Meet the Team: Tommy Dillon

“Come in with a good attitude – turning up is half the battle.”

Meet Tommy

Tommy has been working as a plumber in McKeon Group for eight years, and in that time he has shown his drive to succeed by progressing through the ranks.

While some people take time to find their path, Tommy knew he wanted to be a plumber from his teenage years.

“My dad and uncle are plumbers so for me, it just made sense. I was picked out of my class in sixth year for an apprenticeship and I’ve been here since.”

However, his journey to McKeon Group Mechanical Division is a little more unique. He spent several years working for a previous employer, starting as an apprentice and progressing to mechanical foreman.  He then set up his own company and worked for McKeon Group as a Mechanical Services Subcontractor working on many contracts for our Mechanical Services division, before becoming directly employed with McKeon Group.

Just Because It’s My Title, It Doesn’t Mean It’s All I Do!

“I’ve worked on a number of contracts for colleges in Dublin as well as the OPW, HSE and in various hospitals. I think the biggest stand-out project for me was the Wilder Hotel. This involved turning a derelict building into a four-star hotel.”

The Wilder Townhouse is a boutique hotel in a Victorian Heritage Building in Dublin City, built in 1878 as a home for aged governesses and unmarried females. The building was completely rewired within the guidelines of the conservation requirements to provide the modern services of a 42-room hotel with a restaurant, bars, lounge facilities, salon and reception area. 

 Tommy added that just because his job title is site supervisor, his role encompasses far more than this.

“My role is site supervisor, working foreman and pipe fitter. Just because it’s my title it doesn’t mean that’s all I do. I organise a lot of things, working closely with the other divisions. With the likes of the Wilder and also on RTE Creche, we were the design team so we had to decide what would and wouldn’t work.”

“Anything Can Be Taught!”

“For anyone considering becoming a plumber, I’d tell them to make sure it’s what they want to do because it’s hard work. But if you come in with a good attitude, it helps. Come into it with a good attitude –  turning up is half the battle half the time. Attitude is key.

For me, I’d put a definite emphasis on your attitude – anything can be taught, but you can’t teach someone with a bad attitude.”

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. We have several open positions, so if you’re passionate, innovative and want to work with a company with over 70 years of experience, check them out.

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.

Support

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 https://mckeon.ie.

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.

From Apprentice Electrician to Electrical Services Director – Neil Wyer Interview

Neil Wyer started his McKeon journey as an apprentice electrician back in 2007 and 15 years later, he is leading the division.

The immensely experienced electrician has worked across all facets of the industry, tackling projects in the commercial, industrial, educational and pharmaceutical sectors to name just a few.

His recent promotion to Electrical Services Director is due to his incredible work ethic, ability to lead teams and inspire those around him. Neil embodies the McKeon core values of Quality, Innovation, Client Commitment, Sustainability, and Integrity and this has helped him to excel and thrive within the company.

“I started with McKeon as a first-year electrical apprentice in 2007. I successfully completed it in 2014 and then worked through the dark times of the recession. In that time, I’ve worked as an electrician, site foreman, contracts manager and now electrical services director.”

Neil’s wide range of roles has seen him completing major projects with clients including Dublin City University, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Trinity Townhouse and helped him to develop a team of innovative and motivated electricians.

“I’ve organically grown with the company and learned so much throughout my journey. I think the big thing with McKeon is that you don’t get pigeonholed into one role – you’re open to all aspects of the industry.”

Apprenticeship Programmes

McKeon Group offers a range of apprenticeship programmes and boasts a hugely successful electrical apprenticeship. Currently, there are eight budding sparkies working with Neil and the team and he is incredibly proud to be leading them.

Neil has also completed a Project Management Diploma which allowed him to learn more from an academic standpoint, an essential qualification that has helped him rise to the top of the division.

From deep energy retrofits to educational, commercial, and industrial fit-outs, there are plenty of new projects coming through the pipeline that will demand even more from Neil and his team.

“I am excited to see the division grow even further because we have so many exciting projects that we have won and others that we would love to win. To do this, we need to recruit more people who are eager to learn and grow and push the future of the division. It sounds cliché, but hard work really does pay off. Even if you don’t think anyone has noticed it.”

Work with McKeon Group

If you want to join McKeon Group take a look at our Open Positions on our Careers Page. We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. If you’re passionate, innovative and want to work with a company with over 70 years’ experience, email your CV to careers@mckeon.ie.

Meet the team: Veronica Lavelle, Health & Safety Manager

 

Meet Veronica 

McKeon Group’s Health & Safety Manager

 

 “I am currently working as something I never thought was possible, but I now know that – in the construction industry – anything is possible if you believe in yourself. I have the most wonderful work family, who are always there whenever I need them.” 

 

Veronica joined the McKeon team back in 2018, bringing with her over 12 years’ experience in construction. Veronica took on the role of Health & Safety Manager across McKeon Group, taking an active role in projects spanning a variety of sectors, from residential and commercial, right through to education and healthcare. For Veronica, the role of Health & Safety Manager is not just about legislative compliance and enforcing best industry practice, it involves seeking out new and innovative tools, technologies, and processes to ensure McKeon Group staff, contractors and clients are well equipped to deliver projects safely and efficiently, to the highest possible standards.

