Author Archives: Michael Crawford

Scotland’s Cube Glass adds sparkle to Edinburgh’s new Moxy Hotel with glass curtain walling project

Innovative and rapidly expanding Scottish glass and aluminium specialist Cube Glass has made its first inroads into the lucrative leisure and hospitality sector with a project for one of the market’s brightest new chains.

The Cumbernauld-based manufacturer and installer was selected to provide more than 150 sq metres of glass curtain walling at the new Moxy Hotel at Edinburgh Airport delivered by Clark Contracts, which opened its doors earlier this year.

Cube Glass created a vista of glass in the reception area and downstairs bar of the millennial-focused brand, which is part of the global Marriott hotel giant.

The 230-bed hotel is a boutique concept for the next-Gen traveller, providing fresh and stylish design, tech-enabled accommodation and approachable service at an attractive price point. The new Edinburgh Moxy has a book-themed interior in a nod to Edinburgh’s status as a Unesco City of Literature.

Cube Glass project manager Trevor Clark, who oversaw the Moxy work, said: “This was a very high-profile exercise in a hotel which has attracted a lot of attention in the Edinburgh area.

“The floor-to-ceiling SF52 curtain wall units, which we sourced from Senior Architectural Systems, create a light and airy space which complements Moxy’s spirited and fun guest experience.”

The deal is the latest in a number of contracts won by Cube Glass all over the UKtotalling more than half a million pounds, which have helped put the business on track for another record year of sales and profits.

Gary Thorn, Cube Glass founder and Managing Director, said: “Moxy is a very high-profile brand and an excellent entry for us into the hotel and leisure arena. With our package complete on time and on budget, I expect it will lead to more, similarly prestigious, contracts.” 

Cube Glassbased within Cumbernauld’s Lenziemill Industrial Estate, focuses on curtain walling, doors, windows, glass roofing systems and shop fronts as well as bullet, bomb and blast resistant glass.

With record sales this year of around £2.75 million, it has 14 highly-qualified employees.Around 80% of the company’s sales are made to major companies such as Hilton Hotels, the Ministry of Defence, Arnold Clarkand Clark Contracts.

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Success on success as Scotland’s Cube Glass racks up another half million in new contracts

Scotland’s Cube Glass, the innovative and rapidly expanding glass and aluminium specialist, is literally spanning the UK with a slew of lucrative new contracts from Shetland in the north to Winchester in the deep south of England.

Totalling more than half a million pounds, the latest string of successes and business wins put the Cumbernauld-based manufacturer and installer on track for another record year of sales and profits.

And the level of enquiries at the £2.75 million turnover company is also burgeoning, with quotations to an average value of £1 million a month.

Gary Thorn, Cube Glass founder and Managing Director, said: “Our growing reputation for dependability, competence, technical proficiency and business integrity is bringing in new projects from all over the country.

“At this rate we will be looking for even more production space in the near future.”

Among the new contracts are:

Lerwick Fish Market, a £7.6 million investment in a custom-designed new whitefish market at the Shetland port, where Cube Glass has contracted with Tulloch Developments to supply and fit aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling in an anodised finish to combat salt water depredation.

Value £130,000.

Doune Health Centrea brand-new £2.7 million health centre for NHS Forth Valley where Cube Glass will create office space, practitioners’ space, a new entrance, automatic doors and curtain walling, working with Hadden Construction.

Value £77,000.

Oxgangs Young Persons Centrewhere Cube Glass will work with Maxi Construction to provide accommodation, offices and an entrance for the purpose-built home situated in a residential estate in Edinburgh.

Value £35,000.

Winchester town centre, where the team is working with Cormorant Ltd to supply and install windows, doors and sliding doors in an estate of four homes – the second contract for the same local builder.

Value £70,000.

Irvine, where Cube Glass is replacing existing windows, doors and building new curtain walling in an extension at the Tarryholme care home, working with Ayrshire-based construction firm Ashleigh.

Value £110,000.

Cube Glass, based within Cumbernauld’s Lenziemill Industrial Estate, focuses on curtain walling, doors, windows, glass roofing systems and shop fronts as well as bullet, bomb and blast resistant glass.

With record sales this year of around £2.75m, it has 14 highly-qualified employees. Around 80% of the company’s sales are made to major companies such as Hilton Hotels, the Ministry of Defence, Arnold Clark, and Morris and Spottiswood.


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Garden rooms and garden offices. How to avoid the pitfalls with the planning department

In what were perhaps simpler times, the humble ambition of most homeowners was to have a shed or a greenhouse in the garden. In our more aspirational age, that desire has evolved into summerhouses, garden rooms and even garden offices.

