Amlin plc’s prestigious new UK headquarters – an impressive £13.5m development in Chelmsford, Essex – is not only a significant demonstration of growth and success for the international specialist insurance company but also a positive commitment to the local area and its economy.

The new building now covers a 65,000 sq. feet plot, allowing Amlin to potentially double its number of employees. Such a move will mean Amlin becoming Chelmsford’s largest employer in the next few years, all from its new flagship home – in itself a new prominent feature of the city centre. The five-storey steel frame and glass structure has blue tinted glass and a blue canopy, complete with a stunning board room on the top floor. Overall it gives Amlin the chance to consolidate its previous offices into one purpose-built HQ; bringing new life to what was an area of three disused office blocks.

With the building design requiring a significant amount of complex glazing within the framework of an equally complex build and site, the contractors, Alumet, one of the UK’s leading curtain walling contractors, needed to work with an experienced and knowledgeable glass supplier. Float Glass Industries were able to meet the key criteria – expertise and experience but also the ability to access and supply specialist glass.

“We were very happy to be working with Alumet Systems again,“ says Dawn Offland, Joint Managing Director of FGI. “We have a very good working relationship with them, working on other major builds since 2001, including the prestigious Riverlight development in London. With the Amlin development in particular, it was very important to them that we could supply and manufacture all the necessary specifications within their deadlines. With our experience and production expertise, we were able to achieve this and I believe this is one of the key reasons as to why we were successful in winning this contract.”

The specifications included blue tinted glass for the exterior and a soft coat Low-E glass on the interior. Using low-E glass for a more comfortable and more efficient working environment was very important in a building that stretches over five glazed floor-to-ceiling storeys. As part of the specification process, FGI provided all necessary technical data regarding product photometrics, as well as wind and barrier loads, another significant consideration for the development. An important aesthetic element of the design was to achieve a seamless exterior in some areas. FGI sourced and manufactured architectural elements from the Schuco Toggle range.

The project has taken 9 months to complete in all, with all specialist glass specified, supplied and manufactured by the FGI team to schedule.

“This significant development gives Chelmsford city centre such an impressive new building as well as a significant boost to the local economy.” says Dawn Offland. “It was a very positive project to be a part of, particularly involving our technical advisory team. Their experience and knowledge contributed to the design process as well as our other teams working on sourcing and supply. At Float Glass Industries we look forward to being involved in further high-profile glazing projects where clients can benefit from our experience.”