Crucial collaborates on Coopers Yard

Crucial collaborates on Coopers Yard

In the heart of Holmfirth, an old tool hire station underwent a conversion into a food hall & bar with outdoor seating called Coopers Yard, bringing a sense of community and new social location to the town.

The construction work was carried out by NU Construction, and Crucial Engineering secured the contract for the façade element of the project. This was another great project collaboration between our glazing and aluminium departments, the double-glazed units were handmade in-house by our expert glass team, the aluminium was supplied by system supplier Exlabesa which was then fabricated in-house, into the frame sizes needed. By combining departments we can offer hugely improved lead times from start to finish.

The plan for Coopers Yard was to create an industrial aesthetic which ties into the street food vibe, multiple original features of the building were kept such as the tiles and brick work. Crucial were asked to strip out the old style Crittall steel windows and timber doors in order to replace them with much more thermally efficient Exlabesa KT51 tilt n turn windows, KSF doors/framing, and Xlafold bi-folding doors.

Crucial collaborates on Coopers Yard

By adding more glazing we allowed much more light to flow through which brightened the space and gave a fresher feeling. All the aluminium was finished off in RAL 9005 Matt powder coating to rejuvenate the exterior with a more modern, clean look.

coopers yard crucial 2
coopers yard crucial 3

Coopers Yard is now a wonderful food hall and bar that is open to enjoy, we are sure it will make a positive impact on the local community, and it’ll be a fantastic, shared space. This project was a joy to work on with NU Construction and we look forward to collaborating again in the future.


Crucial Engineering are proud to work with customers all over the UK within multiple different sectors. We are experts in Aluminium, Automation and Glazing, specialising in creating safe and secure access solutions. We secure your world.

Why is aluminium the material of choice in the commercial sector

Why is aluminium the material of choice in the commercial sector

Aluminium is now widely used throughout the building industry due to a series of natural properties and commercial benefits. It has become the dominant material in many aspects of building construction because of its flexibility and ability to meet highly custom requirements.

Many new building developments including office space, public buildings and shopfronts will now feature aluminium throughout the structure including aluminium windows and doors, roofs and walls. It could also be the dominant material in stairs, railings, shelves and gates - plus many other applications.

This is due to the benefits that aluminium offers in building construction:

Aluminium is lightweight and strong

Aluminium has an excellent weight to strength ratio so it’s ideal for many purposes. Aluminium window frames are thin but also incredibly strong so they can comfortably and securely hold large windows in place. This makes aluminium ideal for modern building design including curtain walling and entrance doors.

Due to the strength of aluminium doors and windows, frames can be made much thinner than more traditional materials such as timber or PVC. This allows more space for glazing which brings further benefits such as increased natural light and eye-catching aesthetics.

Create a modern and eye catching building design

The fact that aluminium looks fantastic makes it an extremely popular material with architects and building designers. Adding aluminium window frames and doors instantly creates the look of an incredibly modern building with clean lines and flexible finishes.

This gives building designers much more freedom to create original structures that can include imaginative curves and angles. Aluminium is flexible enough to bring any idea to life and can be coloured matched to perfectly fit with a company’s branding.

Aluminium is naturally resistant to outside elements

Aluminium naturally has weather resistant properties which makes it highly durable compared to other materials. Timber and other materials are likely to warp or change shape when exposed to long periods for direct sunlight or moisture from rain.

Changes in shape such as warping or damage from corrosion can firstly make doors and windows hard to open, but can also lead to expensive repairs and maintenance. Once manufactured and installed Aluminium will look great and not lose quality with only minimal checks.

Aluminium can be recycled without losing quality

If a commercial building development is conscious about its impact on the environment then aluminium should be the material of choice. Not many people know that aluminium is 100% recyclable and can be re-used for any application many times without losing quality.

Using sustainable materials is important in today’s society and the use of aluminium is a guaranteed way to reduce the overall carbon footprint.

Aluminium increases energy efficiency

Aluminium is not only fantastic at keeping elements out, it is also a fantastic insulator so will keep heat in, and make indoor temperature regulation much easier. So in addition to low maintenance, this makes it highly cost effective through further cost savings from reduced energy costs.