Some of the structures now widely available are stylish, contemporary and ergonomic, with many of the more adventurous designs featuring glass sliding doors, bifold doors or curtain walls of the type we specialise in at Cube Glass.

For example, with the expert guidance of Chris Penman of Stark Structures, I recently built a sun house in my back garden which had a glass front elevation which folded right back to open the room out fully to the open air on balmy summer days.

However, be it a shed to store the garden furniture or a beautiful, modern, hand-crafted and bespoke outdoor garden building, it will be classed for Scottish Government purposes as an “ancillary building” and it is imperative to check if you need planning permission.

Most ancillary buildings do not need a planning permission application, because most meet a set of rules called “permitted development”.

The permitted development rules for an ancillary building are:

  • – It must be located at the back of the house;
  • – It must not be used as a separate home to live in;
  • – It, and any other development, must not take up half or more of the curtilage – this means half or more of the grounds behind your home;
  • – It must not be higher than 4 metres at the highest point;
  • – Any part that’s a metre or less from the boundary should be no higher than 2.5 metres;
  • – The eaves (the part where the wall meets the roof) should be no higher than 3 metres;
  • – If the land is in a conservation area or in the grounds of a listed building, the ancillary building should have a footprint of less than 4 square metres.

Whereas applying for a Certificate of Lawfulness for a permitted development used to be free of charge, the rules were changed in mid-2018 and there is now a need to notify planning departments and a charge of £150 is now levied for the certificate.

This newly-introduced charge was essentially a response by councils to the fact that many small developments were being kept just within the rules and that revenues were diminishing as a result.

While the new cost may seem like an imposition, at least you don’t have to get an architect to create drawings or notify immediate neighbours – with the potential for attracting objections and ending up justifying the project to a planning committee. Remember, you can’t legislate for human nature.

However, if you stay within these guidelines and approach the council in good time and in an open manner, there should be no obstacle to obtaining a Certificate of Lawfulness which would mean, in turn, that you would only need a Building Warrant.

Remember also that structures such as sheds, pods, off-the-shelf garden rooms and summerhouses which do not require foundations are classed as temporary and as a consequence do not need a Building Warrant.

Enjoy your garden! Our dog Coco, pictured, certainly does.

Gary Thorn is Managing Director of Cube Glass.

Top of the Glass. Cube Glass team are ahead of the curve with industry-leading qualifications ratio

Cube Glass, the manufacturer with excellence at the core of its business, is staking a claim to be the best qualified manufacture and installation team in Scotland, with virtually every one of its employees achieving challenging national standards.

The Cumbernauld-based glass and aluminium specialist, which was established in 2004, has created a training and accomplishment environment which is the envy of much larger competitors and which has gained it an outstandingly high ratio of qualifications.

Its entire team of seven fabricators has attained the NVQ Diploma in Fenestration Installation, with six of them achieving Level 3, a competence qualification for individuals working as Installers and Window and Door Fitters.

Level 3 includes installing glass supporting systems for conservatories, window and door units. The qualification covers identifying and rectifying technical problems, improving the work of the organisation and identifying and confirming installation requirements as mandatory.

The Cube Glass office staff have achieved similar high standards, with seven of the team acquiring a Level 3 Surveying qualification, allowing them to undertake project management, estimating and site survey roles.

Gary Thorn, Cube Glass founder and Managing Director, said: “In Cube Glass, it is really the case that our staff are our most important asset. For that reason, we are investing in them and their futures with the aim of creating sustainable employment in high quality roles which provide tangible job satisfaction.

“I have made it a priority to make sure that the teams are not only competent, but that they feel that they have had the best training opportunities that it is possible for us to offer them.”

Cube Glass has also created the chance to gain coveted industry qualifications from its major suppliers, including top sector names such as Senior Architectural Systems, Metal Technology and German manufacturer Schüco.

For instance, on a recent project which involved fitting blast resistant windows and doors, the team attended a Schüco course and were examined in order to be SABRE (Schüco Approved Blast/Bullet Resistance Expert) approved.

The high-calibre skill sets in the Cube Glass team have helped the company to win a range of recent contracts totalling in excess of £500,000 and the business continues to expand exponentially.

The company, based within Cumbernauld’s Lenziemill Industrial Estate, focuses on curtain walling, doors, windows, glass roofing systems and shop fronts as well as bullet, bomb and blast resistant glass.

With record sales this year of around £2.75m, it has 14 highly-qualified employees. Around 80% of the company’s sales are made to major companies such as Hilton Hotels, the Ministry of Defence, Arnold Clark, and Morris and Spottiswood. It is operating throughout the UK.