In a conversation with Window & Façade Magazine, Leigh talked about Tremco’s product range, their fire safety solutions for buildings, the market of fire safety materials in the Middle East, etc. Here are the excerpts…

Please brief us about your journey in Tremco.

I joined Tremco in 1993 as a Sales Representative for the North of England and Scotland. I became the National Sales Manager of the UK & Ireland Flooring business from 1998. In 2014, I became the Export Sales Manager responsible for all sales in the Asia Pacific. In 2018, I moved to Dubai as Sales Director for the Middle East where I am responsible for the business in all of the GCC countries as well as Egypt.

Fire protection National Bank of Dubai
National Bank of Dubai

Tell us about your product offerings? What benefits do they offer?

Tremco offers a comprehensive range of construction solutions, particularly in the sealing and bonding segments. We have been one of the market leaders in structural and in-plant glazing for more than 30 years in the Middle East and we are very proud to have been part of this amazing construction journey. Tremco brands are globally trusted and recognised for providing highperformance and long lasting solutions that offer our clients true investment value.

We are able to point out a huge number of iconic buildings where our products have provided complete protection for more than 25 years. Our key brands include Nullifire, Flowcrete, illbruck, Vandex, Willseal, Dryvit, Nudura & Euclid. It is fair to say that Tremco can provide sealing and waterproofing solutions to all six sides of the building envelope.

Name some of the major projects in which your products have been used?

Our projects have been used in many projects in the Middle East. Some of the projects are Al Khaleej Centre Dubai, Radisson SAS Hotel (Jumeirah Beach), Sheikh Marwan Tower, Sky Tower, British Bank of Middle East, Enoc House, Olaya Commercial Centre (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), National Bank of Dubai, Dubai Creek Tower, Bahrain City Centre, etc.

Could you please tell us about your manufacturing facility and capacity?

Most of our manufacturing is currently outside the region, but we are currently reviewing our options in the Middle East also. For example, our firestopping products are manufactured in the UK and North America, and our tapes and foams are manufactured in Germany. Our adhesives and sealants are manufactured in various plants across the world with our PU foams manufactured in The Netherlands. Capacity is never an issue!!

What do you see as the main challenges faced by your industry?

I think, delayed and non-payments are the major issues. Companies need money to pay employees and suppliers and long delays can seriously jeopardise the viability of a business. Post- COVID, I expect businesses to be more discerning in choosing who to do business with. Also, I think that there may be a temptation to choose low price over long term solutions which in my opinion should be avoided. One of my favourite quotes of all time is: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low prices are forgotten.” ~Benjamin Franklin.

Fire protection in Metropolitan Palace Hotel, Maktoum Street, Dubai, U.A.E.
Metropolitan Palace Hotel, Maktoum Street, Dubai, U.A.E.

The Corona pandemic has affected all the businesses. How are you coping with this situation?

So far we have been fortunate. We have shown growth year on year and we have continued to invest in new personnel to meet our needs and growth expectations. I also cannot let this pass without saying how much my engaged and dedicated team has contributed to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Again, we are fortunate to have such a team.

Could you please brief us about Passive Fire Protection?

Passive fire protection (PFP) is a crucial element in providing structural fire protection and fire safety in a building. Passive Fire Protection contains and isolates fires or slows the spread in one location which is called compartmentation.

The compartmentation is between each apartment and floors. The benefit of passive fire protection is that it does not require an external source of energy to initiate when there is a fire, as it is activated when in contact with fire. It is not only used to save lives, but also to reduce the risk of damage to the property which can also be devastating. The vital asset of PFP is that it provides time for evacuation of the building and to enable the emergency services to control the spread of fire.

What are your offered solutions for fire safety?

Tremco CPG UK provides a complete solution for fire protection. We have a full range of fire protection for structural and penetration fire stopping. The Nullifire and Tremstop brand of Tremco CPG has a complete range of products for virtually all penetrations and joint seals; from acrylic sealants to batts and intumescent collars. Nullifire and the Tremstop (UL approved range) products are designed to provide solutions for numerous site situations which we believe differentiates us from many of our competitors.

We continuously carry out extensive testing on our key products including Nullifire FB750 Intubatts which helps to provide superior results and provide our clients with complete peace of mind. We at Tremco CPG, understand the market requirements and seek to continually improve our solutions with regular testing to provide innovative solutions for our customers. The Nullifire brand is tested to both EN standard and UL-EU standards which can meet the requirements of most consultants and specifiers.

How is the market for fire safety materials for buildings?

In the UAE market, fire safety naturally plays a critical role in a building. High standards of quality and service are crucial for the safety of the building occupants and assure the longevity of the building structure. There are different levels of legislation to control the safety aspect of the building. It starts with obtaining approval from the Local Authority (Civil Defence) by issuing proof of international standard testing and accreditation. After the Civil Defence approval, the product quality is inspected by DCL (Dubai Municipality) this is carried by factory audit for ISO standard and tested locally to make sure the right quantity of product is used on site. The application is subsequently carried out by the local authority (Civil Defence) approved contractor.

In some cases, a 3rd party inspector is appointed (CFPS Certified Fire Protection Specialist) to inspect the installation of the fire protection to ensure the right product is used in the right place and complies with the specification. It is essential that our products have complied with all requirements and this has an approach and commitment to excellence has enabled us to grow rapidly in this sector during the past 10 years.

What sustainability means to you? How sustainable your products are?

Al Attar Tower, Sh Zayed Road, Dubai, U.A.E.
Al Attar Tower, Sh Zayed Road, Dubai, U.A.E.

When I was travelling around the world, I noticed some of the poor window installation techniques, even in Japan, where I experienced heavy condensation running down the inside of my hotel windows!! In this region, the challenge generally is to keep our buildings cool whilst reducing energy consumption and this can only work by addressing the whole window system including the perimeter sealing. Tremco has developed a range of ‘intelligent membranes’ which are water and airtight, but vapour breathable to prevent excessive build-up of moisture inside the building and reduce the loss of cool air.

Vandex was the first crystalline waterproofing solution designed for water tanks and has numerous accreditations with respect to potable water etc. We also offer a range of liquid roofing systems which can be used to repair or renew existing roofs and a range of window, façade, and floor renovation systems which are designed to save time and money and provide the consultant with sustainable and aesthetically pleasing solutions. Tremco solutions are often designed to last for the life of a building, often negating the need for damaging and disruptive regular replacement due to the use of inferior quality materials.

What are the major opportunities for your business in the Middle East?

We believe that we can support environmental initiatives by providing energy-saving and sustainable solutions in our chosen sectors. We also expect legislation to drive the need for greener and safer buildings and we are well placed to offer proven systems that meet both UL and BS EN standards. We can also supply Construction solutions to meet the demands of both new-build and renovation projects.

What are your goals and plans for the next 4-5 years?

We plan to capitalise on the opportunities across the region. The UAE remains a key strategic region and our beachhead because our company has been based here for many years. We believe that the country has the capabilities to recover more quickly than other economies and we want to be a major part of the recovery both in new build and renovation projects. In addition, we intend to invest in Saudi Arabia as we expect more and more people will visit and enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty, history, and cultural landmarks of the Kingdom.

We will continue to invest in our people and our products and fully utilize our significant global resources to continue and accelerate our growth. We feel privileged to be able to work in this region and we aim to be a significant contributor to this community for the foreseeable future.

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