Leading roof tile manufacture reveals first solar PV

3 May, 24
One of the leading manufactures of concrete roof tiles has launched its first in-roof solar PV product for housebuilders.

One of the leading manufactures of concrete roof tiles has launched its first in-roof solar PV product for housebuilders.

Russell Roof Tiles (RRT), is the leading independent manufacturer of concrete roof tiles and accessories, already supplying materials for roofing across the country.

Industry body Solar Energy UK estimates that solar technologies are currently used in one in every 20 buildings in the UK. But, to meet the UK’s legally binding commitment to achieve a net zero economy by 2050, it will need a near-complete decarbonisation of UK housing stock.

According to latest figures 1.5 million solar panel installations have been carried out across the UK, therefore just under two per cent of the 28 million homes in the UK are generating electricity from solar. In 2023 there were 220,500 installations registered, reflecting a growth in interest as homeowners turn to renewable energy to heat and power their homes.

Russell Roof Tiles has been a pioneer towards sustainability for many years and already works closely with Planet Mark, an internationally recognised accreditation report on its carbon footprint and demonstrate its progress towards its own 2040 NetZero pledge, which the company made in 2022.

The roof tile manufacturer supplies roofing for projects of all sizes – from hundreds of units on a multi-year site to bespoke one off projects.

Concrete roof tiles were originally introduced to the UK in the 1920s. After World War II, an extensive rehousing programme was started, causing demand for concrete tiles to rapidly increase as the government pushed forward an agenda of rapid house building.

Now technologically advanced concrete roof tiles are manufactured in an array of shapes, profiles and finishes which perfectly blend in with traditional clay, stone and slate tiles. Concrete also offers cost effectiveness, durability, robustness, a long lifespan, ease of installation and minimal maintenance.

This new in-roof launch follows 18 months of research and development by the independent company and the new solar PV system RussFast Solar has been designed to be compatible with most profiles of Russell Roof Tiles.

RussFast Solar is an extensive range of in-roof solar kits with a market leading power output of 455W per panel. The system features every element needed for a comprehensive in-roof array which is designed specifically to work with all Russell Roof Tiles interlocking tile profiles.

The RussFast Solar system can be laid in a variety of configurations, and sits within the roof covering, offering excellent aesthetics and flexibility to suit all project or tile type. Combining high panel efficiency and the latest solar cell technology means fewer panels can be installed per square metre, saving both labour and materials.

Dan Hancox, Corporate Sustainability and Development Director, comments “Our market leading offer will provide a 15-year roof system guarantee when it is installed as part of a full RussSpec, and fitted in accordance with our guidance, in addition our solar PV panels will provide a market-first 30-year performance guarantee.

“We have really focused on developing a solar PV system which can be fitted by roofing contractors in a similar way to traditional concrete roof tiles, with an interlocking system designed for quick and easy installation which mimics traditional tile laying.”

This is the latest in an extensive line of strategic investments the company has made into its sustainability commitment over the past 10 years. Russell Roof Tiles announced its NetZero 2040 target over two years ago, and the firm has already made significant steps towards its goals by procuring 100 per cent renewable electricity at all three manufacturing sites for example. This comes in addition to electrifying the majority of its mobile plant fleet, driving the business towards electrification and decarbonisation.

The launch of RussFast Solar enables Russell Roof Tiles to make the most of the growing renewables market and to helps meet Part L of the Building Regulations.

Not just for residential projects, commercial markets are looking to decarbonise, and solar PV offers a popular choice for zero-carbon electricity. In addition, local authorities are also looking to solar PV on public buildings and social housing, for example, Hackney Borough Council plan to install solar PV on 15,000 council houses.

Andrew Hayward, Managing Director at Russell Roof Tiles said: “We are extremely excited to bring RussFast Solar to market and it is an important part of our continued development in sustainability. It is a tangible demonstration of our intent to encourage the market into reducing emissions.”

This is the latest major development for Russell Roof Tiles which is currently constructing a £18.5m state-of-the-art plant at its Burton headquarters and main tile manufacturing site, which will double output continuing to increase efficiencies and capacity.

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