19th November 2019

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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.




Walls Construction has just announced four senior appointments in its construction and quantity surveying teams – Cathal Healy, Gareth Lloyd, James O’Toole and Kieran Masterson.

Commenting on the appointments, Managing Director, Eugene O’Shea said: “Kieran, Cathal, Gareth and James have developed their careers with Walls practically from graduation and now as the Company continues to grow we are delighted to recognise their talents and contribution and I look forward to their continued success with the Company”.

Pictured above: L-R: Cathal Healy, Divisional Director; Kieran Masterson, Divisional Director; Eugene O’Shea, Managing Director; James O’Toole, Divisional Director and Gareth Lloyd, Divisional Director.




Kingspan, the global leader in high performance insulation and building envelope solutions, reports its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2017.

Financial Highlights:

·    Revenue up 18% to €3.7bn, (pre-currency, up 20%).

·    Trading profit up 11% to €377.5m, (pre-currency, up 14%).

·    Acquisitions contributed 9% to sales growth and 8% to trading profit growth in the year.

·    Group trading margin of 10.3%, a decrease of 70bps.

·    Basic EPS up 11% to 159.0 cent.

·    Final dividend per share of 26.0 cent. Total dividend for the year up 10% to 37.0 cent.

·    Year-end net debt of €463.9m (2016: €427.9m). Net debt to EBITDA of 1.05x (2016: 1.06x).

·    Strong ROCE of 17.8% (2016:17.3%).

Operational Highlights:

    • Insulated Panel sales growth of 17%. A positive performance in Continental Europe, and a solid outcome in North America both drove this number despite the sharp slowdown in the UK towards year end.
    • Insulation Board sales growth of 12% owing to significant price inflation and the structural shift to Kooltherm® in the UK, Ireland and Mainland Europe.
    • Light & Air sales of €205m marking a strong first full year of trading for this division and the development of a unique US and European footprint.
    • A strong year for Environmental with ongoing improvement in profitability. Access Floors had a solid year, albeit with a weakening UK backdrop.
    • The recovery of raw material inflation was a key theme during 2017. Supply eased somewhat toward year-end, although prices remain high into the current period.
  • A record committed acquisition spend of €614m, of which €174m was completed during 2017. Key developments completed or pending include market entry into Brazil, Colombia and Southern Europe as well as an extension of our presence in Western and Central Europe.

Gene M. Murtagh, Chief Executive of Kingspan commented:

“2017 was another year of strong performance for Kingspan. We have continued our globalisation strategy with several significant acquisitions, including establishing a market leading presence in Latin America. Our new Light & Air division is performing ahead of expectations and expanding the range of product solutions the business offers. The challenge of increased input costs has been effectively managed to minimise the impact on profit margins. Notwithstanding the weakening UK market our well diversified business is well placed for the longer term”.

Business Review

2017 was a significant year for Kingspan which, despite its challenges, was a record period for the Group. Revenue rose by 18.0% to €3.7bn, and trading profit grew by 10.7% to €377.5m. The resultant increase in EPS was 10.6% to 159.0 cent per share. In addition to volume growth, price inflation also contributed to sales as we pushed to recover unprecedented raw material cost increases.

Activity across our Mainland European markets was somewhat mixed, led in particular by strong performances in France, Benelux and the Nordics as penetration of high performance insulation continues to increase in these regions. Germany, in contrast, was deeply competitive during the year as capacity increases weighed on market prices. The UK performed resiliently for much of the year. However, growing economic and political uncertainty made itself increasingly evident in market activity, with order intake weakening sharply towards year-end, largely in the non-residential segment. North American revenue was modestly ahead and Latin America grew meaningfully through our new ventures in Brazil and Colombia. Chemical cost increases were at levels not experienced before, which when combined with supply tightness led to a period of balancing margin and growth priorities and the need for significant price increases for our own solutions. In all, we successfully recovered the input increases, although in the process conceded some market share to alternative products which over time we expect to regain. Presently, we are experiencing improved raw material supply albeit with prices remaining high.

