042 RCI 0417

RCI April 2017

CLADDING & SHEETING “Structured to deliver” In a sit down with Sto Limited’s managing director Tim Deathridge, RCI heard about the company’s investment and development plans as it prepares for further growth, plus discussed the issues affecting Origins Can you tell us a bit about the Sto Group’s different divisions and how it was founded? The Sto Group was founded by the Stotmeister family in the Black Forest of Southern Germany in the early 1900s. Since then, three generations of the family have worked to build a company that has become the global leader in external wall insulation and render systems. The company is now widely respected for the very high quality façade systems and interior products it provides, and has a turnover in excess of €1bn. The Group has various divisions, including façades, interiors, concrete repair and floor coatings, and its product portfolio is both immense and diverse. This ensures that whichever sector we work in, we always provide the same level of innovation and high quality that people expect from us. Product range and applications: There are obviously a lot of products in your portfolio, can you tell us a bit about the systems you offer for the UK market? What are the key sectors that you operate within in the UK? In the UK, our business is divided into three business fields – façades, interiors and concrete restoration. We are the market leader in both external wall insulation (EWI) and high performance render systems, and of course, all the technology that supports those systems. Our rainscreen cladding systems include a full range of surface finishes, including render, stone, tiles, wood, and brick slips. We’ve also recently developed our glass rainscreen systems to the point where they have now become the market leader. Interiors are currently a fairly a niche market for Sto, but our acoustic ceiling systems are one of the best-performing options on the market. We work very closely with the architects and interior specialists who use them to create stunning monolithic acoustic ceilings that have no joints, but which feature clever curves and changes of plane. Concrete restoration is an area of the UK market we have entered recently, having developed a full range of approved concrete restoration and protection systems. This is an exciting new sector for Sto in the UK, and we’re bringing to it the same high levels of innovation and service that people expect from the Sto name. Reflecting on the previous 12 months, which sectors have you found to be the strongest and 042 APRIL 2017 RCIMAG.COM where are you expecting the biggest growth looking forward to 2017? Are there any particular trends that you see coming through? Rainscreen cladding has been a very strong growth area for Sto throughout both 2015 and 2016. Our range of high-performance glass panels give architects a unique degree of design flexibility, and we’ve seen really strong acceptance and approval from the market for the systems we offer. We see rainscreen cladding as an excellent area for future growth, as it allows architects to create aesthetically pleasing and dynamic façades that are suitable for both new-build and renovation projects. Are there any particular products and systems that you expect to see strong demand for in 2017 and why? While rainscreen systems will continue to see a strong demand for the reasons mentioned above, we’re currently also seeing a rise in demand for our traditional render systems. This is being driven by the need for high quality systems that can be trusted to perform over the long term. In recent years, the EWI and render industry has been tarnished by some of the lower quality products and systems on the market. This is now prompting a much greater focus on higher quality systems, and that is fuelling the increase in demand. You’ve recently made a significant investment in the production line of your Ventec board manufacturing plant. Just how much have you invested, what was the reason for this investment and what will this mean for your customers and you as a company? Almost 7 million euro have been invested in the factory which makes our Ventec boards. The Ventec boards are unique in the market in being extremely lightweight, versatile and very strong. They have a core reinforcement made from recycled glass rather than concrete, so they can be curved, cut and shaped to suit a huge range of different applications. Along with the fact that they can be used in interior and acoustic applications – and also as a carrier board for our rainscreen systems – this means that demand for them has risen hugely in recent years. The new line will double our capacity, and we anticipate that it will be at full stretch by the end of 2017. Have the projects you get involved in become more complicated over the years? And how has this impacted on the way your range has developed and the services you offer? The EWI and render market has come under huge price pressure over recent times, and this has caused overall quality levels to suffer as untested foreign systems have been brought into the UK market. Despite this, we at Sto have always upheld our policy of supplying only high quality and fully tested systems, and we have even walked away from business when the price point has been too low. Although our systems are value engineered to provide a very competitive price point, we have never compromised on quality and the market’s recent turn back towards high quality engineered systems is proof that customers recognise the value in paying a slightly higher price for something that is reliable and can be relied on to perform over the long term. You offer on-site support and a design service. How important has this become as a manufacturer / supplier and what sort of complications does this help your customers overcome? It’s vital that we provide that type of service, as it helps both us and our customers to maintain a the sector going forward StoVentec boards form an integral part of the company’s EWI and rainscreen cladding systems “Investing in training is crucial. That is the way to ensure that we have a sustainable industry, that we continue to produce innovative building designs and product technologies”


RCI April 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above