Sustainability in the Construction Sector and Tendering Process

As the world turns its attention towards sustainability and combating climate change, industries are re-evaluating their practices. Among these, the construction industry stands at the forefront of change, recognising its significant role in shaping a more sustainable future.

The construction industry is not just about constructing buildings; it’s about creating spaces that respect the environment, enhance communities, and stand the test of time.

In this article, learn about how sustainability is now being incorporated into construction from the earliest stages of development and explore the industry’s ongoing journey towards a greener, more sustainable future.

Green Procurement

As we all know, climate change presents one of the most pressing challenges of our time. With its considerable environmental impact, the construction industry has a crucial role to play in mitigating these effects. Buildings alone account for a substantial portion of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it imperative for construction companies to adopt eco-friendly practices.

One way the industry is addressing this challenge is through Green Procurement (GP). GP, which has been mandatory in government subsidised builds since January 2023, represents a fundamental shift in how we approach the procurement of goods, services and utilities. It is a process that goes beyond the traditional metrics of cost and efficiency, urging private, public, and semi-public authorities to consider the environmental and economic impact of their choices across the entire life cycle of a product or service.

This approach integrates existing environmental standards into procurement processes, ensuring that we consider energy efficiency, waste reduction, and social impact at all stages of project development.

Sustainable Tendering

Tendering plays a pivotal role in driving sustainability within the industry, as it is essential to ensure that sustainability is integrated into project development from the beginning. A sustainability section has been mandatory in government subsidised builds since January 2023.

One of the primary functions of this sustainability section is to assess the potential environmental and social impact of the project. Contractors detail how their proposed methods will minimise carbon footprint, reduce waste generation, and promote social responsibility.

Sustainable solutions can involve sourcing material from as close to the site as possible, encouraging carpooling, using green fuel in on site generators, or setting up on site recycling stations.

Integrating sustainability into the tendering process encourages contractors to propose cost-effective yet environmentally friendly solutions. These practices reduce long-term operational costs for the client while also contributing to the overall economic viability of the project.

Similarly, the sustainability section serves as a key differentiator among proposals. Contractors who demonstrate a thorough understanding of sustainable practices naturally stand out as preferred partners for clients. The ability to articulate a compelling sustainability strategy, supported by data and certifications, gives contractors a competitive edge in securing contracts and forging long-term relationships with clients.

In essence, the tender’s sustainability section provides a roadmap for contractors to align their proposals with a client’s vision of sustainability in their space. This comprehensive evaluation at the initial stages of development ensures that projects meet environmental goals at every turn.

McKeon Group

At McKeon Group, we understand that every bit counts. Whether through mindful material choices, energy efficient practices, or social initiatives, we are dedicated to making a positive impact. Safety, Sustainability, Efficiency and Quality are the critical components of every project we undertake.

Through our membership with the Irish Green Building Council, adherence to ESG principles, and collaboration with Goodbody Clearstream, we are setting ambitious goals to improve our sustainability. We are working closely with our Environmental Consultant, Caroline Vaughan, to develop a roadmap for the next five years.

Since 2019, we have supported the DCU Access to the Workplace programme in line with achieving our ESG goals. This fantastic initiative provides professional summer internships for DCU Access students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and for neurodivergent students. We have had interns join us from the programme over the years, and we are so grateful to have had their diverse talents and different perspectives on our team.

To date, we have prioritised using Ecocel cellulose insulation over average insulation. Ecocel creates 0.31kg of Carbon Dioxide to make 1kg of product, which is a significant improvement over average insulation, which creates 4kg of Carbon Dioxide to create the same quantity of product.

Similarly to this, we are promoting sustainability through the reuse of furniture and materials on our projects. We separate all of our on site waste to facilitate thorough recycling. Alongside this, we place great emphasis on ensuring thorough water conservation, metering and reuse.

We are simultaneously focusing on energy conservation, environmental protection and social responsibility to join the construction industry in creating a sustainable future.

If you have a construction project you would like to undertake, get in touch today.

The Importance of a Multi-Skilled Facilities and Maintenance Services Team

As companies compete in today’s fast-paced business climate, having a well-maintained, efficient, and safe working environment is vital for success. That’s where a multi-skilled facilities and maintenance services team comes in.