2017 was also a year of record acquisition activity for Kingspan. In total, between completions and signed contracts we committed almost €614m, €174m of which was incurred during the year with a further €440m currently awaiting regulatory approval. A centrepiece of these developments has been our increased exposure to exciting new frontiers including Latin America and Southern Europe, as well as adding significantly to our insulation technology via the Synthesia business. In addition to these acquisitions we also invested a net amount of €85.6m in capital expenditure with a strong emphasis on the organic global roll-out of our Insulated Panel and Insulation Boards businesses.

We continue to make progress on our internal and ongoing environmental agenda and reached a Net Zero Energy level of 69%, which brings us a sizeable step closer to our 2020 target of achieving 100% across the globe.




Irish construction firm Sammon Group has been officially recognised as one of Ireland’s Best Places to Work in the major national workplace awards programme overseen globally by the Great Place to Work Institute.

The Best Workplace Awards recognise Ireland’s most engaging, progressive and productive workplaces. Listed workplaces are selected and ranked by the Great Place to Work Institute mainly on the basis of confidential input from the employees of that organisation, plus a company-wide audit of organisational culture. Companies cannot be included on the list unless a clear majority of employees consider their organisation to be a great workplace.

Sammon Group was awarded a Great Place to Work Award 2018. Pictured accepting the award are (L-R): Miceál Sammon CEO, Sinead Tolan, Noelle Hynes, Hilda Murphy, Cathy Sammon, Barry Cremin, Katy Friel, Siobhan Lennon, Susan Justice and Robert Whelan.

Miceál Sammon, Chairman and CEO, Sammon Group said, “We’re delighted to have received this recognition that Sammon Group is one of Ireland’s Best Workplaces. We’re even prouder because we are the only Construction Main Contractor that has made the list.”

“This achievement follows a comprehensive programme of workplace engagement by Sammon Group where we placed a particular emphasis on employee wellbeing and the creation of a positive and supportive working environment across our organisation.”

“The real winners of this award are our employees who have created a culture of excellence throughout our business and across everything that we do.  We will be working hard to ensure that we make further ongoing improvements in the years ahead.”

As well as a dedicated employee engagement programme, Sammon also implemented a social and wellness activity programme based on this work. In the current year, the company is organising free health screening for all employees, free flu vaccinations, a Bike to Work scheme and improved cycling facilities.

A number of additional health and wellbeing initiatives are also at the planning stage. These include plans to make health and lifestyle benefits available to employees free of charge. Benefits will include nutritional and dietary planning for employees, discounted fitness memberships as well as company fitness and health challenges. The company will also be engaging with workers on the redesign of its Kilcock headquarters. Sammon are keen to create an employee-inspired workplace.

New social engagement activities are also being planned for 2018. The company hopes to establish a volunteering programme for employees to assist local charities and a voluntary employee blood donation scheme with the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Sammon Group is a wholly Irish owned, multi-award winning construction company with over 30 years contracting experience both nationally and internationally. The company is at the centre of some of the most prestigious public and private sector building contracts across multiple sectors and continues to grow and develop its operations. Sammon is headquartered at Kilcock, Co. Kildare and employs over 250 people nationwide.



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.





John Sisk & Son has been awarded the contract to deliver Boeing Aviation’s new Goldcare Maintenance Hangar at Gatwick Airport.

The 14-month project will utilise the combined strength from both the building and civils teams and will see the cut and fill of 20,000m³ of earth, 3,200 tonnes of steel lifted and over 10,000m³ of concrete cast, all only a short distance from the busy runway.

Standing at approximately 32 metres, the high bay hangar has been designed to allow flexibility of use, with the ability to house multiple aircrafts from the Boeing fleet, ranging from the 737Max jet, to its newest and largest edition, the 777X Dreamliner.

In its entirety the project will include the hangar building, offices, apron and taxiway connection, perimeter roads and service yards within the airside environment, along with the diversion of the existing Larkins Road.

Commenting on being made the preferred bidder, Ajaz Shafi, MD of Sisk UK South, said: “We are delighted that, yet again, we have been able to combine the many skills within our group to provide best value for our clients.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with Boeing, and the professional team in the delivery of this flagship scheme, utilising the experience gained from previous schemes at Birmingham International Airport, Luton Airport and Dublin Airport.”

This success completes a trio of awards in 2017, with the International Convention Centre Wales and Canada Gardens in Wembley also receiving recognition, as a result of Sisk’s ability to combine group activities to provide optimum solutions for their clients.




