An innovative North Wales company has won a top fire rating for a new non-combustible building product following the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Monolith Brick & Stone Ltd expect demand to soar after receiving a coveted A1 rating for its cutting-edge BrickPlus Pro brick slips.
As a result, owner Stephen Waring says the potential for job creation at the firm’s base on St Asaph Business Park in Denbighshire is huge.
They developed BrickPlus Pro as a response to the “natural and understandable” concerns raised by the Grenfell Tower tragedy last year.
Achieving the A1 fire rating was, he said, a “game-changer” that would “put people’s minds at ease”.
The rigorously tested product comes in panels of 12 brick slips held together by an integrated mesh fused right through the brick slips which give a building a non-combustible façade.
According to Mr Waring, they can dramatically reduce overall construction costs because they fit together like a jigsaw and are so quick to apply.
The product can be used in the construction of new buildings or applied to existing properties, replicating almost any brick facade to order.
The A1 rating was awarded by internationally-respected accreditation house Exova who are based in Warrington.
Mr Waring said: “After the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London there is a huge amount of cautiousness in relation to putting fabrication on buildings and it emphasised the huge importance of having a product with A1 fire rating that everyone can trust.
“Because of the understandable fears and the perceptions about safety following the Grenfell Tower disaster, the availability of this new product will reinforce peace of mind that developers, specifiers and of the course the public are looking for.
“We are already seeing much interest because many construction projects have been paused until proper solutions have been found.
“The new safety A1 fire rating will be a game-changer for this product which gives us another unique selling point.
“It’s a massive leap forward. We’ve created a castellated carrier with 12 bricks on it, with a non-combustible fibreglass mesh that’s actually been fused inside the product.
“If you for example buy normal tiles and they’re a mosaic, sometimes the tiles will actually drop off. But our mesh is actually within the product, so they’re far more robust.
“We’re adding one non-combustible element to another non-combustible element to create something that gives people peace of mind, but in the same instant we’re helping them to save money by speeding up the process, because our brick slip system is very quick in its installation.
“Speed of installation is important because labour is such a large part of the cost.
“We can save weeks in terms of the length of a big project, which can in turn save tens of thousands of pounds in site and labour costs.
“For example, using our traditional system it reduced the construction time on a student accommodation block in Derby by 18 weeks. Cost savings were enormous.
“We can match bricks, so if there are people out there that are building let’s say an extension and they need to match a brick, or the bricks are no longer in production, then we can match it.
“If they’re having to clad a building but the local authority dictate the finish then we can adapt our product to facilitate and appease whatever the local authority requires.”
Mr Waring added: “There’s massive potential with the product and the opportunity for growth in the future is great. The potential in terms of employment is also huge., Once the ball starts rolling we’re going to certainly need more people.
“The fact that it’s made in Wales is very important to us. I’m very proud of that.”