Green Build Systems (GBS) has a hand-picked core team which comprise our Directors and Professional Specialist Advisors selected from individuals with successful backgrounds from across a diverse range of industries.
Paul started his working life in the Accountancy profession before moving into the Energy industry.
Paul was Managing Director and 50% owner of the Total Energy Group of companies and was instrumental in the creation of their own gas supply company, known as Total Energy Gas Supplies Limited, which they sold out to Contract Natural Gas. Working with EDF, Paul and his colleagues had one of the largest direct sales forces and sub-agency networks in the UK.
He introduced commercial energy sales to uSwitch (the online energy switching platform), with his team having handled much of uSwitch’s business customer switching for 4 years until the company brought such operations in-house.
Over time, Paul also worked on water supply and disposal budgeting, and was instrumental in implementing savings of £2.9 million a year for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on their military sites in the South of England. Paul was subsequently involved with solar energy, advising commercial and residential clients on installation and financing arrangements (until the UK government slashed Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) payments and the industry underwent reinvention).
More recently, Paul has used his vast experience across various industries to advise clients on securing funding for renewable energy installations and sustainable development projects.
Alexander is a construction and real estate entrepreneur whose expertise, natural sales drive, and experience derives from a family-built business stemming back several generations.
Alexander’s expertise helped the family business develop an award-winning Nursing / Care home portfolio as well as building high quality 4-bedroomed detached residential properties.
As part of Alexander’s property prowess, he has more recently added to his real estate portfolio with investments made in land and related assets.
Alexander’s family property portfolio encapsulates a range of development assets ranging from stables, eco lodges, hotels, forestry and land, apartments, and industrial units.
A true visionary, Alexander studied the trends in eco building and recognised an ideal opportunity to develop construction products which would be energy saving, eco-friendly, and could make a real contribution to society whilst maintaining his high standards of profitable and sustainable businesses.
His keen interest in sustainability, the protection of flora and fauna, plant-based health foods and his desire to support local communities as well as supporting ways to help the underprivileged to be able to support themselves led to his keen interest in developing the GBS Modular Vertical Farm systems.
As a previous Chairman of GBS, we are delighted to welcome back Richard from a bout of ill health and enforced retirement. We are pleased to have the opportunity to utilise his invaluable experience at senior level, whilst embracing his undoubted enthusiasm for the GBS business along with his shared vision for the company’s future.
Born into farming life, Richard started his career as an Industrial Engineer within the food industry, an area which co-incidentally he has returned to as a consultant several times.
He progressed to senior Industrial Engineer status within both the Automotive and Furniture Manufacturing Industries. His career continued within the “engineering of industry” environment to senior management level for multinational companies, which included the responsibility for multi-site manufacturing facilities, manufacturing innovation, factory layouts, ergonomics and the development and measurement of manufacturing systems.
Headhunted by a national company in Yorkshire, he undertook the role of Manufacturing Director before being promoted to the parent board as Group Operations Director, where he helped to create an award winning multi-million-pound business.
Later in his career, Richard established his own consultancy firm before transitioning to Managing Director at a high-tech electronics firm supplying the MOD’s Warship Support Agency (WSA), various airlines and numerous blue-chip entities such as Airbus, BAE, Rolls Royce, BMW, Sandvik, and Iscar.
During the last 15 years Richard further developed his consultancy business undertaking contracts with such industries as Frozen Foods, and fresh produce packing plants as well as developing systems to handle produce across multiple sites and canning operations.
Throughout his career, he has always had a love for marketing, copywriting, PR plus sales and marketing strategies and over the last 10 years has transformed his consultancy business to a marketing and strategy specialist service.
Daniel heads the marketing arm of GBS, bringing his inspirational and creative prowess to the company along with both excellent leadership and communication skills obtained via a strong track record of experience at Board/Director level. He brings not only ambition, but a strategic and insightful business mind for building brands and contributing to the development of our commercial marketing strategies in close collaboration with our Leadership team and Specialist Professional Advisors.
Of notable, and a much-welcomed benefit to GBS, is Daniel’s previous professional collaborations and project successes with Richard Croft (our Professional Advisor on Business Strategy). GBS has been very pleased to seize upon and embrace such a continual and fruitful working relationship as part of its growing operations, helping deliver confidence and optimism throughout the team.
