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Michael McCarthy, a certified trainer with the Passive House Academy and an international authority on the Passive House Standard as lead Passivhaus Certifer on the MosArt team, has joined Versatile as the new Ventilation Specialist within its Heating, Cooling & Ventilation division.

Michael, widely known and respected within the industry despite his young years, brings significant Passive House, nZEB and Mechanical Ventilation design experience in both the commercial and residential sector including a number of ground breaking nZEB and Passivhaus projects here in Ireland and on the international scene. Michael led the mechanical design on the PH consultant team for Ireland’s largest retrofit PH project, Rochestown House for DLRCC. He also acted as chief PH Certifier on Ireland’s largest multi-unit residential Passivhaus development: Silken Park in City West, Dublin with Durkan Residential.

In 2017, Michael was the PH Certifier on the tallest certified Passivhaus building in the world, the 26- story student residence at Cornell University on Roosevelt Island, New York. Michael holds an honours Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering and a B.A. in Mathematics and Project Management – both from Trinity College, Dublin. Michael is a Certified Passive House Trainer and Designer. His previous roles include Education and Training Manager & Director of Passivhaus Certification at MosArt Architects, where his work focused mainly on training competencies in Passivhaus construction and design, ultimately mentoring the design and construction teams and looking after the QA and QC on some of the largest Passivhaus projects in the world.

Michael joined Versatile at the beginning of the year and is looking forward to the new opportunities & challenges this post will bring. He is now actively working to greatly expand Versatile’s market share of the residential mechanical ventilation sector, bringing the brand’s demand control MEV & high performance MVHR series to the industry at a time when building regulations are ramping up for the emergence of nZEB. Michael will also be heavily involved in Versatile’s commercial fan coil and decentralised trench ventilation projects & is currently focusing on some high-profile projects including the new School of Business at Trinity College, Dublin.

Andrew Treacy, MD of Versatile Group said “The knowledge, expertise and experience that Michael brings to the company further strengthens our Ventilation offering and reinforces our position at the forefront of sustainable building on the island of Ireland. This appointment continues to consolidate the professionalism of our organisation and is further evidence of Versatile’s commitment to green building and NZEB initiatives”

Contact: Michael McCarthy, Versatile. M: 087.936.2660; email: mmccarthy@versatile.ie



Friday May 18th Announced as closing date for International Concrete Design Competition 2017/2018

Successful students to attend international Masterclass in Brussels in September 2018 and share in a €3,000 prize fund

The Concrete Design Competition is open to students of architecture and design related disciplines. The competition aims to promote innovative design attitudes related to the use of concrete as a material and a technology. Each competition cycle is framed by a theme exploring a specific property of concrete. The theme for 2017/2018 is “TACTILITY”.

The Irish Jury of Carole Pollard, Past President of RIAI; Gary Mongey, Box Architecture; Maxime Laroussi, Urban Agency and Patrick Wheeler, Arigho Larmour Wheeler Architects will select the winning Irish entries and decide on the distribution of a €3,000 prize fund. Successful students will be invited to participate in an international Masterclass in early September 2018 in Brussels, where they will be joined by winning students from other National competitions. This Masterclass will provide a great opportunity for students to engage with international experts and gain unique experience of working and designing in concrete.

Aoife Flynn a past winning Student from DIT described her Masterclass experience as ‘the highlight of my architectural education’ and ‘an incredible privilege’ which gave her ‘a whole new understanding of concrete’

For further details on the competition please see www.concretedesigncompetition.com.

The competition is funded in Ireland by Cement Manufacturers Ireland.








‘House in Roma’, was born out of a desire to bring the glamour of an Italian countryside villa into the heart of Rome.

Approaching this project, architect Pierluigi De Gasperis was fascinated with the dual principles of continuity and contrast. He wanted to include both concepts into the final designs of the structure’s interiors.

Using their considerable artistic expertise De Gasperis’s team of designers mixed and matched colours and textures to achieve a contrast and enhance the overall atmosphere of the interior. But the greater challenge was in his aim to capturing the essence of continuity.

Initial inspiration came from the local abundance of travertine stone, which combines subtle grey-white tones and delicately undulating veining. The desire was to incorporate this style throughout the villa’s flooring. However, naturally hewn stone is notoriously hard to fabricate into a continuous grain, due to its unpredictable and spontaneous patterning.

Rather than changing tack, this encouraged De Gasperis to consider alternative materials in order to achieve fluidity, so central to his imaginative design.

