Last year, Eurobrick Systems Ltd celebrated 25 years in business. As the first company to introduce a comprehensively designed brick slip cladding system to the UK market, Eurobrick has maintained its position as the leading specialist in this sector. With more than a quarter of a century of experience, John Mayes, managing director of Eurobrick, thought it would be interesting to look back at some of their early projects.
Our first ever project was the installation of our brick slip cladding as part of the refurbishment of local authority housing, in St Anne’s, Nottingham. It comprised 3 storey blocks of flats, constructed in the 1960s using Wimpey no fines concrete technique, with a pebbled dashed and hanging tile finish. The buildings had little or no insulation and the local authority decided to address this by overcladding the existing using both insulated render and brick slip cladding. Eurobrick installed 50mm thick insulation backer panel together with Alger blend brick slips. Recent photos show that the render needs attention but to date, to our knowledge, our system has not required maintenance and there’s no reason to believe that it won’t continue to perform for years to come. As the brick slips are real kiln fired clay, they weather and age the same as traditional masonry.
Our first school project was at Ashford Church of England Primary School, in Ashford, Middlesex. An old classroom building, constructed with single skin 4½ inch walls, was retrofitted with our insulated system. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to realise just how cold and damp it must have been during the winter. Not a pleasant working environment at all. We installed about 150m² of our 50mm thick backer panel to 4½ inch single skin walls that were battened out prior to the panels being fixed. The brick finish was Manassas. The photos, taken at the time, show the dramatic change in the appearance of the building, but the biggest change would have been internally. Comfort conditions inside the building were transformed.
Much of our early work was with McDonalds Restaurants and their contractors. During the early 1990’s, McDonald’s Restaurants undertook a major expansion campaign in the UK. Many hundreds of Drive Thru’ restaurants were constructed in a short space of time. Our cladding system was installed on over 800 outlets, with the first being at East Ham, London. The majority of the buildings were prefabricated and factory built. Our cladding was also installed in the factory and the building was then transported to site and craned into position. Our brick cladding was ideal for this purpose as it is quick and easy to install, lightweight, robust and low maintenance.
Over 25 years on and we continue to supply our systems as part of a pallet of modern finishes currently being used on their restaurants. McDonald’s are undertaking a programme of new build restaurants and modifications/extensions of existing premises up and down the country. We are proud of our longstanding association with McDonald’s and believe it speaks volumes about the quality of our cladding and the service we provide.
The original system used for these projects is now known as X-Clad and has been our best selling system. Over the years, other companies realising there is a market for brick slip cladding have developed their own systems. But we’re not afraid of competition; in fact it has driven our business forward. We have introduced alternative cladding systems to meet client demand, including P-Clad which is approved for installations over 18m high. We stand by the quality of our products and customer service and have achieved BBA, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification and have LABC (Local Authority Building Control) registration. In a highly competitive market, it is vital to strive to be the best and never become complacent. But it is also important to look back and reflect as this helps inform future direction. Here at Eurobrick, we look forward to the next 25 years.