Martyn Lucas, the 32-year-old Director of Sun Scape Systems Ltd, based in Bridgend, South Wales, has invented Carapace Slate, a roof tile made using recycled Welsh slate.
It costs less and is quicker to install than any of its competitors, and with an estimated 750 million tonnes of waste slate in North Wales alone, the company is sustainable.
Two and a half years in the process, the Carapace Slate is identical to the traditional product but costs just a fraction of the price, and can be installed quickly without the use of nails – it simply slots together.
The ease of installation and cost of the product means Carapace Slate is perfect for the DIY market and the construction industry, to bring the traditional slate roof into the 21st Century.
The product has already seen interest from construction giant Costain, who are testing the Carapace Slate for use on the Heads of the Valleys Road extension, to cover houses for displaced bats. And the green credentials don’t stop there. The slate also has the unique ability to harvest solar thermal energy, whilst remaining completely hidden from the outside, reducing emissions and energy bills.
Mr Lucas said: “Green attributes are regularly ranked as the least important factor in buying new products, and who can blame somebody who doesn’t want to compromise quality or value over sustainability.
“This is why I’m so passionate about our Carapace Slate system. It has excellent environmental virtues at its core, but we’ve concentrated on the things which matter to everybody – it imitates one of the most desirable roofing products the world over while being low-cost and eco-friendly – giving consumers one less excuse to not jump on the environmental bandwagon.”
Carapace Slate has two patents and work closely with Welsh Slate to help recycle the vast amount of leftover materials from their quarries in North Wales.
The company has also entered Virgin’s Pitch to Rich competition in a bid to secure business and marketing support from Sir Richard Branson.
Carapace Slate was one of only a handful chosen from over 1000 to pitch live to Virgin in Cardiff, showing the respect for the product and company from within business.
With the increase in construction levels being promised by all major political parties and the praise given to small businesses as the backbone of the economy, this is a great time to bring such a great product to market.