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“A complete range of floor and wall tiles inspired by the beauty of Venetian Terrazzo with the superb quality of porcelain & white body wall tiles. The impression given by the Marvel Gems project is magnified through shards, inserts and fragments replicating marble, creating fascinating and eclectic living and commercial areas. Wide palette of colours, finishes, decorations & sizes (75×150, 50×110, 75×75, 60×60, 45×90, 30×60, 40×80, 30×30). Marvel Gems porcelain tiles are highly polished for a mirrored effect, with a full-surface honed finish, to give the glossy look of traditional Venetian Terrazzo floors. The allure of Venetian Terrazzo is reproduced in a hard, compact and scratch-resistant surface that keeps its beauty over the years, without the need to spend time or money on maintenance. Classic influences from Italian architecture are revived by grey & beige colours with rich polished finishes, giving interiors a contemporary look. The “Palladian” porcelain tiles are in grey granules with shards replicating white Carrara marble, an up-to-date take on exquisite Italian tradition. A “carpet” with a thick scattering of tiny uniform fragments to create a floor in the most modern retro style. Marvel Gems brings a classic feature of Italian architecture to interior designs of modern elegance.”


Weighing up the benefits of solid stainless steel ironmongery

The term ‘stainless steel’ might imply ‘stain free’ or non-stainable but on the contrary, stainless steel can still get tarnished and marked by fingerprints and grease, develop a discolouration, and eventually rust too, especially when used in a harsh environment such as near the coast, in a swimming pool or factory.

The biggest difference is resilience. Stainless steel is generally used because of its durability and its ability to withstand abuse for a greater period of time before showing signs of wear. Chlorine and bromine used in a swimming pool for sanitization are highly caustic chemicals which are boosted by the heat and humidity.

KCC Architectural recently launched a whole range of grade 316 Stainless Steel door hardware to provide customers with a high quality, durable and corrosion-resistant product that they are so confident about, they are offering a 25-year warranty on the entire range.

Steve Young, project director for KCC was heavily involved in the development and design of the ‘modus’ range and explained the vast amount of research and time that went into developing such a high-quality product. “We wanted to create a product range that would be durable and hard-wearing enough to withstand heavy usage, but would also look modern, sleek and stylish and totally at home in either a commercial or residential setting. We opted for top of the range materials including grade 316 stainless steel to be able to offer our clients durability, reliability and maximum corrosion resistance.”

he corrosion resistance of stainless steel is effected by a passive film of chromium-rich oxide on the surface of the metal. To retain the highest corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal it is necessary to keep the surface clean to allow the passivation process to take place. To this end, KCC developed a supporting maintenance manual for users of their modus range, outlining how to care for and maintain stainless steel products.

Steve spoke about the extensive investment in time and effort involved in developing the modus range and the attention to detail at every stage of manufacture, finishing, testing and certification is clearly very important to KCC as an organisation. Speaking of his experience researching stainless steel for use on this range Steve stated, “Traditionally all steels are composed of the same mix of iron and carbon, but stainless steel also contains chromium, which facilitates corrosion resistance. As a standard, stainless steel must contain at least 10.5% chromium. Depending on the grading, the levels of chromium and other alloying ingredients such as molybdenum, titanium, nickel, aluminium, copper, nitrogen, selenium and phosphorous may be higher.”

The most commonly used forms of stainless steel are grades 304 and 316. The addition of molybdenum, an alloy that substantially increases corrosion resistance in harsher environments is the main differentiating factor, and is present in grade 316, accounting for a maximum of 3% of the overall composition, but not in grade 304. The inclusion of molybdenum in grade 316 allows it to withstand attack by many industrial chemicals and solvents, and inhibits pitting caused by chlorides.

“Grade 304 is an economical and practical choice for most environments, and can withstand damage from most oxidizing acids. It is easily sanitized and therefore often used in kitchen and food applications but it doesn’t offer the corrosion resistance of grade 316, and therefore is likely to suffer corrosion from chloride solutions or from saline environments that might exist along coastal areas.”, notes Steve. “As I mentioned, we opted for grade 316 with the modus range. Although it is slightly more expensive, it is well worth it for durability, reliability and of course corrosion resistance.”

