Thames Valley Brick & Tile applies focused expertise and proficiency supporting architectural and design communities

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Ontario Construction Report Staff Writer

Over its more than 40-year history, Thames Valley Brick & Tile has developed a focused expertise and proficiency of satisfying the complex requirements of the architectural and design communities through traditional and new and 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 that qualify for LEED credits.

Thames’ president, Adam Brooke, says the team is currently comprised of close to 75 years of industry experience and continues to grow and add expertise and knowledge to help 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. Ensuring we have the knowledge and expertise, or can source it if needed, is key.”

Though the team works to stay abreast of new options and design trends, through education, conversation and research, part of Thames’ commitment to clients means understanding they may not have all the answers so are willing to turn to a network of extended professionals, including the many manufacturers it represents exclusively, or almost exclusively, to get answers.

Those manufacturers also allow Thames to offer the extensive range of products and custom product, architects and designers need. “At the end of the day it’s about giving architects and design teams choices. The cost benefit of clay product is still evident but that is evolving into new options, new palettes, and inspiring new ideas.”

Brooke says that working with architects from the initial design stage, utilizing Thames’ extensive catalogue, comprehensive tracking system, and commitment to manufacturing in single batches, then storing and shipping from that production lot to the job site, ensures quality and consistency from selection, right through to 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 described as being a step above standard, including clay brick and with benefits such as low absorption and integral colour – and they are designed for the long-term. 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 home projects.

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, is now online with a new kiln that has been in development for several years. The new kiln 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).

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