28th May 2020

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Perfect partnership between AMS and MMD

AMS would like to congratulate MMD on the great news for the company, for Cork and for the construction industry, with the opening of its new €6 million headquarters in the Airport Business Park in Cork and the announcement of job opportunities for the industry.

MMD and AMS have collaborated on projects for one another in recent times to create quality, functional and innovative projects. MMD was chosen as the main contractors for AMS during the expansion of its plant. MMD completed recent building works, including the construction of AMS’ new warehousing and press building, expanding its facility to 250,000 sq. ft. Subsequent to this development AMS was delighted when MMD decided to choose AMS systems for its new headquarters. AMS was pleased to offer its AMS MU800 Hi Curtain Walling, AMS TS66 Rebate doors and window systems and AMS Athena Window Adaptors for Kingspan Panels for the development of MMD’s thermally efficient and stylish HQ. The MU800 Hi Curtain Wall System is the latest offering available from AMS. It is a high-performance mullion drained system offering sightlines of 55 mm, allowing greater spans and accommodating larger glazed units, making for impressive features and maximising light.

The TS66 Rebated Door offers excellent performance characteristics, making it one of the more versatile and robust door systems on the market today. Modern methods of construction call for a fast and speedy fabrication process of systems and installation on site and this is where the AMS Athena Window Adaptors for Kingspan Panels were utilised effectively. The MMD office development utilises the Kingspan insulated panel system which is built up around the main structural steelwork frame. Quality products, reliability and performance are very important to both MMD and AMS. This recent collaboration reinforces the company values at AMS, who commented: “We look forward to many more occasions where MMD and AMS work collaboratively to provide the highest quality building solutions into the future.”



Sintered Stone brand teams up with CB Stone-Tec for exclusive range of outdoor fireplaces

Today, Neolith®, a market-leading brand of Sintered Stone, announces an exclusive collaboration with premium fireplace manufacturer CB Stone-Tech, neocube-o.

Born from a mutual appreciation of each Neocompany’s innovative, forward-thinking and dynamic approaches, neocube-o is an outdoor gas fireplace developed to establish new dimensions in design, workmanship and material diversity.

The chic fireplace combines high quality gas firing technology in stainless steel and Schott glass with an elegant, Neolith-clad base. With a striking visual appearance, neocube-o is a sophisticated style statement, guaranteed to catch the eye.

Manufactured in Germany to rigorously high standards, premium quality is at the essence of the system.

neocube-o is solely for outdoor use and is suitable for all gas types. The fireplace has the further advantage of being easy to move, set on four discreet rollers with a brake for fixing in position. This offers a welcome degree of flexibility as it can be quickly repositioned in an outdoor area according to specific requirements.

neocube-o is currently offered in 13 of Neolith’s most popular colours, including the award-winning La Bohème and Zaha Stone, as well as the brand’s latest patterns, New York – New York, Mont Blanc and Sofia Cuprum. It is available for purchase in Germany, Austria, Italy France, UK, Switzerland, Poland, Spain and The Netherlands, rolling out further across Europe imminently and internationally over the next 6-9 months.

Commenting on the collaboration Lorenz Gegler, CB Stone-Tec sales director, says: “Our clients are always looking for solutions which seamlessly balance form and function. A robust, reliable product is as important, if not more so, as one which looks great. This is especially the case for anything which needs to withstand the elements such as outdoor furniture and sculptural installations.”

He continues, “We tested many different surface materials when designing neocube-o and found Neolith to be the one which perfectly matched the high-end fireplace system we manufacture. A simple design with clean lines, it has a quiet, understated beauty and can act as much as a standalone item as an important background player in any outdoor space. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with the Neolith team, and the success of our neocube-o collaboration.”

For more information on neocube-o please visit: https://www.neolith.com/en/neocube-o/


Neolith® taps into 2019 furniture trends
Aside from delivering an essential function, furniture can have a significant impact on the look and feel of an interior. In both residential and commercial settings the overall atmosphere of a room is, in part, dictated by what occupies it.

