A County Durham manufacturer is leading the way in safety after its latest product became one of the first in the UK to pass new regulations – despite the upheaval caused by Covid-19.

BTS Facades and Fabrications, which is based in Newton Aycliffe and manufactures metal rainscreens and facades for the construction industry, has launched the Vantage Secret Fix-Full System (SF-FS), a rainscreen wall system that can be used in both new builds and refurbishment projects.

The system has been subject to stringent fire safety procedures, and is believed to be the first in the UK to have been tested to the most recent BS 8414 standard.

Mark Wiper, BTS’ technical manager, said: “Production on the project was initially launched in April 2020 – just as the coronavirus lockdown was in full force.

“Through the dedication and commitment of our supply chain partners, the system has been delivered to market in record time, allowing us to meet the latest safety test standard.”

BS 8414 is British Standard to assess the fire safety of cladding applied to the external face of a building by mimicking a blaze breaking out of a window. It was most recently revised in April 2020, and it is this latest standard that the SF-FS has met.

Mark said: “Our team and our partners worked hard throughout lockdown to make sure the system was ready to be tested as soon as the new regulations came into force, and I’m extremely proud that all the effort has paid off.

“Our ability to demonstrate compliance with BS 8414 gives us technical credibility that, for some specifiers, can be a pre-requisite for tender opportunities, giving us an important advantage over our competitors.”

The testing result is an important boost for BTS, which recorded a 20 per cent increase in turnover in 2019, as the team look to the future after a challenging 2020.

Mark added: “We launched this project during lockdown, and this clearly proves our ambition and desire to be best in our sector.

“Whilst, like most other businesses, we have suffered in a difficult market, we have plans to rebuild and grow from April onwards as we move into our next financial year.

“The development of SF-FS represents a significant investment in time, money and resources and is testament to the directors’ vision for the future direction and success of BTS.

“This level of testing gives clients the confidence in our system knowledge – and in our ability to bring projects to market, no matter how difficult the circumstances.”

For more information about BTS Facades and Fabrications, visit btsfabrications.co.uk/