In this article, discover what facility and maintenance services are, why they are essential, and how our 360Works multi-skilled team can provide comprehensive project services and full-time on-site facilities services.

What are Facility Services?

ISO defines facility management as an “organisational function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business.”

An information piece depicting the different aspects that make up a Facility Services team. These aspects are: Preventative Maintenance, Full-Time Operations Support, Environmental and Energy Services, Remote Monitoring and Asset Management, Building Maintenance, and On-Demand Technical and Trade Services

It involves coordinating various services, such as preventative maintenance, technical trades, environmental and energy-saving measures, asset management, and security and safety, to ensure that facilities are safe, efficient, and well-maintained. Facilities management aims to optimise the use of resources while creating a comfortable and productive environment for tenants, employees, and visitors.

Why are Facility Services essential?

Facilities management is critical to maintaining a smooth and safe working environment. It helps reduce downtime by proactively identifying and addressing maintenance needs, preventing equipment failures and other issues that can cause costly disruptions to operations. Additionally, it identifies cost-saving opportunities by implementing sustainable practices, providing preventative maintenance measures, and optimising building systems to reduce energy consumption and save money on utility bills.

Safety and security are vital concerns for facilities management. By implementing best practices for building security and safety, facility services teams can help to minimise risks and ensure compliance with regulations. This can help avoid costly fines and protect tenants from harm.

In the current business climate, where speed and competition are vital factors, professional facilities management can make a significant difference by transforming a building from a liability into an asset. Therefore, it’s advisable to engage an experienced multi-skilled team of professionals to handle the maintenance and operations of any facility or building.

360Works Multi-Skilled Facilities and Maintenance Services Team

McKeon Group’s 360Works division provides various sectors with fast response fit out, alterations, refurbishments, and facilities maintenance services. Likewise, we offer end-to-end project services and deliver full-time on-site facilities services with minimum interruption to day-to-day operations.

360Works stands out from other facilities and maintenance services teams for several reasons. For instance, our multi-skilled team includes professionals with a wide range of skills, such as contract managers and project managers, alongside fully qualified electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and more.

This means that the team has a range of professionals employed by the company to solve any issues, big or small, that may arise. For example, if a building needs both plumbing and electrical repairs, our multi-skilled team can handle both tasks instead of hiring separate contractors.

Another benefit of working with our multi-skilled team is that they have a broad range of knowledge gained from many years of experience in facility services. Their diverse skills and expertise therefore allow 360Works to ensure a building is clean, safe, and operating efficiently.

Ongoing 360Works Facility Services Projects

At 360Works, we have a variety of ongoing facilities management and maintenance projects.

We provide comprehensive facilities and maintenance services to UCD’s residential buildings, as well as general preventative and reactive building maintenance across the entire college campus. Similarly, we have provided facility services to DCU for over 20 years, including flooring, partitioning, carpeting, demolition, window-fitting and many more. We also carry out these services for TUD at their campus in Blanchardstown.

360Works are incredibly skilled in working in live environments, which is essential for construction on a busy university campus. Great care is taken to plan our work with the health and safety of all in mind.

If you are looking for an efficient and knowledgeable group of professionals to manage your facilities and provide high-quality maintenance, get in touch with our 360Works team today.

Useful Resources

IFMA: What is Facility Management?
RFM Group: Top 10 Benefits of Professional Facilities Management
Dexterra: The Ultimate Guide to Integrated Facility Management

Building the Future with BIM

Explore how Building Information Modelling (BIM) is paving the construction industry’s future with its comprehensive tools for sustainability, collaboration and efficiency in project development.

In this article, find out why BIM is not just an essential asset to project development but an invaluable resource that will undoubtedly form the future of construction.

What is BIM?

BIM is a digital process that involves creating and managing 3D models of buildings, infrastructure, and construction projects. These 3D models digitally represent the physical and functional characteristics of a project. BIM offers a platform for architects, engineers, contractors, designers and stakeholders to collaborate on a project in real-time. The software allows the comprehensive development of 3D models and has built-in data syncing and clash detection to further facilitate a collaborative workflow.

What are the advantages of using BIM?

BIM’s real-time collaboration and coordination are key to the advantages that come with using it. Integrating various disciplines’ data within the BIM model allows the software to simulate lighting conditions, acoustic properties, airflow, and even human movement within a space. This method of working is efficient and allows insights into potential issues with the project at a significantly earlier stage than other forms of planning, which promotes both time and cost efficiency.

BIM supports a project’s development from initial conception to potential future demolition or renovations and allows facilities management, asset tracking and planning predictive maintenance. It streamlines workflow, reduces rework, and promotes sustainability by facilitating energy performance analysis and encouraging the selection of sustainable materials.

BIM for DCU’s Polaris Building Project

McKeon Group and Walls are currently collaborating on an innovative project which showcases the exceptional capabilities of BIM in identifying and resolving design problems. The project, DCU’s Polaris Building, involves, among other things, planning a multi-purpose building with a gym on the top floor. Below are some images that provide a clear visual comparison between 2D and 3D BIM models, which should aid in understanding how the latter can help identify potential issues.

An image containing two pictures, each of different 2D floor plans for DCU's Polaris building.

2D Plans of the Polaris Building’s gym

An image containing two pictures. One picture is of a 3D model of the Polaris Building, while the other is a zoomed in image of the 3D model of the gym within that building.

3D BIM Models of the Polaris Building, with a focused image of the gym

During the design phase, BIM implementation identified a critical issue that would have been challenging to detect using traditional 2D models: the ceiling height in the proposed gym area needed to be increased. The clash detection algorithms in the 3D BIM model have enabled the teams to address the concern early in the design phase, which has aided in preventing costly rework during construction.

Why is BIM the future?

DCU’s Polaris Building Project is an excellent example of how BIM can help construction professionals identify and resolve issues both early in and during the design process, saving time and money. BIM plays a critical role in the continuing development of the Polaris Building. This reiterates and firmly proves the need for all AEC professionals to make use of the software – it will undoubtedly be an essential skill in the near future.

About McKeon Group

At McKeon Group, we are committed to delivering top-notch services that exceed our clients’ expectations, with over 70 years of experience in the construction industry. If you have a construction project that requires expert attention, our construction team is here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

Useful Resources

NBS: What is BIM?
Novatr: Four ways BIM can aid sustainable building design
Explorist: What is BIM? A video guide

Paul Lynch appointed Chairperson to McKeon Group Board

McKeon Group’s Next Chapter: Paul Lynch Joins as Chairperson of the Board of Directors

McKeon Group, a leading construction company, has recently appointed Paul Lynch as the new Chairperson of its Board of Directors. This move comes after almost 4 years of working as a strategic advisor to the Group.
McKeon Group expressed its delight in welcoming Paul as the new Chairperson.

Excited to Welcome Paul Lynch as New Chairperson

“Having worked with Paul Lynch as a strategic advisor to the Group for almost 4 years now, we’re now delighted to welcome Paul as Chairperson of the Board of Directors as we look forward to the next chapter in the sustainable growth of the business,” the companies Managing Director, Tomás Mac Eoin said.

Tomás also highlighted Paul’s wealth of experience in various sectors, including construction and technology, and his core values that align perfectly with McKeon Group’s values.

This puts him in an excellent position to hold the Board of McKeon Group accountable while ensuring its effectiveness.
For his part, Paul Lynch expressed his excitement about joining the Board of McKeon Group.

Paul Lynch Thrilled to Join McKeon Group

“I am delighted to join the Board of McKeon Group as Chairperson. I have a very high regard for the organisation and its management team, and I am excited about the significant growth potential of the business. I look forward to supporting the company’s further development in my new role,”

Bringing a Wealth of Experience to McKeon Group’s Board

Paul Lynch brings a wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors. He has held several senior leadership roles. His expertise in strategic planning, business development, and corporate governance is expected to be a valuable asset to McKeon Group as it continues to expand its operations.

With Paul Lynch now on board as the new Chairperson of the Board of Directors, McKeon Group is well-positioned to achieve its growth objectives and further establish itself as a construction and services industry leader.

Deep Energy Retrofit – Improve Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Implementing a deep energy retrofit for a building can provide significant economic, environmental, and social benefits to building owners, occupants, and society. This process involves upgrading various building components to increase energy efficiency, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint, energy savings, improved indoor environmental quality, increased asset value, and compliance with regulations. Among the measures typically taken during a deep energy retrofit upgrade to insulation, HVAC systems, lighting, windows, and doors, as well as the installation of renewable energy systems. Notably, this retrofitting process can be carried out in live environments, minimising disruption to occupants. McKeon Group specialises in customised solutions for deep energy retrofits and has worked with commercial, government, and educational clients to create energy-efficient, sustainable, and comfortable buildings.

