂

          Hopefully Dale will have time to come and answer some questions, but I will try in the meantime…

          I think the plans show 33 car spaces? – that’s for over 250 staff… sadly we don’t all live within walking/cycling distance of Stroud centre, and public transport is pretty rubbish round ‘ere (I mean from the small villages into Stroud – for example – there is one bus per day from the village I live – to Cirencester – so I would need to change there and set off the day before 😉 ), so we have to allow for a small percentage of car users.

          And besides, at some point in the near future – they will be filled by wind powered electric cars I am sure 🙂


        • dale Vince

          Hi Rache, Just to add to Paul’s answer.

          What we’ve done is match the number of car parking spaces that already exist at the building. We’re likely to restrict on site parking to people that car share, to maximise use of space and minimise impact from car travel.

          We’ll also support/push for walking and riding to work (and bussing – the bus stop is outside). And as Paul says, wind powered cars are in our thinking.

          We’ll have a seriously joined up transport policy for this new HQ – promise.


        • Steve Davies

          Love the ‘greenhouse’ Dale.
          eHQ deserves to be spectacular and discreet.


    • The Ville

      Ha. I thought that when I saw the post titled ‘Tricorn plan’, that you were referring to the would famous (ex) Tricorn of Portsmouth!

      It even has its own Wiki-page:

      However it was demolished years ago and is now waiting to be redeveloped.

        • paul

          Haha – didn’t know there was more than one Brutalist Tricorn!

          We’ve changed the title a little – so we won’t be causing any more confusion to Portsmouth residents 🙂

    • Squirrel

      Very nice!

      Remind me agian, why are all buildings not this way?

      Can I be obvious and suggest you name it after the man without whome none of this would be possible? No, not Dale House…

      Faraday House.

      You don’t already have one in Stroud do you?

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      Oh, I think Volta and Ampere might have something to say about that, for starters!

      “Renewable Place”?

      “Green Plaza”?

      “Zero Carbon Spring”?

      etc, etc,



    • Simba

      I like ‘Ground Zero’

      The epicentre of green Britain?
      like some kind of eco-virus, infecting the flacid brains of all the foolish nonbelievers and turning them into zombie like hippies… too far?

      p.s. will there be significant parking/infrastructure for cyclists?

        • Xena

          Ground Zero is cool, but reminds me too much of Ground Zero in NYC – not a positive reference 🙁

    • Zach Angelo

      Very cool news! Looks like a nice piece of property with some great potential. What a transformation this will be!

    • The Ville

      I like Mill House,

      Since Dale insists on calling everything a windmill or gasmill etc!!??

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      Zero Mill?

      Big Fat Zero House?

      (I do like “Ground Zero” and “Zero Mill” in case you can’t tell!)

      Big Fat Nothing Mill?



        • Simba

          I like all the variations on zero, speaking of which, what about this for a theme tune:

          “welcome to the house of none”

            • Damon Hart-Davis

              But that would be Madness. B^>

              “…now I’ve come of age”



        • Damon Hart-Davis

          Brainstorming to myself…

          Zero Carbon House

          Carbon Ground Zero

    • TR

      I think if it’s going to be named after anyone then I think maybe someone specifically linked to Turbines (where would Ecotricity be without them?)… like Sir Charles Parsons.
      I think it’d show a link & a sign of respect to the past.

        • paul

          There’s also this chap: Sir Henry Lawson-Tancred: wind energy pioneer

            • The Ville

              The Sir Henry Lawson-Tancred Ground Zero Carbon Mill House.

              Rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it.

    • Jonny Holt

      Hello Dale,

      What about ZQ – as in Zerocarbon headQuarters or ZedQuarters – picking up on the inspirational Bedzed eco building in South London? The roof-mounted ventilators in the illustration in your progress report (not shown here, though) are clearly designed to do a similar job.

      Best regards,


        • Tegan

          ZQ – that’s ace. It has such a ring to it. XD

          So cool they got planning permission – I just read about it today in the prgress report thing and they were all ‘they said no but we’ll keep trying’ – and now it’s greenlit! XD

          Tegan xo

    • James

      Lets hope everything gets accepted!

      It will be an excellent move, and very exciting! Smack bang on the way into town it’ll show those folk entering Stroud exactly what we’re about!