From cosy, intimate lounges to light, open-plan atriums, the furniture chosen creates a lasting first impression of a space.

Whatever the backdrop, there are myriad furnishing options available from the big, eye-catching statement to the subtle finishing touch.

Furniture trends are constantly evolving, in line with wider interior design tastes and preferences. Particularly, the choice of materials available for application is greater than ever before. This is inspiring furniture designers to create imaginative new concepts or add modern twists to classic motifs.

Neolith® has been a regular presence at design festivals across the world, keeping a sharp lookout for the latest trends which are influencing manufacturing and buying decisions.

Here are a few they believe will dominate the market in 2019:

Pump up the volume
Where grey tones have dominated in 2017/2018, a gradual return to more vibrant palettes has been observed. Brighter hues are being specified and a renewed appreciation for Nathalie Du Pasquier and the iconic Memphis School is encouraging furniture designers to be bolder and more adventurous. Big splashes of base colour and high-volume tones are delivering punchy and distinctive interiors perfect for the ultra-modern dwelling.

Knock on wood
The organic look and feel of unpolished wood has timeless appeal and, with the steadily increasing desire for Scandinavian chic over the last few years, has become highly sought after. In contemporary kitchens, it can be combined with contrasting materials, such as Beton or Corten, offering a captivating juxtaposition of the natural and industrial.

Neolith La Bohème

Dramatic effects
Intimate interiors, full of dark hues and moody tones, are witnessing a revival as designers rediscover the attraction of the cosy parlours and boudoirs of fin de siècle Paris. Varnished browns, lacquered blacks, vermillion reds and deep purples are increasingly being specified for furniture surfaces and upholstery. When emphasised with pools of warm lighting, casting sultry shadows across a room, these shades evoke a refined environment perfect for relaxation.

Neolith Calacatta Gold

Mixed materials
Creating contrast is nothing new in design terms, but scope and ambition have become greater as the amount of available colours, patterns and finishes have increased. New technology is driving this change. A greater degree of mimicry in engineered and Sintered Stone means hyper-realism in design with high performance properties. This presents the opportunity to incorporate long-lasting surfaces in any settings to please all aesthetic tastes and preferences.

Can’t beat concrete
1950’s sensibilities are firing the imagination of furniture designers, from early Conran and Robin Day right through to the brutalist architecture of Le Corbusier and Denys Lasdun. Polished concrete evokes a minimalist aesthetic and is growing in popularity for kitchen islands, worktops and dining room tables. Rapturously smooth to the touch, stone manufacturers are starting to play on the matte, single tone effect. This ranges from experimentation with the finish through to adding shine particles to create a slab with a remarkable character. Combined with wood, concrete effect surfaces deliver a fashionable atelier-chic, much prized in metropolitan areas across Europe.

Commenting on these emerging trends, Carlos Garcia, Neolith’s head designer says: “Each year, when we come to develop the designs for our new surfaces, I am amazed at how much the interior design market has changed over a mere 12 months. Of course, there are some consistencies. Terrazzo and the Scandinavian look are set to stay with us a good while longer. However, I am encouraged to see furniture designers being more adventurous in the materials they are using, especially Sintered Stone.”

Neolith Calacatta

He continues: “Stone, wood, metal, textile and plastic all have their own distinct, visual appeal. Now it’s possible to deftly capture these in a hyper-realistic manner on Sintered Stone. This offers manufacturers the ability to create robust, long-lasting pieces of furniture which look beautiful and will never go out of style.”

To find out more about Neolith furniture visit: https://www.neolith.com/en/applications/furniture/



TADHG O’CONNOR is Policy and Standard Specialist with Irish Water’s Connections and Developer Services. He outlines below the steps being taken to enhance the provision of customer services.

Connection and Developer Services 
Irish Water’s Connections and Developer Services manage new water services connections and we are currently improving the provision of our services to Developers.