Another key feature of this stainless- steel range of door hardware is the range of finishes available compliment rather than compromise the products durability. “On one hand, we wanted to offer clients a simple and cost -effective means of making their door hardware stand out from others. On the other hand, we didn’t want to sacrifice the quality, durability or reputation of the product by allowing lower quality finishes and coatings. For this reason, we offer high performance PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition), a form of vacuum coating process that provides aesthetically beautiful decorative and functional finishes with a higher wear and corrosion resistance than traditional coatings. The second option we offer is a ‘Soft Touch’ finish on levers and pull handles. This coating has a silky feel which again is visually attractive but doesn’t reduce or compromise the handle’s durability.”, says Steve.

The ultimate benefits of stainless steel include a long service life that will retain an aesthetically pleasing, clean and timeless appearance with low maintenance costs, once it is cared for and maintained correctly.




MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME adds luxury finish to exclusive Notting Hill Property

Medici developments is known for creating aspirational homes that leave a lasting impression. Developing luxury, high-end properties across London and the commuter belt, they use impactful design and craftsmanship to create visually stunning spaces.

When recently tasked with creating an external wall art installation for a luxury residential property in London’s Notting Hill, they consulted experts at innovative timber panel manufacturer MEDITE SMARTPLY who identified MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME as the perfect solution to their challenge.

Their ambitious aim was to create an elaborate, tropical design for an external feature wall, which was originally intended to use a specific carved stone from a Balinese quarry. However, when speaking to the team at MEDITE SMARTPLY, Medici discovered that they could replicate the desired effect, but with a material that would fix more easily and securely to the outdoor wall. Crucially, however, it was MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME’s strength, durability and ability to be shaped with ease that led to it being selected for the task.

“I needed a material that was very dense and could be shaped on a CNC (Computer Numerical Cutting) machine in order to achieve an accurate 3D image,” said Justin Bottaro from Medici Developments. “It also needed to be durable and have the ability to cope with the unpredictable climate of London as the fixture is six metres tall and based in an outdoor courtyard with no cover.”

Much of the work on the wall installation was completed offsite, a construction method to which MEDITE SMARTPLY materials are particularly well suited. Several panels of MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME were bonded together to create a thickness of 65mm from which the design could be carved. The constituent parts of the artwork were carved and then assembled on backing boards once they had arrived on site.

“Assistance and advice from the MEDITE SMARTPLY team was invaluable and made our decision a straight forward one. We looked at many different materials, but MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME was the best suited for our desired finish,” continued Justin. “The panels gave the piece an earthy look and feel, which was accentuated with greenery placed in the courtyard. We also placed reflective surfaces in the voids of the design, which adds an air of perceived depth and volume when glancing at it.”

“The finished wall art looks very impressive,” said Peter Clifton, Product Manager for MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME. “It’s a real testament to the versatility of our product that it is specified for projects as prestigious as this art installation. The finish that this panel delivers makes it hard to distinguish from natural woods, or the original stone finish that Medici originally specified. Add to that the fact that it is guaranteed to withstand external elements for up to 50 years, and you’ve got a truly innovative, market changing product.”



Traditional cast iron rainwater systems have been around for some time, but they are expensive, heavy and time consuming to install, maintain and repair. If you want the look of cast iron without the price tag, then turn to Cascade Cast Iron Style Rainwater from Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage to add that kerb appeal and value to any project.

Offering the appearance of traditional cast iron with all the benefits of plastic materials, Cascade is a fraction of the price of cast iron. Real cast iron products are also heavy and time consuming to work with as they need to be cut to size using grinders before being primed, sealed and finished on site. Lightweight and easy to install, the Cascade System ensures an architecturally sympathetic appearance is achieved in the shortest time possible and without the health and safety implications of handling and installing cast iron.

The comprehensive range of Cascade comes in 106mm Prostyle, 112mm Roundstyle and, for larger or steeper domestic roofs, a 115mm Deepstyle gutter profiles with 68mm round or 65mm square downpipes. For commercial projects a high capacity 170mm Deepstyle gutter with 105mm round and 4” x 3” rectangular downpipe choices is available.