The team at Crucial Engineering are national commercial aluminium fabricators. We manufacture, install and maintain commercial aluminium products to create high quality and secure access solutions. When you work with us you can be sure of a fantastic long term relationship including expert aluminium fabrication services alongside the very best customer service.

Unite Students Crucial Engineering Perfect Partnership Case Study

The perfect partnership Unite Students x Crucial Engineering

Unite Students are experts in student accommodation. They have been providing safe and secure homes for students for 30 years. At one of their sites in London, the timber framework around the windows in part of the building had become tired and in need of replacement. Understanding not only the importance of safety for their residents but also how this could impact the warmth of the building, they began to research for a supplier to restore both the framework and windows in these areas.

The many benefits of curtain walling for buildings such as the Unite Students site, are why increasing numbers of developers and architects are opting to use it as part of their building designs. Unite Students did their research to find that not only does aluminium curtain walling have superior strength and durability, but that it also has excellent thermogenic properties, is highly economical and is an environmentally friendly choice since aluminium and glass can be recycled easily and repeatedly.

Having made a decision about the type of glazing required as part of the window restoration, Unite Students felt that Crucial Engineering were the perfect choice for the work required. As specialists in aluminium curtain walling and with a portfolio of well-respected clients, it was clear that Crucial could fulfil the brief to a high standard.

Upon visiting the Unite Students London site, The Crucial Engineering team quickly identified that the existing timber frame was rotten in various sections and that the glazed units weren’t performing as they should be. Curtain walling would be the perfect choice for the sizes and space of the restoration work required with the benefit of providing light and warmth in open and communal areas of the building. Manufacturing and Project planning of the aluminium curtain walling commenced.

The promise of good quality, safe and warm accommodation that Unite Students provides is one of the reasons why they are a trusted partner of over 60 Universities in the UK. They understand that for many students, feeling at home during their years at university can be the difference between achieving moderate results to excellent ones, knowing that much of a student’s study is conducted within their residence. For this reason, the timeframe for the restoration work to be completed by the Crucial Team was super important to ensure minimal disruption to the students’ home and studying.

Unite Students Crucial Engineering Perfect Partnership Case Study 01

The Crucial Team went onsite with a plan to install the aluminium curtain walling to span 4 floors of the building in three separate areas. To stay within the projected timeframe, excellent project management of the task was required. The team got to work and efficiently delivered installation of the aluminium framework and curtain glazing.

The resulting finish is one that is sympathetic to the building’s existing aesthetic and colour scheme. Bringing a wealth of light into the building, the aluminium curtain walling will help create well-being for the students who live in the building. In addition, the spaces with the curtain glazing will be energy efficient and well protected from any adverse weather conditions.

An added benefit of the aluminium curtain walling for Unite Students is that it does not require specialist cleaning or maintenance. Any window cleaner can be used, which reduces any extra hidden costs that comparable materials for this type of work might incur.

Unite Students were very satisfied with the work carried out by Crucial Engineering and with the finish of the aluminium curtain walling. The building has had a face lift and now has a chic, modern feel as well as being secure, warm and economic.

Unite Students Crucial Engineering Perfect Partnership Case Study 03
Unite Students Crucial Engineering Perfect Partnership Case Study 02

Why you should use automatic car park barriers

Why you should use automatic car park barriers

By 2020, 68% of the UK’s working population commuted by car which is perhaps a surprising fact given the push in recent years towards having more accountability for our carbon footprints. And in the last 20 years, the number of cars on the road in the UK has increased by 5.5 million.. Understandably, the growth in the number of vehicles on the road has had the knock-on effect of a demand for more parking spaces.


The pursuit for appropriate parking exists for a variety of reasons. Be it a shopping trip in a City Centre, a visit to the hospital, a day at work or meeting a friend for lunch. Whatever the reason, most drivers will be all too familiar with the frustration of searching for a parking space which can be time consuming and in extremely busy locations, lead to an increase in fuel consumption. Here we examine a variety of car parking scenarios and the benefits of automatic car park barriers for both business and consumer.