Pre-connection enquiries
Our pre-connection enquiry (PCE) process allows developers to establish at an early stage if water services can be provided from our networks. This is a free service and PCE forms are available on www.water.ie/connections/. 

Connection applications
Irish Water is the single point of contact for new water and/or wastewater connections. Our application process is available on www.water.ie/connections/.

Technical guidance
We have national technical standards on our website, comprising Standard Details and Codes of Practice. These apply a consistent approach in the design and construction of water services infrastructure. 

Enhanced quality assurance
Developers should submit their water services proposals for their developments to us for review, either directly or by e-mail to cdsdesignqa@water.ie.  Field inspections can be arranged by phone (1850 238238) or via developerscheduling@water.ie

Connection Works
We are mobilising regional contractors (RCs) to undertake the connection of new infrastructure to our networks using standardised processes and systems where local authority staff can not provide the full range of connection works themselves.


National connection charges
We are working with the Commission for Regulations of Utilities (CRU) to put in place a new national Connection Charging Policy.  The CRU held public consultation on it and will soon announce its proposed decision.

Diversion of and building over our existing networks
We manage diversions of our networks.  Diversion application should be made if relocation is required. Only in very limited circumstances will build over of our networks be allowed. Visit our website for more details.  



Neolith®, a market-leading brand of Sintered Stone, announces four new colours for its 2019 catalogue: New York – New York, Mar Del Plata, Mont Blanc and Sofia Cuprum.

These new introductions were chosen following rigorous market research. Throughout September, the company registered feedback at a series of special Neolith events, held in tandem with some of Europe’s most prestigious design trade shows. Visitors were invited to choose their favourites from eight prototype designs with the top four choices subsequently selected for next year’s collection.

These slabs have been created using a revolutionary new production process which will deliver the same high-quality colours Neolith is known by, in a more ecologically friendly way, HYDRO Neolith Digital Design 2.0 (HYDRO-NDD 2.0) using the latest pigments existing in the industry.
The new colours are complemented by an expanded range of Neolith products including four new additions to both the 3mm and 20mm ranges.


New York – New York: Start spreadin’ the news

Figure 1. New York – New York

The Big Apple. They say that if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, which is certainly the case with Neolith’s New York – New York. This visually appealing surface is influenced by the city’s infectious energy, its iconic avenues and majestic skyscrapers, responding to a revival of interest in using concrete for interior applications, particularly worktops.

With distinctive grey tones it offers an on-trend, urban style suitable for all surfacing applications. Incorporating a full body edge it’s highly realistic; a special surface which blends matt and shine particles to create a pleasing visual effect.

New York – New York is offered in Silk finish in 3mm, 6mm, 12mm and 20mm thicknesses and available in 3,200mm x 1,600mm and 3,200 x 1,500mm formats.

Neolith New York – New York is ideal for worktop (12mm & 20mm), flooring and cladding applications (3mm & 6mm).

Mar Del Plata: Exquisitely exotic, perfectly pearlescent

Figure 2. Mar Del Plata

Inspired by the exotic Dark Pearl granite, a Brazilian stone from TheSize’s Granith® collection, this stylish, rippled slab incorporates wavy white quartz stripes on a grey backdrop.

With a slated stone relief, the surface offers a mesmerizingly aqueous fluidity akin to flowing water evoking the movement of a mighty South American river.

The whiter and lighter grey striations are produced with a special technique which gives texture to the veining. Flecks of shine particle throughout the stone also create a beautiful nacre effect which mirrors the quartz veins found in the original granite.

Mar Del Plata is offered in a special Slate finish in 6mm and 12mm thicknesses and available in 3,200mm x 1,600mm and 3,200 x 1,500mm formats.

Neolith Mar Del Plata is ideal for worktop (12mm), flooring and cladding applications (6mm).

Mont Blanc: Scaling new heights

Figure 3. Mont Blanc

The pristine slopes of the French-Swiss Alps and the alpine glamour of one of the world’s most prestigious ski resorts, Chamonix, are the inspiration behind the rarefied Mont Blanc.

