“We work alongside architects to create new and innovative commercial uses for glass,” says Metro Performance Glass National Sales and Customer Experience Lead, Adaleen Griffith. “That collaborative work is something that we’re definitely committed to doing more of.”
Over nearly 40 years, Metro Glass has grown into one of Australasia’s leading glass suppliers, with approximately 1200 staff and 14 sites throughout New Zealand. “We’re very much a people-led organisation,” Adaleen says. Recent Metro Glass addition Lyn Kehely agrees. “I came on board in January as a Marketing Consultant. I had worked previously in Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, but also in other parts of the building industry where I met [Metro Glass CEO] Simon. It was him and the team here that attracted me to the role. I also really enjoy taking on roles where they haven’t necessarily had a marketing-led business in the past; more of a manufacturing-led approach. You see this often in the construction industry and I find a lot of satisfaction in helping organisations make that transition towards championing their great work.”
One of the key pieces of that work, Adaleen says, is education and training. “We have a nationwide network of installers, as well as over 70 apprentices who we support with ongoing training which helps the whole industry. We also provide standards and technical support to the Window and Glass Association of New Zealand, which has been especially critical in light of the recent changes to the H1 code. On the client side, we provide a PS1 [Producer Statement] service for balustrades and other glass uses. When building professionals are applying for consents, we can easily supply generic versions or have our technical team work closely with them on more complicated, specific documentation.”
Metro Glass boasts a comprehensive product range, from residential double-glazing right through to larger commercial builds. “One of the new products we’re really excited about is our SunX™ Grey Solar Control glass,” Lyn says. “We’ve all been in homes or buildings where the sun exposure is making us uncomfortably hot. SunX™ Grey is new technology in glass that helps keeps buildings cooler in summer, while still retaining warmth in winter. It’s creating a whole new conversation for the New Zealand market.
SunX™ Grey features a solar control coating which helps reduce excess heat indoors, protects from glare and sun damage, and is ideal for sun-soaked windows and facades. “If you look at the average home’s energy consumption for lighting, heating and cooling with standard double-glazing,” Adaleen says, “in Auckland, that’s about 6,000 kWh per year, according to modelling done by St Gobain. With the H1 changes requiring a coated glass, energy use drops by approximately 1,000kWh. But if you use a product like SunX™ to control solar heat gain, you’re reducing that energy by another 1,200 kWh per year, which is great for occupant wellbeing, cost-saving and the environment.”
Indeed, both Adaleen and Lyn agree that Metro Glass is proudly prioritising sustainability across the business. “We are the first glass company to receive a Declare® Red List Free label,” Adaleen says. “This third-party certification really is the gold standard of environmental product transparency, and it assures our customers that the products they’re selecting are toxin-free. This is not always the case with double-glazed products as their sealants and joiners can allow toxic chemicals to creep in. Declare® aligns products with the specialised programme requirements of the Living Building Challenge; our certification has even prompted Challenge participants from Harvard University to get in touch and learn more about our Red List Free products.
“It’s really important to me, personally, to meet those environmental thresholds and empower Metro Glass customers to use our products with full confidence. I’d like to contribute to the creation of a heathy planet for my great-grandchildren,” Adaleen says. “The building industry is the biggest single-industry manufacturer and consumer of products. This means that we have both an obligation and an opportunity to make good choices about the way we’re using the earth’s resources. I love the fact that Metro Glass is really open to that conversation.”
Metro Glass is also committed to creating greater opportunities for conversation with its customers, Lyn says. “Historically, we’ve offered a lot of technical support and documentation, but haven’t necessarily made it easy for customers to understand our products. That’s a big focus for me in my first year: being more insight-led and really stepping into the shoes of our customers to make sure we are providing everything they need to choose the right glass for their project.”
Both agree that the Metro Glass team has historically been quite modest about their achievements. “The New Zealand glass industry has been underserved for a long time, but that’s definitely shifting,” Adaleen says. “We need to foster direct industry relationships and partnerships, and start bringing our expertise to the fore. Working with glass is very specialised and can be really dangerous. What Metro Glass brings to the industry that no one else can offer is our huge investment in staff training, our unparalleled technical expertise and our laser focus on quality glass products.”
Looking ahead, Lyn is excited to streamline the Metro Glass story and help the team better celebrate their wins. “I’m working hard on all of our language to make it more customer-centred. It’s a big job, but I know it will make it much easier for our customers to learn about, select and talk to us about our products.”
“You could say that we’re reintroducing ourselves,” Adaleen says, “after a lot of years of doing great work quietly in the background. We have a vast range of quality products; now it’s about making sure we have the right ones at the right times. We’re excited to work more closely with long-time and new customers to fine-tune our range and ensure that we’re meeting the market’s needs in a way that is clean, simple and cost-effective.”
To learn more about Metro Performance Glass, visit https://metroglass.co.nz/ and direct any sales or product enquiries to Adaleen.Griffith@metroglass.co.nz.