Benefits and advantages of deep energy retrofit

Several measures are typically taken when retrofitting a building to increase energy efficiency


  • Upgrading the building’s insulation:

Insulation keeps the building warm during the winter and cool during the summer, reducing the need for air conditioning and heating. Adding insulation to walls, roofs, and floors can significantly reduce a building’s energy consumption.


  • Replacing or upgrading the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system: 

HVAC systems are responsible for a significant portion of a building’s energy consumption. Replacing an older, inefficient HVAC system with a new, energy-efficient one can result in substantial energy savings.


  • Installing energy-efficient lighting: 

Replacing older lighting systems with newer, more efficient LED lighting can reduce a building’s energy consumption and improve the quality of light.


  • Upgrading windows and doors:

Replacing older windows and doors with newer, energy-efficient models can help reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.


  • Installing renewable energy systems:

Installing solar panels, wind turbines, or other renewable energy systems can help a building generate energy and reduce its dependence on grid-supplied energy.


These are just some measures usually taken when retrofitting a building for energy efficiency. The actions will depend on the building’s energy usage patterns, construction type, and other factors.


Refer to the interactive image below for information on the various components of energy retrofitting

Deep energy retrofits in live environments

Deep energy retrofits are usually done in live environments, which means the retrofit can occur while the building is in use. As a construction company, we understand that deep energy retrofits can be challenging in live environments. That’s why we take a strategic and collaborative approach to ensure that the retrofit is carried out with minimal disruption to occupants. 

Completed Deep Energy Retrofits

McKeon Group has completed deep energy retrofits for many clients, including the OPW, HSE, third level colleges, hospitality, food production and pharma. We specialise in creating custom solutions that meet each client’s unique needs and goals, resulting in energy-efficient, sustainable, and comfortable buildings.

Check out our work on one of these projects on UCD, Belfield District Heating System in this video or find out more about SEAI Pathfinder projects here.


Fill in the below form to download your free e-book for more information on how we implement a deep energy retrofit in live environments

deep energy retrofit e-book


A Milestone Achievement – 100 Employees!

McKeon Group is proud to announce that we have officially reached 100 employees, and what a brilliant team we have! We held an event to mark this special milestone and give our annual update to all of our team last week.

Throughout the last 72 years, we have grown from one man with a van to five brilliant divisions bursting with ideas, expertise, and world-class staff. We have worked on sites all across Ireland, from third-level education, commercial, pharmaceutical and countless other clients. Our ability to provide the right team across various sectors has grown and adapted, as have we, putting McKeon Group in a prime position to tackle some world-class projects.

Speaking at the event, CEO Tomas Mac Eoin said: “Refreshing our core values has been on the agenda for a while. We’ve changed a lot as an organisation over the past 10 years. The workforce has changed, society has changed, and our strategy has changed. I certainly felt the language needed updating and how we present and talk about them.”

“The Values originated from our grandfather, and some of them have remained unchanged, that of Integrity & Quality. We went to the Board of Directors for their input and integrity, how we treat our staff, and how we are perceived in the industry we found was paramount to them. Then we had an overwhelming sense of responsibility towards sustainability and that we must go above and beyond to change our environmental impact and influence others.

We then turned to the entire organisation to understand each individual’s values and if they aligned with our organisation’s core values. Really to ascertain if we held them true, communicated, lived by, and believed them. We asked the question ….”

What values or traits of your own do you feel are matched in your role at McKeon Group and Hereworks?

“The response was overwhelming, one of the most successful surveys we’ve carried out recently, which only goes to show how important values are to the team.

I was humbled by what came back, the positivity, warmth and passion in some of the replies….”

Updated Core Values:

We are proud to reveal our refreshed core values, illustrating the key points that encapsulate our organisation best.

They are Integrity, Client Commitment, Quality, Brilliance, and Sustainability. While to some, they may appear as buzzwords, to us, they are the very fibre of our operations and how we communicate ourselves to the world.

Going forward, we will have a renewed focus on sustainability and will bring in a consultant from outside the company to assist us with this. In the company-wide survey, a large number of our team called for an increased focus on sustainability, which we plan to deliver.

