OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER Vol 32 No 4 2021
TraceyBrothers RAISETHECURTAIN ON ICONIC GRANDOPERAHOUSE
Inside this issue...
60 62 NI BUILDER IS THE OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER FOR CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYERS FEDERATION FOR THEIR LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES - SEE PAGES 32-37
News &Views 4 Search for top roofing ‘influencer’ The BMI Apprentice of the Year
Products 51 Specialist Joinery Group
In Focus 14 Grand Opera House
After more than 33 years in business as one of the leading joinery fit-out companies, Specialist Joinery is rebranding.
Spectacular conservation and structural restoration feat by Tracey Brothers and supply chain deserves a standing ovation.
is looking for contestants who have what it takes to influence peers and those in the roofing community.
55 Colinwell charity challenge Staff at Colinwell Masonry and
40 Methodist College
Securifor 358 fencing system from Ridgeway - for situations where discrete but total security is essential.
Ganson UK and subbies deliver a master class on how to sympathetically balance preservation ideals with modernisation demands.
Retaining Wall Products stomp up £2,000 for PIPS Charity.
72 Olympic flavour for Digital Construction Live 2021
74 OKTO Technologies
62 Saint-Gobain Golf Day
OKTO Technologies is selected to install its ground-breaking OKTOair system within the UK’s first residential WELL-certified building.
Digital Construction Live conference is taking place virtually featuring keynote speaker Olympian gold medallist Ben Hunt-Davis.
Builders merchants and specialist distributor reps tee off at Malone Golf Club for return of Saint-Gobain Golf Day.
CONTACT US: The Forge, 13b Lisburn Road, Moira, Co. Armagh, BT67 0JR T: Moira: 028 9261 2990 T: Dublin: 01 696 8319 E: email@example.com www.northernbuilder.co.uk
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THE TEAM: Managing Director Karen McAvoy Editor Heather Campbell Sales Manager Karen Jess Advertising Julie Patterson Production Manager Julie Anne Guiney Digital Creative Manager Jo Wilson Digital Content Editor Cathal Delea Digital Communications Rachel Freeman Photography Gordon McAvoy Printed by W&G Baird
NI Builder Magazine @nibuilder
With reference to the Misdescriptions Act, please note that the measurements and artist’s impressions within are for illustrative purposes only and may not be accurate. Reproduction of whole or in part of this publication, without prior permission from Karen McAvoy Publishing Ltd, is strictly prohibited.
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AG Paving and Building Products has marked the end of an era with production of one of its best-known facing brick products coming to an end at its manufacturing plant in Dungannon, County Tyrone. AG’s CEO Stephen Acheson paid tribute to the skilled team responsible for producing more than 150million Heritage Bricks over the past three decades. “Heritage took concrete facing brick to a whole new level when it was first launched in 1990. The market had never seen a concrete facing brick with such a beautiful finish and range of deep colours. “In keeping with AG’s ethos of innovation and creating products which are better, fast and safer, AG has developed a new facing brick called Woodward which brings a number of new benefits to customers, including a frogged top face which makes the bricks even lighter and easier to build. “Whilst truly the end of an era, we are excited that Woodward has quickly established itself as a favourite with architects and housebuilders, with record sales levels right across the UK and Ireland.” ENDOFAN ERAATAG
SEARCHFORTHE 2021 BMI APPRENTICE OFTHEYEAR ISON!
The BMI Apprentice of the Year 2021 competition is back. What makes it stand out from other competitions is its focus on the business dimensions – marketing, finance and presentation, for example – of a career in roofing, rather than purely tradecraft. This year’s competition opens on September 1, and welcomes all those recognised as an apprentice by their employer, or those working towards qualified status. Each year, the competition picks a theme and for 2021 it’s ‘influence’, and BMI is looking for contestants who have what it takes to influence peers and those in the wider
Award-winning project management, fit-out and bespoke joinery company, McCue was the official fit-out and bespoke supplier at the prestigious ISPS Handa World Invitational competition. The global event, sponsored by ISPS Handa and presented by Modest! Golf, took place between Galgorm Castle and Massereene Golf Club during the summer. MCCUESCORES HOLE INONEAT ISPSGOLFEVENT roofing community. Closing date for entries is October. Entrants selected for the final, which takes place on November 17 and 18 at the BMI Academy in Gloucestershire, will receive coaching on a range of topics including presentation skills, health and safety, estimating and making technical assessments. For more information and to enter BMI Apprentice of the Year, visit either: www. redland.co.uk/young-roofers/apprentice-of- the-year-2021 or www.icopal.co.uk/Support/ Roofers/young-roofers/apprentice-of-the- year-2021.aspx
End of the line for AG Heritage brick.
Gary Purdy, McCue Managing Director (right) is pictured with Ross Oliver, Event Operations Director at Galgorm Castle.
As the official fit-out and bespoke joinery supplier of the competition, McCue supplied and fitted exterior signage structures, tee box signage, as well as the media centre and corporate hospitality marquees complete with bespoke planters. Gary Purdy, Managing Director at McCue spoke about the company’s sponsorship of the event, saying, “McCue is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s ISPS Handa World Invitational competition. It’s always great to see such a prestigious competition being held locally and, in addition, it gives us an opportunity to showcase the incredible talent that exists here in Northern Ireland to a global audience.”
