Businessman Tim Fenn has won a regional award for his new 'eco-homes' venture, Green Carbon Construction, set up last year to design and build a new generation of high-performance eco-homes. After winning the regional heat in the 2008 HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards, Mr Fenn, who owns Oakwood Builders and Joinery in Benson, is now hoping to win the £50,000 top title.

He has developed a system using a glulam (glued laminated timber) post and beam frame supporting water tanks to create thermal mass. A totally new concept, it allows buildings to be erected quickly, keeping costs low, while the water within the structure prevents overheating, reducing the need for air conditioning. The company is also testing wind turbines, wood-pellet boilers and insulation materials, and is adapting technology from other sectors to deliver renewable energy, all of which can help the move towards zero carbon houses.

Although still in its start-up phase, Green Carbon Construction has secured a multi-million pound contract to design and build an executive eco-house, defeating more established names.