Classical Continuity

Silver travertine is a dramatic stone, full of character, it was central to the overall aesthetic of the house.

Travertine, widely found throughout both classical and modern architecture, was highly-prized by the ancient Romans. Marked by its characteristic veining or strata, it is a material with deep affiliation to the Lazio region (Central Italy).

The luxuriant villas nestled in the Alban Hills, which fringe Rome, have long used carved Travertine for both structural and decorative purposes. It is these corresponding attributes that influenced the architect when he drew up the initial concepts for ‘House in Roma’.

“We wanted to ingrain this house with personality and history” said De Gasperis, “Travertine’s prolific use in architecture over the last 2,000 years and its timeless ability to evolve and adapt in line with a specific style or movement made it an attractive choice. Its visual appeal and association with grandeur made it highly desirable.”

De Gasperis continues: “However, the permeability of natural travertine makes it susceptible to staining, especially from acidic substances, even seemingly innocuous, everyday liquids such as orange juice. Neolith® Strata Argentum provided a welcome solution. Its faithful interpretation of travertine made it the perfect choice for this project. The robustness required to meet the wear and tear associated with the modern family house, whilst offering the beauty and authenticity of the real stone. Importantly, we were able to design around the Neolith slab to create the consistency in veining we required.”

Flawless Fabrication

Rome is globally renowned for its impressive sculptures and iconic stone monuments. Paying homage to the skilled artisans of the city, ‘House in Roma’ floor is a masterpiece in fabrication and the centrepiece of the project. It is a feature in its own right, a vista of travertine, stretching beyond the threshold of the house, emphasising continuity.

As a result of the clever and meticulous fitting, by top fabricators Stone Arredo, the villa’s flooring creates a mesmerising illusion of fluidity. Rapturously flowing from staircase to ground level, out of the threshold and onto the terrace into a panorama of Strata Argentum, it provides a seamless connection between inside and outside. The surface’s silvery striations pleasantly stretch out to ultimately envelop a pool that incorporates the subtle, sandy, sun-soaked shades of Neolith’s Arena.

Commenting on the significance of the project, and how it relates to the brand’s own activity, Neolith’s Mar Esteve Cortes says, “When our Italian distributor, Domus Marmi, came to us with this project and described the concept we were very excited. We felt the material chosen and the required precision within the design would present a tantalising challenge for the fabricators. If the ambitious plans could be realised, they would create a highly individual interior full of character. As one can see from the finished floor, the results speak for themselves; it really showcases the potential of Neolith.”

A Question of Balance

A key principle within the world of art is that contrast should, fundamentally, be complementary. It must serve to augment perceptions, creating harmony as opposed to discord.

When colours are contrasted effectively within an interior, they can offer either a backdrop emphasising certain features, or stand alone to become the unifying element, bringing a whole room together.

In addition to ensuring a high degree of continuity throughout the house, the designers were also keen to provide focal points within the property through an interesting and diverse use of matt earth colours and natural effects.

De Gasperis’s simple, but visually arresting mosaic of Neolith’s Barro, Pietra di Luna and Pierta di Osso in one of the two bathrooms lends a distinctly modernist look. Its approximated symmetry offsets the space’s metallic fixtures.

The second bathroom features the rustic look and feel of wood against lavish and lustrous marble. Neolith’s La Boheme B01 and La Boheme B02 used in conjunction with Calacatta Gold establishes a minimalist décor, which is refinement embodied.

The clever use of material patterns and textures within these two rooms amplifies the space within, creating a captivating visual equilibrium which excites and entices.




Neolith® delivers impeccable continuity with landmark Infinity rectifying system

Neolith® launches Neolith Infinity in January 2018. This system, the latest fitting solution from the market-leading Sintered Stone Surface brand, will offer designers more scope for creativity and fabricators enhanced precision.

Neolith Infinity is a first in the Sintered Stone market. It is a multi-functional tooling system which helps fabricators connect two slabs together seamlessly by finely sharpening their edges before levelling them immaculately.

The result of extensive research and development by Neolith’s dedicated technical team, Neolith Infinity is a direct response to calls from interiors designers for hyper-realism and invisible jointing on in residential kitchen worktops and bathroom vanities.

The device consists of three elements: the guiding rule, parallel system and grinding head. It performs the necessary guiding to work along the edge, placing a fixed ruler for ultimate accuracy before performing the grinding task. The end result is a faultlessly planed edge of Neolith slab, ready to be matched.

