It’s 11 am on Monday, and the teams out in the production yard have been casting concrete beams and planks since before dawn. They are preparing orders for delivery to clients across England. Our team of drivers are travelling to a delivery or installation in their specialist vehicles. Installation teams are working on projects ranging from domestic extensions to a new hospital.
The office building on our six-acre production facility in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, is a hive of activity. It houses hard-working team members, including designers, estimators, customer support staff, transport coordinators, and technical experts. We call on a broad mix of skills, experience, and qualifications ranging from university graduates to team members with hard-earned experience in the construction industry.
We cultivated this well-established, trusted company from humble beginnings. The process began around 22 years ago when MD Nick Dighton focused his construction know-how on manufacturing concrete T-beams.
In the early days, we mainly worked with local self-builders and small contractors. This helped us develop a personalised and supportive service. Our customer-focused approach and the quality of our product meant Floorspan established itself as a trustworthy and practical manufacturer of suspended concrete flooring systems in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding areas.
Our first casting bed produced a 150mm deep, 35kg per linear metre concrete beam. In a conventional application, these beams can span a distance of well over 4.5 metres. Generally, they are combined with medium-density breeze blocks and 65mm sand cement screed to create a suspended floor. We call these ‘standard’ beams. They have relatively high load-bearing and spanning capabilities, so they are well-suited to large homes and commercial projects such as offices or care homes.
Our standard beam was a popular and functional solution, but our customers did not always need the engineering strength that this product offered. We can easily meet structural requirements for a significant number of building projects using a flooring system constructed with a lighter, more economical product.
Subsequently, Floorspan Contracts created a groundbreaking beam with a narrower cross-sectional area that weighed far less. Floorspan calls this 25kg per linear metre, 150mm deep beam ‘light’ beam. It is light enough to move around construction sites by hand. Light beam is most commonly utilised in residential projects, ranging from domestic extensions to larger volume sites.
The expansion of our beam range was the first major step towards offering the flexible, bespoke service we provide today. It enabled us to design and deliver floors fit for purpose, with the potential of significant savings through reduced material, handling, and transport costs. T
The next major step was introducing our third beam, a 225mm deep prestressed T-beam, capable of spanning up to 8m in certain applications. Weighing 77kg per linear metre, we use these beams in scenarios that require greater load-bearing capabilities, such as municipal and industrial applications.
As our reputation, knowledge, and resources grew, so did our range of solutions. We began casting bespoke ‘hollowcore’ concrete planks and supplying precast concrete stairs for multi-storey and industrial projects. We also developed an expanded polystyrene flooring solution, Thermafloor. This incorporates our light beam so we can offer a flooring system with an improved U-value.
Over time, we established and developed a skilled team of installers. This enables us to deliver an ‘end-to-end’ service, from design, to manufacture, to delivery, and installation.
Our approach to customers and the company ethos that we have nurtured is just as important as our product range. Although Floorspan has grown rapidly, we have maintained the same key values of fairness: flexibility, helpfulness, transparency, and reliability. These qualities made us successful in our local area at the beginning.
Now, we provide this service to a wider range of customers and on a larger scale. Our design and estimating teams are a key part of this. We assign each enquiry we receive to a designer who applies their experience and skill to create a solution that represents the best achievable value. This approach might mean using a combination of different T-beam types to overcome load-bearing requirements whilst monitoring overall costs and value for the end-user. We always provide quotations accounting for all materials and labour needed to install the floor safely, securely, and efficiently. This includes items such as air bricks and vents. Everything is included in our bottom line rather than hiding essential costs to make a quote appear cheaper.
Today, Nick Dighton’s two sons, Liam and Lynden, support him in the day-to-day running of Floorspan, along with Nick Carver, the operations manager. There are over 100 staff members working towards shared goals. It is an exciting time for us, for our clients, and for the industry. We plan on announcing fresh developments in the coming weeks and months. They will ensure we remain competitive without undermining the values that helped us grow into a truly competitive industry leader.