After a year of eager anticipation, BMI UK &Ireland has marked the remarkable achievement of 100 years of concrete tile manufacture in the UK through its iconic BMI Redland brand. November 1919 was when the Redhill Tile Company was founded and on Tuesday, December 3rd, the company staged a national celebration with a party at every plant, depot, and office across the company’s 16 UK sites. Over 600 employees/ associates joined in the fun, with all the traditional party trimmings of cake, balloons, and poppers in the mix.
Customers now also have a chance to join in the celebrations as the company has launched a Golden Tile competition, with a whopping £1000 in shopping vouchers to be won as first prize. The Golden Tile (spoiler alert: it’s concrete) has been hidden by the BMI team in a random pallet of tiles at a secret location and will be released into the marketplace in January. To reflect the teamwork that goes into most roofing jobs, the £1000 will be split into small denominations to allow the winning customer to share the bounty among their colleagues. The competition is being promoted on the company’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feed.
The Golden Tile prize promotion caps a momentous year for BMI UK & Ireland. Over the past 12 months, the company has been sharing details of its rich heritage, innovation and achievements – not just from 1919 when Redland started making its first roof tiles, at the rate of 40 per hour, in a sandpit in Reigate, Surrey; but from a pedigree dating back over 180 years with the origins of the Rosemary clay tile in 1837. This final installment covers the onset of the new millennium and brings events right up to the present celebratory day.
For BMI Icopal, the new millennium got enough off to a great start with the acquisition of Monarflex, a move that heralded its entry into the specialist building membrane market. Things were more challenging at Redland in terms of its survival as a household name as, in 2003, its parent Lafarge decided to rebrand the group in its own likeness and retire the well-loved name in favor of a global brand strategy.
Happily for Redland, this sorry state of affairs didn’t last too long as in 2007, Lafarge divested itself of its roofing division, which became the Monier Group. Better still, in 2008, Monier reinstated the Redland name in the UK. Five years later, the Rosemary plain clay tile – then owned by Redland for nearly 30 years – celebrates its 175th birthday with the launch of Craftsman, a handcrafted clay plain tile.
The following year, 2014, the Monier Group was renamed as the Braas-Monier Building Group; while Icopal cemented its position in the liquid applied waterproofing market with the acquisition of Sealoflex.
In product news, the launch of the decade was 2015’s introduction to the Innofix clip. This was in response to the 2014 updating of BS 5534: Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling to improve the overall security of pitched roof structures and provides fast and effective compliance with the British Standard. Up to 40% quicker to install than traditional nailed clips, its innovative nature winning Product of the Year from Housebuilder in 2015, and Product Innovation of the Year from Building magazine in 2016.
2016 also augured well in terms of the current structure, when US-based global industrial concern Standard Industries acquired Icopal. The following year, SI then acquired Brass Monier Building Group, bringing Redland and Icopal together under the same roof.
To reflect this coming together, the BMI Group was formed, instantly becoming Europe’s largest manufacturer of pitched and flat roofing and waterproofing solutions with over 150 production facilities and more than 11,000 employees across 40 countries.
The company’s experience, traditions, expertise, and market-leading brands mean that it is able to see a roof and the sector in terms of how support, service and roofing technologies integrate with the built environment; rather than just through the collection of products that protect a building. With a pedigree reaching back over 180 years – not just 100 in concrete tiles – the business is well set for the future; and will maintain its momentum in innovation, service and quality for decades to come.
For more details of BMI UK & Ireland’s heritage and flat and pitched roofing solutions, visit www.bmigroup.com/uk