The company car park

For most employees, having an allocated or private car park is a huge perk. It provides a safe and secure environment for their vehicle, removes stress and can offer time back in their day. As long as the entry and exit from it is easy.

For many companies, these car parks are controlled by a member of staff which then relies on them turning up to work, being on time, staying alert and being available. It also relies on them being able to check that the person trying to park has the correct ID and then if not, acquiring the appropriate permissions to allow them to enter. This can cause queues, a reduction in the turnover of parking spaces and huge frustration for workers. In this instance, the installation of an automatic barrier would be the perfect car parking solution.

Barrier systems are sturdy, safe and can be fitted with access controls to allow staff to enter and exit the car park with ease by scanning an ID card. Moreover, the longer term saving on investing in an automatic car park barrier vs staffing a car park is a of huge benefit to the business.

The pay and display car park

Everyone has been to a pay and display car park and driven around it for what seems like hours on end, only to find that there are no spaces and have to leave. Moreover, if you do find a parking space, there is the additional annoyance of then finding the pay machine, having the correct change, waiting for a slow contactless or credit card machine or having to download an app in order pay for your parking. Of which you have to estimate a time for. If you end up going over the allotted time, you are then required to either run back to pay for more parking or incur a fine.

The benefits of implementing automatic car park barriers here are huge for the consumer. The addition of traffic controls in this situation can provide the user with valuable information about space availability and whether it is worth waiting for a space. For people whom time is of an essence, such as those visiting a hospital or health centre, the use of an automatic barrier can provide more instantaneous information about whether they can or can’t park for a given amount of time or whether there are any available spaces. In addition, if their appointment runs over or they are in a waiting room for longer than expected, a ticket system which calculates the fee for parking upon exiting removes any stress about getting back for an allocated time.

The shopping centre car park

Many shopping centres or stores have complementary car parks for their customers. Some provide parking that is on a pay and display basis, sometimes with the addition of a traffic control warden or security cameras, recording the coming and going of every vehicle that enters and exits the car park. For the latter, many land owners are searching for more suitable car parking solutions in order to protect the profit from car park users.

Many drivers use these car parks without paying and displaying, particularly in car parks that don’t operate a security camera alongside them. An automatic car park barrier here would be a simple installation that would provide more safe and secure entry and exit to the designated parking areas. The initial investment of this type of parking system is worth it for the longer-term revenues from guaranteed customer payments.

Crucial Engineering

If you own a business and are looking for car parking solutions, get in touch with Crucial Engineering. Whatever industry your business belongs to, Crucial will be able to provide expert and sound advice. With a wealth of experience, and exceptional client recommendations behind them, they are an excellent choice. Contact us today to discuss your requirements in confidence.

The advantages of using aluminium in construction

The advantages of using aluminium in construction

Aluminium is quickly becoming the dominant metal used in exterior building design. Due to its lightweight properties and durability it’s now the ideal material for doors and window frames, along with modern exterior structures such as curtain walling. If you’re not familiar with its use then it’s now likely you regularly see examples of aluminium in a host of large or commercial building structures.


Aluminium is a natural occurring material that is readily available - it’s the third most common element in the Earth’s crust (after Oxygen and Silicon), and the most common metal on the planet. It's non flammable and resistant to corrosion.


These and other benefits of aluminium make it the number one choice in modern and efficient building design - and here’s why:

Highly versatile and flexible

Aluminium can be used in a wide variety of ways and can be efficiently engineered to meet specific requirements such as tight curves or colour choices. Working with aluminium will create fantastic aesthetics and gives architects and designers the freedom to create beautiful structures.

Aluminium introduces virtually limitless design potential and is flexible enough to bring any idea to life.

Lightweight and strong

Aluminium is a third of the weight of steel which makes it easier to both work with and transport. It’s also incredibly strong so is ideal for a host of purposes including features such as window frames as it will securely hold very large panes of glass. Due to the it’s strength, door and window frames can also be made thinner which can further boost the look of a building.

Long lasting and resistant to corrosion

Aluminium is a natural material and therefore has inbuilt resistance to inclement weather and corrosion that other materials lack. Other commonly used construction materials such as timber and steel can change shape when exposed to varying temperatures, or degrade from moisture or just have more limited lifespans – especially when not regularly maintained.

