Eco-focused business plans to take on new staff and expand services

Jonny Murton

A Lancaster property company is planning to expand into new eco-friendly services, and recruit more staff.

Chartered surveyor and sustainability consultants business Murton & Co aims to mark its 10th anniversary next January by strengthening its environmentally-friendly credentials, despite the current difficulties posted by coronavirus.

The company works with a range of clients, including architects, developers, investors, local authorities and self-builders.

Founder and director, Jonny Murton, said: “The majority of our work focuses on energy performance, sustainability and compliance.

“Whether customers want an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), accurate floor plans for a new extension, or simply want to know how to make their property as energy efficient as possible, we can help.”

He said the company has been extremely busy during lockdown: “We have weathered the storm because we don’t just do physical surveys on site. We work with architects and developers at the design stage, so most of the energy efficiency calculations can be done in front of a computer screen.”

New services will include ‘passive house’ design work, where the emphasis was on reducing artificial heating and boosting heat retention within a home by ensuring it was highly insulated and airtight and windows were aligned to maximise the sun’s rays as a heating source.

The company will also move further into retrofit work, which involves making existing properties more energy efficient.

Mr Murton worked for a variety of property development and consultancy firms across the North West, at one stage managing a £20m property portfolio, before setting up his own business: “I wanted to focus on energy efficiency and finding new ways of working to help the environment,” he said.

“I realised I had the skills, knowledge and experience of working in different sectors and I really wanted to be master of my own destiny.”

Since then he has established the firm beyond its Lancashire roots. Projects have included assessing the energy efficiency of buildings on a huge commercial site at Chertsey, on the outskirts of London, which was being used as film studios and where Gravity and some of the James Bond movies were filmed.

After the devastating floods following Storm Desmond in 2015, Mr Murton worked as a contract administrator.

He liaised with insurers’ loss adjustors and policy holders’ loss assessors, to ensure flood-damaged homes were restored as swiftly as possible to their pre-loss condition and people could return home.

He also worked with businesses on several Kendal industrial estates and at residential estates in Levens and Lancaster to help owners improve their flood resilience measures through the installation of flood barriers, waterproof paint and render and non-return valves for toilets and drainage systems.

He said plans to take on new staff in the coming months.