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Are you choosing the right supplier?

When you specify products, you should also be taking a close look at the supplier, according to Fraser Caithness, our Sales Director at Glass Express Midlands. The correct glass specification will have a big impact on the success of a project, from the desired aesthetics through to performance, including insulation and solar gain, according to Glass Express Midlands’ Sales Director Fraser Caithness. But choosing the right supplier will also play a key role in that project’s success. “Using glass suppliers as valued glass businesses is massively important,” Fraser says. “I believe that when you specify products, their value is improved significantly if the supplier you’ve chosen can also add value. “Glass Express Midlands is very careful in terms of how we select a supplier. For example, we buy from UK sources wherever we can. Not only because that helps in terms of a shorter supply chain, but the bigger glass companies are based here in the UK.” Like all glass processing companies, Glass Express Midlands is aware of the many cheaper glass options that are available in the UK, especially as the global demand for glass has dipped over the past year to 18 months. “We avoid this source of cheap glass, mainly from a quality perspective,” Fraser says. “By working with the main UK manufacturers – as well as some of the bigger European sources – you are not only getting access to their high-quality products, but also their significant investment in research and development. “We have an open dialogue with them, and they regularly come to us with new products and new opportunities – things we can bring to the market for our customers’ benefit, such as low-e glass, solar control glass, modern laminated glass, anti-reflective glass, and toughenable mirrored glass.” Fraser points out that the ultimate beneficiaries of this relationship are Glass Express Midlands’ customers and their clients. “Architects and specifiers spend a great deal of time choosing the right glass, so that it is both aesthetically pleasing and high performing,” Fraser says. “We are responsible for ensuring that they have the widest choice possible, and that through us, they have access to market-leading research and development. “Not only that, but our technical team is on hand to offer the necessary support to ensure that the project is completed without a hitch – something that isn’t always on hand with suppliers of cheaper alternatives. “And because we have those connections at the upper end of the industry, we can act proactively by providing our customers with technical updates via CPDs and seminars.” Ultimately, Fraser says, it’s about being able to provide exactly what is required, rather than offering alternatives. “Where architects and specifiers are already talking to the specification teams of the large glass manufacturers, then we can offer complementary technical support,” he says. “So, when our customer comes to us and asks for a particular product, we can say ‘yes, we can supply that,’ rather than trying to switch them over to something else.” Architects will also benefit from a sustainability point of view if they partner with the right suppliers, Fraser says. “Reducing your impact on the environment, and building in sustainability measures into every project, is a key concern for all our clients,” he says. “And it is something that resonates clearly with our suppliers. “For example, Glass Express Midlands’ sustainability strategy is constantly being updated, and it currently includes a cullet return scheme where all our offcut glass is returned to the manufacturer to be recycled. This significantly reduces the amount of energy needed to produce the glass, as well as reducing the amount of raw material used. “The leading glass manufacturers are also looking at new and innovative ways of reducing the embedded carbon in their products, including using renewable energy in the manufacturing process. “Together, these measures allow us to deliver innovative products with lower carbon footprints, which our clients can build in to their own low-impact projects. This is something many other suppliers cannot offer.” Fraser says that by choosing the right supplier – as well as the right product – glass is more than just a component part of a building. “Glass is so versatile and, by choosing the right supplier, it is more than just a component part,” he concludes. “You have access to industry-leading opportunities.”

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Full technical support from Glass Express Midlands.

Full technical support is key when specifying glass for commercial projects, at Glass Express Midlands we believe that modern architectural demands on building products require specialist advice. “When we speak to architects and specifiers, many of them say they often don’t get the advice they need from other suppliers when designing projects,” Glass Express Midlands’ Sales Director Fraser Caithness said. “Given that the technical capabilities of glass are improving year by year, and the Building Regulations place new demands on building components – whether that’s thermal, security, acoustic, or weather tightness, etc – companies like Glass Express Midlands are often best placed to share that specialist knowledge to their clients.” At Glass Express Midlands, we operate out of a modern manufacturing facility in Oldbury, in the West Midlands, and have recently invested in a new cutting table for the specialist provision of oversize units to commercial projects. We have a full technical team that liaises with clients on product specification and installation. “We are involved in some exciting projects, and we are sourcing specialist glass from our partners within the UK and specialist sites across Europe,” Fraser said. “Glass makes a big impact, but it wouldn’t be right to supply these products without proper consultation. “For example, what often gets overlooked is the weight. How are the contractors going to handle these products on site? Have they considered access points and specialist machinery? And if there is a delay on site, how are they going to install it? Also, have they properly considered the advantages of different glass types, and whether toughed and/or laminated? “These are things we design-in to the manufacturing process, and we can advise our clients of best practice on site.” By partnering with your glass supplier early in the design process ultimately gives architects and specifiers greater design freedom, Fraser argues. “Where architects and specifiers are already talking to the specification teams of the large glass manufacturers, then we can offer complementary technical support,” he said. “So, when our customer comes to us and asks for a particular product, we can say ‘yes, we can supply that,’ rather than trying to switch them over to something else.”