A choice of Ogee, Bath, Gothic or motiffed hopper designs, water butt and planters as well as a complementary soil system complete the heritage style, allowing Cascade to add a touch of traditional style to new builds or a sympathetic touch to refurbishment and restoration projects.

Offering a ten year guarantee, Cascade is UV stabilised and ensures a maintenance free system that will stay looking great and working well for years to come.

Brett Martin’s Choosing Cascade video is available to assist with selection of the right cast iron style rainwater system to suit any project.

Also available to view is the Cascade installation video, demonstrating how quick and easy it is to install the Cascade system. The video takes installers through the process of installing the 112mm Gutter and 68mm Round Downpipe in a step-by-step guide from choosing the right tools for the job, calculating the fall, to cutting and fitting.

“It can be surprising how many installers have call backs after installing rainwater systems.” said Hayley Lowry, Marketing Manager of Brett Martin. “Our new Cascade installation video simplifies and provides how-to tips throughout the installation process to ensure guttering problems are a thing of the past.”

Visit www.castironstyle.co.uk to view the videos


MEDITE SMARTPLY win Website of the Year at TTJ Awards 2017

Innovative timber panel manufacturer, MEDITE SMARTPLY, has been awarded ‘Website of the Year’ at this year’s Timber Trades Journal Awards. The award category took into consideration site design, content, user friendliness, commercial effectiveness and appropriate use of technologies, before declaring mdfosb.com the most effective.

Part of a larger rebrand project from the company, the new website was designed to provide a customer-centric user experience as well as a comprehensive and detailed breakdown of the brand’s entire range of MEDITE MDF and SMARTPLY OSB products. Importantly, it unites the previous three individual product websites for ease of navigation and access, which is something customers requested.
With a clean, contemporary design, the website is supported by a custom and dynamic content management system which allows for fresh and relevant content to be uploaded including case studies, news stories, product details and technical information for download. External user testing was carried out to develop a site tailored to customer needs and expectations, allowing distributors and end users to find the solution they need in just a few clicks. This was especially critical in the stockist selector, where ease of location was seen as key.

“The new website is a true reflection of our brand,” said Stuart Devoil, Head of Marketing & Brand at MEDITE SMARTPLY. “This award win from TTJ is a real testament to all of our hard work and dedication to our customers and reflects our brand’s market-leading position in sustainable timber panel manufacturing.

We wanted to create a website which could cut through the noise of traditional B2B websites and put our customers first. We’re delighted to have achieved just that!
Not only did the awards panel compliment us on the new site, but we’ve had numerous customers and industry figures also tell us that they see it as the ‘best in the business’.”

Visit the award-winning website here: www.mdfosb.com/en/



Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage is now offering a new range of high-performance Adoptable Access and Inspection Chamber Assemblies which are designed to meet the requirements of Sewers for Adoption (SfA7) whilst offering specifiers and water authorities a robust, cost-effective and superior drainage solution.

Following the revised performance criteria and installation standards for all adoptable drainage networks, Brett Martin’s new range of Adoptable Access and Inspection Chamber Assemblies, carrying the BSI Kitemark KM 635998, are tested to EN13598-1 and satisfy both the requirements of Sewers for Adoption 7 and Building Regulations Part H1.

With enhanced sealing capacity using captive seals to prevent dislodgement and five inlets offering built-in falls to prevent blockages, Brett Martin’s Adoptable Access and Inspection Chamber Assemblies are available in 315mm and 450mm diameters. Both offer superior structural strength, enhanced loading capability for long-term serviceability and improved heavy-duty risers.

“This combination of strength, loading capabilities and exceptional sealing means that our high performance chamber assemblies offer a wide range of benefits to the installer and meet all of the latest regulatory requirements,” said Chris Dawson, Brett Martin Sales Director.

Designed with the installer in mind, the lightweight chamber assemblies offer ease of installation due to watertight push-fit assemblies and a solid, stable connection using the additional connection points in the form of lugs featured on both base and riser. A stronger base allows for over 16 connection possibilities, reducing merchant stock-holding requirements for multiple base variants.

The 315mm Shallow Access Chamber Assembly complies with Building Regulations Part H1 to a depth of 600mm and SfA7 to a depth of 900mm. Pedestrian covers for foot traffic areas or driveway covers to withstand heavier loads are available, while a height and tilt adjustable frame can accommodate a surface incline of up to 15°.

