Clearview National December 2015 - Issue 169 - Page 77

CONSERVATORIES Leading the Way with Thermal Ratings »»Leading conservatory roof manufacturer, Ultraframe is set to shake up the mindset of the conservatory and orangery industry yet again, with the introduction of its new thermal rating scheme, which the company is hoping will become the new ‘Industry Standard’, and also through the launch of its consumer based marketing campaign; educating homeowners of the best choice of roofing system to cater for their energy efficiency needs. Clearview Editor, Stephanie Wright recently visited Ultraframe to discuss the launch of the two initiatives. Greeted by Steve McIntyre, Ultraframe’s Marketing Director, I was led into Ultraframe’s impressive showroom, well more like a tardis! Ultraframe’s site is snugly situated in the centre of what appears to be a residential area, and on entering the reception area it is hard to appreciate the magnitude of Ultraframe’s site, until your inside - housed in a state-of-the-art 300,000 sqft facility. The purpose of our meeting was to enable Ultraframe to present what they believe to be a huge turning point in the perception and ratings of thermal values for conservatories and orangeries. As the leading specialists of conservatory roofs in the industry, they felt that the industry lacked focus and understanding when advising consumers on the thermal benefits and ratings of conservatories. Steve advised: “We decided to conduct a survey of homeowners to establish their concerns, desires and motivations behind home improvements and in conjunction with consumer survey experts were able to understand the needs of the consumer better. “As the industry will know, we have always been a proactive campaigner to bring the consumer into the loop when it comes to informing them about the products available. Our consumer marketing campaigns have never sat on the side of passiveness, and we know that today’s consumer is even more savvy than ever before with the explosion of the digital age. “So, the survey was imperative to keep abreast of what the consumer’s thought processes are, even if they are not in a position to make a home improvement purchase immediately, it was important to get a feel for their views.” The results from the survey saw the engagement of over 10,000 homeowners, and supplied some interesting statistics. Biggest ‘home related’ concerns? • 34% Energy bills • 26% Space • 25% No Concerns Motivation • 59% to improve their living space • 39% to improve energy efficiency • 35% are driven to improving their home for the need of more space • 23% are prompted to change due to a change in family set up When it came to the type of home improvement homeowners would carry out, a conservatory or orangery came out on top with 16% indicated as their preferred first choice. When questioned ‘How important is thermal efficiency to your home extension?’ 95% agreed that this was an important feature, with a high proportion wanting the extension to be a liveable and usable area, all year round. These figures plus that of Ultraframe’s own consumer research, which incidentally saw over 50,000 consumers visiting and using its product selector in the last 12 months, prompted Ultraframe to research in more depth the way in which it presents its products to the market place and hi-lighted more the need to assist both the installer and end-user with clear guidelines on energy ratings and thermal efficiency. Steve continued: “With such overwhelming statistics, it would have been wrong of us to just ignore the needs of the consumer and this is why, with the technical research we have conducted to establish the new thermal rating standards, we will be presenting them to the GGF (Glass and Glazing Federation) to seek approval in disseminating our findings and suggest they be used as a basis to implement an industry standard for conservatories and orangeries.” To back up its campaign and support the trade, Ultraframe is set to provide a selection of POS material, including performance rating cards for all of its products, brochures, full technical and sales support. This is further enhanced by a consumer-facing, simple to use,