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Derick’s next move
DERICK Wilson often makes the point that he hates the word ‘eco’ and doesn’t care much for environmental activists, whom he labels as ‘tree huggers.’ Nevertheless, three years ago this former soldier from Kimberley devised a construction concept that should have pleased many people of a green persuasion.
Wilson came up with a design for flatpack modular buildings which had very high insulation and energy efficiency properties, and with solar PV on the roof to make them self-sufficient. One of his main markets, he envisaged, would be the international aid charities, who could quickly install modular units, with power supplied by the solar, at disaster scenes. In the event, Wilson’s idea won over local authorities close to home and his company Blue Planet Buildings gained contracts to install his PV modules at three Nottinghamshire schools including his own alma mater, the National School in Hucknall. There was an award and positive coverage in the national papers and on regional TV news.
But, with the experience of having built the modules, Wilson now wanted to redesign his buildings and to do that he needed investment. The business potential of Wilson’s ideas attracted investment from the Mellors Group. However, the collaboration didn’t work out and - by Mellors’ and Wilson’s own admission – Wilson was sacked as an employee in March this year. The company assets and IP were ultimately purchased by the Mellors Group, which now runs the business as Blue Planet Buildings UK.
Wilson has now set up a new business called InSolar International – his fifth company - which is specialising in helping bodies such as local authorities increase the energy efficiency of their modular buildings. Wilson’s new business is currently run from an office on Blenheim Industrial Estate and is bidding for a £2m contract with a local authority. “The proposal is to cost effectively upgrade 35 of their school modular classrooms from what are poor buildings to A-rated buildings,” he says. “Each classroom will benefit from free electricity from solar over 25 years. They will get a full 25-year maintenance programme from us and an education package in which children will learn about energy efficient technologies. There will be 20 full-time employment positions and 50 education training places.” In other words Wilson is still involved – or wants to be involved – in modular buildings. He just isn’t building them.
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