Jones Engineering Group, a leading engineering contractor has achieved Building Information Modelling (BIM) Level 2 Certification for Design and Construction from BSI (British Standards Institution). The company, which employs nearly 2,400 people, has previously won BIM Initiative of the Year at the Irish Construction Awards 2016, BIM Initiative of the Year at the Irish Building & Design Awards 2015 and was awarded with the prestigious All Ireland Supreme Safety Award at last year’s National Irish Safety Organisation / Northern Ireland Safety Group (NISO/NISG) Safety Awards.

To achieve verification certification, Jones Engineering completed the BIM Level 2 audit process working closely with BSI. The audit examined in detail the company’s BIM processes, procedures and management systems to verify compliance with PAS 1192-2:2013, BS 1192:2007 and BS 1192-4:2014. The award of the certification coincides with the recent publication of “Roadmap to Digital Transition for Ireland’s Construction Industry” developed by the National BIM Council of Ireland which defines a four year adoption of digital technologies across the Public Sector.

Having been early adopters of BIM, Jones Engineering has sought to remain at the forefront of the construction industry, developing BIM practices from what was initially considered an optional “construction aid” to become the framework of their business model incorporated across all project departments within the group.

John O’Brien, BIM Manager, Jones Engineering Group said “It’s a significant step forward for Jones Engineering and demonstrates our commitment and investment in both BIM and digital engineering. We are delighted to have our BIM capability formally recognised by the BSI and we are looking forward to sharing this knowledge with our clients and across our supply chain.”

Gary Fenton, Global Product Certification Director, BSI said “We’re delighted to have supported Jones Engineering with achieving this verification certification which demonstrates their commitment to being compliant with the requirements of PAS 1192-2 covering Design and Construction for Level 2 BIM. There are huge benefits to be made from integrating BIM into the supply chain, and BSI is dedicated to supporting organizations with this, regardless of where they are on their BIM journey.”

Belinda Dillon, BIM Information Manager, Jones Engineering Group said: “The certification is testament to the knowledge of staff and their capability of working within a 3D BIM level 2 environment. Jones Engineering clients and our supply partners can be confident that our day to day BIM workflows have been independently assessed and verified.”

Jones Engineering are accredited to a number of standards including; the Quality Standard ISO9001:2008, Environmental Standard ISO14001:2015 and Safe T Certificate Standard.

Jones Engineering are currently recruiting BIM Detailers for their mechanical, electrical and sprinkler divisions. Interested candidates are invited to send a copy of their CV to HR@joneseng.com



Kingspan Group plc today announced a $10 million investment in Invicara, a provider of transformative software solutions for the entire ecosystem of the built environment. With this investment, Kingspan has made a definitive commitment to the development of a solution for digitalisation of the construction industry.

Invicara has developed solutions that integrate with Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology. BIM provides detailed digital representations of buildings, allowing time and cost saving collaboration between partners on construction projects such as architects, engineers, contractors, and owners.

Louise Foody, Kingspan’s Director of Digital and Brand

Working with Kingspan, Invicara will use its cloud-based platform to build a new solution that uses design and construction data to create new digital workflows that transform the customer experience. Kingspan is investing $10m in a minority stake in Invicara, and Louise Foody, Kingspan’s Director of Digital and Brand, and Mike Stenson, Head of Innovation at Kingspan, will join the Invicara Board of Directors.

Foody says, “For manufacturers of building systems and solutions, digitalisation enabled by technologies like BIM is a game changer. At Kingspan, we aim to leverage digital technologies to further align our offerings with our customer’s needs and more efficiently collaborate with owners, designers, and contractors at every stage of the building lifecycle.”

Invicara currently provides a cloud-based data management solution that helps owners and their design and construction partners create a data-rich digital twin of a building, leveraging Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM Assure, the first product built on the Invicara platform allows owners to access, validate, and report on model data. The product is currently in use on key projects in North America, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore.  Invicara is rapidly expanding this solution with significant new capabilities planned for release in 2018.

Invicara’s reach to customers and markets will be enhanced through Kingspan’s global presence in key market segments such as airports, healthcare, data centers, and retail among others.