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A POORLY FITTED MASK THAT LEAKS AROUND THE FACE SEAL CANNOT OFFER PROTECTION AT THE INTENDED LEVEL. HERE, JSP SAFETY OUTLINES WHAT MAKES FOR EFFECTIVE RPE… Agood fit
R espiratory hazards are a major risk. When exposure is not controlled effectively it can have devastating effects on employee health, leading to lung disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other life-changing conditions. Putting the appropriate exposure controls in place and using the correct type of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is vital to protect against long-term, irreversible illnesses. To ensure the correct level of protection you need to ensure a good fit disposable masks, half masks, and full- face masks are referred to as ‘tight-fitting’ RPE. These respirators rely on creating a seal between the mask body and the wearer’s face to provide protection. A poorly fitted mask that leaks around the face seal cannot offer protection at the intended level. Face size and shape are important considerations when selecting a respirator. The mask must fit the wearer’s facial features to create a tight seal in order to provide adequate protection. Respirators are available in a standardised range of sizes to suit different facial dimensions JSP Force™8 half mask and Force™10 Typhoon™ full face mask are available in small (S), medium (M), and large (L) sizes to provide a great fit for a wide range of users. The Force™8 half
mask is available in an additional size, short-wide (SW), offering an alternative fit to small (S) and medium (M) masks. FIT TEST Disposable respirators are available in different styles, including moulded and fold- flat options, making it easy to find a fit. Facial hair and stubble can also cause leaks and users of tight-fitting RPE must therefore be clean-shaven in the area of the respirator seal. Fit testing is required for all users of tight-fitting RPE. This is an assessment of a specific respirator model and size on an individual wearer, to determine the suitability of the RPE for that wearer. A competent person with the relevant training must carry out testing. The fit test will also assess the compatibility of other PPE and items, such as prescription glasses, that may be worn at work. Once a fit test is passed, the respirator must be correctly donned and adjusted each time it is used. A ‘fit check’ is required prior to entering the hazard zone. This is a user self-check to make sure the mask is adjusted correctly and is not leaking. JSP PressToCheck™ face fit check technology provides a quick and easy way to face fit check the respirator each time it is worn, providing reassurance that the wearer is protected. It is important to remember
that disposable, half mask, and full-face mask respirators can only provide protection when they fit the wearer. A mask in an unsuitable size or style, or a suitable mask that is adjusted incorrectly, can leak and allow harmful substances to be inhaled around the face seal. Fit testing must be carried out to ensure that RPE is suitable for an individual wearer, followed up with a ‘fit check’ to verify the mask seal each time it is worn. “Themaskmust fit thewearer’s facial features to create a tight seal in order toprovide adequate protection.”
T: +44 (0)19 9382 6050 - E: firstname.lastname@example.org - www.jsp.co.uk
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IF YOU’RE LAYING YOUR OWN CONCRETE THIS SUMMER MPA NI EXPLAINS HOW TO GUARANTEE HOT WEATHER DOESN’T RUIN THE CURING PROCESS AND ULTIMATELY THE QUALITY OF YOUR CONCRETE SURFACE…
Guidelines for concreting in hot weather
TEMPERATURE Two different temperatures need to be considered when working with concrete in hot weather; i.e. that of the ambient air temperature and the concrete itself. AIR TEMPERATURE Ambient temperatures up to about 20°C should not, on their own, cause significant problems, especially in damp or humid conditions. Ambient temperatures of 20°C and above, allied to low humidity and drying winds, require more efficient curing regimes. Thermal shock may result from rapid drops in the temperature of exposed concrete surfaces e.g. when concrete is placed on a hot day followed by a cool night. CONCRETE TEMPERATURE BS EN206 requires that the temperature of concrete on delivery shall not be more than 30°C. Concrete temperature at placing is generally considered to be in the order of 5°C above mean ambient temperature (Ref. CIRIA C660). In large elements (or rich mixes), faster hydration of cementitious materials due to high ambient temperatures, can result in higher maximum concrete temperatures, leading to a greater risk of early-age thermal cracking on cooling.
(a) Aggregates may be shaded or sprayed to reduce their temperature. (b) Cooler water may be used in production to keep the temperature of the concrete down. For example, water direct from source may be cooler than water stored in tanks. (c) The temperature of delivered cement should be kept as low as possible. (d) Where possible, mix concrete early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid maximum daytime temperatures. (e) The use of a “water reducing and set retarding” admixture could be considered (technical advice should be sought). (f) Cool truck mixers with water and reduce mixing time to a minimum. (g) Concrete with a higher slump class may be needed to counteract greater slump loss in hot conditions (technical advice should be sought). (h) Use additions in the mix by agreement with the specifier. PLACING AND CURING Delays in transport should be minimised. Concrete should be placed, compacted and finished as soon as possible. Concrete slabs can be shaded from solar gain and drying winds by the use of special mats, curing membranes or sheets. The addition of water to the fresh concrete, to retain its workability, is not advised, due to the negative effects on strength and durability. Match delivery volumes and rates of delivery to resources for placing and finishing in hot weather.
Dry and/or hot absorbent surfaces should be moistened sufficiently before placing concrete in contact with them. Existing concrete surfaces, against which concrete is to be placed, should be clean, free of dust and also moistened sufficiently. Concrete made with a high or fine sand content may require additional measures to be taken, as the water demand may be increased. TESTING Cubes should be stored indoors in moist conditions and at temperatures of 20°C +5°C for moulded specimens and thereafter in a curing tank at 20°C +2°C for demoulded specimens as per standard. It is advisable to use temperature matched curing/ maturity calculations, to accurately determine the development of in-situ strength in critical structural elements (in addition to standard cube testing). The MPANI is the principal trade association for the quarrying and quarry products industry in Northern Ireland affiliated to the Minerals Products Association (MPA) in the UK.
CONCRETE MIX CONSIDERATIONS
For further information T: +44 (0)28 9082 4078 E: email@example.com mpani.org
It is possible to slow down the hardening process and strength development of concrete as follows:
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WITH A LARGE SUPPLY NETWORK SPANNING THEWIDTH AND BREADTH OF THE PROVINCE, NORTHSTONE MATERIALS ARE A TRUSTED SUPPLIER OF FLOOR SCREEDS, OFFERING AWIDE RANGE OF PRODUCTS WITH A QUICK TURNAROUND TIME...
Market leading floor screeds from NorthstoneMaterials
N orthstone Materials has developed a partnership
approach with their suppliers
to provide customers with a comprehensive range of screed products that can be selected based on the criteria of each job rather than a one size fits all approach. By identifying the specific requirements of a project, i.e, strength performance, drying times, suitability for under floor, budget and timeframe, the company can provide increased overall value to the customer. Assistance with specification and design in conjunction with supply partners is also available. Northstone’s range of screeds includes traditional or semi-dry screeds, liquid screed, and performance screeds. TRADITIONAL SCREED The range of semi dry screeds start with the domestic 5:1 and 4:1 tipper screeds which are a cost effective option when there is time for the floor to dry naturally. A special blend of sands is utilised to ensure ease of placement. Regular communication is kept with layers to ensure consistency in the final product. LIQUID SCREED Working with McGraths (Cemfloor), Northstone Materials provide the market leading Cemfloor cementitious liquid screeds across the province - the product of choice for any heated screed. With its high thermal conductivity, to accelerated drying times and compatibility with most adhesives, it is a leading product within the industry. Cemfloor HPC Therm is another fantastic offering, a revolutionary self-compacting concrete screed that can be used to take full advantage of the thermal mass and heat retention of the encapsulated aggregate. Finally, Cemfloor HPC NH, another premium screed product that can be used in place of standard concrete or screeds for finished sub floors.
PERFORMANCE SCREED When it comes to performance screeds, Northstone have partnered with Ardex Ireland to manufacturer and supply their range of Contopp Screed products which utilise a range of performance features. This ensures reliable and consistent performance in both drying times and strengths. The Contopp 15RS screed can be ready to receive tiles as soon as 5 days after laying. Resilient floor finishes as soon as 14 days after laying for non-heated floors, and complete commissioning cycle for UFH can be completed within just 11 days. The Duremitt 50 screed is ideal for high trafficked areas, such as schools, hospitals and airports where both compressive and flexural strength are critical. Ardex will also provide a system warranty if using their Dunlop (10 years) or Bal (25 years) adhesives on top of Contopp screeds. For further information about Northstone Materials’ range of screed products contact them today by calling 028 7032 1100, emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.northstonematerials.com
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CAREFUL DESIGN AND PREPARATION HAVE CREATED A VERY SPECIAL PRODUCT... Lighthermoffers lightweight solutions
L ightherm’s innovative aggregate goes through a range of specific processes that have allowed it to become a market leader for use in thermal bead and lightweight screeds. This exciting new product offers architects, developers and builders a great alternative to traditional methods of insulating both ground and upper floors. When mixed at a specific ratio with cement and water it becomes a lightweight thermal bead screed. With exceptional thermal and acoustic properties, it also has thermal conductivity values as low as 0.041 W/m.k. Once on site, it is easily installed as it is a perfectly homogenous, jointless and flowable material, encapsulating pipe and duct work and enabling underfloor heating to reach its full potential.
The benefits of thermal bead screed made from Lightherm Super Lightweight Thermal Aggregate are: • One unbroken layer of insulation • Continuous Uvalue on floor area • No cutting around pipe work • No on-site storage of bulky materials • No waste during or after installation • Removes discrepancies in levels • Proven enhancement to U.F.H • Fixed price installation The company began producing Lightherm in Northern Ireland in July 2019 and currently supplies to a number of concrete companies across the UK and ROI. T: +44 (0)77106 03066 E: email@example.com
T: +44 (0)7710 603 066 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
LIGHTWEIGHTAGGREGATE / LIGHTWEIGHTCONCRETEAND INSULATEDSCREED THINKEFFICIENCY THINKLIGHTHERM!
