A Glazerite and VEKA installer is starting the new decade on a high by celebrating phenomenal growth, just under three years after the company was founded.
To date, Manchester-based Arctic Seal MCR Ltd has fitted over 6,500 windows all over the UK, and business is showing no signs of slowing down. Set up in 2017 by husband and wife team Shahzad and Hafsa Ashraf, Arctic Seal specialises in window and door installations for property developers, including the conversion of office blocks into apartments and houses.
Over the next few months the installer has several largescale installs planned, including a 400 frame Tilt & Turn renovation in Worthing, East Sussex, and their first foray into the new build market.
Shahzad credits much of Arctic Seal’s success to ‘good suppliers, quality products and industry knowledge’, explaining: “We work together with our fabricator, the Glazerite UK Group, and systems supplier, VEKA, to ensure our installs are of the highest quality. Both Glazerite and VEKA help us to meet the correct specifications and have provided assistance on wind loads and commercial couplings on all of our projects.
“We also work hard to build lasting relationships with our customers, allowing us to focus on the needs and particular challenges they face. As an installer, we are flexible enough meet the demands of the market, whether that is the rise in popularity of Anthracite Grey, or fitting in with like-for-like styling at the request of local councils. Our commitment to the property development market in particular has resulted in us winning more and more business.”
Managing Director Shahzad followed his father into the fenestration business and has years of fitting and project management expertise, including large-scale, demanding installs. One such job, their biggest to date, was the £6 million makeover of the old Great Universal Stores building in Manchester, where Arctic Seal installed 1300 VEKA M70 windows over a nine month period. The 260,000 sq. ft building has been completely transformed thanks to cladding and the installation of structurally coupled VEKA M70 windows in Anthracite Grey, giving it the modern look Manchester City Council wanted, especially given it’s the first office block people see as they arrive by train into Manchester’s Piccadilly station.
All of the glazing is grey tinted, and the ground floor windows meet the Secured by Design accreditation. Now housing a number of blue-chip companies, Universal Square includes five interlinked buildings around a courtyard, as well as a restaurant, car parking facilities and a fitness centre.
Many of Arctic Seal’s installs involve specialist glazing applications or are challenging in nature. A recent project in Coventry saw the installer replace critall steel windows with 370 VEKA M70 white frames in keeping with the style of the original building. As the windows were larger, VEKA structural couplers were used to provide the required strength.
Another recent project saw the conversion of a town centre office block in Swindon, Wiltshire, into apartments. Arctic Seal installed 450 VEKA M70 grey on white casements, replacing the original aluminium frames. The install also included the use of acoustic glass for noise reduction and Lacobel, the clear float glass covered on one side by high-quality paint, which was used instead of plastic panels to give a more contemporary appearance. Due to the continuous run of frames VEKA coupler was used and provided expansion allowance.
Shahzad says: “As an installer, we work hard to fulfil non-standard jobs, for example the use of standard frames with different levels of glass specification, whether that’s for soundproofing or dependent on elevation.”
Glazerite Sales Manager, Peter Smith, says: “We first met Shahzad and Hafsa at the Fit Show in 2016, and when they set up Arctic Seal we were delighted to join them as their main fabricator. We’ve developed a great working relationship and we’re able to support Arctic Seal with deliveries tailored to meet their needs, wherever in the UK their install is taking place. What they’ve achieved in just three years is phenomenal, and we’re looking forward to continuing to support Arctic Seal going forward.”