From small beginnings, Senior has grown to become the largest privately owned fenestration systems company in the UK, measured by turnover. By focusing on giving customers what they want when they want it, we are now the preferred choice for our growing number of regular customers. Follow our timeline to see our steps to success…
Ready for 2022
Changes to Part L of the building regulations come into force in 2022, with requirements for improved thermal efficiency. At Senior we’re already ahead of the game thanks to our innovative patented range of PURe® windows and doors with incredibly low U values which easily exceed the new requirements.
Time to celebrate. Founded in 1991, we have grown to become the UK’s largest privately owned fenestration systems company with a turnover of over £40 Million providing work for more than 170 employees.
More Efficient Manufacture
Senior are known for our short lead times and exceptional customer service. To keep it that way we introduce a non-handed polyamide strip for our Ali VU windows, dramatically cutting manufacturing time whilst achieving the same thermal performance with an identical fabrication process.
Our PURe® Tilt& Turn windows undergo a redesign. They are now faster to fabricate, easier to install and have concealed hinges for a sleeker aesthetic. We also improve the performance of SF52 curtain walling by introducing a co-extruded thermal break, to form a better seal with the pressure plate.
We introduce new options to give clients, architects and fabricators more choice, including a new range of high-end, stainless-steel hardware for Ali SLIDE doors, three new frame options for Ali VU windows and two new contemporary handles for PURe® Tilt & Turn windows.
The year starts with Senior being named overall winner of the Morgan Sindall’s national ‘Supply Chain Family Member Award’ which recognises the contribution of our specification team in early tender support, help with design and estimating, and practical assistance during the fabrication and installation stages.
Building Back Better
2021 is a year of recovery from the COVID pandemic. At Senior sales take off again and we make improvements to products processes and facilities to make sure we build back better.
Skills Shortage Solutions
There’s a huge skills shortage in the construction industry. So to help plug the gap, in January we open a dedicated Training Academy at Denaby, offering a comprehensive training programme in the use, fabrication and installation of curtain walling supported by GQA Qualifications.
Ali SLIDE Door
With our popular Ali range of aluminium windows and patio door flying off the shelves, we add a new sliding door option with exceptional design flexibility. The Ali SLIDE inline sliding door is available as both Standard and Slimline versions offering an interlock of just 50mm and door heights up to 2700mm for maximum daylight and uninterrupted views.
In March we are named winners of the Manufacturing Innovation category at the 2020 Made in Yorkshire awards. The judges are impressed with the development of our pioneering PURe® system and our implementation of sustainable manufacturing techniques.
As the COVID pandemic sweeps across the UK, the country goes into lockdown. However, we decide to remain open to support our fabricators and construction companies who choose to keep their sites running. Our staff quickly adapt as we introduce new procedures to gain our COVID secure certificate and find innovative ways to help our fabricators get through lockdown and enhance customer service.
More, More, More
Working from home our technical team get busy improving and developing our product range still further. There are new Ali VU window options, including a French Casement Window and extra thermal enhancements, plus new horizontal and vertical capped options for the SF62 curtain wall system, and new ‘touch free’ access controls for our PURe® Commercial Door.
Lighting the Way
To help our fabricators bounce back after lockdown, we launch a streamlined version of the popular design and estimating software LogiKal. The new LogiKal Lite program offers a quick and easy solution for those working in the fast-paced domestic residential sector. It helps fabricators and installers to easily estimate, design and fabricate our extensive range of aluminium systems to secure new business.
Ready to go in 2021
As the transition period after leaving the EU comes to an end, we make sure that we are ready to grasp the opportunities that this new era brings. As a UK based company all our fenestration systems are manufactured and have been tested in the UK giving us a competitive advantage. 2020 is a year many would like to forget, but with a new COVID Vaccine on the horizon we see good things ahead.
Aluminium is such a fantastic metal that we decide it deserves its own day! So, the 13th March is officially named by Senior as ‘Aluminium Day’, to celebrate all things aluminium including our amazing aluminium window, door and curtain walling frames. Throughout the day we create a buzz around #AluminiumDay on social media, to raise awareness of the history of aluminium and its importance as a sustainable, modern day building material. Look out for #AluminiumDay 2020 which will be bigger and better than ever!
Our share of the domestic market continues to grow thanks to our popular Ali FOLD doors and Ali VU windows. So much so that we need more space to house our growing portfolio of products. We extend the storage space at our Newport warehouse and install additional racking at our Denaby HQ. Together with an additional distribution centre in Scotland, this added capacity allows us to hold even more products in stock, so that we can continue to offer reliable deliveries and short lead times nationwide.