This remarkable mechanism allows for the creation of super-strength joints with high resistance to UV and no thermal expansion. Whether subject to intense heat, strong sunlight or humidity, both surface and join will maintain integrity. The tight bond and Neolith’s hygienic properties also ensure that the worktops are easy to clean and maintain.

Neolith Infinity can be used across the whole range of Neolith surfaces, an exceptional choice for thicker worktops of 12mm or 20mm.

Commenting on the System, Neolith’s Mar Esteve Cortes says: “It’s always exciting to bring a new product to the market, especially one which we have invested so much time and expertise in creating. From a practical perspective, Infinity offers far greater flexibility for those looking to incorporate a Sintered Stone surface within their home, presenting plenty of aesthetic inspiration.

“From a philosophical perspective, I think Infinity reflects Neolith’s imaginative approach and uncompromising desire for perfection. We cannot wait to see the potential for Infinity when our fabricators get their hands on it!”

To ensure fabricators and designers know how to use the device to its greatest effect, Neolith is sharing its expertise in a how-to video and a technical manual. This will be made available to Neolith Infinity purchasers, as well as membership to an exclusive area on the Neolith site to receive specific product support.

For more information about Neolith Infinity click here



As part of their ambition to better serve their clientele across Ireland and Northern Ireland, KCC Architectural recently appointed Seán Murphy as a technical consultant for the Munster area, and Peter Campbell as a Business Development Manager for their FPD Division in Northern Ireland. With an emphasis on their FPD division, KCC have an impressive portfolio of world-leading brands, namely Sky-Frame, MHB, Schüco-Jansen, Ottostumm, Forster in glazing; Parthos in movable walls and Selo in concealed riser doors, concealed interior doorsets and automatic opening vents.

MHB Slimline Steel Glazing

The exciting news for architects, designers, contractors and even property owners is obvious when you look at the collection of world-leading brands that KCC have within their portfolio.

KCC Architectural launched their FPD division 15 years ago and it has grown substantially in that time. The addition of top quality steel glazing systems, movable walls, steel doors and riser door systems to KCC’s existing divisional capabilities in door hardware, ironmongery, automatics, access control systems and service and maintenance, gives KCC a unique setting in the marketplace as a ‘Full package’ provider. In recent times, the addition of the innovative ‘Datastore’ system has gained them a lot of praise within the architectural world. This system provides full technical submittals and all supporting certificates and documentation to give the user peace of mind that they are dealing with a reliable, reputable and most importantly, compliant, product and company.

Schuco, international project


As the company continues to grow and develop, the employment of Seán Murphy in Munster allows them to ensure the support is in place for Southern Irish clients. Director of KCC’s Southern Ireland Operations, Norman White, says “We are delighted that Seán has joined our team. I knew as soon as I met him that he would be a great fit for our business and our clients. Seán brings 23 years of experience and technical knowledge, in addition to a strong understanding of our clients needs.”



Selo Riser Door Systems

“We have been growing our business over the last number of years across the country, striving to stay ahead of the curve with innovative products and systems that simplify the lives of our clients”, says Norman.

One of the most visually exciting offerings from KCC is Sky-Frame, the stunning frameless sliding door system pictured here, which is internationally renowned for its aesthetic appeal. With beautiful slimline floor-to-ceiling windows, Sky-Frame lays the foundation for customized spatial concepts and outstanding architecture. Inspired by the Bauhaus vision of “free-flowing space”, the flush threshold sliding glass doors open up a living space and allows indoor and outdoor space to merge together to create a seemingly unified living environment.

KCC partnered with MHB, from the Netherlands, to bring the slimmest steel profile glazing systems in the world to the island of Ireland. MHB combine outstanding aesthetics and superior characteristics in terms of thermal insulation, wind and water tightness, fire or smoke resistance, making it a perfect fit for both residential and commercial projects.

Sky-Frame, international project

KCC are continuing to expand across Ireland and Northern Ireland and it isn’t difficult to see why they are the first port of call for many construction industry professionals. Speaking of their continued growth as the company kicks off in 2018, Norman says “We have a great team of people working with KCC and we are really proud of everything we have achieved. Working together across our entire portfolio, we can provide our clients with a full package solution, minimizing their workload whilst giving them complete peace of mind that they are in safe hands. It is our ambition to simplify the lives of our clients, and we will continue to do so in 2018 and beyond.”





“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.




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