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Solar install for Russell WBHO headquarters

Latest Net Zero initiative from Manchester main contractor

New roof-mounted solar panels will save a leading regional construction business around 5.2 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions every year, the equivalent of planting 239 new trees.

Russell WBHO has installed the state-of-the-art PV system on the roof of its Trafford Park headquarters as part of its Net Zero by 2038 sustainability strategy.

The newly installed PV array has an impressive output of 35.7kWp, utilising 84 high-efficiency 425W panels positioned strategically on the roof to capture the most sunlight. The system significantly reduces the firm’s reliance on non-renewable sources of energy and is expected to save around 30% of the office’s total annual power requirement and up to 80% during the summer.

It is the latest in a series of carbon reduction initiatives from the business, which was accredited in 2022 as a CarbonNeutral® Company by Climate Impact Partners, specialist in carbon market solutions for climate action. As part of this, the business pledged to continue to reduce its remaining CO2 emissions, including those which were acknowledged as unavoidable and offset thorough investment in global carbon reduction projects.

The CarbonNeutral® Company status was the first major milestone on the company’s road to Net Zero by 2038. The baseline was established in 2021 and over the last two years the business has implemented several initiatives such as use of green energy tariffs, a rolling programme to switch company vehicles to electric, and the installation of EV chargers at head office and on site.

The PV project saw Russell WBHO partner with SolPV Group to assist and ensure the installation was carried out in line with industry standards. Russell WBHO also took the opportunity to improve thermal insulation of the roof structure to achieve an EPC B rating, to further reduce energy consumption in line with the Government’s aim for all commercial properties to be B rated by 2030.

An in-house team comprising Site Manager Lee Hamer, Building Services manager Gary Smith, and Head of Environmental Leo Frechou oversaw the planning, installation, and commissioning, and ensured the system was seamlessly integrated into the building infrastructure.

John Millward, Russell WBHO construction director, said: “We established an ambitious Net Zero by 2038 strategy in 2021 and set ourselves a series of interim targets along the way.

“Following the successful achievement of CarbonNeutral® Company Status last year, the initial focus has been on directly reducing carbon emissions at our head office in Trafford Park by improving the building fabric – in this case the EPC rating of the roof structure – and reducing our reliance on non-renewable energy by installing solar panels.

“These measures, combined with the switch to EV, are key to helping us achieve our next interim milestone of a 17% reduction by 2024. We’re thrilled with the success of the system and want to thank our partner SolPV along with our in-house sustainability experts Lee, Gary, and Leo for ensuring we remain on target for continuing to deliver on this promise.”


Installation of the 84 high-efficiency 425W panels at our Trafford Park headquarters

The roof of our offices at Westpoint Enterprise Park prior to work starting

Aerial image during the work to upgrade the roof and install the solar panel array

The roof-mounted solar panels fully installed and commissioned