In April we launch our biggest and strongest door yet. Our new PURe® Commercial Door is designed to perform up to a maximum leaf size of 1400mm x 3000mm and 180Kg. With our innovative patented PUR thermal break at its core, this door also has impressive thermal efficiency and is available in standard, electronic locking and panic-exit versions, with a host of options to suit every project.
Better by Design
We’ve got some fantastically innovative products, but we don’t sit on our laurels. During 2019 our technical design team update and add to all of our major door and window suites to keep them at the top of their class. We add the Ali VU flush casement window, Ali FOLD heavy duty patio doors, the PURe® SLIDE inline window, PURe® SLIDE Slimline doors with a 50mm interlock sightline for uninterrupted view, and launch SF62 curtain walling for projects where structural movement is a challenge.
National Sales Manager
In September we welcome our new National Sales Manager Steven Kendrick to strengthen our regional-based technical sales team. Having worked in the glass and glazing sector for nearly a decade with some of the biggest names in the industry, Steve is the perfect man to help us increase our share of the domestic market still further. As he says “I believe that Senior has one of the strongest product offerings available and with more new innovations in the pipeline, there is huge potential for new business opportunities for both ourselves and our customer base.”
With a staggering 150,000 items now going through our state-of-the-art powder coating facility in Denaby every year, we invest a further £200,000 to make sure our customers always get the very best quality paint finish and level of service. The upgrade means that down time is kept to a minimum, capacity is increased to cope with the ever-growing number of orders and the quality of the paint finish is even better than before.
Ali VU Multi Frame
To give trade customers even greater flexibility we launch a new Multi Frame for our popular slimline Ali VU windows. Customers can now choose from a wide range of internally or externally beaded configurations, opening up new opportunities for the use of fixed light and vents in the same window.
Helping Out at Grenfell DIY SOS
We answer the call by Nick Knowles for donations of high-quality aluminium windows and doors for the Grenfell DIY SOS Big Build. One of our architectural advisors also volunteers to project manager the glazing elements of this ambitious project to make sure everything is in place for the Big Reveal of the new Grenfell Community Centre and Dales Youth Boxing Club Gym.
PURe® endorsed for Education Sector
James Vaux-Anderson, EFA Framework Delivery Director at Bowmer & Kirkland, gives a glowing endorsement of our PURe® system for the education sector. Delivering around 20 schools per year, Bowmer and Kirkland found that using PURe® windows and doors enabled them to make large savings on build costs because of the ultra-low U-values achieved thanks to our innovative PUR thermal break.
Signature Colour Range
As sales into the domestic market take off, we launch our very own Signature Colour Range, an inspiring palette of colour options from classic neutral tones to more vibrant shades. More choice for home owners and a great marketing tool for installers.
With the building boom continuing in the South we increase our presence in London, the South East and South West. A revamped showroom at the Building Centre in London puts our PURe® range centre stage whilst new members of the sales and specification team ensures fast efficient service.
Management Buy Out
In October we announce a structured management buy-out (MBO) of the company by managing director Mark Wadsworth, sales director James Keeling-Heane, technical director Mark Wheatley and financial director Les Buxton. Lennart Jonsson continues as a shareholder and director, so it’s ‘business as usual’ but with extra impetus for the management team to drive the business forward and realise the company’s growth potential.
Demand for our Ali FOLD, PURe® FOLD and PURe® SLIDE patio doors is soaring. To meet the growing demand, we ramp up production and take on a new warehouse. We now stock huge quantities of pre-powder coated patio doors ready for immediate delivery. Certainty of supply giving peace of mind to our customers.
Lorra Lorra Lorries
Early in the year we upgrade our delivery fleet with 5 brand new Mercedes Benz Actros trucks. With longer bodies, greater capacity, larger engines and probably the best telematics and Sat Nav system available, the new trucks mean faster delivery ensuring that goods arrive on time.
In response to the exponential growth in demand for our Ali FOLD doors, we invest in a new state of the art polyamide rolling machine from Müller Technologies. This allows us to double our production of the polyamide bars that give Ali FOLD doors their impressive thermal break.
£30 Million and counting
At our financial year end in June, sales of our Aluminium and Hybrid fenestration systems pass the £30 Million mark for the first time. This more than secures our position as the UK’s largest privately-owned fenestration systems company.