Professionally, Daniel has gained a breadth of experience as an entrepreneur and a business owner, having had oversight and an input into all core aspects of business activities across the board - this including marketing functions. His early career commenced in financial markets, specialising in equities broking and alternative private capital financing on projects, to which he later transitioned to roles on Sales & Trading desks with a focus on main market equity derivatives sales.
Post-graduation, Daniel completed his vocational training via the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at ULaw London Moorgate with a specialisation in corporate transactions and finance. As an undergraduate, he read law at Lancaster University graduating with 2.1 LLB (Hons), subsequently obtaining his postgraduate LLM in Corporate & Financial Services Law from the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Matthew has formed a hugely integral part to GBS’s success from inception to date and leads the investor and investment funding side of our business. To date and continuing, this includes his active involvement with our equity investors and our company’s successful fundraising via the HMRC’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
With a core strength and penchant for establishing, nurturing, and growing long-term client relationships on the investor-driven sides of businesses, Matthew arrived at GBS with over a decade of experience in corporate and SME funding activities – to which he has been successful in securing fundraising totalling to over £12m in sectors ranging from Real Estate to Energy.
His early career began in the City of London in Sales & Broking with a specialisation in FTSE 100, blue-chip main market equities and quoted securities. Following his successes, Matthew then transitioned into Futures trading and was positioned on Proprietary Trading Desks focusing on Oil & Energy, specifically Brent Crude Futures /Oil Derivatives execution.
SPECIALIST PROFESSIONAL ADVISORS
Chris, an experienced Horticulturist, joins the GBS team and brings a wealth of experience and proven successes gained over 40 years; much of which is directly relevant to our business.
Proven management skills demonstrated on an international stage, inclusive of growing in challenging conditions and utilising state-of-the-art technology to deliver customer expectations has seen Chris designing and building hydroponic units on a global basis. He was a fundamental part of the team designing the Growing Underground multilevel system.
With experience in food safety, hygiene standards, and as a consultant in growing systems and crop husbandry as well as technical standards for food industry and supermarkets, Chris’s specialist hydroponic, LED, crop growing. and project management experience is seen as an invaluable asset to the progression of Green Build Systems.
Another bonus for GBS is that Chris has collaborated regularly with both Tim and Sean (see profiles), so introductions will not be necessary, and each understands the other’s strengths.
Jason is the CEO of award-winning Aponic Ltd, developers of Vertical Aeroponic Farming systems and sustainable food growing systems.
Starting with a background in engineering and programming, but with a natural fascination for natural ecosystems, it seemed almost a natural progression for Jason to enter the world of vertical soil-less growing.
With business links to New Anglia Growth Hub, InCrops, and a member of AgritechE, Jason has appeared as guest speaker at several conferences and has visited Zambia with the DIT, as well as spending time with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Jason is spearheading our joint interests within the farming community, particularly focusing upon systems that can be installed into existing structures, as well as an African-based project in which we share mutual interests.
We have worked together with Jason frequently for some time now, but as specific projects have been formulated and may be close to fruition, it is appropriate and welcomed by GBS that we work much closely within a more formal structure.
Peter is a veritable “who’s who” of the vertical farming arena, as current Chair of the Vertical Farming Network (based within the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester) and was previously Vice Chairman of the Association of Vertical Farming.
Born into a farming family, Peter has been designing farm automation systems since the age of 11 and from school entered the electrical and controls industry. He progressed to installing and commissioning systems and managing projects of up to GBP £100m value on a global scale and across a very diverse range of industries.
Peter has shown interest in vertical farming since the 1980s and has been involved in engineering design of vertical farming systems for the past 13 years.
As well as utilising his skills and experience in designing automation, process flow and power systems, Peter is fast becoming our “go-to person” for introductions into other aspects of the vertical farming industry.
Sean has over 30 years’ experience in both Mechanical and Electrical Engineering gained within a diverse range of industries which include, oil and gas, edible oils, chemical production, bespoke manufacturing, and horticultural industries.