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Why sustainability adds up.

Yes, being sustainable is ‘the right thing to do’, but it is also good for business, argues Arun Photay, Managing Director. There was a time when you could have a light touch when it came to sustainability, and it would be enough to satisfy the most querying mind. Take carbon offsetting for example. You could claim to be sustainable, or carbon neutral, without having to do very much in practical terms. This method of reducing your carbon footprint has declined in popularity in the last couple of years, as people and organisations question its legitimacy. As a business with forward-thinking commercial clients, and trade customers supplying conscientious customers, we know it has never been enough to pass on the responsibility for our sustainability to third parties. Instead, we embed sustainable practices in all elements of our business. On the one hand, we do it because we know that it is the right thing to do, but we also do it because we know that it secures business for us. Surprisingly, not every glass company pays as close attention to carbon emissions, waste and efficiency as we do. As a result, we often stand head and shoulders above similar companies when we pitch for high-profile projects. Like-minded partners We start by partnering with like-minded businesses. Take our glass for example. All our glass offcuts are collected and returned to our glass suppliers, including Saint-Gobain Glass. This is returned on the same trucks that deliver the glass, so lorries aren’t making journeys empty. The reason why this partnership works so well is because it doesn’t just satisfy our need to reduce our waste, but Saint-Gobain benefits from the clean glass cullet. By incorporating clean glass cullet from glass processing companies, Saint-Gobain Glass can considerably reduce the amount of energy used in the production of float glass, resulting in a product with a lower carbon footprint. This creates a virtuous circle, and we can manufacture sealed units with a much lower carbon footprint, which we then supply to our customers who require a forward-thinking sustainable supply chain. We also choose our suppliers partly based on location, and we buy most of our products within the UK. Companies such as Thermoseal for example are based in the Midlands, so we know that their products are travelling a dozen miles at most, rather than halfway across Europe. And they also have schemes where packaging is minimised and reused, so waste isn’t sent to landfill needlessly. Our processes We’ve taken a close look at the way Glass Express Midlands operates, to ensure that we are reducing waste, reducing energy use, and optimising systems so that we lessen our impact on the environment. For example, we use the very latest optimising software to make sure that each sheet of glass that goes through our cutting station is maximised, and as little as possible is returned to Saint-Gobain Glass as cullet. Our ongoing programme of machine maintenance means that each process in the factory is running optimally, and our rejection levels are extremely low. Our operatives are trained to notice any product errors early on, so remedial action can be taken quickly, and less product is wasted. There is a direct benefit to our customers here, because they are less likely to return products due to error, which saves time, resources and money – making them more profitable in the process. But ultimately, we are about providing sustainable long-lasting products that help create buildings that require less energy to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Importantly, this isn’t a benefit we are selling to architects and specifiers. Instead, they are coming to us for solutions, and we can confidently demonstrate that we can supply them. So, by actively improving our sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment, not only means we are doing what’s best for the planet, but we are creating opportunities for our customers to win business on the leading projects.

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Glass Artistry Unveiled: The Fusion of Form and Function at Glass Express Midlands Ltd

Step into a world where glass transcends its traditional role and becomes a canvas for artistry and innovation. Glass Express Midlands Ltd is proud to unveil its latest collection, where design meets functionality in a symphony of creativity. Artisanal Craftsmanship: Each piece in our collection is a testament to the skill and dedication of our artisans. Through meticulous craftsmanship, they transform raw glass into breathtaking works of art, showcasing intricate patterns, textures, and designs that captivate the eye. Functional Elegance: While our glass pieces exude artistic flair, they are also designed with practicality in mind. From decorative panels to functional partitions, our glass solutions seamlessly blend elegance with functionality, adding a touch of sophistication to any space. Bespoke Creations: At Glass Express Midlands Ltd, we understand that every space is unique. That’s why we offer bespoke creations that are tailored to your specific requirements. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or a subtle accent, our team will work with you to bring your vision to life. Experience the Magic: Immerse yourself in the world of glass artistry at Glass Express Midlands Ltd. Visit our showroom to explore our collection and discover how our glass creations can transform your space into a masterpiece of design and functionality.

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