The BSCDA are pleased to announce Sapphire Glass Merchants Ltd as a commercial sponsor for the Association in 2018.
Sapphire Glass Merchants is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and distributors of Insulating Glass Units (IGU’s), otherwise known as sealed units. They supply glass to the trade, domestic, commercial and new build sectors of the building and construction industry, with a range of glazing options.
The company supplies glass throughout the UK, as well as in Europe. A significant sector of Sapphire’s business is in producing traditional glass for Grade 1 and 2 listed buildings through Sapphire Heritage.
“I started working for the company when I was 16,” says Stefan O’Meara, who is now 48. “I had been here for 30-odds years. When I was 40, I got a chance to buy it – so I did.”
The company has 20 staff, including technicians. For double-glazing the company buy the glass in from companies such as Pilkington, Saint-Gobain and Guardian – the three biggest glass manufacturers in the world – in huge sheets when it then computer cut.
They then use a machine that puts the two pieces of glass together and then it is injected with gas, such as argon.
“We also produce mirrors and balustrading and we export a lot of glass to Europe, including to France, Germany, Russia, Lithuania and Poland,” O’Meara says. “We have a huge demand for glass for listed buildings in Europe.
Sapphire’s main business is the manufacture of double-glazed units, but at least 30 per cent of the business is through Sapphire Heritage.
Making ultra-thin glass for Grade 1 listed buildings in Europe is a Sapphire Heritage speciality.
“We used totally different glass and thicknesses,” says O’Meara. “This side of the business is specialist hand-made glass, that is prepared so it looks 500 years old. It looks uneven when you look at it, like the glass in old buildings does. It has to look authentic.
“We offer these products to all sites that require an historic finish with modern benefits. We use a high performance warm edge system designed especially to meet the needs of the restoration and replication sectors where the overriding criterion is authenticity.
“We use companies based in London and Norfolk, as well as in Germany. Depending on the type of building it is, they will prepare the glass for different eras.
“If it is a 17th century building, we use the company in Norfolk because that is what they do, they replicate glass that was used in that century.”
“I’m a big Moto GP and F1 Grand Prix fan,” says O’Meara. “I have got a lot of friends in motorsport. One of my long-term friends is Chris Buncombe, who is a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner”
Buncombe drove a Lola-Zytek to win the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2007 and was a factory works driver for Aston Martin in 2009.
O’Meara also knows Paul Hines, who is also a customer. “I went to see Paul race a couple of years ago,” O’Meara says. “F1 stock car drivers come across as professional people, who are putting their necks on the line when they go out to race. I really enjoyed it.”
Sapphire Glass Merchants Ltd will be sponsoring one of the BriSCA F1 World Championship qualifying rounds this season and will be presenting the winning trophies on the day of their chosen event. As part of their package, Sapphire Glass Merchants Ltd will be included in the race title for the main event, with their branding on each F1 stock car. Their logo will also be included in BSCDA literature.
We hope Sapphire Glass Merchants Ltd enjoys its first season as a BSCDA sponsor. It is good to have them on board.
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