Anand Mecheri, CEO and Founder of Invicara notes, “Our relationship with Kingspan opens a new market opportunity for Invicara – providing us with deep context to build powerful solutions on the Invicara platform, enabling product manufacturers to participate in the digitalisation of construction. From the start, Invicara’s vision has been to improve the value derived from BIM for the entire ecosystem of the built environment – providing an efficient flow of reliable data for a wide range of workflows.”

  • Kingspan’s investment will help the company to be at the forefront of digital transformation in the construction industry, where technology is playing an increasingly important role in the design, ordering and ongoing monitoring of buildings and the materials used in their construction.
  • Research shows the construction sector ranks poorly in terms of the pace at which it is adopting technology to improve performance and customer experience. For example see this McKinsey research showing construction ranking 19th out of 20 in terms of how digitised it is: (scroll down to 3rd graphic: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/capital-projects-and-infrastructure/our-insights/imagining-constructions-digital-future  “The construction industry is ripe for disruption”
  • BIM Assure is used by private and public sector development firms Ballymore and Grangegorman Development Agency, property investment fund’s IPUT in Ireland and Ascendas in Singapore. It is also used in healthcare projects such as the UCSF medical center in San Francisco, Seattle Children’s Hospital. Infrastructure projects like San Francisco International Airport and campus developments like Trinity College Dublin.




Groundforce Bridge fly in their temporary bridges to provide an eco-friendly access solution for pylon construction in Ireland. Groundforce Bridge has supplied a total of 26 temporary bridges to specialist contractors KN Group and Grid Network Services, to provide access for the refurbishment of the Bellacorick Castlebar 110kV Line in County Mayo for the Electricity Supply Board (ESB). The refurbishment of the line included the replacement of a number of the electricity pylons and foundations. Due to the scenic and remote locations of the area reaching a lot of the sites by road was a major challenge, plus there were environmental considerations to take into account, so delivering the bridges required a rather unorthodox approach – by helicopter!

Fifteen bridges were supplied to KN Group and nine to Grid Network Services, to provide access for the contractor’s plant and equipment including cranes and concrete delivery. The bridges were used to span local rivers and watercourses. The range of bridges supplied included 5 m x 2 m Trench Crossing Units, 10 m x 3 m and 7.25 m x 3 m Vehicle Bridges, plus 10 m x 1 m new aluminium Pedestrian Bridges.

The line crossed over a number of ecologically sensitive areas with over 50% of the line route being within a European designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC), containing protected active bogs and local rivers home to the ‘Freshwater Pearl Mussel,’ which is a protected species. Full-time ecologists were on site to ensure these habitats were protected and not disturbed by any construction activities. All rivers and water crossings were required to have clear span bridges installed as part of the planning conditions.

Having worked with Groundforce previously, Paul Kelly from Grid Network Services contacted Groundforce Bridge to see what options they could offer. Terry Mead, general manager at Groundforce Bridge made four pre-installation visits to the sites to consider all the issues before presenting the best solution.
However, with delivery by road an impossibility for the new 10 m aluminium Pedestrian Bridges, which come as an assembled unit, a different delivery option was needed. Working together with Grid Network Services they decided the best solution was to fly them in by helicopter.

“Once we had decided on which bridges would be needed we had to then look at how we could deliver them to the sites,” said Terry Mead. “Without doubt, this was one of the most difficult and challenging projects that we have undertaken since forming the Groundforce bridging division four years ago. With restricted access to all sites, six of which needed the assistance of a helicopter to site the six new 10 m Pedestrian Bridges.”

Paul Kelly from Grid Network Services said: “We were very pleased with Groundforce Bridge it all went as planned and they did a great job.”

Tony Patton (project manager, KN Group) added: “Terry and his team delivered an excellent service on a particularly challenging project. The advice and guidance given at the planning phase and efficient installation of the bridges proved invaluable in delivering the project.”

Groundforce Bridge offers a range of temporary bridging solutions tailored to the requirements of the construction, transmission, rail and events industries. Its products comprise a range of modular flat-pack bridges ranging from pedestrian bridges up to their 12 m Mega Vehicle Bridge.



We are pleased to announce we have been awarded the National Health & Safety Risk Management and Best Quarry Award 2017 by Independent Concrete Control Management Clg (ICCM).

