Russell Roof Tiles Galloway tiles
Kathryn Greenwood

Member Article

Not Born in the USA

Leading roof tile manufacturers and innovators, Russell Roof Tiles has exported its expertise to the USA.

Russell Roof Tiles sister company, Crown Roof Tiles is utilising the latest British technology and has developed its own version of Russell’s successful Thin Leading Edge (TLE) Galloway tile.

Crown Roof Tiles has operations in Texas and Florida and is part of the same group (Crown Global Equity) as Russell Roof Tiles.

This has been an interesting development for the US roofing market, where tile alternatives are most commonly used. Asphalt shingles account for the largest share of roofing with 57 percent of the market, but roof tiles specifically are expected to show the most rapid growth of all roofing products. This is driven by the rebound in residential construction in the West and South, where tiles are most popular. Demand is also driven by growing interest in the aesthetics of tiles. Unlike the UK, in the US reroofing accounts for the largest market share.

With the positive market conditions in the US, Russell Roof Tiles has assisted its sister company to invest in both manufacturing plant and new product development. Within the Crown Global Equity family Russell Roof Tiles is the company’s biggest operation with its market position, reputation and 50 year heritage.

Crown Roof Tiles ambition is to penetrate the residential and commercial market and be to Florida what Russell Roof Tiles is to the UK.

Russell Roof Tiles was one of the first manufacturers to market with its TLE – responding to local authority planning requirements for a thinner profile. Russell Roof Tiles now has four TLE products in total Galloway, Lothian, Polden and Moray produced in 13 shades. Thin Leading Edge tiles were created to be approximately half the thickness of standard concrete tile and are on average are 50 per cent less than the cost of most slate roofs.

The Galloway TLE is an interlocking roof tiles which has the appearance of slate when laid half broken bonded, and is a hugely an innovative product in the US market.

CEO of both companies, Juan Prestamo commented: “We are very excited about the adoption of the tile technology from the UK into the US market; we really think this could be a game changer. I hope this takes both of our companies to new heights with Crown Roof Tiles emulating Russell Roof Tiles’ success.”

As well as product development, the UK team has been sharing knowledge and expertise with their colleagues in Texas and Florida in key areas such as operations and finance.

The US$10 million Floridan plant started production last year thanks to Russell Roof Tiles National Operations Manager, Bruce Laidlaw and Works Manager, Paul Erskine. A state-of-the-art plant has also been completed in Mansfield, Texas and is already manufacturing and selling high quality concrete roofing products. These new facilities help strengthen their position within the concrete tile sector.

Prior to launching the Galloway TLE in the US, the tiles had to be submitted to arduous tests that replicate the severe weather that the US experiences. The tiles must withstand a Category 3 and 4 on The Enhanced Fujita Scale, these weather conditions include trees being debarked and cars being lifted off of the ground! But the innovative TLE product, which is more used to the British rain, withstood it all. One of the tests, the Hail Impact Test, which is required to provide with certification in the Florida - Miami Dade, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas markets. This test consists of shooting the tile six times with a two inch diameter solid ice ball at speeds higher than 110 feet/second. The results from the Galloway were impressive as it passed the tests and performed better than local products that are 25 per cent heavier.

Managing Director of Russell Roof Tiles, Andrew Hayward said: “We are proud that our British-born and designed products will be making an impact on the US market and that Galloway will be leading the way.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Kathryn Greenwood .

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