A homage to white quartzite, one of the most popular stone patterns currently on the market, its enrapturing neutral tone combines a creamy white background with subtle veining in deep black and ochre hues.

Using a special technique, Neolith was able to create an inward relief exactly where the veins are, delivering an original texture which is pleasing to the touch and evokes the soaring beauty of the alpine landscape.

Mont Blanc is offered in a Silk finish in 6mm and 12mm thicknesses and available in 3,200mm x 1,600mm and 3,200 x 1,500mm formats.

Neolith Mont Blanc is ideal for worktop (12mm), flooring and cladding applications (6mm).

Sofia Cuprum: Rust never sleeps

Figure 4. Sofia Cuprum

Sofia Cuprum, a mesmerisingly dark and sober surface represents the evolution of Neolith’s Steel Collection. The metal on which this surface is based was first realised in the early 2000’s when renowned French architect Jean Nouvel was designing a new building, commissioned for the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.
His concept used a wide variety of colours, patterns and textures, particularly metallic slabs treated to create surface effects including different hues, mottling and varied degrees of patination. From these audacious and visionary experiments, Sofia Cuprum was born.

The semi-polished finish on these stones creates an irregular, burnished effect which gives the surface a more worn-in touch and feel.

Sofia Cuprum is offered in Shine Silk finish in 6mm, 12mm and 20mm thicknesses and available in 3,200mm x 1,600mm and 3,200 x 1,500mm formats.

Neolith Sofia Cuprum is ideal for worktop (12mm & 20mm), flooring and cladding applications (6mm).


The thick of it: Increased 3mm and 20mm range

The growing demand in 2018 for both 3mm and 20mm thicknesses has encouraged Neolith to increase these ranges.

Four popular patterns have been added in 20mm to the 2019 catalogue: Pietra Di Piombo Silk, Estatuario 01 Polished, Calacatta Polished and Basalt Grey Satin. Aspen Grey Silk, Concrete Taupe Silk, Blanco Carrara 02 Silk and Calatorao Silk are now available in 3mm.

This brings 20mm collection to 24, offering a greater degree of variety and creativity to designers when using Neolith within the kitchen or bathroom environment.

Making a splash: HYDRO-NDD 2.0

Over the last couple of years, Neolith has observed a growing environmental awareness amongst designers regarding the materials specified for both residential and commercial spaces. This lead to the development of HYDRO-NDD 2.0.

HYDRO-NDD 2.0 is a water based decoration technique which greatly reduces the contaminating emissions sent into the environment from traditional printing methods. The new technology will deliver the same high quality colour and textural definition expected from Neolith’s surfaces with reduced pollutant output.

The revolutionary new process achieves exactly the same, high-quality patterns but with a far lower carbon footprint. This offers designers more possibilities than ever before to realise their dream spaces whilst also emphasising Neolith’s commitment to being the most sustainable Sintered Stone brand on the market.





Tormax as a name may not be as well known with Irish architects as it is across Europe but it is far from a newcomer to the market – Tormax installed Europe’s first automatic door in 1951.

Tormax has grown to become a leading manufacturer of automatic door systems worldwide with 16 Group companies and 500 distributors. They have selected KCC Architectural as their partner and official distributor in the Irish market which will serve as a valuable addition to the existing Automatics division of KCC Architectural across Ireland and Northern Ireland. Tormax automatic door systems are found in office buildings, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants, department stores, airports and train stations, on ships and in apartment buildings – in short, in hundreds of thousands of buildings around the world.

In general, revolving doors are the automated entrance of choice in public-serving buildings where footfall is high and therefore a high quality, resilient product is required to withstand heavy usage, and also to allow for effective air or wind control, which can sometimes be an issue with automatic sliding or swing doors.
Dan Kilpatrick, Automatics consultant for KCC Architectural is working with Tormax in Ireland and says “What really appealed to us about Tormax is that the product solution can be customised to the project requirements. It fits in with our company ethos – we already provide tailored solutions across our main divisions that encompass everything from design through to installation and aftercare, so when we were looking for a revolving door solution to add to our portfolio, Tormax was the obvious choice.”

