Routes to growth : Climate Solutions makes strong progress

23/1/20: TClarke’s steady progress as an industry leader and as an investor proposition, is something that’s being driven by performance right across the group. Alongside the landmark projects and new technologies services, there are a series of relatively new specialist building services offers, adding permanent growth to our service mix and to our revenues. Climate Solutions is one of them and it has made significant progress since launch in summer 2018.

The need to provide heating, cooling and ventilation in the most sustainable and efficient manner is central to a building’s performance and therefore market value. Expertise in the installation and maintenance of the relevant complex specialist systems and solutions is valuable and necessary to modern construction projects. Cooling for data centres, for example is a key area of technical advancement, since it is such a rapidly growing area of energy usage worldwide.

An attractive niche growth market

The market for specialist climate control services – both for installation and to support the FM industry, is growing and the relevant Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) research predicts a fifth consecutive year of growth for this sector in 2020.

Less than two years ago, TClarke decided to invest in the creation of a new specialist team, to take advantage of this market. That team has outperformed its original business plan and now looks forward to a positive 2020 with further growth, in line with the upwardly revised plans. Gary Tidball, Divisional Director of the Climate Solutions team (pictured centre), explains how they are achieving success.

“You could label our story as typical of TClarke. Aware of this niche opportunity, and with a strong appreciation of market appetite nationwide and the prospects for sustained growth, the business had the knowledge it needed to act decisively and quickly.

Organic growth from our own resources

“TClarke likes to build in-house resource. It fits our brand promise, it increases our skillset and resource and it gives our board the control they want over service delivery. The team I lead is highly experienced with many decades of expertise. We based ourselves in the South West and immediately went on to win contracts, as was reported at our launch in summer 2018. 

“Since then, as mentioned above, we outperfomed our targets such that we reset them. We have been extremely busy and we are delivering results across the UK”

Building a blue chip client base

We have gained preferred supplier status with ISS following the success of our work with them for TSB (in 2019 we secured 100 FM projects nationwide). The TClarke group’s ability to provide nationwide coverage is a major advantage and our work in opening up this revenue stream has benefitted other regions and offices – particularly Scotland and our FM team in Birmingham.

The TClarke Birmingham team has been working closely with us across several collaborative opportunities within the FM sector and in recent weeks we have just submitted a bid for a major insurance groups head office.

In recent months we have also been working closely with CBRE on various blue chip accounts and this is another important strategic client relationship that is delivering an additional stream of work.

Adding value to other teams within the business

At our launch, the opportunity to support other TClarke teams across the group on major project installations was identified – and that has also been an area of success for us. Significant wins have included the The Box, Plymouth with South West,  both the UCL Rockefeller Building and the Minories Hotel in London, both with the Colchester based Design & Build team. 

The Box was an interesting project from a technical standpoint. Not only did we carry out the installation of traditional VRV air conditioning systems, we also designed and installed a range of refrigeration coldstores and equipment. One of the rooms was a freezer, operating at -16 degrees. This room was designed to store Plymouth’s historic film archive.

We were also tasked with the design and installation of the critical cooling for their onsite Data Centre, the area that was selected was very limited in space, so we decided to install in-rack cooling where the AC units fit between the server racks and are only 300mm wide. Data Centre Coolling is an area of considerable expertise within the TClarke group.

Real jobs and skills opportunities

What also makes me proud is that, our success has led directly to the creation of new full time, high quality speclalist jobs in the South West and importantly the employment of two new apprentices – both of whom will get the famous TClarke apprenticeship programme to start them on a successful career path.

As well as building our company the right way, we are making a very positive and active contribution to our regional economy, building skills as we help create better, more sustainable buildings.