With a background in Engineering Management and Mechanical Design, Sean also owns MES Ltd who are involved in the design and construction of electrical control panels and mechanical design for industrial and horticultural sites. Their skills also cover plant layouts, piping & instrument diagrams, process design, 2D and 3D drafting as well as project management.
Within Sean’s remit, he has experience also of both mechanical and electrical manufacture and worked alongside both Tim and Chris on the Growing Underground project. Other projects which all 3 have worked on together include Liberty Produce and Space 10 where GrowStack vertical farming units were installed into a pop-up restaurant.
We welcome Tim, an experienced qualified Industrial and Horticultural Electrical Engineer and owner of TCE Electrical Ltd, specialists in interface control systems and irrigation systems for Industrial, Horticultural, and farming applications for the past 20 years.
Tim has taken a particular interest in LED grow lights over the past 10 years and has built a number of complete growing systems inclusive of the full growing systems for the Growing Underground project and successful vertical farms.
He has worked closely with several top LED lighting manufacturers and is very experienced at understanding the best lighting systems to suit any number of growing applications.
Other projects Tim and his company have worked with include the Chelsea Flower Show, installing a vertical growing unit on the IKEA stand, the designing, building and testing of farms for Stockbridge Technology Centre, works on the Bio Pesticide Glasshouse project, and Anglia Salads, amongst many others.
Nina is a Plant Scientist and Cultivation Advisor and has extensive knowledge of plant science, nutritional and environmental requirements, crop production, experimental design, statistical data analysis and reporting as well as integrated pest management.
With a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of Organisms, an MSc in Plant Genetics, and currently completing a PhD in Biological & Environmental Science at the University College Dublin (UCD, Ireland), Nina carries impeccable academic credentials; but it is her experience and dynamic approach to problem solving that equally interested Green Build Systems to invite her to join us.
Nina also has 5 years of experience as a successful freelance consultant, previous experience as a Senior Research Scientist, and additionally as a Cultivation and Technical Advisor with HydroGarden Wholesales. Further professional experience includes her work at the Laboratory of Plant Genetics in Prague, the extraction of CBD, and her experience in Vertical farming and grow rooms.
Nina’s breadth of experience to date demonstrates the wealth of knowledge and expertise that she brings to the team.
We are pleased to welcome Laura on board with GBS as she brings expertise from and to a variety of areas, in particularly to the artificial lighting / LED systems that we use, and which represent such a vital part of our growing systems.
Laura is a scientist at Leibniz Institute of Vegetables and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) and since 2020, she has volunteered as Head of Science at the Association for Vertical Farming.
Her first encounter with plant science was in 2014 when she completed her first lab internship in the Bioscience lab at Cardiff University (UK) and had the opportunity to contribute to different works and obtain a hint of a wide range of techniques used in plant science.
In 2015, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Università della Calabria, Italy.
In 2016, she won an Aberystwyth University (UK) scholarship of 3 years to perform her Ph.D. studies at the same university. The title of her Ph.D. project was “Illuminating future food production; the impacts of tuneable artificial lighting on food crop biology and productivity” with the aim of optimizing red lettuce growth and quality in a completely controlled environment with the sole use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), studying aspects of lighting including irradiance, spectral quality, duration, and time of application.
After completing her Ph.D. practical work and during the writing-up period, in 2019, she then began working at the Leibniz IGZ in the Controlled Environment Horticultural Systems group where she studies plant response to light in vertical production systems which aims at monitoring and tailoring early plant stress using modelling and sensors.
Andrew joins the GBS team with over 30 years of experience gained from within the life science industries.
During the earlier days of his career, Andrew’s experience was in sales and marketing in the laboratory supply industry with companies such as Boehringer Mannheim, Kodak, and ICN. He was initially selling laboratory reagents and small equipment to universities and the pharmaceutical industry.
In the past 10 years, he has been involved in working with small businesses in the food and agriculture sector. This has included dealing with a diverse range of products such as Soda-Lo (a low salt ingredient for the food industry) and the RoboScientific VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) detector developed for disease detection in plant and livestock crops.
Andrew has a wealth of knowledge in the industry, this gained through him actively networking and building professional business relationships over time. Without doubt, this has given him the ability to marry new technologies with industry problems, and we are looking forward to utilising Andrew’s skills and advice as we progress deeper into the vertical farming marketplace.