The independent health and safety adjudicator who carried out the group adjudication on behalf of ICCM noted in his citation that McGraths of Cong has a very well laid out premises, well presented entrance, and throughout the quarry a high standard of safety management with a good working relationship with the company directors.  Also, very good safety documentation in place, a good traffic management plan in operation and the company have invested substantial resources in health surveillance for their employees.  In presenting the award the ICCM Chairman, Frank Healy Jnr, complimented the company management and their employees for this excellent achievement which has resulted in an accident free workplace and a substantial reduction in their liability insurance costs.

Nicky Mulchrone is the health and safety officer for the company and since she commenced employment with the company almost 5 years ago, she has overseen every aspect of our health and safety system, ensuring that we constantly strive for continuous improvements in education, training & personal protective equipment for all employees. Nicky believes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that by encouraging employees to work together we can improve health and safety throughout the quarry; making it a safer and healthier environment for everyone. “Winning this award is a great recognition of the employee’s commitment to Health and Safety on a day-to-day basis. I am proud to facilitate the efforts of all involved in improving health and safety in the company and I am looking forward to building on the accomplishments to date.”

ICCM Clg is is a group liability insurance scheme set up in 1988, which has acquired membership assets of over €20 million, engages a full time Health and Safety Consultant who carries out regular health and safety audits on all scheme participants.  This has resulted in a significant saving in liability insurance costs for the group and a substantial reduction of both the frequency and severity of accidents. All members are inspected annually and advised on how the management of their works may be improved to eliminate or reduce levels of risk.



An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., officially opened Linesight’s new San Francisco offices on the 3rd November, at the landmark Hobart Building, 582 Market Street, during the Enterprise Ireland and IDA trade mission to the US. Linesight is a multinational construction consultancy firm, headquartered in Dublin, and providing professional services and strategic support to the global construction industry. Entering the US market in 2008, the company has more than 40 years’ experience across the Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

In 2018, Linesight will open a central regional office in Texas, to expand the firm’s already robust service offering in the central region, and complement its existing offices in New York and San Francisco. In addition, a major recruitment drive across the USA will see a growth in the workforce of all offices across North America, with 50 new recruits planned for 2018. This is in addition to the hiring of 90 new recruits for its Irish operations.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Linesight is a fantastic Irish success story, which has been rapidly increasing its international operations in recent years. While more than 230 US West Coast headquartered companies support tens of thousands of jobs in Ireland, this trade goes both ways, with several hundred Irish companies operating in the US. Through Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government works with companies like Linesight to help them grow their operations overseas and improve their capacity to create jobs at home and abroad. I would like to congratulate the team at Linesight for their success to date and wish them the very best with their ambitious expansion plans in 2018.”

Steven Cooke, Linesight’s Managing Director of USA West Region adds, “I am honoured to welcome An Taoiseach as we launch the next phase of our growth in the United States. Our story is a great example of how an Irish organization can transform into a global enterprise. The driving force behind our expansion and continued success in the USA is repeat business from existing clients; this is testament to the caliber of our service and quality of our people.”

Welcoming today’s announcement, Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO said “Linesight has made an impressive mark internationally, with 17 offices around the world, delivering high end construction projects in 40 countries. The move to a new HQ in San Francisco and plans for new office locations, cements Linesight’s strengthening position in the both US and other international markets. They are a stellar example of an Enterprise Ireland client achieving its global ambition.”

Linesight anticipates that by 2020, its operations in the USA will account for 40% of its global activity. This expected growth is evidence of the seismic shift in the traditional construction model in the USA, as independent cost management services gain momentum. Linesight’s global insights, and depth and breadth of experience can achieve tangible, measurable benefits and sizeable savings on CAPEX for major construction projects.



We are pleased to announce the recent appointment of John Keaveney to the Board of John Paul Construction as Construction Director.

With over 24 years experience in the industry and having served at Director level for the past 10 years John has a strong track record of success in senior leadership roles and in delivering major construction projects across all sectors.

Commenting on the appointment, Eamon Booth, Managing Director stated;‘We are delighted with John’s appointment which further strengthens our existing senior team enabling us to continue with our growth strategy while ensuring we continue to provide a market leading service to our Clients.’