Swanley-based architectural claddings business BBS has a lot to be cheerful about this year. While 2019 marks ten years since the company was established, it also looks set to be its most successful to date, with new contracts creating job opportunities at the firm.
With a range of construction disciplines based at its own Swanley premises, the business provides bespoke architectural cladding systems to office, retail and public sector projects across the region. Having just supplied a smart office development in Canary Wharf with its cut-to-size, off-site manufactured products, BBS prides itself on offering a wide range of high-performance cladding systems, all surpassing the latest safety requirements.
Ben Haveron is sales and operations director at BBS. He said: “When I started with the company back in 2015, we had been based in nearby Dartford for several years. However, as we continued to grow, we soon had to find new premises nearby, hence the move to Swanley in 2017.”
BBS is proud of its customer service ethos – working with contractors to specify and supply the right cladding system for the job. Thanks to a solid customer base and the business has doubled in size from 2015, now boasting an annual turnover in excess of £4m.
Ben continued: “Our ongoing success really is a result of the great team we’ve established at BBS. We spend a lot of time understanding the technical aspects of the various cladding systems on the market so that we can advise contractors and installers on the right specification and the right systems for their project.
“We don’t simply provide off-the-shelf boards to contractors, who are increasingly turning to us for added value services, such as cutting boards to size and fixing hanging rails and other accessories to the fascias. This way, the product can be put straight onto the building without the need for time consuming and potentially inaccurate fabrication work on-site. Engaging us to carry out cutting and fixing work also takes away the risk of dust inhalation at work, as all of our CNC controlled saws are fitted with dust extraction devices.”
BBS Swanley works closely with colleagues based in Cheltenham, where all of the off-site fabrication work is undertaken.
Given the serious fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, companies such as BBS have been even more aware of issues surrounding safety and fire risk. Ben Haveron said: “Grenfell was a truly dreadful tragedy that should never have happened. Cladding is more complex than just the external skin of the building. It comprises many layers of insulation material, cavity fire barriers and fixing structures that can be made out of a huge variety of materials.
“For several years now, we have adopted a policy of selling only non-combustible products to all high-rise buildings. This makes it much simpler for contractors to know they’re doing the right thing and staying well within the regulations.”
Thanks to its investment in people and commitment to safety, the future is looking bright for BBS, despite the constant shadow of Brexit. “I think the construction market has just learned to live with the uncertainty,” said Ben. “Our attitude is to just get on with it and not to let the machinations of Downing Street get in the way!”