For deeper applications, the 450mm Inspection Chamber Assembly complies with Building Regulations Part H1 to a depth of 3.0m and SfA7 to a depth of 1.2m. They are available with two base options for 110mm and 160mm drainage layouts and feature enhanced cross foot design for added stability. Ideal for tarmac, grass or gravel areas, the cover and frame is available in round or square options, with a safe and secure lid for compliance with Building Regulations Part H, clause 2.54.

Brett Martin also offers a range of Non-Adoptable Access and Inspection Chamber Assemblies in 280mm, 315mm and 450mm diameters.

All of Brett Martin’s products are underpinned by exceptional sales and technical support, ensuring that every merchant is guaranteed the highest quality of service.

For further details on Brett Martin’s range of Adoptable Inspection and Access Chamber Assemblies visit www.brettmartin.com


KCC winner at the Schueco Excellence Awards

The Schueco Excellence Awards for design and innovation have become an annual event firmly established in the industry’s calendar, and continue to feature brilliantly designed and constructed buildings right across Ireland and the UK.

The awards – which are run in association with RIBA Journal in the UK – have won the respect of the UK and Irish building industry because of the high quality of the submissions they routinely attract. The only stipulation for entry is that each project should utilise at least one Schueco system and involve a Schueco UK Partner specialist contractor. This year, the Cultural Award was awarded to Irish company KCC Architectural for their work on the prestigious Newport Street Gallery in London.

The Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall designed by architects Caruso St John. Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall, United Kingdom. Architect: Caruso St John, 2016.

Designed by Caruso St John for Damien Hirst, Newport Street Gallery has already won multiple awards including the prestigious 2016 Stirling Prize for Architecture.

KCC Architectural were subcontracted to manage the glazing element of the prestigious project and did so by introducing oversized Schueco glazing systems, which became a key design element of the building. Each of these pieces weighed almost 570kg.

According to KCC, the most challenging piece of the project was the seven structurally glazed secondary glazing units, fitted with bonded glass in Gallery 1 in the Victorian part of the building. They also fitted four further special secondary windows in Gallery 3.


‘The architect had the design intent and we had to make it happen,’ says one of KCC’s directors, David Skelly. ‘It was a significant challenge to work to almost zero tolerance on such complicated windows, and a lot of design work went into it because they were so large and heavy.’

Since the 1.7m wide x 2.3m high window size surpassed the maximum engineering constraints of the Schueco Jansen Janisol SG system, the project required design and engineering input from the team in KCC and the engineering company Clear Structures, which provided structural calculations.
The thermally broken profiles required heavy and durable steel reinforcement which was achieved through the design of bespoke large brackets which helped carry the units. Project specific tests had to be carried out on windload, fixings, bonding of the glass to the system and condensation levels, the latter being of particular importance due to the type of building being constructed.

KCC also created further windows in the project, using the same system, for newly built parts of the gallery, such as the main entrance building. These pieces measured up to 3.5m x 3m. The gallery also features Schueco Jansen glazed and flush metal overclad doors. The Judges of the 2017 Excellence Awards for design and innovation awarded KCC with the Cultural award and commended them on overcoming the challenge of the oversized glazing requirements, as well as its contribution to the overall design and feel of the project, which blends the new build with a terrace of listed industrial buildings.



Irish Fencing – From the Ground Up!

The current business landscape for companies involved in building and design is improving and becoming profitable despite issues surrounding capital investment, housing output etc. Survival during the past decade was success.

One company which has shown the resilience and determination needed to move forward through the peaks and troughs of the building industry is Irish Fencing Services. Founder and Present Chairman Terry Hobdell, recalls that Irish Fencing and Products as it was then manufactured a plastic covered concrete post and Chainlink fence system called Plastacon – essentially a green Wavin Pipe with specially vibrated concrete infill.