      How about: ‘Green house’? no?

      Anyway. lets hope it all goes ahead!


      P.S i love ‘Groud Zero’ and ‘ZQ’, i also like ‘Renewable Place’

        • Damon Hart-Davis

          Green House, ZQ and Xero House all good!



            • James

              I like Xero House!


    • Graham P

      Fantastic plan Dale. I love the seasonal living walls. What a place to work. Speaking of which, do you need any Project Managers? How’s that SAP system working out?

      So, for a name for the HQ I’m thinking Greek mythology.

      Aeolus (House) – Ruler of the winds

      Zephyrus (House) – God of the west wind as the HQ is based in the west

      Anemoi (House) – Wind gods

      Another one…

      Beaufort (House) – After Sir Francis Beaufort of wind speed scale fame.

      Very best of luck with the rest of the planning process.


    • Simon J

      I really like the design, I think it could fit in well with the Code for Sustainable Homes’ impact on the construction market this year. Speaking with regard to my particular field of interest, how do you plan on insulating the building? And probably more specifically is your aim to get green products or the best products as these are often mutually exclusive aims?

      Also, to throw a suggestion or two in the ring with regards to naming;

      Tri Carbon Zero House (a little long I admit) or, Tri Eco Centre

    • Jeffrey Lam

      How very exciting! That is, both the idea, and the progress you’ve made in getting the planning permission. I hope the compulsory purchase goes through. We need more passive buildings like this.
      It’s good to know that someone is (trying to) build them!

      I look forward to seeing what names get suggested for this. If it’s anything like the Nemesis process, I expect to see a lot of suggestions!

    • Jamie Geddes


      Any thoughts on heat pumps for the new office? Be interesting to here your take on the technology and carbon reduction specifically.

      I like ZQ by the way!

    • Tim J

      ZQ sounds like a men’s magazine! Also would it be pronounced Zed Q or Zee Q?
      What about Windmill House?

        • Jonny Holt

          Hello Tim,

          You are half right – but also half wrong.

          Given the convention this side of the Atlantic it would be Zed Q. Why would it be anything else?

          Best regards,



          @ Dale,

          On a mountaintop in North Wales there is a rocky outcrop called Castell y Gwynt or – in English – “Castle of the Wind”. That would also be a damn fine name for your new home!

    • Nick Palmer

      I submitted a comment but it didn’t appear. I’ll try again.

      Dale did you see the 30th April press release on ADVFN from the Ozzie fuel cell company Ceramic Fuel Cells limited?

      Here’s an excerpt:

      “Ceramic Fuel Cells has achieved electrical efficiency of 60 percent, far higher
      than any other technology in the rapidly expanding global market for small scale
      power and heating generators. When heat is recovered from the electricity
      production process, total efficiency is up to 85 percent…

      Ceramic Fuel Cells is continuing to build its order book for BlueGen units from
      major utilities and other foundation customers in Europe, Japan and Australia…

      Using the same fuel cell technology, Ceramic Fuel Cells is also developing fully
      integrated power and heating products with leading energy companies E.ON UK in
      the United Kingdom, GdF Suez in France and EWE in Germany. ”

      I still think there may be major synergies between the ethos of Ecotricity and these natural gas fuelled units which can provide highly distributed, ultra efficient, power generation with utilisation of waste heat. Each household unit can export to the grid as much electricity again as it supplies to the house.

      Nick Palmer

      Blogspot: “Sustainability and Stuff according to Nick Palmer”

    • Vinny Burgoo

      Zero Carbon? And you’re flattening the building and starting again?

      How long would it take (assuming you manage to legally hijack the currently genuinely zero-carbon site) before your ‘as near to Zero carbon in its operation as we can make it’ newbuild starts to cut net carbon? Ten years? Thirty? What’s the designed lifespan of your newbuild?

      I’m glad you’re having fun spending your money, but don’t pretend you’re Green.

        • Damon Hart-Davis

          Nice trolling attempt.

          Skipping past your rudeness, yes, replacing a building does imply a great deal of embedded energy but my guess would be that refurbishing the current building at all would be pretty hard, so it’s not ‘zero’ in embedded energy for minimal rehabilitation nor ongoing excess energy bills either.



