McKeon Group: Brú na Bóinne Visitors Centre at Newgrange

McKeon Group Brings State of the Art Heating to Ancient Ireland  

In a manner of speaking!



Brú na Bóinne Visitors’ Centre at Newgrange 


While 2020 marks the 70th year of operation for McKeon Group (and you can read about our celebratory community initiative here),  October this year marks a decade since the establishment of the Mechanical Division.  Coinciding with the division’s 10th anniversary, the McKeon Group team were  delighted to hand over a prestigious project at Brú na Bóinne Visitors’ Centre Newgrange, carried out on behalf of the Office of Public Works.


This visitors’ centre in Newgrange is a multimedia interpretative centre for the World Heritage designated ancient burial tombs site of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. As a multi-purpose building with large, open exhibition and viewing spaces, including a souvenir shop, eatery and offices, the building needed an upgrade to its heating and control system to enhance the visitor experience and to ensure maximum year-round comfort for both visitors and staff.  


McKeon Group mechanical division were selected to provide a state of the art boilerhouse upgrade with a new building management system to control the comfort levels within the space.  The project works included a full strip out of existing LPHW heat generation and distribution equipment serving all areas of the visitor centre and the installation of a new system including the following (photo gallery below):


~ Boilers & Flues

~ Primary, secondary pipework & Valves

~ Plate Heat Exchanger 1200kW

~ Circulating Pumps and Pressurisation equipment

~ Building Management System with a new front end PC and graphics tailored to suit the various zones within the visitor’s centre

~ Gas Detection and emergency isolation system

~ Gas Pipework Installation

~ Domestic Hot Water Calorifier, complete with anti-legionella pumping arrangement


Installation of numerous temperature sensors throughout the exhibition and circulation spaces of this complex building has provided the facility with the means to closely control the temperatures in various zones throughout the building, helping to provide visitors to this iconic site with the best experience of ancient Ireland.


Despite COVID -19 restrictions and the project start being delayed by a nest full of fledgling robins, who just happened to build their nest in the boiler house door, the project was completed and commissioned to the satisfaction of the Office of Public Works on programme and within budget!


About McKeon Group

Established in 1950, this year marks the 70th anniversary of McKeon Group, which remains a family business. ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fitout and building services. The Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact: 



McKeon Group: Driving Revenue Growth through Pipedrive

How McKeon Group Grew Their Annual Revenue by 186% in Four Years with Pipedrive


Case study available in full at: 





  • McKeon Group and their sister company Hereworks have been using Pipedrive across the company for four years. Now 26 of their 80 employees use it, including sales, directors and quantity surveyors.


  • Using the CRM has helped the team save easily 40 hours a week, essentially the value of a whole new colleague, and they are averaging 60 proposals a month across all divisions.


  • Pipedrive has helped them strategically focus their efforts and increase their annual revenue by 186% in four years.


In the four years since the company adopted Pipedrive, McKeon Group has almost doubled the size of its team and almost tripled its revenue. This growth started after Sales & Marketing Director Paul McKenna led an initiative to focus more on high-value prospects, using Pipedrive to identify them. Now Pipedrive enables the 26 team members using the CRM to collaborate, keep track of opportunities and cross-sell services.


McKeon Group provides services across five sectors: construction, mechanical services, electrical services, maintenance and, through their sister company Hereworks, audiovisual and smart building integration. With their main client base in Ireland, but also projects in mainland Europe, McKeon Group has successfully developed from a small family company to an international one—without losing their ability to build strong relationships.


“Our USP is the completion of complex projects in live environments,” explains Sales & Marketing Director Paul McKenna. “With that end-to-end technical skillset of a construction division, mechanical services, electrical services, there’s a minor works team, and the technology division is a separate company now called Hereworks—automation, smart buildings, etc.”


The challenges McKeon were facing before


McKeon Group adopted Pipedrive in 2016 as the company looked to expand its sales and marketing efforts.


Paul started at the company as an electrician in 2007, when McKeon Group was a construction main contractor. He helped the company to develop its electrical division, a process they then replicated with their mechanical division, at which point the company became known as McKeon Group, in 2011. In 2014, Paul decided to look for a new challenge in business development.


“The approach that the company considered at the time was to just allow me to migrate into it, but I felt I needed to cut my teeth elsewhere,” explains Paul.


Two years later, McKeon Group persuaded him to come back as the business development manager to spearhead their sales and marketing strategy.


“At that stage,” says Paul, “there was no formalized process in place for actualizing growth plans, success was measured in turnover, as opposed to sales, and there were notional ideas around client types (but a lot of that came down to personality) and around the measures we were taking to be successful—there was no data there.

“As a company, we didn’t have a clear insight into what we were good at and what we weren’t. Forecasting was a challenge.”