McKeon Group has grown drastically over the past three decades.

Our QEHS Director, Cliona Molloy, said: “I had a look back, and funnily every 10 years or so, we double our workforce, which has now brought about this major milestone.”

Our growth is only possible with everyone we deal with, including our clients, sub-contractors and our hard-working staff.

Let’s see what the next decade has in store!

If you want to be part of our team, check out our open positions and grow with us!

Conservation and Restoration of Heritage Projects

McKeon Group has worked on numerous conservation and restoration projects on heritage sites, ranging from ancient castles to historical libraries.

Ireland boasts some of the oldest architecture in Europe and in order to ensure that these structures continue to stand the test of time, sometimes it is necessary to restore them using modern techniques. These projects often require a different approach to regular refurbishment due to the structural integrity of the building, what its intended purpose is and what regulations surround it. This often means that a specialist will be sought to provide guidance and advice, ensuring that no undue damage occurs to any element.

For example, a building could feature balusters that have been present for more than one hundred years. While they have been weathered and eroded, they are still functional. Therefore, it is possible to restore them without completely removing them, allowing them to be included in the finished product.

Here we take a look at three prestigious projects that we have worked on.


Woodlock Hall

One of these projects involved Woodlock Hall in DCU. The restoration and fit-out of Woodlock Library, a protected structure, was a hugely important project to work on. It took place in the All Hallows campus 18th Century Senior House.

Woodlock Hall has been repurposed as a library across multiple levels inside the confines of the hall. We took special care to ensure minimal points of contact with the building. As a result, this allowed us to maintain as much of the existing structure as possible. The refurbishment also saw the restoration of bespoke features. This included the relaying of historic timber floorboards, the restoration of the original wooden paneling, timber doors, and sash windows. We also installed sustainable energy solutions, including geothermal heating. 

We feel privileged to have worked on this project that has given new life to a historic building. Plans for the restoration of Woodlock Hall began in 2018, coinciding with an agreement between the University and the Irish Jesuits in 2019. Following this, they agreed to transfer the library collection from Milltown Park into the care of DCU Library.

We undertook careful internal deconstruction of the lobby area to the front of the hall to facilitate the installation of a new multi-story lift on each floor. Housed in a glazed facade is a prefabricated metal stair system.

We collaborated with Mullarkey Pedersen Architects for this project and the works were completed in 2020. This project also landed a prestigious AAI Award.


St Patrick’s Water Tower

This conservation project required McKeon Group to work closely with specialists Nolan Conservation Group to ensure that all works did not damage the structure.

In order to restore this extraordinary building, we completed a full refurbishment which wrapped up in August 2022.

Since being built in 1890, this was the first full refurbishment carried out. While there had been some maintenance works including the repointing of brickwork, nothing as in-depth as our works had been completed.

This involved raking and repointing brick and stone work on the tower, refurbishing the drainage pipework, guttering and tower windows, and cleaning and repainting the existing ironwork including a spiral staircase, bell yoke, and weathervane.

We also completed the refurbishment and replacement of clay balusters, replaced the slate roof tiles on top of the tower, a full in-depth clean of the inside and outside of the tower, installed lighting pendants, and then installed a new access platform to the tower.

But our work didn’t end there as the roof also required a major rework. This included the removal of existing redundant fire escape steel stairs, refilling openings at window locations, installation of missing stone cills, and finally completing a new platform walkway over services.


Ardgillan Castle:

Nestled in the rolling hills of north county Dublin, Ardgillan Castle was built by the Reverend Robert Taylor in 1738. The house remained in the Taylor family until 1962 when the estate was sold to Heir Henrich Potts of Westphalia.

In 1982, the estate was sold to Fingal County Council and with the help of formerly FÁS now Solas, renovated the house. It was officially opened to the public in 1992 by then-president Mary Robinson.

For anyone unfamiliar with this popular visitor attraction, Ardgillan Castle and Demesne sits on close to 200 acres, between Balbriggan and Skerries, overlooking the Irish Sea with views northward to the Mourne Mountains. Described as Ireland’s hidden gem, the castle is a family favourite for tours, theater events, parties, and more.

McKeon Group was tasked with the repainting of ceilings and walls, joinery, and radiators on the ground and the first floor. We then completed refurbishment works on timber floors. This project involved carefully dealing with the associated antique furniture and art removals, which we then successfully reinstated.

