North East Firms Join Forces to Develop Pioneering Framed Mesh Façade System

Design Director David Precious, Non-executive Director Gary Lumby, Company Secretary Marcia Atkinson and Managing Director Phil Atkinson with The Expanded Metal Company Managing Director Philip Astley

TWO MANUFACTURERS from the North East have joined forces to create an innovative new product which can protect buildings and update their look through its pioneering design and simple installation.

Newton Aycliffe-based, BTS Facades and Fabrications and The Expanded Metal Company, which is based in Hartlepool, have collaborated on a joint project which sees the launch of a new expanded mesh frame system for architectural decoration, and the first of its kind in the UK.

Both companies create products which complement each other, with BTS Facades and Fabrications manufacturing façade and rainscreen systems under the Vantage® brand and The Expanded Metal Company producing a wide range of expanded metal meshes for building cladding and use in the creation of architectural features.

Gap in the market

The Expanded Metal Company recognised a gap in the market for the installation of its expanded metal mesh material but could not source a fixing system in the UK, only in Europe, which is where BTS came in.

The finished product is part of the Vantage® EM range – a protective mesh bracket and rail system affixed to buildings to create a pleasing aesthetic. With framed and non-framed versions available, the completed look is entirely the creation of the client’s imagination.

Architectural façade applications

Displaying its striking visual effect, the Vantage® EM F (framed) range can be used in a variety of architectural façade applications, including shrouding areas such as fire escapes, mezzanines and balconies, while the Vantage® EM SA (site assembled) non-framed range has wider commercial applications such as car parks and open structures.

It was the passion for the North East and partnering with local firms that initiated the project as well as the need for the new design which steered the team forward.

Perfect match

Already a customer of Expanded Metal Company, managing director of BTS Phil Atkinson was more than happy to join forces. He said: “We have used The Expanded Metal Company’s products for a number of years so were thrilled when Philip approached us to work together.

“We see the mesh framed system in comparison to a diamond ring, with the mesh as the ‘diamond’ and the framed fixing system as the setting, and together they are a perfect match.

“As the product is so unique, we currently have a patent pending to protect the design and manufacture of the Vantage® EMF.

“This is a very exciting time for both companies and after the hard work from our great design and manufacturing team over the last 18 months, we are now looking forward to our product entering the market.”

Unique visual appeal

Phil Atkinson added: “The rainscreen is unique as the colours, finish and patterns of the mesh can be changed to alter the visual appeal, so it is perfect for refurbishments or modern building looking for a façade that can be altered quickly and easily.

“With our strong market knowledge and as a trusted brand, the range will create a supply chain for contractors, who previously had to travel to Europe for a similar type of product.”

Working hand in hand

Philip Astley, managing director of The Expanded Metal Company, commented: “We have a long history of supplying expanded metal mesh products for use in the architectural and construction sectors and this partnership combines our extensive industry expertise and manufacturing capabilities with BTS Facades and Fabrications’ innovative approach and specialist knowledge.

“We’re greatly looking forward to seeing the Vantage® EM F and EM SA range applied in future building projects and are delighted to be working hand in hand with another pioneering North East company.”

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