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…
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We never stand still. Thanks to the feedback from our customers, our place on the board of CAB and strong relationships throughout the industry we have projects, plans and products in the pipeline to ensure our continued growth. Our aim remains to give customers what they want when they want it. Watch this space…