Companies that currently produce Thermal Bead Screed using LighthermSuper Lightweight Thermal Aggregate. Northern Ireland AS Ballantine Ltd +44 (0)28 7139 8276 Loughran Rock Quarries +44 (0)7770 526479 Norman Emerson Group Ltd +44 (0)28 3834 0222 Stoneyford Concrete +44 (0)28 9264 8600 Thermal Beadscreed Floors +44 (0)7784 309568 ROI Smyth Concrete +353 (0)87 665 4564 Superior Floorscreed +353 (0)87 683 4530
Isle of Man Chardaid Developments Ltd +44 (0)7 6244 97019
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SPECTACULAR CONSERVATION AND STRUCTURAL RESTORATION FEAT DESERVES A STANDING OVATION… TRACEY BROTHERS, TAKE A BOW
D elivering the £12.2 million Grand Opera House restoration and re-imagination project was a very fulfilling experience for Tracey Brothers as they secure the future for one of Belfast’s most-loved buildings. It was a tale of two buildings, as Peter Maguire Commercial Manager explained, “The focus of the work was split into two distinct areas. One was the extensive restoration of the 1895-listed auditorium building - which is one of the best surviving examples of the oriental theatre style design of the most prolific auditorium architect of the time, Frank Matcham - combined with the installation of state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and new seating to meet modern-day theatregoer expectations. Alongside this was the re-imagination of the 2006 extension to make it more accessible for all and sympathetic to the
historic auditorium building. Fitted out with rich finishes, it houses the stunning glazed helical staircase, enhanced bar and hospitality facilities and the installation of new interpretative spaces telling the story of the Grand Opera House.” It’s not surprising that this unique restoration project threw up some difficult challenges. “There were very few records of the original building nor the extensive ad hoc repair and restoration works carried out during its previous 125-year lifespan,” said Peter. “We were planning to install and coordinate an extensive range of modern specialist theatre services but we couldn’t disturb the historic fabric of the auditorium which features ornate oriental mouldings and ceiling paintings. It took weeks of intensive surveys on site trying to identify routes for services which would ensure accessibility for future maintenance whilst protecting the
building’s heritage.” David Malseed, Contracts Manager added, “It was extremely challenging to bring a 19th century building up to 21st century standards when, effectively a lot of the structural elements that we were going to uncover were simply unknown. It required intensive co-ordination on site with an extensive team of specialists in order to incorporate over 100,000m of cabling for the audio and lighting installation into a building that was never designed for this – without leaving so much as a hairline crack to the existing fabric of the building.” The 2006 building - known in the Grand Opera House as ‘Act 2’ - was completely re-engineered. Stripped back to its bare structure and re-fitted out to the highest standard of quality, this building has been completely transformed. James McKittrick, Construction Manager
“Tobring it up to 21st century standards and retain what’s original – that’s an achievement.”
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of Belfast’s busiest thoroughfares and bringing floor levels back to original alignment, all the while avoiding any damage to the original features of the auditorium. This project was always going to be a standout one for Tracey Brothers and for those who worked on it. “I’ve spent a lifetime working in construction,” said James, “I probably will never work on another theatre like it again. These projects are very rare and it means a great deal to have been professionally involved.” David added, “Everyone, who is from Northern Ireland, has got some relationship with the Grand Opera House. When I was at primary school we attended the pantomime every year and I intend to bring my own children to it in years to come. It’s a jewel in the crown of the city’s historic buildings. To play a part in its restoration is a personal and professional highlight for me.” James added, “When we were working in the backstage area I was thinking of who had been there before. The likes of Charlie Chaplin, Pavarotti and even trained wild animals have treaded these boards. There’s a lot of history attached to it. To bring it up to 21st century standards and retain what’s original – that’s an achievement.” Peter concluded, “We’ve brought an iconic Belfast building back to life, which is incredibly satisfying. We hope the restoration and improvement works will provide a much enhanced experience for generations of theatregoers to enjoy in the future.” Client: Grand Opera House, Belfast Main Contractor: Tracey Brothers Ltd Architect: Consarc Design Group Project Manager: WH Stephens M&E Engineers: Semple & McKillop PROJECTTEAM...
explained, “The circulation space in the existing building didn’t really work for the client. A major challenge was the need to remove the original metal staircases and concrete floors and replace with the helical stairs, which is a stunning new feature. We also had to remove one of the main concrete columns on the ground floor which was supporting the above three floors and roof, because its existing location hindered access to the auditorium. We had to design and install an engineering solution to hold up 120 tonnes of the existing structure temporarily whilst the column was removed and new steel frame installed. This entailed installation of a jacking and propping system which was removed gradually and load imposed upon the new steel frame. ” CONSERVATION Conservation was the third major challenge and priority in this project, as Peter explained, “There are many extremely special plaster features throughout the whole building along with ornate ceiling paintings such as the original corner paintings which depict the four seasons, and the later McKinstry ceiling paintings. “A team of experienced conservation
artists from all over Europe had been chosen by our art conservation partner to clean the years of built up grime and restore the artwork. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions this plan had to be abandoned. Instead, local artists from all over Ireland were drafted in to carry out the work; some were young trainees who received the most challenging and rewarding training experience imaginable! “The team cleaned and restored the paintings while working in the middle of a building site. A specialist designed dust-proof scaffold was installed to allow the artists to stand and work on the fine detail of the painting restoration, beneath which, construction works proceeded with forklifts and diggers traversing unhindered. Not the easiest of environments for artists to work in! The conservation artwork took place over a four-month period, and the results are astonishing; the tired artwork and features have been truly restored to their original splendour.” There were many other challenges to overcome such as prohibition on hot works to minimise fire risk to the vulnerable auditorium structure; the complex location of the site on one
Structural Engineers: Albert Fry Associates
Interior Designers: Sundara Design Theatre Consultants: Charcoal Blue
Address: Drumlyon House, Drumlyon, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, BT74 5TB T: +44 (0)28 6632 3471 - E: email@example.com www.traceybros.com
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STRUCTURAL SURVEY AND INTERVENTIONS FROM ALBERT FRY ASSOCIATES ENSURE THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE WILL BE SAFELY ENJOYED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF THEATREGOERS… ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS
A lbert Fry Associates provided Civil, Structural and Conservation Engineering consultancy services on the Grand Opera House refurbishment project. Conservation works and interventions to the original theatre building included inspections, investigation and detailed survey of the building and its previous remediation and repairs. Inspections included that of the timber- trussed roof, constructed in 1895, which was surveyed element by element both physically and by 3D laser scan, to allow modelling of the structure and assessment of its condition and capacity. Timber trusses and cast iron columns, including columns embedded within the famous elephant heads, were assessed. The historic decorative ceiling within
the auditorium being of fibrous plaster construction - suspended from the timber roof structure by means of hessian and plaster ‘wads’ - warranted a comprehensive survey and assessment as such ceilings are recognised as being at risk if left neglected. Alterations to the modern front-of-house building included construction of a helical, central stairway linking the foyer to new hospitality suites and the heritage exhibitions on the upper floors. The enhanced access to the auditorium required the removal of the lower level of a full height reinforced concrete column. This was achieved by means of a robust steelwork transfer structure bearing onto steel mini-piles installed using a low- headroom piling rig. The transfer structure was efficiently concealed within a new
decorative entrance portal. The modern fly-structure over the stage required installation of a more automated scenery-handling system, with travelling hoists. This required survey and modelling of the existing grillage of roof trusses to ascertain the structure’s capacity to support the new arrangement. The refurbishment and enhancement of the Opera House were successfully implemented by the open, collaborative working approach embraced by the Opera House management, the contractor and the design team.
125 Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 1SH T: +44 (0)28 9032 2025 - E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.albertfryassociates.com
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HANNA MECHANICAL SERVICES ARE MARKET LEADERS IN THE SUPPLY, INSTALLATION AND SERVICE OF ALL YOUR BUILDING SERVICE NEEDS… MECHANICAL SERVICES
H anna Mechanical Services was responsible for total modernisation of the heating, ventilation and domestic services for the Grand Opera House restoration project. Works included: the installation of modern new washroom facilities; new heating system for the main auditorium - which also included upgrades to the existing air-handling units and comfort cooling; new underfloor heating; ventilation; air conditioning and domestic services to the main entrance foyer, circulation areas and bars along with new comfort cooling to the administration offices. Due to the building being listed and with rather delicate features within the main auditorium, Hanna Mechanical Services had to plan carefully how to install the mechanical services into areas without causing any damage and to ensure that
it looked aesthetically pleasing. With close coordination between the main contractor and other trades this was achieved successfully. Commenting on the project, Contracts Manager Paul Graham said, “Getting to work on such an iconic building has been a great privilege for us, seeing not only the public face of the building but also behind the scenes workings of the building. To be able to modernise the mechanical services within this building has been a pleasure, and one that has a Hanna mechanical name to it will be one to talk about for years to come. “Working with Tracey Brothers on this project has been flawless from the opening act to the final curtain on this project. The whole team worked in unison and got over any issues easily along the way. It has been a pleasure to work with them.”
T: +44 (0)28 9081 7841 E: email@example.com www.hannamechanical.com
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ACE DRAINS GOES WITH THE FLOW AT GRAND OPERA HOUSE PROJECT… DRAINAGE CONTRACTOR
A ce Drains Ltd was the main Specifically, the Lisburn-based firm carried out detailed CCTV surveys and reports on the drainage system before, during and after the restoration process. Ace Drains facilitates drainage solutions, trauma cleanse services and facilities management throughout Northern Ireland and are main contractors for Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Trusts. Martin Cleland is the owner of Ace Drains drainage contractor for the Grand Opera House restoration project. Ltd, with over 15 years’ experience in the industry. His company covers all commercial and domestic drainage issues across the whole of Northern Ireland and carries out property maintenance, pumping station servicing, repair works and guttering. All work is completed by skilled engineers working to high standards and a 24-hour emergency
drainage service, it means, someone is always available. The company started trading in 2016, Martin has taken over sole ownership in the last 10 months. “The business has expanded significantly with the help of the experienced team of experts working for Ace Drains,” said Martin. “We have grown, despite the restrictions forced by the Covid-19 pandemic during which, we worked hard to keep staff and public as safe as possible by providing specialised PPE and respirator equipment.” Commenting on the project he added, “It was very challenging. Every day was different with a great variety of works. However, due to our wealth of experience we were able to work with the contractor and to maximise productivity. “I have a very good working relationship with the main contractor, Tracey Brothers, for the past 15 years and have enjoyed working with them.”