We strengthen our online customer support “Fabricator Tools” by adding a suite of Marketing resources to help fabricators win new business. Our offer of free PR via the “Tell us about your project” button, brings in some fantastic projects highlighting the skill and diversity of our fabricators and installers.
Christmas comes early at Senior as we launch our new Domestic Range of aluminium windows and doors. Our new ultra slimline Ali VU window perfectly complements the Ali FOLD door, whilst our PURe® windows and doors offer the same stylish elegance with extra thermal efficiency.
In April, we add to our PURe® aluminium range by launching PURe® doors including folding sliding, inline sliding, lift & slide, single and double door options. Featuring our innovative thermal barrier manufactured from expanded polyurethane foam (PUR), the new PURe® door system can achieve unbeatable U-values as low as 0.93 w/m2k, when calculated as a CEN standard door.
We extend our bifolding door offering by launching Ali FOLD aluminium folding sliding patio doors. With the same elegant aesthetics and profiles as PURe® FOLD but with a polyamide thermal barrier, Ali FOLD doors can achieve U-values as low as 1.19 W/m2K when calculated as a CEN standard.
As we reach our 25-year anniversary, we celebrate being awarded a UK patent (GB252363.8) for our market-leading PURe® range of energy-efficient windows and doors. The patent protects the huge investment we have made in the research and development of these innovative products for the next 20 years.
Our energy efficient PURe® and Hybrid systems hit the small screen featuring in consecutive episodes of Channel 4’s Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud. Pure® windows and SCW+ curtain wall were declared ‘a triumph of light & colour’ in a sleek, black clad, house and artist studio in Essex whilst our Hybrid range helped turn a self-build house project in Bolton into a zero-carbon castle.
Demand for both PURe® windows and PURe® doors continues to soar and we invest in a new high pressure Polyurethane injection system to improve the speed and efficiency of the PURe® production line whilst reducing waste.
With the PURe® patent in place and both sliding and folding doors added to the range, the PURe® glazing system becomes firmly established as a first choice amongst leading architects and contractors.
After 2 years of intense Research and Development, we launch the PURe® aluminium window system. Using an innovative thermal barrier manufactured from expanded polyurethane, PURe® windows give exceptional thermal performance, with U values as low as 0.71 W/m2K (when calculated as a commercial CEN standard window), and can improve CO2 calculations by up to 3% at minimal extra cost.
With so many innovative new products launching this year we strengthen our technical department and create a new nationwide specification team of Architectural Advisers. This allows us to provide additional support to architects, local authorities, specifying bodies and contractors, both regionally and nationally.
Our Hybrid timber composite windows hit the headlines after being chosen for the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 to represent the very ‘Best of British’ timber composite windows. In May Milan Expo opens its gates to 20M visitors who swarm to see the ‘Hive’ at the UK Pavilion and discover why Hybrid is the bee’s knees.
In June we launch our latest aluminium curtain wall, SF52 – the creative, high performance answer for both new projects and refurbishments. With constant 52mm sight lines for a uniform appearance, enhanced thermal performance and in-built flexibility SF52 is available capped, silicone sealed or as a combination of the two. Exceptionally easy to fabricate, SF52 soon becomes our most popular curtain wall and has been used to create some seriously impressive facades.
Hybrid hits the headlines again in July when the BBC reports on the “impossible” zero-carbon house. Designed by the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University as part of the SOLCER (Smart Operation for a Low Carbon Energy Region) project, the UK’s first low-cost energy positive house features our thermally efficient Hybrid timber composite windows throughout.
With identical external sightlines, in October we launch the new Hybrid Series 2 and Aluminium Series 2 Casement windows. This allows both window systems to be used on the same project whilst maintaining a uniform and aesthetically pleasing external appearance with a choice of engineered timber or aluminium internally.
Our environment is precious, so to reduce our use of fossil fuels still further we take delivery of our first plug-in hybrid electric cars for our sales representatives to use and install charging points at all our branches.
A new heat soak oven is installed at Senior Glass Systems in Scarborough, allowing us to produce higher specification glazed units which will open up new markets.
Our strengthened management team is given focused leadership with the appointment of Mark Wadsworth as Managing Director for Senior Architectural Systems, allowing Lennart Jonsson to takes up his new role as Chairman of the Board. The reorganisation heralds a new era of growth and prosperity for Senior.
The future of the construction industry is undoubtedly digital. Our first BIM objects are uploaded onto the National BIM Library well ahead of the Government’s requirement for all centrally procured Government projects to be a fully collaborative 3D BIM by 2016.