        • Jonny Holt

          Hello Vinny,

          OK, the present building is “zero carbon” but only insofar as it is not being used for anything. It could be argued that it performs a useful function as a carbon sink – all that concrete (calcium carbonate) being kept out of the atmosphere but that would be a specious position to take, confusing the wasted resource with a benefit to the environment. Anyway, in architecture as in so many other subjects, there is so much more to the wider ecology debate than the current fixation with carbon reduction and sequestration.

          The building could only be responsibly re-used after investing heavily in insulation, services and fixtures all of which would likely outweigh the benefits of the supposed recycling of the structure, in both cash and carbon terms. Additionally, given its age, it is probably heavily compromised by asbestos. After any complex and expensive upgrade to current environmental standards, would it even then be as efficient, as carbon neutral in its day-to-day running, as beautiful, as inspirational as the new design? I think not. At the moment it is an eyesore, unremittingly a relic of an ignorant age from which we have – mercifully – graduated.

          Ecotricity’s ZQ will be a beacon, a statement of current best practice and a pointer to further improvements in good building design in the future.

          Best regards,


        • Jeffrey Lam

          Valid questions Vinny. I’d be interested to hear the answers.
          However, I don’t think we’re in a position to accuse ecotricity of pretending to be green until we do know the answers.

          Best regards,

        • Xena

          Although the site is technically zero carbon at the moment, it’s also got far more bad points – it’s seriously fugly, completely useless, and not doing anything for the economy of the town (no jobs being created, no money coming in or going out, etc)

          On top of this, the company that is (hopefully) going to be “flattening it and starting again” is a company that produces green electricity as it’s main business. I’m certain that if anyone should qualify as being green it’s them, and also pretty sure that any construction works undertaken will be done as climate efficiently (not sure that’s even a word) as possible.

          Even more, further to the comments above, I have no idea whether it would be cheaper to knock the building down and start again. But the quantity of materials needed to insulate Tricorn House would be huge, and it would require just as much work (stripping out the inside walls, dry lining and replacing all the windows blah blah), and it still wouldn’t be enough to make it zero carbon, or anywhere close for that matter. To fit with Ecotricity’s vision of a building that is carbon neutral or as near as dammit, it has to be a fresh start.

          Even the style that Tricorn House is built in isn’t efficient – with so many huge outside walls… you see where I’m going with that one.

          Lastly, I can understand you wanting to put your point across and it’s great that you did, but please don’t be so rude about it… there’s no need for any accusations here.

    • Russ

      but if you are really setting an example, are other businesses supposed to flatten existing buildings and start again, or should they try to insulate, etc, existing structures?

        • Damon Hart-Davis

          As mentioned above, it may require lots of embedded energy to rehabilitate an old, derelict and possibly asbestos-ridden building, then there will be its future higher-than-necessary energy costs since it’s very hard to give an old building new energy performance (eg like Passivhaus).

          So, someone could do the sums here, but this may be one of those cases where even *if* the building could be made fit for purpose at all, it would be greener to replace it rather than try to fix it.



    • Sara Boltman

      Well done! Hope your risky strategy pays off and the developer doesn’t sting you by selling to someone else. I wrote a letter of support to SDC before the public inquiry and am happy to send them an email again if it helps. As a former local I’ll be happy to see the site used again.
      Name wise, how about Revolution House, as
      A) it’s right next to a roundabout,
      B) that’s what wind turbines do,
      C) that’s what you’re doing to the site
      D) that’s what ecotricity is doing to the green electricity market


        • Damon Hart-Davis

          “Revolution House” is good though I quite like the Zero/Xero notion too, so what about:

          * “Square Xero” cf “back at square 1”

          * “Revolution Zero” or “Revolution Xero” (ie a nod to the water-saving features too)

          * “Cycle Zero” / “Zero Point” / “Turning Point” / “Power Point” / “Point Xero” / etc, etc…



    • Russ

      ‘360 Electricity”


    • Lia Ditton


      We have something in common: Virgin!
      My name is Lia Ditton and I’m the creator of the ‘Open Boat Orchestra.’

      I am keen to have a brief chat with you.
      My number is 07896 983568.

      Best regards,

        • paul

          Hiya Lia,

          Thanks for dropping by. Dale is a bit on the busy side at the mo, but I am sending an email to see if I can help…


    • David Scott, Stroud, Glos

      Hi Dale
      Iv’e just recieved an email from EDF Team Green Britain asking me to nominate my everyday green hero, someone who i’d like to nominate for being super at helping to make Britain greener. Well after giving it considerable thought I decided it ought to be you. However they say I should let you know I am nominating you so I thought this was the best way to do it – I hope you dont mind me saying ‘Dale is the hero of environmentaly conscious people and of home owners who use his green electicity. In 1990 he was living the life of a new age traveller in a converted military vehicle using a small wind powered turbine to power lights etc. He decided he would like to make large scale wind power comercially viable and in 1996 he erected his first large scale wind turbine, Ecotricity was on its way and the rest is history.
      They also asked me to give your email address so they can put you on their contacts list, I hope is ok. All the best hope you win their is a Home energy efficiency make over in it for you.

      Dave Scott

        • Jonny Holt

          Hello Dave,

          Is there any indication as to how others might nominate Dale as their everyday green hero? I, too, think that the possibility of Dale winning a home energy efficiency makeover would be reason enough for any Ecotricity customer to get involved.

          I have trawled through the EDF website and can find nothing about everyday green heroes. Maybe I need to join “team green Britain” first – something I am unwilling to do.

          Please can you, or anyone else, let me know how to nominate Dale for this prestigious accolade?

          Best regards,


        • dale Vince

          Hi David, Thanks for the nomination, appreciate that. (and thanks Jonny and Damon too)

          I’m quite tickled by the idea actually that EDF might declare me their everyday eco hero – though the chances of that must be quite small……:) Bit of fun though at least.

          My e-mail address BTW is for anyone that wants to.

          If I win, and get the home energy efficiency makeover, maybe I’ll reciprocate and offer EDF a green business makeover – might be a bigger job than I anticipate, but I’ll make the offer.


    • Derek


      Can I have your permission to nominate you as well


        • dale Vince

          Sure thing Derek. Mail address above. And thank you.

    • Simon Manns

      Hey everyone, just thought I would remind you that today marks the farce that is EDF’s Green Britain Day!!

      Happy Green Britain Day to you all!!

      Log onto their Facebook page to add you comments 😉

    • Clare Jane Mcvety

      This idea works by the water in the drains powering fans to create electricity for houses so we don’t have to use power plants.
      So what happens is that the water pushing the fans sends the power to a generator. Then the generator will send the electricity to your home. There is an electric cable going to your home to send the power.
      Thank you Clare Mcvety
      just thougth this idea with fans

        • Jonny Holt

          Hello Clare,

          Your mention of fans has given me another idea for a name for the building;

          Ecotricity Fan Base.

          However, at the risk of blowing my own trumpet I still think ZQ is the best so far.

          Best regards,


    • L.Walters

      Wacky! I can’t wait to see that huge wrecking ball smash the not-living daylights out of that building. It is such a graffiti covered, concrete waste of space and recourses. BTW your aims are pretty ambitious if you ask me. I saw it in the 2009 progress report I think and I was like WOW! I didn’t realize then that it had a moat like thing around it (you could have a full moat with green crocodiles, sharks and a drop-down drawbridge 😀 ). Wasn’t it designed by the same guy who designed Ruskin Mill near Nailsworth? Probably just my brain gone a bit funny if not. Good Luck! LOL! 😀

    • Jeremy

      Hi , I hope your new office will have EV power points . I have just contacted your company with a view to charging my own EV at Swafham, The responder doubted it, but has forwarded by message to the Eco centre. Its really important that an organisation like Ecotricity provides access to charging at its publicly accessible sites, like Swaffham.

      Keep up the good work.

    • opticalpespectivearchitecture


      I love the regeneration principles adopted and the green operation of the design.

      Lots of interesting name suggestions too.

      I would vote for the pionner of wind turbines design Sir Henry Lawson-Tancred so my suggestion for a name would be Sir Henry Lawson-Tancred Green HQ.

      I also think in the construction process all corners should be elliminated and Ecotricity should consult a Feng Shui master before construction begans.

      When finished there is no doubt It will win the RIBA Sterling Prize!

      Best of Luck