“…the Lisburn-based firm carriedout detailedCCTV surveys and reports on the drainage system before, during and after the restoration process.”
Ace Drains, 43 Seymour Street, Lisburn, BT27 4SY T: 0800 988 7070 – E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.acedrainsni.co.uk
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PATRICK F. O’REILLY LTD PUTS THE SPARKLE BACK INTO BELFAST’S ‘JEWEL IN THE CROWN’… PAINTING AND DECORATING CONTRACTOR
P ainting and decorator contractor Patrick F. O’Reilly Ltd refreshed and refined the public face of the Grand Opera House during the restoration of this iconic building on Belfast’s ‘Golden Mile.’ An established painting and decorator contractor, for over 25 years in business they have been involved in many heritage and restoration projects across Ireland both North and South. Quality painting and decorating requires excessive, almost obsessive, attention to detail. From the corner of a coving to the tidiness of the building, Patrick F. O’Reilly’s team of skilled craftsmen are proud of their ability to make the smallest detail right. For example, hanging the Lincrusta wallpaper in the Auditorium and other wall coverings in the reimagined ‘Act 2’ building was a highly specialised task. They work across Northern Ireland,
Ireland and throughout the UK on a daily basis, operating in multiple sectors simultaneously. Regardless of the scale of a project; from residential homes to industrial sites they have a highly skilled team of painters and decorators under supervision of a site qualified manager to oversee all aspects of work including site management, Health & Safety, high standard workmanship, Quality Control and cost effectiveness. All staff are registered members of CSR, IPAF, NEBOSH, PASMA, First Aid and Asbestos Awareness. That will ensure a project is completed to a high standard and in a timely manner. Commenting on his company’s involvement in the restoration project at the Grand Opera House, owner Patrick O’Reilly said, “This is a legacy job and we were privileged to be part
of the history of it. Our apprentices have seen first hand the intricate detail and work involved completing this project, and we hope they will carry what they saw and learned with them throughout their careers.”
8A Loughway Business Park, Greenbank Industrial Estate, Newry, BT34 2TH T: +44 (0)28 3025 0853 - E: email@example.com www.patrickforeilly.co.uk
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CROOB ENGINEERING LTD AWARDED THE GENERAL METALWORK PACKAGE FOR THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE PROJECT… METALWORK PACKAGE
C roob Engineering Ltd were awarded the general metalwork package, with an ongoing discussion around providing a proposal for the feature staircase for the Grand Opera House project. With this came major challenges, from design, to engineering, to aesthetics. Based outside Castlewellan, Co. Down, Croob Engineering Ltd has been involved in the steel industry for many years, expanding - mostly by word of mouth into a competitive market within Ireland. Gabriel Farrell of Croob Engineering said, “We like to involve ourselves from the concept of a project with the architect, engineer, and client to help bring solutions
to the table and make the dream a reality,” explained Gabriel. “All come with the understanding that deadlines are paramount.” Commenting on the project, Gabriel added, “We worked closely with both contractor and client to provide an innovative design to comply with both regulations and the initial remit. The erection process was both arduous and intricate. However, our site manager, Darren McMullan, who is also the Company MD took all in his stride, and the finished project, we believe, speaks for itself. Darren’s input was certainly the most important aspect of the process and
it ensured the final result was something Croob Engineering can be proud of. “We would like to thank the contractor, Tracey Brothers, for appointing us to this difficult project. We have found that since our involvement with the Grand Opera House, we have received positive responses from other major contractors.”
T: +44 (0)28 4377 8985 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.croobengineering.com
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RTU’s ready-mixed concrete and floor screed contributed to the high-quality Grand Opera House redevelopment.
RTU coloured mortar in terracotta.
