Finding an answer that’s set in stone

The Client:

Ace Artstone Ltd

Dudley

West Midlands

www.acenu-look.co.uk

Ace Artstone offer a range of lightweight, built-in and retro-fitted, bespoke stonework products, adapting conventional techniques for manufacturing glass reinforced cement to give the look, feel and texture of stone in all its natural colours. Ace’s product range includes window heads and cills, string band, quoins, gable vents, date stones and door surrounds.

Quotation

Alan Bowler, Managing Director, Ace Artstone Ltd

“As a small business, the additional resources provided by the Polymer Cluster have enabled us to progress much faster than we would have done on our own. We are an innovative company and the testing facilities were key – the Cluster’s assistance has enabled us to achieve a rapid development in our business.”

The opportunity

To develop and introduce a range of high performance stone finished architectural products for the residential new-build and refurbishment markets – lightweight products that add character to exterior surfaces, are cost effective and minimise the safety risk when working with traditional stone on site.

Polymer Cluster actions

Assistance with the development of the original design for a innovative, retro-fitted window header and cill.

Research on materials and alternative processes suitable for production.

Signposting and advice enabling a successful application for a Network Innovation Grant.

Funding the services of specialist materials consultants CERAM to test products’ strength and durability.

The benefits

The company successfully developed unique products for the retro-fitting sector of the market and subsequently, following much interest from several major home builders, developed products to enter the built-in sector for new homes.

A range of products has been developed based on the technology acquired and Ace Artstone has secured contracts throughout the UK with both large and small home builders.

Key highlights

Ace’s products achieved an F2 rating in CERAM’s tests for strength and durability, withstanding the very worst conditions imposed.

Architects and builders are under pressure to add the finishing touches to their properties that will make a difference when attracting home buyers, without adding substantially to the cost. At the same time, stricter health and safety rules on site make it essential to reduce risk as much as possible. Ace’s lightweight but extremely strong products offer large and small house builders the solution – the opportunity to add to properties’ appeal cost effectively without adding extra risk. Additionally, retro-fitting Artstone window cills and heads is speedy, taking one man about an hour per window.

Additional outcomes

For the first time, all builders have the chance to add the individual character to their properties that is usually only seen on developments at the higher priced end of the market.

Ace Artstone’s innovative, stone-effect product range now includes window heads and cills, string band, quoins, gable vents, date stones and door surrounds.