Steel gutters come with a 15-year finish guarantee.
Lindab is a 50-year-old Swedish company started by a man called Lage Lind — so our name comes from his surname plus Ab, which is Swedish for “limited”.
He was a tinsmith, something you only find in Scandinavian countries for some reason. He started manufacturing galvanised steel gutters and downpipes because there was nothing available that could cope with the snow and rain there.
Now we have 5,000 employees across 28 countries, and we manufacture in 19 of those. Over the years, we’ve moved into two sectors: building materials for the residential sector, and ventilation systems for commercial buildings — think of the great big ducts you see in cinemas and sports halls.
For the residential market, we have three main building products, all made from thin or light-gauge sheet steel. We do gutters and downpipes, standing seam roofs, and internal and external walls — in fact, you can build practically a whole house.
You can use Lindab products in place of plastic, cast iron or aluminium rainwater systems. Our steel gutters and pipes come with a 15-year finish guarantee so they don’t fade like plastic, they don’t leak and they have very low coefficients in expansion and contraction. They’re light, easy to install, and made with 30% recycled materials. It costs about 30% more than a plastic system, but over a 15-year period you save more than double your initial expense on maintenance and replacement.
Lindab products are very popular with councils because of the low maintenance. We’ve got a deal with Cardiff County Council worth £2.4 billion over five years to remove black plastic pipes from 8,000 properties and replace them with black steel.
At least 70% of our products are specified by architects. It’s very much a Scandinavian design: it looks well built and architects like the plain, shiny silver finish because it looks different. We provide CPD for architects, and we also offer a full design and specification service. When drawings are sent to us on paper or electronically, we prepare a bill of materials, an itemised list of the parts required.
Steel frame has been around for a very long time but people are now sitting up and taking notice.
When we started in the UK market in 1999, we made £200,000 in sales — last year we turned over just over £2 million.
In May, we’re launching a new steel frame system for internal walls, called RBDX. It clips together with no fasteners or fixings, and it’s supposed to save another 30% on construction times.
It’s ergonomically designed, so workers don’t need to bend down or stretch up. They don’t like their workmen getting bad backs or shoulders in Sweden.