Thames Valley Brick & Tile adapts to industry trends with focused expertise and proficiency

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Ontario Construction Report special feature

Through more than 40 years, Thames Valley Brick & Tile has developed a focused expertise and proficiency, satisfying the architectural and design communities’ complex requirements through traditional and newly evolving trends.

The company’s product lines include architectural clay face and thin brick, tile, glass block and floor systems, cast stone, and clay brick pavers. The company also offers an array of extensive custom products including many qualifying for LEED credits.

Thames’ president Adam Brooke says the team has close to 75 years of industry experience and continues add expertise and knowledge to support new products and industry demands.

“Our traditional face brick market is strong and we’re also seeing new applications for thin brick, “laid in place” and precast,” he said. “Ensuring we have the knowledge and expertise, or can source it if needed, is key.” The Thames team works to stay abreast of new options and design trends, through education, conversation and research. The company also discovers answers for customer challenges through its professional network, including the many manufacturers it represents exclusively or almost exclusively.

Those manufacturers also allow Thames to offer the extensive range of products and custom product which architects and designers need.

“At the end of the day it’s about giving architects and design teams choices,” says Brooke “The cost benefit of clay product is still evident but that is evolving into new options, new palettes, and inspiring new ideas.”

Brooke says Thames works with architects from the initial design stage with its company’s extensive catalogue. There is a comprehensive tracking system. The orders are manufactured in single batches, and then stored and shipped from the production lot to the job site. This process ensures quality and consistency from the initial selection, right through to the final delivery.

In discussing projects and client interactions, Brooke speaks always of the team. “Though we may have a main point of contact for a particular client or project, the whole team is connected to each and every one, is able to step in to answer questions, and is able to provide whatever is needed to ensure a smooth process.”

Thames’ products are designed for the long term, including clay brick, and with benefits such as low absorption and integral colour. The company provides materials for a diverse range of projects including schools, long-term care facilities, high rise structures, shopping centres and universities, as well as many custom homes.

The team is also involved earlier in projects, working with specification writers to help select the right options.

“Attending shows, events and forums, knowing and being able to discuss how our products work with other materials in a build, we can help spec writers even before the bid is finalized to ensure the best end result.”

Brooke says his team is excited that one of its manufacturers, Endicott, has a new kiln in operation after several years of development. It will double the company’s productivity, and allow Thames to better meet demand and reduce wait times for clients.

The company belongs to several associations including the Brick Industry Association (BIA); the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) and its Toronto chapter; local mixed construction associations in Ottawa, Toronto and Hamilton; and the Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPPCI). For more information, visit www.thamesvalleybrick.com.

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