McKeon Group is on Fingal County Council’s conservation restoration framework and have worked on a number of prestigious buildings in the locality, including Malahide Castle.


About Us:

With more than 70 years of experience in the construction industry, McKeon Group are capable of reaching and exceeding the goals of our clients. If you have a conservation or heritage project that you would like us to help with, contact our construction team today.

World Mental Health Day

CIF Construction Safety Week 2022 is scheduled across the month of October beginning on Monday the 10th on World Mental Health Day. The focus this year is on supporting the Lighthouse Club’s Help Inside a Hard Hat campaign.

To kick things off for Construction Safety Week, McKeon Group marked World Mental Health Day 2022 with a catch-up in DCU. We currently have several projects underway in DCU, so most of our site-based staff are based there, so it was the perfect location for us to all gather. This catch-up aimed to highlight that it’s not just about talking but listening too – if someone starts to open up, the best thing you can do is listen – no one needs to have the solutions, just being an ear can help.

We started the day by grabbing a coffee and some breakfast in DCU’s main restaurant, followed by a coffee-style chat in one of their lecture theatres. It was a lovely opportunity to take a couple of hours out to focus and regroup before the work week began.

Ruan Kennedy, Chartered C. Psychol.PsSI, Certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapist and Senior Counsellor at Dublin City University, kindly joined us to give us a little insight into stress management and provided us with great exercises on how to manage our stress levels.

We finished up with a little gift from the company of a mindfulness colouring book and some colouring pencils along with information about our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

Help Inside the Hard Hat

The Help Inside the Hard Hat campaign, aims to raise awareness of poor mental health within our industry. In the UK and Ireland, two construction workers take their own lives every working day. As well as this, stress, anxiety and depression account for a fifth of all work-related illnesses.

This campaign is providing a huge range of proactive support and resources for our construction community including a 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline, a free app and mental health training.

Mental Health

Mental health covers a wide range of issues, including mild or moderate anxiety and stress, drug and alcohol abuse and disorders such as severe depression and schizophrenia. However, workers’ mental health and well-being also relate to their general mental and emotional health and their ability to cope with the normal stresses of life.

According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 18.5% of the Irish population has a mental health disorder. This places Ireland 3rd highest in Europe (after Finland and the Netherlands) in the estimated prevalence of a mental health issue.


There is a need for a supportive infrastructure within the sector, given the larger proportion of men in the workforce and the traditional beliefs amongst Irish men to avoid seeking psychological support for mental health issues. In recognition of the importance of mental well-being in the construction sector, the CIF conducted research with employers to explore their experiences of managing staff and the key issues they face concerning mental health.

Companies across Ireland overwhelmingly accepted that mental health is a pressing issue in the construction industry, with 98% of employers agreeing that it has important health implications.

The issue of managing staff mental health is no doubt made more difficult by some employees who may be unwilling or uncomfortable with reporting mental health difficulties. Interestingly, 68% of companies believe the construction sector has a serious issue with staff underreporting issues with their mental health in the workplace.

McKeon Group Health and Safety Manager Veronica Lavelle said: “It’s good to talk but also so important to listen if someone opens up. You don’t need the answers or solution, just being there to listen is a big help.”

Learn More About the Lighthouse Club

The Lighthouse Club is the only charity that provides physical, mental, and financial well-being support to construction workers and their families in Ireland & the UK.

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, the helpline provides the first point of contact for those who need to access a range of completely confidential support services.


Meet the Team: Bruno Bottura, Quantity Surveyor

“Chase what you want to do – find what makes you happy.”

Meet Bruno

Bruno joined McKeon Group in 2021, bringing with him a desire to push his career to new heights.
After gaining a Civil Engineering degree and working as a Project Manager on sites in Brazil, Bruno knew that he wanted a change. While the money was good, the work wasn’t as fulfilling for him as he wanted and he knew he had to try something new.
“When I graduated college, I got a traineeship with a huge construction company. Out of 28,000 applicants, there was only 40 places and I got one. But the work was fully site-based, I was too tired and I wasn’t enjoying it. Then there was an economic crash and I lost my job for a whole year. I was really fed up. Me and my wife decided to move to Europe for a fresh start and a change of pace.”
After a brief stint in Italy, Bruno was pointed towards Ireland. Within just an hour, he had landed his first job here and while it wasn’t his dream job, it helped him to settle.
“My first job in Ireland was actually rolling burritos! Funnily enough, from the upstairs of the building I could see St Pats Water Tower which ended up being my first project with McKeon Group.”
Bruno’s last stop before beginning his work with McKeon was with a natural stone company, where he worked as an estimator. Now, he is working with us as a quantity surveyor.