While other brands have dominated the revolving door market with architects for many years now on commercial projects, Tormax appears to be emerging as the eagerly anticipated alternative, providing a high quality, cost-effective opponent to other market offerings.

Speaking about the product benefits and features, Dan says “Our ambition is to provide streamlined complete solutions to clients, architects and main contractors alike, which we are able to do thanks to our wide product range and wealth of experience across all sectors. We can take a simple commercial building sketch, for example, and provide a full technical submittal with all certification and back up documentation for automatics, fire glazing, steel doors, riser door systems, access control systems, movable walls, partitions, signage, door hardware and ironmongery. We also offer full service and maintenance support even after the project has been handed over to the client. We looked at numerous options before deciding on the Tormax brand. After careful research, we identified Tormax as being one of the main players in the European revolving door market, and knew it was the right fit for our portfolio.”

In line with modern architectural design preferences for extremely minimalistic profiles, Tormax offers a ‘Light frame’ or ‘Full glass’ revolving door solution, whereby the drive/motor is concealed in the floor, in addition to the more traditional design with the motor in the canopy. The full glass model is particularly eye-catching as it operates without a centre column, offering complete transparency. The inclusion of iMotion drive technology allows for smooth acceleration and braking of the door leaves without any jolts.

“We are so confident with the high quality of product and technical support provided by Tormax that we are prepared to offer 2 years aftercare support and a 5 year motor warranty through our own service division across Ireland and Northern Ireland”, says John O’Gorman, Associate Director and head of Automatics in the Leinster region.

When asked about his expectations for Tormax, John says “We are well known for our automatics division and the addition of Tormax to our portfolio paired with the peace of mind that you’re still dealing with KCC, will be welcomed by existing and new clients alike.”

KCC Architectural’s team in Ireland and Northern Ireland can assist with construction projects from initial design stage straight through to on-site installation. They are well known for their multi-divisional, ‘full package’ solutions and their efforts to simplify the lives of architects, contractors and designers through continuous product and service innovations and developments.



We’re excited to announce the appointment of Rekha Voralia as Head of Marketing for Murphy Surveys. Rekha will be responsible for the strategic direction and execution of the marketing communications plan across the company’s key markets, including infrastructure, property, retail, utilities and construction.

“Over the past 4 decades Murphy Surveys has grown from strength to strength and is now a multinational organisation employing over 220 staff across all survey disciplines including BIM, monitoring and 3D laser scanning,“ commented Colin Murphy, Director, Murphy Surveys. “We are continually innovating and investing in the future and this role will be pivotal in supporting the expansion of Murphy Surveys in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain and beyond. We’re extremely excited to welcome Rekha to the team.”

Rekha’s previous career experience spans over 17 years’ and includes roles at mobile satellite giant Inmarsat and world leading manufacturer of spatial measurement solutions, Leica Geosystems.

Rekha will be based in the London office and can be contacted on rvoralia@murphysurveys.co.uk or 0044 788 922 3766.



Gyproc to recommence operations at a new location in its quarry ensuring it has access to a long-term supply of gypsum rock

  • Overall investment of €8million to develop the quarry
  • 44 new jobs created for the development period
  • Quarry development will ensure long term supply of gypsum for the manufacturing of plaster and plasterboard in Ireland

From left to right: Mike Chaldecott, General Delegate Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland Delegation, Pierre-Andre de Chalendar, Chairman and CEO, Saint-Gobain Compagnie, Brian Dolan, Managing Director, Saint-Gobain Construction Products Ireland

Gyproc, Ireland’s leading manufacturer of plaster and plasterboard and part of the Saint-Gobain group, has today announced an investment of €8million as part of the development of its quarry in Knocknacran, Co. Monaghan.