LANDMARK GRAND OPERA HOUSE REDEVELOPMENT BENEFITS FROM RTU PRODUCT RANGE... CONCRETE, MORTAR, SCREED
R TU is delighted that several products from its range have been used in the extensive development project of the Grand Opera House, delivered by Tracey Brothers and with a project team including architects Consarc Design Group and Sundara Interior Design. RTU’s products contribute to the quality, performance and visual appeal essential for a venue that must accommodate high footfall while maintaining the visual beauty instilled by Victorian theatre architect Frank Matcham in 1895. The development includes the restoration of the original listed building alongside the reimagination of the 2006 extension to make it more sympathetic to the Matcham building, complete with a stunning helical staircase, enhanced bar, hospitality facilities and the installation of new interpretative spaces.The RTU coloured mortar works seamlessly to maintain an aesthetic appeal in continuity with the building’s exterior of brick and cast stone that mixes flamboyant Baroque, Flemish and Oriental styles. As well as its beauty, the performance of
the Grand Opera House is an essential consideration for both its occupants and the environment, and RTU’s supply of ready-mixed concrete and floor screed contributes to the energy efficiency, build quality and durability of the venue as it enters into this new and exciting phase of its history. Theatre-goers will be delighted by improved facilities that include the transformation of the foyer and other public spaces, with a new bar installed in the restored 1980 glass extension overhanging Great Victoria Street, as well as beautifully refurbished stalls and circle bars. COLOURED MORTAR The introduction of a coloured mortar has a stunning impact on the final exterior appearance of your project. Supplying for over twenty years, RTU remains the largest manufacturer of tubbed mortar, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. We offer over 50 shades of coloured mortar to meet the ever-increasing assortment of brick and block designs available on the market.
Sample kits can be provided to aid colour selection.
READY-MIXED CONCRETE RTU is one of the top suppliers of a construction industry staple that is essential to a building’s safety, performance, durability, and sustainability. As a multi- purpose product, RTU offers a great variety of mixes to meet the many challenges of modern construction, including pumped, air-entrained, fibre re-enforced, waterproofed, eco-friendly and foamed. FLOOR SCREEDS RTU’s traditional and high-performance screeds are produced in a range of strengths available as sand/cement, fibre, polymer modified and quick drying. In addition to its conventional and modified floor screed, RTU also provide liquid floor screeds: Ultraflo, a hemihydrate liquid floor screed; Ultracem®, a portland cement- based pump applied screed and Ultrabead, a poured insulating layer that improves the thermal performance of internal floors.
Discover more by speaking to a member of the RTU team: T: +44 (0)28 9085 1441 - E: email@example.com or visit: www.rtu.co.uk
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M&E CONSULTANT S emple & McKillop were the mechanical and electrical consultants on the significant restoration and refurbishment of the Grand Opera House, Belfast.
to meet the needs and expectations of the building users in the 21st century, whilst working within the constraints presented by this historic and iconic 19th-century landmark building. Semple & McKillop had a key role in maximising the efficiency and sustainability of this historic build. Within the Auditorium issues including overheating and limited control were addressed, and the main heating and cooling plant was replaced, which has significantly reduced energy use and carbon footprint. Liaising with the wider design team, Semple & McKillop designed and specified the lighting for all areas including the Auditorium, bar and hospitality facilities, and the new interpretative spaces. Within the Auditorium, the original chandelier and balcony light fittings were subject to a retrofit ‘fade to warm’ LED lighting, producing a low-energy solution and creating a more welcoming and warm environment.
As part of the integrated design team, Semple & McKillop were responsible for the planning, design and inspection of the highly efficient building services systems. A significant challenge, which the consultant engineers addressed, was the integration of the engineering systems
T: +44 (0)28 9033 1700 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www. semplemckillop.com
CONSERVATION ARCHITECTS A s specialist conservation architects, Consarc faced a challenging brief; to ensure this is largely unperceived is testament to the thorough on- site co-ordination required to integrate new elements with the old.
the Grade A listed Grand Opera House building was not only restored to its former splendour, but also future-proofed to enable the best theatre experience possible for future audiences, casts and crews. While significant works were undertaken to introduce 21st-century infrastructure into the historic building, the fact that
Key aspirations of enhancing the visitor experience meant that the 2006 extension which contains the main box office and bar areas was reordered both internally and externally to sit more cohesively as a constituent part of the main theatre building. Consarc Conservation is an award-winning Grade 1 accredited specialist conservation department within Consarc Design Group.
Photography: Donal McCann
Commenting on the project, James Grieve, project architect said, “We are extremely proud to have been involved in such a significant project, and the quality of the finished result is testament to the hard work of all involved.”
T: +44 (0)28 9082 8400 E: email@example.com www. consarc-design.co.uk
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HISTORIC INTERIOR RESTORATION D ecowell was commissioned to undertake complete restoration of the decorative surfaces in the historic auditorium of the Grand Opera House.
of Frank Matcham’s original design of 1895. The auditorium had not been cleaned since the late 1970s, the same time as Cherith McKinstry’s fine ceiling paintings were installed. The paintings and decorative embellishments throughout the auditorium were fully conserved and restored. Decowell is a specialist practice with 26 years of experience at the highest level, providing a full range of conservation/ restoration and consultancy services, specialising in the treatment of painted and applied decoration on plaster, stone, wood and canvas. The Decowell team of conservators and craftspeople restored the Grand Opera House’s magnificent decorative surfaces with the upmost care and consideration. Conservation treatment, established by research, informed their decisions following ethical principles as defined by the Institute of Conservations Professional Standards.