Once an aluminium solution has been engineered and installed it’ll not only look fantastic but  it’ll also only need limited checks to maintain the same quality.

The environmentally friendly choice

The commercial construction trade is increasingly becoming more conscious of a project’s impact on the environment. Creating buildings that are “green” that both reduce waste and boost energy efficiency are vital – and using sustainable materials is a key part of this.

It’s not widely known that aluminium is 100% recyclable, and can be re-used for any purpose without losing much of the original quality.

Aluminium is also a fantastic insulator and will both withstand outside elements and keep heat inside, making indoor temperature regulation much easier and efficient.

The team at Crucial Engineering are a national commercial aluminium fabricator. We manufacture, install and maintain commercial aluminium products to create high quality and secure access solutions. When you work with us you can be sure of a fantastic long term relationship including expert aluminium fabrication services alongside the very best customer service.

Crucial enginering aluminium shop fronts

A complete aluminium package for KFC

As specialists in aluminium engineering, Crucial were commissioned by the principle contractor for a KFC in 2022 to provide the supply and installation of a full aluminium package for their new restaurant.

Understanding the many benefits of using aluminium for a shop fit out, KFC appointed Crucial to undertake the project. With many years of expertise and a host of big named brands already under their belt, Crucial were a reliable and well-respected choice.

KFC electing aluminium for a variety of applications within the project was a calculated decision. With a stringent budget, there is much to be achieved with the use of aluminium. As a super strength, yet lightweight material, it is frequently chosen by property planners to form many parts of building projects. Compared with other materials, aluminium is hard wearing and durable, excellently withstanding weathering and high traffic usage.

Crucial enginering KFC
Crucial enginering aluminium windows KFC
Crucial enginering aluminium windows doors KFC
Crucial enginering aluminium KFC
Crucial enginering aluminium doors KFC

The process of aluminium fabrication and finishing

The process of aluminium fabrication and finishing

The process of aluminium fabrication and finishing is an intricate one to observe. 

Taking the raw material, aluminium, and making it into something useful, such as windows and door frames, is incredible. 

The aluminium structures and frames, provide durability, they’re robust, and they have a long life span, making aluminium fabrication very popular. 

Of course, working with aluminium is only the start of the fabrication process. Before it reaches the end customer and is ready for use, several finishes can, and will, be applied to the end product. 

Crucial Engineering are aluminium fabrication specialists, based in Leeds, providing aluminium windows and doors, gates and entranceways and more! 

In this post, we want to take you through the aluminium fabrication process as well as the finishing process that the metal goes through before being presented to you like the finished product. 

Aluminium Fabrication – The Process 

Aluminium fabrication can often be referred to as precision engineering at its best. Requiring skill and expertise as well as a range of specialist tools, equipment, and technology, aluminium fabrication is about joining all of the parts of the process together. 

For example, in the extrusion stage (design stage), optimised extrusions help to minimise further fabrication, which provides results that at the end of the process relate to more efficient fitting and assembly. 

Even if the properties and functions of the extrusion have been optimised, there will still be a level of fabrication required. 

Benefits of using aluminium for fabrication 

  • Durable and robust 
  • Lightweight, making it easy to install and carry 
  • Corrosionresistant and resistant to any other form of abrasion 
  • It is unaffected by magnetism 
  • Great conductor of electricity and heat 
  • Flexible and versatile to be manufactured into any shape and size 

Finishing – The Process 

The finishing process is all about treating the surface of the aluminium ready for the final product to be dispatched. Depending on how and what it is treated with will depend on the different qualities the metal can provide you. 

It’s at this stage where you can also achieve different finishes to change the overall look and appeal of your final product. 

The most common aluminium finishing processes include: 

  • Anodising – an electrochemical process which is primarily used in military machinery and equipment, to protect the aluminium parts. This process involves artificially increasing the thickness of the naturally occurring oxide layer on the aluminium’s surface. 
  • Powder Coating – is the most popular choice, as it provides a protective layer which protects against corrosion as well as increases the level of insulation on offer. Very durable and comes in a variety of different colours. Powder coating is also more resistant to chipping, fading, scratching, and wear and tear. 
  • Wet Coating – the most cost-effective of all finishes and a method that involves coating the material while in coil form. This process is used for decorative as well as corrosion-resistant surface finishes and has a life expectancy exceeding 20 years. 

