Volume 5 | Issue 4 | Year 2002

To hear Steve DeBerardino, president of Trenwyth Industries, Inc., discuss his company is to get a lesson in how architectural drawings are translated into enduring masonry. It’s also a lesson in how high-quality masonry units can be designed, colored, shaped, polished and textured to make architects’ design elements stunning structural realities.

“Our customer is the architect,” says DeBerardino. “We provide value to the architect. It’s our job to help make the structure memorable. Ours is a very visual product, so we have excellent quality control. When we target an architect, we offer value, innovative solutions and a premium brand name. Ask architects. They know our name and know that we deliver a value offering.”

The largest U.S. supplier of high-end architectural products for industrial, commercial and institutional buildings, Trenwyth offers masonry products with unique features. Those attributes make Trenwyth the first choice of architects for both new construction and the renovation of hotels, schools, medical centers, museums, stadiums, universities, government buildings, banks and other high-end projects.

Commenting on the growing market potential for Trenwyth masonry units, Doug Young, executive vice president, notes, “The applications for our products are endless. Trenwyth brand awareness is probably our greatest asset, with the help of our savvy marketing department and sales approach. We work with design teams all across the U.S. and overseas to develop new and exciting uses for our innovative products. Our people are trained and experienced professionals who are ready to answer our customer needs. You can never go wrong specifying Trenwyth on your next project.”

Things of Beauty
The Trenwyth product lines, each with distinctive properties and color palette, also offer builders one-step installation for load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls. The company’s ASTRA-GLAZE SW® is a grouping of glazed masonry units with a thermosetting compound permanently molded to one or more faces. Its permanent satin glazed finish resists staining, abrasion, impact and chemicals. Built-in protectants act as a shield against spray paint, permanent markers, grease and crayon, making ASTRA-GLAZE units the most advanced graffiti-resistant concrete masonry units on the market. ASTRA-GLAZE units also resist fading, an important attribute considering that the huge color palette ranges from snow white to Viking red, cosmic blue and ebony, plus custom colors. Additionally, use of W.R. Grace Dry-Block® admixture produces a water repellent damp-proof exterior wall.

The TRENDSTONE® line offers ground-face masonry units that are integrally colored concrete blocks with one or more faces ground to expose the variegated colors of the aggregates. The natural colors are representative of their geographic regions — Eastern, Midwest and Southwest. Design options in this line include scoring, patterns, chamfers and special shapes. TRENDSTONE-PLUS® is a group of ground face masonry units with smooth, terrazzo-like surfaces with filled pores and interstices resulting in a smooth, polished surface.

MESASTONE® offers textured masonry units of concrete block with special colored aggregates and pigment finished to an even texture. ACOUSTA-WAL® is a group of sound-absorbing, structural concrete masonry units that are particularly useful in large structures such as auditoriums, gymnasiums and power plants. These blocks can be painted or used as the base block for ASTRA-GLAZE SW®.

As the leader in the prefaced and prefinished concrete masonry industry, Trenwyth ensures the quality of its products by controlling the entire manufacturing process — from making the raw blocks to producing the prefacing components. Trenwyth’s commitment to quality is evident in the suppliers it chooses. Hamburger Color, the Pennsylvania-based company renowned for its rigid control processes and color conformity, supplies Trenwyth with water-based colors for its glazed and ground-face masonry units. Even as DeBerardino alludes to the product innovations in the works, he asserts that Trenwyth’s high quality standards are indeed set in stone: “Quality and innovation is what got us here, and quality and innovation will get us to our next destination.”

DeBerardino also makes it clear that producing a premier product and providing superior customer service are part of Trenwyth’s history, dating back to 1967 when Alan Kingston developed the ASTRA-GLAZE product. He also notes that Kingston, though retired, still consults on special projects for the company and that the original product is still the star sales performer. While Alan is no longer a part of the day-to-day activities, his entrepreneurial flair lives on.

In 1997, Trenwyth became part of Oldcastle, the American arm of CRH. According to DeBerardino, Trenwyth established itself as a marquee company within Oldcastle APG (Architectural Products Group), a $1 billion organization. Oldcastle is headquartered in Atlanta.

Trenwyth’s 260,000 square feet of manufacturing space is spread among three locations. The corporate headquarters in York (Emigsville), Pa., has three plants; South Benoit, Ill., has three plants; and Phoenix has two plants. The company employs 250 people nationwide. It counts among its many keys to success invaluable relationships with suppliers such as Prosoco, which provides cleaning supplies, and Camis Transport. Both companies help to further Trenwyth’s customer commitment goals.

Coloring Its World
DeBerardino’s description of plant operations underscores the quality factor. “You’ll see people who are matching colors by using a spectrophotometer,” he says. “You’ll see them inspecting shapes, because not all products are for flat walls. And there is an inspector at the end of every line who follows established procedures and policies. Then there is a final check before the block is covered for shipment. We don’t put our initials on it, but we might as well.”

On the subject of satellite operations, he adds, “Being part of Oldcastle has allowed us to grow nationally much quicker than if we were on our own. We’ll have five to six locations within two years, making premium TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® ground-faced products available locally at competitive rates.”

Trenwyth’s recent projects show its presence around the country. These include the New York City Police Athletic League Facilities; Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York; the Washington Convention Center; Legoland at the Disney Marketplace, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Arizona State Courthouse; Ohio State University; Camden Yards, Baltimore; Sub Zero, Madison, Wis.; Henry D. Lloyd Elementary School, Chicago; and many other school projects. Is your block next?

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