“We were based in a farmyard in Ballyboughal in North County Dublin and we worked with Merck Sharpe and Dohme in Tipperary, Nitrigin Eireann in Cobh and Levi Jeans in Galway with all with top builders, engineers and contractors in our first year,” he recalls.
We tried to be inventive from the start and we broke new ground as a specialist fence installation company,” “We had to learn on our feet,” he continues, “and worked in every County in Ireland North and South as probably the only show in town.
“I remember we also worked at Pat Quinn ‘s Club in Kilternan where we got our first bounced cheque which virtually wiped us out!”
“Our next big event was the advent of Palisade Fencing which in the mid-70s became the market leading product – and remained so for 15 years or so.
“Always looking for an opportunity, we adapted the system, invested in the first commercial welding robot in Ireland, and went on to develop powder coated finishes over hot dipped galvanising. This was a major milestone in our development as it was a first in Britain or Ireland, and we went on to export to the US and Continental Europe.”

Sliding, Cantilever and Swing gates for every location.

The marketplace was expanding rapidly and Irish Fencing’s reputation was being firmly established. “All the time the fencing market was expanding and other contractors were opening. At one stage at the height of the boom in 2008 there were 400 companies with the word fence in their name. A far cry from the 2 in the 1973 Golden Pages,” remarks Terry. But the industry’s rapid expansion posed problems. “Anyone in construction knows how standards fell and corners were cut at that time, We have had 4 site visits this month alone to inspect rusting mesh fencing were the contractor had vanished, was not known or was refusing to engage. Thankfully we have not had this problem because our policy of using only proven suppliers”.

“We have examples of powder coated products over 30 years old with no problems except a bit of weathering. We have the comfort of knowing that every single piece of steel that has been made in our works has gone to Galco Steel for full hot dipped galvanising protecting the base for up to 50 years before it requires maintenance.”

This is one of the many relationships we see as a key factor in the success of Irish Fencing. Why? Terry Hobdell explains: “our relationship with Galco Steel goes back over 40 years and having a company that has had a policy of constant development and service improvement has been hugely important to us. It is important to have a domestic supplier with competitive pricing for galvanising and a certified production process up to the best international standards.

Irish Fencing Services can bring experience and choice to a Housing Development.

“Our loyalty to suppliers and, in return, the excellent service they provide in exchange has always been part of our business philosophy. A few pence saved on a product or service that is not of high standard is shooting yourself in the foot.

The road was not without its major bumps and challenges. Terry looks back and admits: “in common with the rest of the industry, our world collapsed in mid-2008. We were in the process of investing in the construction of a new plant and mercifully we were able pull out of the site purchase, if it had gone ahead we would have been gone by 2010.


“As it was, we lost money for 6 years and had it not been for our strong reserves and ability to downsize to a turnover 50% of what it was in 2008, we would have failed.”

“In the middle of the recession, the poison chalice of owning the company passed to Managing Director Shane Winters and Financial Director Sarah Wilson. Shane and Sarah obviously had the number one objective of returning the company to profitability and to this end they took some brave decisions. No one was made redundant during this period, as much work was brought back in-house.

The loyalty of the workforce some of whom are with us since 1973 was immense”. Says Shane
“A secondly objective Shane and Sarah aimed for was to bring the business to a different level regarding documentation, health and safety, production and customer service. To achieve these goals extra specialised personnel were recruited to these areas to improve standards,”.
“Outside accreditation was considered essential firstly because of the demands of larger customers, secondly because it set internal disciplines, and thirdly because it hugely reduced the amount of paperwork necessary at tender stage or commencement of a project.”
To this end, CIRI and Safe-T-Cert accreditation have been obtained and CE Marking for those products requiring it
Production is now adopting and operating many Lean Systems and this creates efficiencies and improves work flow.
Thinking strategically had paid off for the company so many times in the past and again such dynamic management resulted in a major commitment to try to relocate the company’s premises. “the 2008 ambition to move was now an imperative. We desperately needed to get a property with extensive yard space as our supply only business was growing rapidly. Loading and unloading in our cramped space was a nightmare continues Shane
“In 2016, we purchased and equipped new premises with state of the art equipment, with over 6000 sq. metres of space, convenient access and egress and more than ample parking 500 metres from The Naas Rd in Inchicore.

Tullamore Dew used Irish Fencing Services to enhance their new facility.