The aim of this project was to consolidate and preserve the painted and gilt surfaces in order to maintain the most recent decorative scheme. This involved the conservation, cleaning, retouching and redecorating of architectural detailing, which is original to the building and part
T: +44 (0)28 9045 2532 T: +44 (0)79 7692 9162 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.decowell.co.uk
BESPOKE PLASTER MOULDINGS L ocal experts, Belfast Mouldings, were requested to repair and restore the 125-year-old auditorium’s uniquely decorative plasterwork inside the Grand Opera House. professional service specialising in
superior quality fibrous plaster mouldings, including renovation and restoration.
This included conserving, stabilising and reinforcing the existing enrichments and decorative panels and, where required, manufacturing new enrichments in their workshops and fixing these on site. They were also tasked with repairing and conserving the elephant heads that are synonymous with the GOH. After completion of the works, they also carried out the Baseline Survey for identification of the suspended ceiling over the main auditorium for any future works. Belfast Mouldings specialise in the design, manufacture and site-fixing of standard and bespoke plaster mouldings for interiors together with sand/cement mouldings for exteriors. This family- run business offers a personal and
Commenting on the project, Tom Potter, proprietor of Belfast Mouldings said, “It has been a privilege to have the opportunity
to restore a venue with such a strong Belfast history and an auditorium as rich and spectacular as the Grand Opera House. Having worked on the original restoration back in 1974 and later again in 1994 after a bomb had exploded in Glengall Street adjoining the theatre, it is fantastic to see it back its former glory.”
T: +44 (0)28 9064 6699 M: +44 (0)7802408848 Email: email@example.com www.belfastmouldings.yolasite.com
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ACCESS COVERS E coGrid Ltd supplied Alusthetic Triple Sealed Recessed Aluminium Access Covers to Tracey Brothers for their part in the fantastic restoration of the Grand Opera House.
EcoGrid were approached as suppliers because the project required a top quality and highly aesthetic product to match the grandeur and splendour of the interior of this landmark building. The Alusthetic covers matched their brief and look great. The Triple Sealed and Locked range come in a wide range of sizes with clear openings starting from 150 x 150mm up to 1000 x 1000mm. They are locked in the corners, are odour proof and come in three recess depths of super shallow 21mm, 41mm and 61mm. They feature two seals at the base and a T-seal near the top. EcoGrid is a family owned and run company based in Merseyside dedicated to the supply and fit of sustainable products to the building, civils and landscaping sector across the UK.
T: +44 (0) 151 639 4281 E: firstname.lastname@example.org alusthetic.co.uk
ROOFING AND CLADDING E rne Facades carried out work to the roofing and flashings/soffits for the Grand Opera House renovation Based in Co. Fermanagh, Erne Facades is a new
company formed in 2019. Despite restrictions due to Covid-19 the company has grown steadily, with a lot of projects carried out in England and Wales. As a small company they are very hands on - from initial design right
project. The main element of work was providing a new curved roof to the Shakespeare room which required a skilful approach to ensure the new roof installation worked seamlessly with the existing roof.
through to handover. Commenting on the project, Pearse Collins, Managing Director for Erne Facades said, “As a young company it was nice to be involved in such a historic building in Belfast especially with the curved roof being a prominent feature. “We have undertaken a lot of projects with Tracey Brothers and as always we found them extremely professional.”
T: +44 (0)2866240024 E: email@example.com
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MIRRORS SUPPLIER B ased in Castledawson and having been in business for over 17 years, Fire Glass Direct have
The contract to supply and fit various mirrors throughout the Grand Opera House has been one of the company’s more straightforward projects over the years. However, great attention to detail was vital to the project as all mirrors had to be measured on site to suit recessed
worked alongside Tracey Brothers on many projects and were honoured to be involved in the refurbishment of the prestigious Grand Opera House in Belfast.
openings, while others required further work to allow for lighting and such. Fire Glass Direct worked closely with Tracey Brothers to ensure all deadlines were met and that all areas were completed to the highest of standards. The company is delighted with the end result and would like to congratulate Tracey Brothers on the completion of the project.
T: +44 (0)28 7946 9133 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.fireglassdirect.co.uk
INTERIOR DESIGN G aruda Design worked within the design team to reinstate the historic grandeur of the Grand Opera
of Westminster and Lincrusta wallpaper were selected for the auditorium and adjacent circulation spaces. Bespoke carpet throughout the building was designed using various architectural motifs as their inspiration, adding to the luxurious palette of materials. The glazed spiral stair forms the focal point within Act 2, drawing the eye upwards to the dramatic interlocking circles of the chandelier above. Textural tiling, timber panelling and decorative lighting combine to form the unique bar areas,
House’s auditorium, alongside a complete renovation of the adjacent 2006 interior. Within the main auditorium, it was essential that the original design aesthetic was preserved and enhanced. The various years of patching were removed and re- invigorated, starting with the refurbishment of the beautifully hand-painted ceiling, which was painstakingly cleaned, repaired and restored by Ruth Bothwell from Decowell. Archive block print by Watts
with a 3-dimensional bas relief forming the back-drop to the stalls bar, drawing the eye through the building upon arrival. In short, this is an impressive mix of high quality finishes and luxurious elements, woven together to create a harmonious, uplifting and suitably Grand Entrance.
T: +44 (0)28 9031 9196 E: email@example.com
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