One for all: the K2 orangery system

Following our previous article covering the technical developments on the K2 Orangery system we discuss how the evolution of the home improvement market has led to today’s requirements for high value / high efficiency solutions, and how the K2 orangery system, combined with our popular K2 roof and market leading Celsius glass, allows trades to provide the homeowner options both in terms of budget and style.

Market trends show the way…

It has now been well recognised that home improvement is the preferred and most cost-efficient option when expanding or developing living space.

In the ‘90s conservatories were at the height of their popularity, first in standard white PVC, then woodgrains, following in the footsteps of the windows industry. More recently an increased demand for colours has seen all players introducing new foil ranges; more contemporary tastes and a need for better performance also created a greater appeal for aluminium products and performance glass - which have made a strong appearance in the doors, widows and conservatory market.

Room extensions, conservatories and kitchens are the home improvements projects that will generate the greatest increase in house value (after loft conversions), according to (£16k, £8k and £5k on average respectively). To illustrate the point, research carried out by Barbour ABI shows that 64000 people (in London alone) applied for planning permission to carry out a “don’t move, improve” project.

A study carried out by Wickes (Wickes Home Improvement report 2011) indicates that the most likely projects to be carried out are centred around extensions, whilst the most important rooms considered when making a purchase are the living room and the kitchen.

The K2 websites show growing interest in premium products, with a massive 57% increase in page views on the Celsius website over the last 12 months, while the K2 orangery pages are receiving more and more traffic. And overall Google keyword search shows that the term orangery was searched for 49500 times, in February, in the UK.

The key to addressing this market was to design a unique product that would respond to those needs: provide a flexible living space whilst also creating an environment that fits in with its surroundings, is energy efficient and responds to today’s style requirements.

K2 responds with a “one for all” orangery system

The orangery having become, without a doubt, the preferred choice for the homeowner, the demand for the product has increased dramatically. The interest generated by the K2 orangery options, originally launched in 2011, highlighted the need for this unique solution:

  • A true orangery roof system allowing the creation of any style of orangery ( flat roof, parapet wall, high decorative fascia), fully integrated with our roof, portal and glass range
  • As per K2’s standard roof, can be used on any window frame system
  • No ladder frames, but a more efficient, easier to handle aluminium single beam framework, saving on both material and labour costs for improved margins
  • Wide span opening of up to 6.5m thanks to its 222mm structural beam, or, for smaller requirements (up to 5.3m), a cost saving 172mm beam will be used.

The “glazing” on the cake

And of course, to meet all the latest energy performance requirements, K2 supplies the market with the leading high performance glass for conservatories. Celsius Elite, with a U-value of 0.9, and its appealing blue tint, will be the perfect addition to the highly insulated orangery roof system; and for the frames why not choose Celsius Clear?

K2 builds orangery fabricator network

As announced, to satisfy increasing demand K2 is making the system available through its key fabricator network .

These fabricators will be provided with a complete support package for what we consider to be the most flexible and cost-effective orangery roof kit solution on the market:

  • profile charts, fabrication guide, installation guide, tooling list, jigs,
  • “one on one” fabrication training.
  • installation training sessions at Century House in Blackburn

This combined with a barlength package that includes pre-drilled, cut to size boards, and beams that – by design – will all have the same end preps for ease. These will be initially supplied in 6.5m length.

Our consumer brochure is being updated to reflect the flexibility of the system and illustrate all the orangery roof styles available, including the latest flat roof style, the “Rio”

Budget still an issue?

Not a problem, for those that simply don’t have the budget for a true orangery, K2 offer the unique Capella solution, a simple yet highly effective upgrade to a standard conservatory.

And let’s not forget…

…for added options K2 offers what is probably the best selection of structural beams, allowing for opening of up to 6.5m. Ideal for the increasingly popular bi-folding doors.

K2 Announces New fabricator

K2 Conservatories are very pleased to announce that Ramsdale Home Improvements has become their latest roof fabricator. Based in Middlesbrough, they are ideally situated for all K2 roof installers in the region who require a local supplier.

Ramsdale Home Improvements work from a 17,000 square area factory.   They are a well regarded company with vast experience in fabricating frames and roofs.

Barrie Ramsdale comments: "Moving over to K2 Conservatories from the Zoom System was the obvious choice for us as we are now working with a systems manufacturer who can provide us with an extensive range of products enabling us to stand out from the crowd. We are confident that K2 will provide us with the support we require to grow our business and we are now in a position to offer a specialised K2 fabrication service to the trade in our local area.”

Sharon Owen, K2’s Sales Director comments, “We are delighted to have Ramsdale on board.  We prefer to work with a small yet carefully selected group of fabricators to try and cover all key areas, without flooding the market place."

K2 Keeping Customers Competitive

In response to the feedback the company received in 2011 for their orangery roof kits some key product developments have been introduced, as follows:

  • One system to fit all orangery styles Venetian, Integra and GRP / rubber membrane flat roofs).
  • The sections have been value engineered to use less aluminium - without sacrificing any structural integrity - allowing reduced costs to our customers

These points combined will give K2 customers a high quality yet competitively priced product, something we all strive to find in the current climate.

And of course, as for all installations, speed and ease are of the essence. The installation time along with fabrication time of the system have been reduced by as much as 75%, dramatically lowering labour costs and on site disruption, something which will undoubtedly be appreciated by the homeowner.

Following these developments K2 will be offering the system to their key fabricators as part of the bar length range in a move to meet industry demands as consumers warm to the latest growing trend.

The attached illustration shows the key elements of the system, which crucially does not use a heavy timber cassette system or aluminium ladder frames but a more efficient, easy to handle aluminium single beam framework

It features:

  • Full integration with existing K2 roofs, glass and portal products …..
  • Future proof Structural design complying to
    • BS EN 1993-1-1-2005 Eurocode 1 Actions on structures
    • BS EN 1991-1-3-2003 Eurocode 1 Snow
    • BS EN 1999-1-1-2007 Eurocode 9 Design of aluminium structures
  • Generic structural calculations for standard designs with no need for individual calculations for Building regulations
  • All parts factory cut and drilled including
  • Structural members
  • Support boards
  • Insulation
  • Can easily be installed by a single installation team with no specialist lifting equipment

Based on design requirements and budget you can opt to create your own perimeter roof and fascia, utilise our 600mm wide aluminium box gutter for a Venetian or Integra Style, include the large aluminium fascia frieze for the ultimate Venetian, or select the standard 210mm box gutter for the Integra 210

The installers are provided with a kit made to size, and they simply need to add plasterboards to the inside to finish off the soffit.

Sally Fielding comments: “2011 was an important year for K2 Conservatories. We re-affirmed our position in the market place as a key player, focused on innovation, product development and customer support.

K2 will be working hard to use the momentum we gained. We want to help our customers stay competitive by ensuring the K2 product is in demand. We will focus some of our efforts in lead generation as this is one area which is absolutely crucial to success.