Built to last

12 December 2012

Offering strong materials,bespoke design and turnkey service,CopriSystems has almost 30 years of experience building and installing temporary structures for the industrial market.

Offering strong materials,bespoke design and turnkey service,CopriSystems has almost 30 years of experience building and installing temporary structures for the industrial market

With many years in the business of providing covering technology and temporary buildings for the industrial market, CopriSystems prides itself on high quality. It focuses on steel products that are built to last, courtesy of long established relationships with its suppliers.

Now the company is undergoing something of a change of the guard, with Rafe Colenso (pictured), in the process of taking over the company from his father Robin. Not that Robin believed in simply installing Rafe as his successor. He has had to work his way up through the company.

"I started as a forklift driver in the yard, loading lorries and getting to know the product. Then I was slowly but surely brought into the office and sent out with installation teams, learning about the project side of the business," explains Rafe.

He is determined to continue the traditional family focus on high quality products.

"You get what you pay for and we will only put our name behind products that meet the relevant building codes." CopriSystems designs according to the Building Regulations, so structures will be able to cope with the expected wind and snow loadings. In terms of covers, CopriSystems uses a heavier grade fabric than competitors, with the same weight as curtains on curtain-side lorries.

"These covers, being under tension, can be expected to last for a great many years," says Rafe. "We guarantee the fabric for five years and the steel for ten years.We don't want the structures to fail and we certainly don't want the goods stored to be damaged." In structural-engineering terms, a temporary building means a life of no more than two years, which is setting the bar rather low, according to Rafe.Many of his competitors use aluminium frames, with trusses pitched at 5 metre centres, while CopriSystems installs three steel trusses in 5m.

He argues that, if your need is genuinely short term, a less robust solution will suffice, but he also argues that decisions to build these structures often turn out to be more permanent than temporary.

"Often people say they only want it for two years and five years later it is still there. In most cases, when we install a structure it will be there for five years at least, and we've got some in their original position for 20 years or more. At the end of that, all you've got to do is replace the cover," says Rafe.

The company sees major opportunities with clients that are fleet of foot and quickly expanding. In the uncertain economic climate, many firms ideally want to build permanent structures but find shorter term expediencies are more cost effective.

Another key strength of the firm is its ability to take on bespoke work.Many firms supply standardised product in set dimensions, but CopriSystems provides a design service that will tailor products to individuals needs.

"If a company wants a structure 8.45m long, we can do it.

We're also much better than other firms at butting up to other buildings.We can do a monopitch avoiding the need for gutters between the existing building and our structure. So the client won't have water ingress problems," he explains.

A recent key bespoke win for the firm was for Travis Perkins in Northampton, where CopriSystems installed two canopies each 48.40m wide by 18m long.

Turnkey A key part of the company's offering is that it will provide turnkey projects, taking care of all aspects of the installation including groundworks, lighting, doors, planning and regulatory permissions.

"With us you get the full package," explains Rafe. "You won't need architects and consultants to do that individually. It takes hassle away for the client, and leads to a more thorough job." CopriSystems looks carefully at design relative to local site conditions to take account of orientation to the prevailing wind and access for vehicles to ensure that the structure will stand up to the UK's wind and snow loads and satisfy the customer's requirements.

In conclusion, CopriSystems sees itself possessing three main areas of strength ? superior materials, bespoke design, and turnkey service.

"We like to see the job finished correctly and we are willing to go the extra mile. After all, the best leads we get are recommendations from existing clients." concludes Rafe.