Going Full Circle

“My first job with McKeon was at St Pats Water Tower. I couldn’t believe it, it was like going full circle! It was a building I had looked at for so long and admired. It was built in 1890 and our works were the first full refurbishment that was carried out, which was incredible to be a part of. We very rarely have buildings that old in Brazil, so it was an entirely new experience for me.”
The works at St Pats Water Tower included raking and repointing brick and stone work on the tower, refurbishing the drainage pipework, guttering and tower windows, and cleaning and repainting the existing ironwork including a spiral staircase, bell yoke, and weathervane.
Bruno also spoke of how well the building has stood up, with the eye-catching spiral staircase not needing much more than a fresh paint job to be restored. The weathervane required some welding work, but Bruno says it is “much more prominent now, it’s like a beam of light at the top of the tower.”

“Chase what you want to do”

While quite a lot of people in the construction industry follow the footsteps of their relatives, Bruno was the opposite. Coming from a family of lecturers, Bruno found himself drawn to the idea of construction due to the plentiful opportunities, good wages, and varied work.
He said: “For me, it was important to really enjoy what I am doing which I am with McKeon Group. During my traineeship in Brazil, we completed a lot of psychological tests that were supposed to help us find our paths. And while nobody saw me working in an office, it has become where I am happiest. You’re not bound to be something – you can be whatever you want. Ten years ago, I was all about constantly being on the go and making money but now I just want to see my kids grow up and live a quiet life.
“You need to chase what you want to do – find what makes you happy.”

About McKeon Group:

Established in 1950 by Tom McKeon, McKeon Group remains a family business to this day. ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fit out, 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

Unveiling the restoration of St Pats Water Tower to its former glory

McKeon Group has just unveiled the restoration of St Pats Water Tower to its former glory. The work was completed in August 2022 on the Water Tower in Block D on St Patrick’s College campus, and the results are truly stunning.

It isn’t every day that you get to work on a structure that is over 200 years old. McKeon Group was honoured to work on this Dublin Landmark to restore it to its former glory. This conservation project required McKeon Group to work closely with specialists Nolan Conservation Group to ensure that all works did not damage the structure.

In order to restore this extraordinary building, we completed a full refurbishment which wrapped up in August 2022.

Since being built in 1890, this was the first full refurbishment carried out. While there had been some maintenance works including the repointing of brickwork, nothing as in-depth as our works had been completed.

This involved raking and repointing brick and stone work on the tower, refurbishing the drainage pipework, guttering and tower windows, and cleaning and repainting the existing ironwork including a spiral staircase, bell yoke, and weathervane.

We also completed the refurbishment and replacement of clay balusters, replaced the slate roof tiles on top of the tower, a full in-depth clean of the inside and outside of the tower, installed lighting pendants, and then installed a new access platform to the tower.

But our work didn’t end there as the roof also required a major rework. This included the removal of existing redundant fire escape steel stairs, refilling openings at window locations, installation of missing stone cills, and finally completing a new platform walkway over services.

Eye-catching work

Quantity Surveyor Bruno Bottura felt privileged to work on this project, which was his first conservation project since he began working with McKeon Group. Bruno moved to Ireland from Brazil five years ago and in a strange coincidence, the tower already held some significance for him.

He said: “When I started my first job in Ireland, I could see the Water Tower from the window. I loved looking at it, it’s truly a beautiful building. There’s nothing this old in Brazil, especially where I come from.”

Bruno also spoke of how well the building has stood up, with the eye-catching spiral staircase not needing much more than a fresh paint job to be restored. The weather vane required some welding work but Bruno says it is “much more prominent now, it’s like a beam of light at the top of the tower.”

McKeon group would like to especially thank all involved including Eanan O’Doherty (DCU), Cathal Crowe in OCSC, Ciaran Mullarkey in MPA, and our own team, led by Donal Molloy and Bruno Bottura.