“We now handle over 400 inward and outward movements per week, with speedy turnaround for our suppliers and customers,”

“As the supply side of our business has grown, we needed to assess our delivery strategy. After examining the pros and cons of having our own transport we determined that we are far better off using a specialised logistics company and opted for C.A.B Freight Services who provide us with a wide range of specialised vehicles with Cranes or other lifting equipment, as well as different sizes and design of truck giving us total flexibility. “They can service our onsite personnel as well as supply customers and provide an amazing service” adds Anthony Smyth, Transport Co-ordinator.

The evolution of Irish Fencing was happening apace. “The change of emphasis in its business model the new location and a desire to refresh under the new ownership of Shane and Sarah resulted in the company rebranding to Irish Fencing Services.

Sarah Wilson takes up the story: “the new branding was important in refreshing the company at many levels, to move forward into the better period we anticipated after the pressure years from 2008 to 2014. The help we got in this exercise from Garrett McKeagney of Goldfinch Design & Strategy was incredible.

Irish Fencing Services can provide railing solutions for large and small projects.

“Our normal initial point of contact with a project is usually the Architect or Engineer where we provide specifications drawings and samples, and often visiting site to determine specialist solutions. Eventually, when a contractor is appointed, there will often be ways that we can assist in improving productivity with alternate installation methods or possibly simplified products. Our objective is to work as closely and as early as possible on a project to provide the speediest installation and the most appropriate product, and to leave the site with all parties including ourselves having made a fair and reasonable profit,” says Sarah.


“We are looking forward to a very good 2017,” she says, “and the signs for 2018 are looking positive. Foreign direct investment is always a major market for us and since 1973 we have been involved on so many multinational projects. Data Centres are currently very big business, as well as schools, indigenous companies and private individuals. However,” continues Sarah, “the effects of Brexit could cause major problems to the economy and are certainly a very worrying issue.

“Whilst the main business of Irish Fencing Services is the manufacture of Fences Gates and Railings, we are also distributors for the Iconic Kee Klamp product which is over 80 years old and is still the world’s most popular tube assembly system.”

We are also The Fencing Partners for South West Microwave and their Micropoint perimeter detection system. Micropoint has recently been used on remote unmanned perimeters by ESB Networks as well as The Dublin Port Authority, She adds: “a fully working Micropoint System is on display in our premises in Inchicore it is fixed to samples of all the different fences and railings we provide to show its performance in all scenarios. Micropoint enables monitoring of an intrusion attempt before the intruder has accessed the perimeter allowing those precious extra minutes for reaction.

“The ability to offer the widest range of fencing products with the highest on-site professionalism is our hallmark and we intend to confirm our position as the go-to fencing contractor from our Dublin Cork and Newry locations.”


MEDITE SMARTPLY launch new, customer driven website

Innovative timber panel manufacturer, MEDITE SMARTPLY, is excited to announce the launch of its new website – the latest stage in the company’s rebrand project. Designed to provide a customer-centric user experience, the website offers a comprehensive and detailed breakdown of the brand’s entire range of MDF and OSB products, plus all supporting environmental and test certification. Importantly, it also brings together the previous three individual product websites for ease of navigation and access, something customers asked for.

With a clean, contemporary design, the website hosts a range of content including case studies, news stories, product pages and downloads. External user testing was carried out to develop a site tailored to customer needs and expectations, allowing distributors and end users to find the solution they need in just a few clicks. This was especially critical in the stockist selector, where ease of location was seen as key.

The new website reflects MEDITE SMARTPLY’s market-leading position in sustainable timber panel manufacturing and continues to drive the company’s new corporate identity, helping to cement the brand’s thought-leading position in the marketplace. New advertising campaigns, sales tools and literature all continue to set the standards of what OSB manufacturers can do.

“We’re tremendously proud of the new website,” said Stuart Devoil, Head of Marketing & Brand at MEDITE SMARTPLY, “which is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication. As MEDITE SMARTPLY moves from strength to strength under one unified brand, it was only right that our website design reflected this new integrated brand identity and the market-leading status of our product portfolio. Along with other vehicles such as our SMARTPLY AR app and product selector, the new site will continue to establish our digital presence and give our customers a more engaging and straightforward experience online.”

Visit the new site here: www.mdfosb.com/en/



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