Where can you find aluminium fabrication? 

Due to the benefits that aluminium can offer, you will now find aluminium fabrication and finishes across a range of sectors and applications. 

For example, aluminium windows and doors are now increasing in popularity throughout the UK.  Appliances, and furniture within your home, such as computer hardware, for example, is made from aluminium fabrication.  Retailers use aluminium fabrication for their exhibition displays and stands. The food and drinks industry use the processes for their food preparation equipment. It can also be used to manufacture parts for cars and aircraft, industrial piping, roofing, sporting goods, and much much more. 

However, for all of these things and final products to be good and to a high standard, you need a professional aluminium fabrication company. 

A team who know what they’re doing and has many years’ experience in handling all specifications and types. 

Working to an exceptionally high standard and taking on the precision engineering technology that’s involved in the process to produce excellent results time and time again. 

You need the team at Crucial Engineering, Leeds. 

Aluminium fabrication specialists, if you need help with your fabrication project, make sure to call us today on 03451 930 420. 

We’re always happy to help.

Find out more here!

Why you should replace windows and doors with aluminium.

Why you should replace windows and doors with aluminium

Most homeowners will consider, ‘why you should replace windows and doors with aluminium,’ at some point in their lifetime. Whether you want to upgrade your home, make it more energy-efficient, change the look and style of your windows and doors, or replace a broken window, replacing doors and windows with new can offer it all. 

With aluminium window replacements and aluminium door replacements growing in popularity, this is fast becoming the most favourable option for many new styles and frames. 

Providing homeowners with an array of choice, aluminium is also strong and durable, and because of its long life span, replacing windows and doors does only have to happen once. 

Why you should replace windows and doors with aluminium.

Cost of Aluminium window replacement 

The cost of aluminium windows and doors does vary. However, over recent years the price of this metal has decreased. This makes it much more affordable and on par with its UPVC counterpart, hence also the spiked increase in popularity. 

Usually, included in the price of aluminium door and window installation will be the product itself, i.e., the glass, the frame, all flashings, and trims, well as the labour charges to install the window/door. 

However, what won’t be included in the price, is the cost to create the opening itself (if there isn’t already a window or door there), any interior moulding required after installation, or any curtains or blinds, etc. 

Due to the wide selection of different types of aluminium doors and windows available, this means, for homeowners’ prices will vary depending on choice and situation. It’s worth speaking with a professional supplier and installer for exact prices and costs before you begin. 


We’ve mentioned throughout this post that opting for aluminium window replacements or indeed an aluminium door replacement can provide you with a wide range of benefits and indeed choices. 

These can include things such as: 

  • Aluminium clad windows. These specific windows are made from wood, with the frames then covered in a thin aluminium sheet.  This type of window frame is extremely popular, as homeowners can create a beautiful wood finish on the inside, with a weather-resistant, and more durable finish on the outside. 
  • Opening style. You can also choose different ways you would like your window to open i.e., single hung, aluminium casement, sliding, double-hung, fixed, and much more. 
  • Customised windows to suit. Aluminium can be bent and moulded by aluminium fabrication Leeds specialists, to create a truly customisable window, suitable for any space. 
  • Available in any colour and finish, such as tough anodized or bakedon, for example. 
  • Aluminium windows and doors also provide exceptional thermal efficiency. 

Replacing older style windows 

Replacing older looking and style windows with more modern and fresh aluminium windows and doors can instantly transform the look of your property. 

For example, if your home has original steel windows, but they aren’t energy efficient, they left draughts in, and if you’re honest they aren’t entirely secure… 

Fear not… 

Aluminium doors and windows can be the perfect replacement. 

Available in innovative steel replacement designs, you can now choose aluminium frames that are much slimmer to help reflect the thin lines of the original windows better. 

They also offer increased security and better overall energy efficiency for your home. 

