Anyone visiting the Steel Window Association website (www.steel-window-association.co.uk) for the first time will be struck not just by the diversity of products and services that the member companies offer, but also the widely varying scale of the projects they tackle.
Although some members specialise in like-for-like refurbishment or smaller residential work, the SWA’s combined, countrywide capability sees satisfied customers stretching from the owners of a cottage changing a couple of corroded old casements, to whole elevations of corporate office buildings being fitted with high performance, W40 fenestration.
Cotswold Casements, based at Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, is a long established member of the SWA whose product portfolio spans a broad spectrum of schemes, as well as the length of the country. While its home turf is famous for limestone properties with metal frames in stone mullioned openings, its output is to be found in far larger properties such as the Principal Hotel, Manchester, recently remodelled at a cost of £20million.
There, Cotswold Casements played a pivotal role in the supply and installation of screens and doorsets within the bedrooms, restaurant, bar and winter garden to help realise the design ambitions of Michaelis Boyd Associates; all executed in the classic W20 profiles.
Andrew Walsingham of Cotswold Casements explains, “Our industry has changed in a number of ways over the years, and not only in the SWA’s response to more onerous building regulations, through the introduction of W30 frames. There’s still a significant demand for SMW windows, while we fabricate a lot in W20 but like most other members, we can offer W40 for larger, mainly commercial contracts through the London office (of sister company, West Leigh).
“SWA members have become more commercially savvy in a lot of ways. The design service on offer, for example, has gone from simply giving clients a list of frame sizes with a quote, to providing CAD drawings that offer clients a far better illustration of what will be supplied. We also have an extensive showroom at our premises in Moreton-in-Marsh, where the factory has also been extended; increasing production capacity by some 20%. Across the association, business seems to be going well and the members’ adaptability to different scales of contract is certain to be part of that.”
Belonging to the SWA also allows members to seek the help of its technical committee when larger contracts throw up new challenges; giving companies access to shared experience and product solutions, as well as developments such as the new half-hour fire test certification for single and double door screens. Whether a prospective customer is seeking to have historic wrought iron windows restored in-situ, or to have large format, thermally broken steel fenestration fitted in a corporate headquarters, a member of the SWA will be able to respond.
Steel Window Association’s members are able to offer a full selection of options for new build and replica refurbishment, as well as historic projects; including W20, W30, W40 and W50 frames able to comply with the requirements of Part L to the building regulations. Choosing an SWA member to manufacture and install your steel windows and doors ensures that you are receiving the highest standard of fabrication, Installation and customer service.