In January we launch Homes By Senior a new service for Fabricators designed to attract the smaller to medium sized Home Improvement Installers in the UK. A range of Hybrid doors, including sliding folding arrangements, can now be purchased made to measure, ready for installation.
The new Marks & Spencer Eco Store in Ellesmere Port, featuring a stunning wave effect roofline and Senior Hybrid Curtain Wall wins the prestigious architectural design innovation award.
With a turnover of £25.5 Million for the year ending June 2013, Senior Architectural Systems Group becomes the UK’s largest privately owned fenestration systems company.*
*Measured by turnover
With improved thermal performance energy savings come as standard. But we want to go one better and help the environment by reducing CO2 emissions still further. Enter SPW600e, thermally enhanced with polystyrene for even better thermal efficiency.
We launch the new Fibreglass range. With outstanding performance and strength, plus top class acoustic ratings, together with excellent lifetime value for money it’s perfect for public sector installations in health, education, student accommodation and social housing.
We really want to do all we can to protect the environment, so we take delivery of our new Mercedes Wagon Fleet. They are Euro V compliant, which means they meet European standards and targets for exhaust emissions. So less pollution all round – and they look rather smart too!
Senior acquire a 40,000 sq ft glazed unit manufacturing facility in Scarborough. We are now the only company in the UK to provide fenestration systems, powder coating and glazed units. Our novel approach takes away all uncertainty in the supply chain giving customers confidence in both quality and delivery.
A New Name
Senior is now about much more than just Aluminium systems. To reflect this we change our name to Senior Architectural Systems.
Hybrid is Born
Senior launch the new Hybrid range – Aluminium on the outside for durability, Wood on the inside for a natural look and feel. Architects and clients love the look and use Hybrid to produce some stunning buildings.
Our incredible growth means that just 5 years after moving to Denaby, we need extra space once more. Luckily the Pinnacle building across the road is vacant and we move warehousing, accessories and despatch across. Now we have room to reconfigure the production floor allowing a higher work flow to improve order turnaround times even further. Total site size 150,000 sq ft.
Our polyamide line is working at full stretch, so we buy a new Alurola to enable us to increase both production volume and quality consistency. Customers and their clients are happy because it means shorter lead times.
We’re good at listening. Our fabricators tell us they want something lighter, more versatile and easier to fabricate. Ta da! The SPW300 series with 51mm frames is launched.
Vertical Take Off
We have so many orders for powder coating that we invest in a new state-of-the art vertical paint line. Capable of painting up to 400 Aluminium bars per hour it allows us to more than keep pace with the way sales are taking off.
Building regulations are changing all the time. To respond quickly to market demand for thermally enhanced systems, we invest in our own FOM Polyamide Line and get to work on some exciting new thermally broken product ranges.
The market is demanding fenestration with greater thermal efficiency. Our design team come up trumps and we launch the SPW 600 range – a 75mm system with improved thermal breaks and better thermal performance.
Train to Gain
Our new Denaby site gives us more room and we open our very own training centre for fabricators. With a dedicated seminar room and fully kitted out workshop, we can give hands on training in tooling and fabrication of our entire product range.
The Big Move
As we help our customers to grow, we outgrow our Bradford site and the decision is made to move to Denaby near Doncaster. Now we have design, warehousing for our growing range of aluminium profiles, powder coating and our delivery fleet centrally located in the UK with fast communication routes. Our one stop shop is open for business. The 135,000 sq ft site gives us plenty of room for further expansion – just as well!
Win, Win, Win
Senior win a multi-million pound contract to revamp Scottish schools. It’s a real feather in our cap – we’re now recognised as leaders in the fenestration world and are giving the big boys a run for their money
The company is flying and we buy the paint factory next to our site in Scotland. Now we can provide customers with Aluminium systems that are already powder coated. It’s a massive industry innovation – our competitors think we’re mad to provide a no quibble guarantee but our customers love it and the service really takes off.
Welcome to Wales
Fabricators are bowled over by our service and the company expands rapidly. A third service centre opens in Newport enabling us to deliver our high quality Aluminium systems to all parts of the UK on time.
Success in Scotland
Senior Aluminium Systems opens a second service centre in Livingston, ensuring reliable delivery of the growing range of Aluminium windows and doors throughout Scotland.
Senior Aluminium Systems is founded by Lennart Jonsson backed by David Senior. Based in Bradford, the aim is to revolutionize the fenestration industry by putting customer service centre stage. Our motto:
“Give customers what they want when they want it.”