The Sotech team is delighted to welcome Simran Thiara who has joined the business full time as Regional Specification Manager for the South.
Having worked in the building envelope space for over eight years, Simran brings a wealth of technical and design experience across anodising, aluminium framing, and glazing.
Today, we sat down with Simran to find out more about her background and what she’s hoping to bring to the rainscreen cladding industry.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND.
Well, I’ve worked in the industry for eight years now. I started out studying Architectural Technology at Birmingham City University, before beginning my career in anodising. I then moved on to aluminium framing profiles on buildings and my recent roles have been in glazing and glass manufacturing for large residential and commercial buildings.
It feels like I’ve come full circle with this role in rainscreen cladding because I will soon have covered the full building envelope – glass, framing, anodising, pricing, technical drawings, specifications.
I’ve had a huge passion for construction and architecture from a very young age. My family built a civil engineering business in Kenya, building bridges and roads, so I have always been surrounded by construction.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS IMPORTANT IN THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR THIS YEAR?
Fire safety and sustainability. These are the two things I hear from architects and installers when I speak with them. I know Sotech has been at the forefront of testing and fire safety in the sector and I am looking forward to specifying their systems, knowing the rigour that goes into their testing processes.
When it comes to sustainability, it’s about more than just a just a buzzword used so often. Building and construction are responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions in the world, so as an industry we need to strive to reduce this figure. When architects can see the impact their choices have one year vs fifty years down the line, they can make more informed choices. For example, using coated glass can dramatically improve thermal efficiency, meaning less heat energy being consumed and therefore lowering carbon emissions of the building. And choosing materials that can be recycled when the lifecycle of that building or product comes to an end means less waste to landfill and less emissions all round.
The world is ours to change and if we’re going to do anything, we need to do it now.
WHAT CAN YOU BRING TO ARCHITECTS AND INSTALLERS IN YOUR NEW ROLE?
My experience in the sector covers lots of areas of the building envelope and I am able to confidently advise on a range of aspects including anodising and coated glass. I think my qualifications and experience will prove useful, when it comes to looking at technical drawings and elevations. If an architect has a certain solution in mind but has hesitations, I can explain how it works, what the benefits are and even present alternatives.
I don’t see it as my job to sell cladding solutions. I see it as my job to help architects specify the right building envelope solution for their design and for the future.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BUILDING IN THE UK AND GLOBALLY?
In the UK it has to be The Shard. It’s iconic, and it’s the tallest building in the UK, the sixth tallest in Europe. I love it because it’s so striking. You can show someone an outline of the building – the height, the pyramid shape, the sharp lines – and they would recognise it. For me, it’s a testament to what we can build.
Globally? It has to be Burj Khalifa, the skyscraper in Dubai. It’s the tallest building in the world. It’s a masterpiece showing the endless possibilities of design and construction! Having the pleasure of being at the top of the Burj, it really inspires people and sparks creativity – from an idea to a full concept to be the tallest building in the world.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO SOTECH?
I’d always known about Sotech. In a previous role, we supplied anodising products to the business. Whenever I asked about Sotech in the industry or their name appeared on specifications, they were always spoken of highly because of their technical knowledge and their focus on safety.
When I came into the business for interviews, I could see that and I could also feel a real sense of ‘growing together’. The people in Sotech have been here a long time. The management team wants you to progress in the business, they want you to succeed. And I’m excited to be part of that.
ARE YOU READY TO GET TO WORK?
Yes, absolutely! I’m going to be covering the south of England, working mainly from the Building Centre in London. I am currently booking in appointments with architect and installers who want to learn more about Sotech’s rainscreen cladding systems and begin that specification process. I’m also working on a brand new CPD for the company, highlighting Sotech’s focus on fire safety and sustainability.
If you’d like to arrange a meeting with me via Microsoft Teams or at the Building Centre, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 07546 416163.