Glazing Vision celebrates 20 years of supplying architectural glass rooflights from its technical and manufacturing facility in Diss, Suffolk.
Glazing Vision’s ability to transform rooflights into many configurations, and shape them to match the style of a building, is what makes the company so unique.
The past twenty years have seen Glazing Vision continuously develop ways to provide aesthetics, light and space to the most complex of projects, and it is this level of enthusiasm that has driven the business to where it is today.
A far cry from its humble beginning in a domestic garage in Norfolk, the relocation of 11 small factories into the Diss facility demonstrates Glazing Vision’s continued success.
A huge investment in machinery has ensured that each rooflight is created to the highest quality possible. All phases of the design are manufactured in house, ensuring that Glazing Vision is able to gain complete control over each stage of the process, from the installation of software to the qualicoat approved finish.
Taking a look back to the very beginning in 1994, ‘Glazing Refurbishments’ initially operated from a domestic garage in Norfolk. Hugh Callacher, founder of the company, comments on these earlier years, when the garage was originally used for the aluminum extrusion of rooflights:
‘handling and processing six-metre long extrusions from a garage was quite an exercise. We had to keep the doors closed behind us so as not to disturb the neighbours with the noise of the machinery.’
The business soon expanded beyond what this small garage could handle, transforming into a larger batch production line which allowed the amount of roof lights produced to increase tenfold in a week. This soon led to Glazing Vision’s first full scale premises in Suffolk, before relocating 13 years later to their current factory in Diss.
Jon Shooter, managing director of Glazing Vision, talks to us about how the British Manufacturer of Rooflights has grown from a small garage to a large scale business in just twenty years, and what lies in store for the next twenty…
So Jon, what has been the biggest turning point for Glazing Vision as a company?
When Glazing Vision began to shift their focus onto glass rooflights specifically. Identifying a gap in the market, we wanted to be known for being top specialists in this sector, creating a range of both bespoke and standardized products for architect’s specifications.
If you were building your own home, would it include any of GV’s products?
I’d love to have a roof where I could install one of our sliding rooflights, in fact, I will have to make that happen one day. I do get to see our range in my local community as our library has a circular Flushglaze on it, and a house in the Village has 2 Visionvents on a flat roof extension.
What would you say has been Glazing Vision’s biggest challenge so far?
I would say the biggest challenge arrived in 2010, when the business moved to their current factory in Diss. This involved relocating their eleven factories in Brandon to a single workspace, transporting large pieces of machinery and an entire workforce. But the 65,000 square foot factory now means that larger volumes of rooflights can be produced using better quality systems, all under one roof. This has improved communication within the team, ensuring that precision and quality remains consistent.
And what is the biggest challenge that faces Glazing Vision over the next 20 years?
Growing the business in a controlled manner and making sure that we do not forget the principles that make this a strong business. We need to strive to keep ahead of the competition through product development and quality.
What would you say has been the most important factor to Glazing Vision’s success?
The most important factor has to be the relationship that we create with architects. Each of our employees are able to offer clear solutions to their problems and guide them through each stage of the process. From standard to bespoke, Glazing Vision are able to make any range of rooflight available for any given project. Having the skills to work with architects and supply them with the appropriate solutions is crucial, and ensures that every client is truly satisfied with the end result.
We’ve saved the best till last – what’s next in the pipeline for Glazing Vision?
Well this year will see us come to the end of our thermal project which has involved creating the most thermally efficient product in the marketplace, with boxed rooflights due to complete the set early next year.
We are also working with UEA Cambridge as part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which encourages collaboration between businesses and universities. We are now working with them to develop our web based in house software, so students gain the commercial experience whilst we gain the required expertise. This will allow us to build on our software which will ultimately help to better serve our customers.
Another exciting project is the development of our cloud based system, which will allow staff members and distributors to work remotely. They will have access to all of our pricing calculations, CRM and technical information, and working offsite will enable our team to cover a larger geographical area across the UK.
What becomes evident from Jon’s interview is that Glazing Vision have made numerous changes to their business without losing focus on the quality of their products; their high precision and quality expertise transforms light and space in the home into a vision of beauty. Consistent research into the latest glass technologies means that they will continue to lead the market with the highest performance architectural glass rooflights.
It is an exciting time for this vibrant growing business.
Rooflights.com sale items
Following this milestone, Glazing Vision are offering their 2000 x 1000 standard fixed elongated pyramid £200 off the standard price for limited time only. Its glass to glass silicone offers minimal framework to bring excellent light and space into the design brief of any given project.
In addition, the electrically hinged VisionVent vent only rooflight is on sale for £130 off the standard price. This system incorporates twin drive motors for a simple hassle free operation.
For more information on these products, or to view the range of rooflights available, visit Glazing Vision’s online rooflight shop at www.rooflights.com.