Helen Grimshaw

Helen is a senior sustainability consultant at URBED. Her work cuts across a wide range of projects, ranging from assessing the sustainability credentials of new developments and reviewing our own masterplans through to research and guidance on improving the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock.

Helen works under the banner of sustainability in its broadest sense; with a background as a human geographer her key interest is in the interaction between people and their surroundings. In particular, how technical information is communicated to and understood by ‘non-technical’ users, and the impact this has on the operational performance of buildings and systems. She is a big believer in systems thinking and the importance of process - especially in how we generate responses to the climate emergency. 

Helen has a BA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Manchester and an MSc in Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy from Cardiff University. Her postgraduate dissertation studied the governance and framing of climate change at the sub-regional and local level. 

Since joining URBED, Helen has developed expertise in post-occupancy and building performance evaluation, conducting assessments of new and existing developments. She also supports project teams through design workshops and focus groups, keeping abreast of best practice across a broad range of fields and has developed particular expertise in handover materials and processes including Building User Guides. 

Helen joined URBED after four years working for charity the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol delivering energy advice, working on frontline fuel poverty projects and developing local approaches to the delivery of housing retrofit policies. She is experienced in householder and community engagement. Helen’s expertise in the fields of energy and retrofit has further developed at URBED where she regularly collaborates with Carbon Co-op, supporting their members through whole house assessments and training in retrofit advocacy, as well as supporting the development of open source tools. She is currently overseeing the evaluation package of ‘People Powered Retrofit,’ a collaborative service between URBED and Carbon Co-op, designed to help householders and the supply chain overcome barriers to delivering deep emissions reductions in existing homes.

Within the co-op Helen is a Director and part of the personnel team. She is one of our trained Mental Health First Aiders. 

Helen works part-time (3 days/week). On her non-working days she can usually be found gardening with her 3 year old daughter, or open water swimming! 

Helen can be contacted at helen@urbed.coop

Helen Grimshaw