Council for Aluminium in Building

25th Anniversary Growth

Jade Greenhow, Operations Director, Insight Data, revealed some intriguing data at the Glazing Summit 2019 in Edgbaston Cricket Club back in September including a near 9% increase in aluminium fabricators from 2017- 2019. Given the 30 plus new members CAB have added in 2019 and the strategic moves many traditional PVCu companies have made into the near 100% recyclable material, it was perhaps an unsurprising statistic. The figures are also backed up by the high overall confidence levels in the last 8 quarterly CAB State of Market Surveys, especially surrounding investment in plant and equipment. The latest Q3 State of Market Survey results showed 43% net balance of CAB members forecast growth in Q4 and 57% net balance see growth in the year ahead. In Q3, a sizeable 50% of members saw sales volumes up by more than 5% on Q2. While we await a General Election, there is a belief that much of the current economic and political uncertainty has already been factored in by responding companies.

Interestingly too, Jade highlighted a 26% increase in the number of aluminium fabricators offering sliding doors in the same period and spoke about the trend towards premium entrance doors. The total number of installers has dropped away very slightly from 13,281 in 2017 to 12,930 in 2019.

The summary messages were that more builders than ever are competing with installers and that the rate of change within the industry is the highest ever with consolidation throughout the supply chain.

30+ New Members in 25th Anniversary Year

Echoing the positive vibes emanating from the Glazing Summit CAB has seen one of its highest level of approved new membership in its 25th Anniversary year.  To date, we are delighted to have been joined by 30+ new members across the aluminium in building supply chain including: 3D Aluminium; Acorn Aluminium; Allied Glazing Systems; Aluminium Shapes; AOV (UK); Azon (UK); BSI Assurance UK; Contrasol; Crown Doors & Shutters; DUCO Ventilation & Sun Contro; Epwin Window Systems; Fentrade; Glasshus Facades; Hoppe (UK); Kestrel Aluminium Systems; LP Window Controls; MBE Glazing Systems; OnLevel; Presstek; Promac ; Prosale Automatic Doors; Safeguard Glazing Supplies; Saint-Gobain Glass; Soft Tech (England); The Design Solutions Business; The Rooflight Company; United Anodisers and Window Ware

However, our focus has always been more on protecting, defending and promoting our members and ensuring added value for membership. We are continuing to develop our member programme and focus on listening to the membership. As a result, in 2020 we will extend further the number of added value events and services included in the membership fee or at a very nominal cost.

Q3 2019 State of the Market Results

In addition to the 577% net balance of CAB members who forecasted growth in the year ahead, there was a clear confidence in capital expenditure with 65% net balance forecasting increased expenditure on product improvement, followed by 55% for plant/equipment , 35% for R&D and 30% for both e-business and customer research. Encouragingly also, there was a slight increase in the proportion of firms forecasting to operate at over 90% capacity utilisation in the next quarter, 35% ( 29% in Q2) and for the year ahead, 45% (35% in Q2).

While 80% net balance of members expected labour costs to rise over the next 12 months, 50% net balance forecasted labour growth over the same period (62% in Q2).

Joint ALFED & CAB Aluminium Recycling Conference Papers Now Available!

Aluminium is an infinitely recyclable material that is an important part of the circular economy. A September 2019 workshop explored how the circular economy was implemented in practice and featured some of the latest developments in the supply chain.

It looked at the recycling of 6000 series alloys in the construction sector and highlight ed our pilot closed-loop recycling scheme to promote the sustainability credentials of its members, as well as learn more about the A|U|F aluminium recycling scheme for windows, doors and curtain walling that has been running in Germany since 2010.

The presentations from this well supported free event run at the Telford Campus, University of Wolverhampton can now be found from a link on the home page of our website at

Key Themes and Activities

Key Themes in 2019 for CAB and its membership have been Closed Loop Recycling (pilot scheme) and developing a CAB Aluminium Curtain Wall Installer training programme (CSCS) in addition to general fabricator/installer Training Days that will lead to CAB Skills Cards. The programmes which are due to rolled out in early to mid-2020 have one key aim which is to improve competency and drive higher standards throughout the sector.

The need to update members about changes in standards, regulations and best practise has never been more relevant and CAB’s bi monthly INSIGHT technical newsletter is very often an agenda item for internal member company meetings due to its robust coverage of content pertinent to members across the aluminium in building supply chain. Crucially members get the opportunity to input into standards updates which form an important part of the Association’s response.

CAB’s Events and Marketing activities have continued to develop in 2019 with  a new domestic website launched in the middle of the year at . It is vital for any Trade Body to be visible and accessible for its existing members to be able to meet with. CAB has also had a key presence at major industry events this year including the CAB Lounge and Pavilion at the FIT Show 2019 (May), event partner/exhibitor at The Glazing Summit (September), supporter of the Conservatory & Orangery Awards (October) and being one of the judges for the Construction Marketing Awards (November).

CAB Autumn Programme

The CAB Regional Members’ meeting on 24 October 2019at the spectacular ‘Imperial War Museum North’ in Manchester kicked off a dynamic autumn programme and included a short seminar on ‘Collateral Warranties’ presented by Geraldine Fleming, Operations Director, Driver Trett. The main mini conference element included speakers Naoki Woodward, Director, Ramboll Facades and Simon Misra, Creative Director, Agency Spring together with members of the CAB Training Committee presenting some of the new course content for the CAB Aluminium Curtain Walling Installers course (CSCS).Nearly 150 members and guests attended the conference and dinner.

Contracts Seminar ‘How Do We Get Paid’?

Geraldine Fleming returned to present the fifth contracts seminar of 2019 on12 November in Birmingham entitled, ‘We’ve done the work – now how do we get paid’.

The seminar series which remains one of the most popular elements of the CAB annual programme is all about defending members’ positions and enabling them to better protect themselves. Geraldine does this through a mixture of up to the minute case studies and scenario building drawing on her wide experience with Balfour Beatty and as a trained lawyer and QS. A full programme for 2020 will be announced shortly, but 2020 topics will include the following areas over 4/5 seminars across the country:

  • JCT Contracts
  • Design Liability
  • Legal Updates
  • Commercial awareness for site-based staff
  • Contractual nightmares
  • Quotations workshop
  • How to review the terms in the subcontract order (subcontracts from hell)

Marketing Seminar: ‘Social Media & Web Analytics’

This essential marketing workshop day in Birmingham on 11 November welcomed two experts in their field. Firstly David Glenwright – Head of Training, JC Social Media considered ‘Posting with intent – building an effective social media strategy’. From coming up with engaging and relevant content, to using search tools to identify and reach out to specific prospects and opportunities, he left attendees with the skills, knowledge and confidence to both grow and demonstrate the effectiveness of their social media presence.

In the afternoon Pritesh Patel – freelance Digital Marketing consultant looked at ‘Website performance & measuring what matters’. In this ‘hands on’ session Pritesh demonstrated how marketers and directors could use website data to help them understand which parts of their marketing efforts were working and which parts were not.

CAB will soon be launching its full 2020 programme which will include new events and activities to create an even stronger set of member value propositions. In times of uncertainty especially, every membership pound sterling must work even harder but the message remains the same as always, that our sector supply chain companies are ‘stronger together’ in CAB.

For more details on our work or to find out how to join CAB contact, telephone the CAB office on 01453 828851 or go to