It’s been quite a year for Lakesmere: turnover rose 43% to £27m and profit almost doubled to £886,900.
The most important figure on the balance sheet, though, might be the 58% increase in research and development spending. This emphasis on innovation came to the fore at the Diamond Synchrotron research centre in Oxford. Its curved doughnut form required an integrated window/walling product and bespoke brises-soleil, developed by Lakesmere with its key suppliers. And to make sure nothing went wrong on site, it organised a two-day, pre-contract workshop for the entire project team. Typical behaviour from a company that hosts annual supply-chain and health and safety conferences for its staff, suppliers and clients. No wonder our judges voted Lakesmere Britain’s best.
ECL prides itself on being a one-stop shop for building facades, designing, supplying and installing cladding and lightweight steel-frame systems. Its end-to-end approach and hyper-efficient integrated IT system have won it plenty of friends in the PFI market and helped profits rise to £721,000 on turnover of £18.76m. To show the world exactly what it can do, it installed render, terracotta and aluminium rainscreen cladding and curtain walling on its headquarters in Rugby, and project-managed the £2m development to boot.
Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Birmingham: GSL has installed cladding in most of the world’s glamour locations and on every site, the safety of its operatives has been paramount. Its project in the second city is the 39-storey Beetham tower, where it fitted 3000 glazing elements using only a lifting rail and a lifting hoist. Despite the trickiness of the job, there were no accidents to GSL workers – and only one glass panel broke. It’s lucky UK profits are up 192% to £29,999. That should just about cover the panel …
It’s innovation all the way at Schneider, the £18m-turnover UK arm of a global business. Last year, the clever-clogs company installed Britain’s first unitised interlocking timber-framed curtain-wall system at the head office of Roche Products in Welwyn Garden City. The system is completely bespoke: designed and tested in-house before being presented to the client, which was thrilled with the company’s “professionalism and skilled engineering”. The same qualities are on display in Schneider’s inventive lift-and-slide door and trickle vent, both enlivening the facades at St George’s Battersea Reach homes in south-west London.
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Specialist Contractor Awards 2005
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Cladding specialist of the year