Commercial Glass & Aluminum Co. Ltd. has truly made its mark on Bermuda. Take a look at some of the island’s most impressive, distinctive structures and you are likely to see the company’s handiwork.
Commercial Glass installed some of the curtain wall at L.F. Wade International Airport’s new terminal and was the glazing installer and supplier for the new wing of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. Other high-profile clients include the Hamilton Princess, the Swan Group, Bermuda Commercial Bank and Waterfront Proper- ties Ltd, while earlier signature projects included Magnolia Towers, Bermuda Storage Warehouse and the Trott & Duncan building.
Based in a 3,700-square-foot warehouse and office space on Cox’s Hill, the company is owned by Steven Barber, who is also the managing director and leads a staff of nine. Barber joined the business in 2015 as managing director, having been involved in the sector in Canada and Bermuda since the mid-1970s. In 2017, he bought out his former partner and the company’s founder, George Tatem, to take over the business.
“We’re a full-service glass shop and we do mainly commercial work, as well as high-end residential developments,” Barber says. “We deal with every aspect of glass and glazing, including interior partitions, glass doors, mirrors and curtainwalls.
“We also install sliding and swing doors and automatic doors. We do a lot of glass showers—we installed 106 showers for the Hamilton Princess in their recent upgrades. And we fit glass railings and hurricane protection roller shutters.”
With its growing footprint on the island, the company has built up an extensive service business which includes everything from fixing broken pivots on doors to sealing leaks in caulking and replacing windows. Some of its corporate clients also contract Commercial Glass and Aluminum to perform regular maintenance work. Barber said the firm’s staff regularly visits commercial properties to adjust, lubricate and to make sure any operating parts are in good working order. It is just part of a service they provide to keep things working in Bermuda’s salt air environment. The company has similar contracts to maintain automatic doors, with clients including the Hamilton Princess and Bermuda Commercial Bank.
As sustainability climbs up corporate agendas, companies and architects are taking a greater interest in the role windows can play in reducing energy use. “Technology has evolved, and low-e coatings have been fine-tuned to still let in the light, while reflecting the heat,” Barber says. “One of our clients has replaced every window in an office building to make it more energy efficient. It doesn’t look any different, but they’re hoping that it will save about 30 percent in air-conditioning costs.” Low-emissivity (low-e) coatings are transparent, very thin coatings added to glass panes. They reflect solar radiation at certain wave-lengths, such as ultraviolet light and long and short-wave infrared radiation. In a warm climate setting, they can help to reduce the amount of heat coming in, while allowing an uninterrupted flow of visible daylight.
Lockdowns during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted Commercial Glass and Aluminum’s business, as they did for others in the construction industry. “Once the lockdowns were over, we did really well and 2021 was our best ever year,” Barber said. “What really helped was with many people working from home that gave businesses a chance to renovate workplaces.”
With many of Bermuda’s most impressive buildings showcasing its work, Commercial Glass and Aluminum hopes happy customers will help to continue its expansion. As the motto on the company’s web- site reads: “Satisfaction for you means success for us.”