The development will see Gyproc recommence operations in the quarry, ensuring it has access to a long-term supply of gypsum rock, the mineral which is used to produce plaster and plasterboard.

Work has recently started and is set to continue until June 2018. A total of 44 jobs will be created during the working period as part of the overall investment in the quarry. In addition, as part of its consistent commitment to the environment, Gyproc is ensuring that soil which is removed in the development of the quarry will be used to remediate other areas of the quarry Gyproc had previously worked on.

Pat O’Connor, Operations Director for Gyproc and Isover at Saint Gobain Ireland

commented, “The announcement of this investment today is significant for Gyproc as it will ensure we have long term access to the necessary raw material to continue meeting high levels of demand for Gyproc products of plaster and plasterboard in Ireland. This, in turn, helps to ensure the future of our factory in Kingscourt and allows us to plan accordingly. In addition, we are also delighted that this investment will benefit the local economy with the creation of 44 jobs during the development period.”

“At Gyproc, we are acutely aware of our responsibility to both the local community and local environment and in the undertaking of the quarry development, this responsibility will be at the forefront at all times.”

The announcement of this €8million investment comes recently after Gyproc revealed details of its move to a four-shift operation creating 14 new jobs in the process. The new four shift operation means the company can now manufacture on a 24/7 basis giving Gyproc the capacity to meet increasing demand from the construction sector as it continues to gather pace.



Life in Ireland has changed dramatically over the past eighty years. In 1938 the Irish population was less than three million. Just half the population was connected to the electricity network, and less than one in ten households had radio licenses. Cars were still a rare sight on the roads, with bicycles instead the more common form of transport, back then a new bicycle cost £5! 1938 was a significant year for the fledgling Irish state, with Ireland’s first president, Douglas Hyde inaugurated in June and the 20,000 seat Cusack Stand opened in Croke Park in August.

It was also a significant year for Irish Cement as on 23rd May 1938, Sean Lemass, then Minister for Industry and Commerce, officially opened the cement factories in Drogheda and Limerick.

That was the culmination of a concerted effort to develop an indigenous cement industry. In 1933 the Cement Act was established, which provided the legal framework for the formation of a cement industry in Ireland. In 1934, the State approved the first cement licence and in May 1936, Cement Limited was registered as a Limited Liability Company and the two cement factories were established in Limerick and Drogheda in 1938.

Cement Limited and Roadstone Limited merged in 1970 to form CRH plc. In December 1978, the name ‘Cement Limited’ was changed to ‘Irish Cement Limited’ to reflect the long history of indigenous cement manufacture at the two factories and to more appropriately brand the Company and its products as being 100% Irish.

Irish Cement today has a skilled workforce, operating two modern energy-efficient cement factories in Platin and Limerick which manufacture high quality cement for the construction sector both in Ireland and in export markets. The company continues to modernise and adapt both factories to reflect best practice and technology to meet customer demand for high quality products and ensure the long-term sustainability of the operations.

The importance placed by Irish Cement on continuous improvement over eighty years has resulted in products of the highest quality and consistency. Irish Cement products, long regarded as the benchmark for quality in Ireland, are also considered market leaders in high profile UK and mainland European construction markets. Dedicated, expert technical support to customers and the broader industry has been a feature of Irish Cement’s service since the early days of the company. As construction techniques evolve and technical requirements become increasingly sophisticated, this expert technical support is more important than ever.

The development of our modern way of life in Ireland is closely linked to the improvements in housing, transport and infrastructure, where cement and concrete continue to play a vital role. Irish Cement rightly remains proud of this close association over the past eighty years with the development of our modern Irish economy; not many products can claim to have formed the foundation of our nation! Generations of construction workers have relied on the tried and trusted performance of Irish Cement products.

Now eighty years on Irish Cement is well positioned to continue providing the construction market with high quality cement and technical support as Ireland builds its future.