An excellent solution for older properties and even properties with planning restraints against them.  Where aluminium can be seen as in keeping with the look and style of the original building. 

Ultimately providing, traditional-looking windows with all the benefits of modern aluminium double glazing! 

Advantages and Disadvantages of replacement aluminium windows and doors 


  • Maintenancefree 
  • Can withstand harsh external elements 
  • Lightweight 
  • Clean and modern in look and style 
  • Restrict noise 
  • Slimline frames compared to UPVC 
  • Can be recycled 
  • Energy efficient 


  • Paint can chip 
  • Can pit, fade or create condensation over time 
  • Must be lubricated regularly 

Ultimately, if you’re looking to replace your aluminium windows and doors and upgrade to a higher quality, make sure to call the team at Crucial Engineering and see how we can help you today. 

As specialist aluminium fabricators in Leeds, we have many years’ experience working with and installing aluminium windows and doors.  We’re also extremely confident that we can provide you with the best and most cost-effective solutions for your home, always. 

Call 03451 930 420 to find out how we can help improve your home today. 

is aluminium better than steel

Is Aluminium better than steel?

The debate! 

Aluminium is growing in popularity, primarily because of the many, many benefits it offers but also due to advances in technology and the advanced processes of aluminium fabrication. Today so much more can be manufactured from aluminium than even just 20 years ago. 

In some people’s eyes aluminium will soon hold the same value, if not outweigh, the value of gold, making it incredibly lucrative and the go-to metal for now. 

Expanding its reach across industries and companies as well as providing aid in the development of innovative products, there is no other metal currently out there that offers such extraordinary features. 

However, when it comes to looking for comparisons, steel is most likely the only metal that aluminium could be compared too, but in this post, we want to highlight why aluminium should be the clear choice once and for all. 

Find out more here!

is aluminium better than steel

Why aluminium is better 

Aluminium is strong, and we mean really strong. It can handle a considerable amount of weight without compromising on the size of frames or casings, which is not possible with other metals, who would have to increase the density of their casement for example in order to take the additional weight. 

Aluminium is also known to be much more durable than steel, making it a popular choice for those looking for long-lasting and hard-wearing products (ideal for things like windows and doors, for example). 

Due to it lasting longer it also provides cost benefits in the long run too. In the short-term, it is competitively priced with other metals available but lasting longer than other metals means you can save in the future too. 

As we’ve mentioned aluminium is used in a variety of different industry sectors, and this is only increasing as other sectors are beginning to see the benefits this material has to offer. Due to its high elasticity and its ability to be shaped and moulded (without breaking) to any specified requirement, is what makes it truly stand out against steel. 

Aluminium is also rust-free and resistant from corrosion, not something a product made out of steel can state! Being able to withstand any extreme and harsh conditions that are thrown at it (even saltwater), aluminium is most certainly versatile. This is one of the major reasons that you will find aluminium being used in heavy industries instead of steel, which often needs some sort of treatment (paint or coating) to make it rust-free. 

A strong metal doesn’t always mean heavy to handle, and aluminium proves this with its unique lightweight features. Making it easy to transport, you will find aluminium is a crucial element for aircraft, heavy vehicles, and ships, etc. 

Again, comparing this to steel, steel is a heavy metal making it somewhat cumbersome to move and transport around. Unfortunately, steel in this sense is only used when there is no other option to choose from! 

Aluminium also thinks about the environment. Being 100% recyclable and also consuming less energy during the fabrication process, makes it easy for manufacturers to keep track of their production costs and be more competitive on costs where they need to be. 

Unlike steel aluminium is a great conductor of electricity and heat, hence the reason it is used in everyday household appliances. Appliances and applications such as washing machines, condensers, air conditioning units and so much more. 

If you work in a sector which involves cutting and moulding metals to fit exact specifications, then aluminium should be your number one choice. Soft and mild (something steel is not) aluminium is extremely feasible. 

Aluminium is in high demand for good reason – and we’ve mentioned some of these above! If you’re thinking about inventing a new electronic device, or you’re looking for an alternative to steel, call Crucial Engineering today to find out more about what aluminium fabrication is and how you can maximise its benefits to suit your requirements.