In reality, we had a lot of activity around keeping busy rather than driving a goal-orientated business strategy. This is a family business, moving into their third generation, and there’s a different impetus.”


When Paul was hired, there was some opposition to having a salesperson within the company because that was “just not in their culture”.

It was actually the first time the company had a salesperson,” Paul tells us. “It was a serious change. Construction in Ireland is built upon relationships: who you know. Pipedrive massively supports this relationship management and was a focal point of that change in the business.”


“Pipedrive was used to change the hearts and minds of people who’d been in the business for over 20 years.”



Continue reading at: 



About McKeon Group

Established in 1950, this year marks the 70th anniversary of McKeon Group, which remains a family business. ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fitout and building services. The Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact: 

COVID-19 Preventative Measures vs. Energy Conservation in Office Buildings

~ By Jim Wheatley, Mechanical Services Director at McKeon Group


As professionals in the commercial mechanical services industry, our focus year-on-year has been energy efficiency, carbon footprint reduction and constantly reducing the financial and resource cost of human comfort in our built environment.


Then 2020 came along and everything got COVID-flipped.  Offices and company headquarters that are built and serviced for large numbers of people, are now only partially occupied with lots of the former occupants working remotely from home.  Staff members still working in the buildings are widely spaced around the building to ensure physical distancing is achieved.  


This is the worst possible scenario for energy conservation, as the entire premises still needs to be heated or cooled due to the spread of staff around the building for physical distancing reasons.  Centrally designed heating, ventilation and AC systems are not flexible enough in their functionality and control to be targeted at the person rather than the space, especially in office buildings that have large open plan areas.  As we head into the winter heating season, staff comfort costs and energy usage per office-based employee will have doubled or tripled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.


Additionally, COVID-19 has forced a rethink on the established energy-saving methods employed in ventilation and air conditioning systems such as air recirculation, heat recovery, thermal wheels in AHUs and the provision of the minimum fresh air requirements for human comfort in normal circumstances.  The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) is now advocating increased rates of direct fresh air supply and exhaust ventilation.  Recirculated air systems and transfer of air from one occupied space to another should be avoided where possible.


Some key actions recommended in the CIBSE Covid-19 Ventilation Guide (July 2020) are:

(1.)  Run ventilation systems at a higher volume flow rate. 

(2.) Avoid recirculation/transfer of air from one room to another unless this is the only way of providing adequately high ventilation to all occupied rooms.

(3.)  Thermal wheels, used for heat recovery in air handling units, should generally be switched off for the duration of the pandemic, to avoid possible contaminants passing from the extract air into the supply air stream.

(4.)  Central ventilation systems with recirculation mixing boxes should be set to full fresh air and full exhaust, by adjusting the dampers to avoid any possibility of contaminants being recirculated into the occupied space.

(5.) The use of recirculation fan coil units and split-type air conditioning units is to be discouraged unless there is an adequate source of fresh air, mechanical or natural, to the space.


Further information can be found in the CIBSE Covid-19 Ventilation Guidance:



Building and facilities managers will already be aware that these actions and the reduced occupancy levels will seriously impact on the budget for human comfort in their premises.  In many cases, recirculation fan coils and AC units are the only source of heating and cooling in the space.  



What is the building services manager to do in this instance?  Will he or she have to recommend closing large sections of the building because COVID-19 was not on the mind of the engineers at design stage?   


If we take the advice to the full extent, some office buildings are entirely unsuitable for occupancy in the winter during this pandemic, unless new heating systems are hurriedly installed to replace the recirculation air systems in place.  This is not going to happen, and the costs would be prohibitive and unsustainable for companies.  ‘Act in haste and repent at your leisure’ is the phrase that comes to mind in this instance.



The challenge for business owners, company boards, facility managers, designers and installers is to make changes slowly and adopt a wait and see approach as to how this pandemic will run.  They will need to continue with work practices where reduced numbers of staff are office-based and actively manage workspaces to provide minimum comfort levels to mitigate against the higher cost of heating all this fresh cold winter air.  


The winter of 2020/21 will bring challenges to companies in terms of productivity, HR and staffing issues and a significantly higher cost in staff comfort levels.  While the COVID-19 pandemic is with us, it looks like the hot topics of recent years, such as carbon footprint and energy conservation in the built environment may have to take a back seat.   


If we look globally at these issues, the scale of what is happening is jaw-dropping.  As the northern hemisphere moves into the heating season with an increased fresh air requirement, the southern hemisphere nations are moving into the peak cooling season with recirculation type air conditioning systems being singled out as possible spreaders of airborne pathogens.  Planet earth is likely to see a huge increase in carbon emissions over the coming months as businesses in the developed nations struggle to maintain comfort levels in workspaces, while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.



About McKeon Group

Established in 1950, this year marks the 70th anniversary of McKeon Group, which remains a family business. ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fitout and building services. The Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact: