InSite | InSite 2023: Meet the Speaker - Stuart Fairlie

Meet the Speaker

Premier Guarantee will once again host expert speakers to discuss the key issues facing the construction industry this year, tickets for which you can get here.


Attendees at InSite: Building Safety and Standards will hear speakers debate and discuss the Building Safety Act, the 2025 Future Homes Standard as well as the industry codes of practice.


In this, the third in our series of articles introducing our speakers, we speak to Managing Director at Elmhurst Energy Stuart Fairlie who tells us about his experiences and plans for InSite.

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It’s clearly a challenging economic environment for the sector at the moment and that’s before you layer on top other issues such as the forthcoming election, workforce etc. It’s your sector so it can only be beneficial to get together to learn, share best practice and help shape the thoughts of organisation’s like the NHQB 

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Can you tell us about a bit about where it all started for you in the industry?

Nearly 25 years ago I bumped into Elmhurst’s now chairman, Stephen O’Hara, and we chatted about how interesting energy in buildings was.

My degree was in urban design, and I liked the idea of helping people in buildings save energy, money and carbon, by helping create a system where professionals could create ‘home energy reports’ for home owners, landlords and tenants. So, I started pretty much the next day, and to be fair I have never looked back.

How about the road to where you are today. Are you able to tell us about your experience – biggest challenges or proudest moments?

24 years of constant learning and development. I have gained experience in various aspects of our business, including marketing, training, software, support, and IT. However, I often find myself in the role of a "jack of all trades, master of none”.

I have learnt that government polices start and stop extremely quickly and that we as an industry had to be fleet of foot and deliver quality assessments of buildings.
In Elmhurst’s 30th year, I take great pride in reflecting on the growth of Elmhurst, both in terms of our staff and members, and the significant positive impact we have made across the country. Our work has been instrumental in empowering individuals to make informed decisions regarding energy efficiency in buildings. As an industry, we have demonstrated our ability to deliver these solutions on a large scale.


You are Managing Director at Elmhurst Energy. Can you tell us a bit about what makes Elmhurst so important and unique to its clients and indeed the wider industry?

Elmhurst is independent and only ever wants its members to assess the energy efficiency of buildings as accurately as possible e.g. to give as close to the truth as possible. We have no vested interest in any fuel, or technology, or construction method. In order to do this, we deliver quality software, training and support to our 10,000+ members.

Our members can provide effective energy assessments for buildings, assisting UK building owners with various objectives such as reducing carbon emissions, lowering fuel costs, improving thermal comfort (warmer in winter, cooler in summer), and enhancing building insulation.

In addition, we advocate and push for the building physics (methodologies) to be kept up to date, to allow for new proven innovations and technology, to keep up with prices and carbon factors.


What is it about your job that keeps you going, whether it is the challenges, inspirations or the people around you?

I currently work with, and have worked with, fantastic colleagues who have a wealth of knowledge and expertise. We currently have over 10,000 expert members covering the whole of the UK, all of whom strive to help buildings be more energy efficient.

The issue of improving the energy efficiency of buildings in the UK has never been more important; the road to net zero, fuel poverty, fuel security - the challenge is enormous and we need to keep going at scale to deliver help to everyone whether at the micro (individual homes and businesses) or macro level (government, nationally).

I am also very lucky to share platforms with other industry leaders to spread the message. We need to solve our issues for everyone today, tomorrow and in the future.


Tell us a bit about your presentation topic for the InSite event in September. What can attendees look forward to?

A crash bang wallop through the new Parts F, L and O of the building regulations – where we are now, where we are heading – with a healthy dose of realism, to let people know that this is not only all achievable, but that it is not rocket science. We know how to achieve our goals, we just need commitment to get on with it!


What advice would you have for those considering attending our InSite event, bearing in mind the landscape of our industry at the moment and the need for obtaining knowledge and sharing ideas?

It is always important to stop and think, and conferences like this are a great way to hear from industry experts, and hopefully ask questions and engage with other peers. Also, as the old saying goes: listen, as you never know you may learn something new! I always look forward to these types of conferences to hear from others and pass on any information that I know.



See the full agenda for InSite


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Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication (July 2023). Guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. For the most up to date Premier Guarantee technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the Premier Guarantee Technical Manual.
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