Brickfab, a manufacturer of prefabricated products for the UK house building industry, is building itself a greener future.

The innovative business, based in Pontypool, which employs 60 people, designs, manufactures and supplies prefabricated arches, brick specials, chimneys, GRP canopies and panels to house builders throughout the UK.

Brickfab managing director Nigel Watkins said the firm recognises the role it must play in reducing its carbon footprint by putting the environment at the forefront of its business. It has added to its green credentials by installing 170 solar panels at its factory in Pontypool.

Mr Watkins said: "We take a proactive approach to dealing with all matters relating to Brickfab’s environmental impact. To that end and to reduce our carbon footprint even further, we have installed a total of 170, 290v solar modules which will give us an installed capacity of 49kWP. We expect to make savings of 25 tonnes of CO2e per year. It helps everyone at Brickfab to have a greater awareness of the importance of looking after the planet and climate."

The business expects to recover the costs of installing the solar panels over the next few years through the energy produced by the equipment.

Brickfab received an interest free loan from The Carbon Trust for the installation which had made the project financially viable. The system was installed by Hereford-based Caplor Energy.

The installation comes in the wake of Brickfab's other green initiatives which include the use of cutting-edge delivery vehicles to help reduce fuel use, streaming and segregation of factory waste with significantly less going to land fill and the recycling of plastic and cardboard.

Mr Watkins said: "We have a focus on reducing energy use across the business and working towards ISO 14001 environmental standard. We could well see further solar panels installed on our other factories, in the future."