Urban&Civic appoints Head of Sustainability and launches bespoke sustainability framework


Urban&Civic, the UK’s leading Master Developer, has appointed Richard Quartermaine as its Head of Sustainability. He will be responsible for the implementation of its bespoke Sustainability Framework across the business and driving forward the company’s commitment to continually improve its sustainable impact throughout all operations.

Richard joins Urban&Civic from Hammerson plc, where he was the company’s Environmental Manager for eight years delivering its Net Positive strategy across asset improvements and mixed-use developments. Prior to that, Richard worked as a Sustainability Consultant for seven years developing sustainability strategies for commercial buildings and authoring best practice industry guidance.

Richard’s new role will see him further develop Urban&Civic’s strategic approach to sustainability through the implementation of their Sustainability Framework that formalises the importance the company places on building quality communities that bring people together, whilst protecting the environment now and for future generations.

You can explore Urban&Civic’s Sustainability Framework in more detail here.

At the heart of this framework, Urban&Civic will focus on ensuring that each of their developments respond effectively to three universal challenges:

  • Climate Change – ensuring all developments make substantial cuts in operational and embodied carbon emissions by targeting Net Zero by 2030 and 2040 for scope 1&2 and scope 3 emissions respectively and committing to the Science Based Targets Initiative.
  • Biodiversity – shifting perceptions by delivering communities that work in harmony with nature to enhance precious habitats, plants and wildlife, targeting above requirement net gains in biodiversity across all Strategic Sites.
  • Health and wellbeing – adopting a holistic approach to design and placemaking to create communities that promote healthy, active and sociable lifestyles by listening to the needs of current and prospective residents and working closely with contractors and housebuilding customers.

Focus on Houlton in Rugby

Urban&Civic’s 5,952-home Houlton development in Rugby, Warwickshire, is an example of the company’s sustainable ethos in practice, which is delivering three new primary schools, a new secondary school, 507 acres of informal space and 24 hectares of formal open spaces and sports pitches.

The landscape strategy was initially focused around the existing population of great crested newts. Significant discussion took place with Natural England as to how to incorporate significant and connected nature corridors that would run through the site. Working together, Urban&Civic and Natural England agreed a strategy which meant licences were issued quickly after consent and works immediately started on site to define those corridors within phase 1, with the great crested newts being placed in the newly created corridors. The landscape established, which included specially designed tunnels under primary roads, was then protected during the wider construction activity. The outcome has been exceptionally successful for both newts and residents alike and on track to exceed proposed mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain requirements.

Urban&Civic has also delivered Houlton School – a new school which occupies a Grade II listed historic building that previously housed Rugby International Radio Station and opened in September 2021. Universally acclaimed and over-subscribed already for the 2022 intake, the energy efficient conversion of listed buildings of historic importance linked by a new road to Rugby Railway Station and incorporating the first bus lane in the Borough demonstrates the positives of joined-up thinking and public/private partnerships. As Master Developer Urban&Civic led the process, but the Department for Education, LocatED, Warwickshire County Council (Highways and Education), Rugby Borough Council, English Heritage, Sport England and Transforming Lives Educational Trust all played vital roles.

Houlton also played a significant role in developing the company’s strategy around carbon reduction; with its first initiative involving the assessment of all anticipated embodied carbon impacts across the full Houlton development and providing data on which to analyse and predict their future footprint across all Strategic Sites as the business grows. Urban&Civic has been able to use the data to predict its impact over the next ten years, assuming business as usual.  

Nigel Hugill, Chief Executive at Urban&Civic, said:

“Urban&Civic is bound by a collective determination that business results and positive societal and environmental impact can and should be mutually reinforcing. This Framework provides a structured approach to Universal Challenges that is bespoke to our Master Developer model and through which we will continue to make a real difference.”

Urban&Civic has over 35,500 consented and submitted homes across 14 strategic sites; 7 of which are in delivery. As part of this, the company is delivering 2,380 acres of open space, 28km of cycleways, 10 million ft2 of employment floor space, 19 primary schools and 5 secondary schools.