Former Oil Broker Creates UKs First Zero-Carbon Holiday Homes

Tim Kemp and his wife Brigitte moved from Kent to Cornwall to create The Emerald, a small private holiday estate near Falmouth, centred on four new purpose-built holiday properties designed to meet the toughest environmental standards on energy efficiency and sustainability.  

As well as creating two 1-bedroom and two 3-bedroom luxury holiday lets, the Kemps installed 30kwh of solar photovoltaic panels to provide energy for the buildings, which are triple-glazed and highly insulated with an A+ CO2 rating.

Mr Kemp, whose maritime oil broking business traded 1% of the world’s marine fuel oil at its peak, said: “Having spent years as an oil broker and realising the dependence we have on fossil fuels, when I decided to build my dream it had to be sustainable and eco-friendly – we all have to do our bit.

“I read up about the subject and realised the best credentials for serious zero carbon wast o build to code level 6. No one had yet done this for a holiday home. It was perfect, as it meant by doing this the houses had to be disability friendly as well as a lifetime home.”

Since the Government introduced the Code for Sustainable Homes in June 2007, 29,021 private properties have been graded from one to six stars under the scheme. The Emerald joins just 16 privately-owned homes to have attained the top six star grade.

To qualify for a six star rating, properties are subject to rigorous assessment during and after construction, and must meet specific criteria and standards across nine categories: energy, water, minerals, surface water run-off, waste, pollution, health and wellbeing, management and ecology.  

At The Emerald, the Kemps included rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling systems, planted 10,000 daffodils and 150 native trees, and drilled a bore hole to a depth equivalent to the height of Truro Cathedral to access the natural water table.

Facilities at The Emerald include an indoor heated swimming pool, a tennis court, gymnasium, orchards, resident chickens and pigs, and Koi carp lake with pergola – all on 5.5 acres, located between Falmouth and Truro.

Another significant factor in this life-changing decision was Tim and Brigitte’s family. With eight children between them, two of whom have special needs, family holidays in the past had often consisted of overly clinical, hospital-like interiors, or exclusion by uncomfortable holidaymakers.

With The Emerald, they strongly felt that an accessible property shouldn’t compromise on quality or comfort. Although the properties have been built to comply with M2 mobility specifications, the brief given to the architects was to make these features as subtle aspossible.

The Emerald can be rented as individual properties or as an entire estate for specialoccasions exclusively through Perfect Stays ( or 01208 895570)and can sleep up to 20 guests. Individual properties can be rented for short stays (minimum three nights) from £550, or from £750 per week. Prices to block book the entire estate start at £3,200 for a short stay, and £4,500 per week.


The Emerald is the first collection of purpose-built holiday properties to be awarded a six star rating under the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes and Energy Performanceof Buildings.  

Each property is assessed and scored by one of three assessment bodies in the UK (in the case of The Emerald, Stroma Accreditation Ltd carried out the assessment). An average score of between 90 and 100 is required overall to qualify for six star grading.  

Work began on The Emerald in January 2012, and was completed in June 2013. The properties were awarded six star status in September 2013. The work carried out at The Emerald increased the ecological value of the site by 30%.  

Perfect Stays is a specialist holiday letting agency providing access to a growing selectionof simply stunning and unique holiday homes and villas within Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Yorkshire, and luxury villas in Europe.  

Specialising in luxury accommodation for self catering, house parties, special occasions,and short breaks, Perfect Stays have handpicked a collection of holiday homes in superb locations. All guests also have access to an in-house concierge service, from the initial booking right up to departure date. | 01208 89557010 Palmers Way, Trenant Ind Est, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 6HB.