 

In her own words, she was never a fan of playing with dolls, nor had she any particular interest in what were seen as ‘girly activities’ at the time. Veronica worked from an early age – initially in hospitality. While she describes her decision to enter the construction industry as daunting, she quickly saw and understood the potential of a career in the industry, and she was hooked. She began her Health & Safety journey by studying Occupational Health, Safety & Welfare part-time in UCD and then undertaking a series of training courses, including Safe Pass, Site Safety Rep, Certificate in Managing Site Safety (IOSH), Health & Safety at Roadworks, PSCS training, Harness & Lanyard Inspector, Working at Heights Instructor, Manual Handling Instructor & Assessor and many more. Veronica is currently studying for her Masters in Environmental, Health & Safety Management, supported by McKeon Group, while working full-time. If she could change one thing about the current education system today, it would be to introduce awareness of different career options at a much younger age.

 

Learning on the job

In addition to the training and regular courses, there is a huge amount of learning that comes from working across so many sites at once. Veronica credits some amazing colleagues and mentors for much of her ‘on the job’ learning over the past decade and a half, including Sean Harvey, with whom she worked on a large commercial project, and Aisling McArdle, an experienced H&S Manager. 

 

Working within McKeon Group, Veronica is involved in projects across each division of the Group on a daily basis, ensuring a wide range of experience. 

 

“No two days are the same. I might start the morning visiting a university campus and spend the afternoon in a water tower 30 metres above Dublin city. It’s amazing. Another day might bring me to a bank or commercial fit-out project in the city centre, before visiting an electrical installation in a maze of underground tunnels!! Each project requires a fresh approach so there is always something new to learn, building experience and knowledge everyday. My work with McKeon Group takes me all across Ireland, from pharma plants in Bray to an AV fit out in Limerick and many counties in between. I love that I get to see so much of this beautiful country while working.” 

 

Significant projects

“The projects that really stick out in my mind are not necessarily the most glamorous or highest value jobs, but there were certainly some interesting ones that presented unique challenges and problems to be solved. For example, during the pandemic – at the height of lockdown restrictions – we were working on a pharmaceutical project to provide for the installation of a huge tank that would not fit through the doors of the facility. The tank was fitted with pressure sensors that could not be disassembled so we had to innovate a solution that involved opening the roof and maneuvering the tank into place with cranes, before fixing the roof back in place. It was like something you would see in a movie!”

 

On being a woman in construction

As the parent to a young daughter, and someone who has experienced the opportunities of the industry, Veronica firmly believes in workplace equality. Her mantra is that there should be no distinction between male or female in the industry as everyone has different skills and strengths: “It’s how you use them that counts!”. 

 

While most parents regale their children with fairytales, Veronica’s daughter has grown up listening to stories of exciting building projects and stories from construction sites and can point to many homes, schools, and buildings in the area that her Mammy has contributed to – what a proud legacy.

 

“There have been a few formative experiences for sure, and these can be due to youth, inexperience and learning to work with different personalities. For the most part, I have not had any problems being a woman on site. Although, I recall one particular site inspection when I was pregnant – where I was asked if I had much longer to go or should they start building bigger ladder towers for me! Once I finished laughing, it brought it home to me that most people were not used to seeing or dealing with pregnant women on site. I think that’s changing now… I hope that’s changing”.

 

Would you recommend a career in construction?

 

“Yes! And while I love the technical learning and application of health and safety on site, I would recommend a trade to someone looking to enter the construction industry as these skills really open up the entire industry to you.”

 

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 https://mckeon.ie.

Innovations in Smart Lighting Panels, LED Strips & Ambient Lamps

 

Estimated to be a 100 billion dollar market by 2026, the accent and ambient lighting industry is growing rapidly. While smart lighting solutions have now made their way into the mainstream with the introduction of smart bulbs, accent and decorative lighting solutions are now set to do the same.

Introducing splashes of colour and stylised light into a space not only affects the ambience of a room but can also directly influence the mood and energy levels of individuals. There are, therefore, many use-cases for such lighting solutions with technology now able to help meet healthy building goals to improve the overall wellbeing of occupants.

Inspired by a few recent features on Wired, below, we’ll take an unbiased look at some of the latest innovations to hit the ambient and decorative lighting space from a variety of different manufacturers. Each suits a different purpose and has its own advantages and surprising quirks.

 

1. Philips Hue Gradient Smart Lightstrip

Philips has been at the heart of the smart lighting revolution and has since been busy adding ambient solutions to its Hue range of products. The Hue Gradient Smart Lightstrip is one such innovation and allows for creative home and office lighting. The flexible strips feature an adhesive strip on the back allowing it to be used as hidden recess lighting behind mirrors, cabinets, and TVs, or used to draw attention to trip hazards such as stairs.

The light strip can be controlled using a smartphone or paired with a Philips Hue compatible hub to enable integration with a smart home. Using the app, the colour and brightness of the light strip can be precisely controlled, with several preset scenes set by Philips ready to use.

 

2. Govee Neon Rope Light Strip

While light strips are often hidden away to provide spill lighting, Govee’s Neon Rope Light Strip is designed to be showcased. Using a diffusing layer, these flexible strips of LEDs can be customized to form an endless amount of shapes and configurations. Able to display several colours simultaneously, with gradient effects possible, the Neon Rope is one of the most striking light strips on the market. They work great as a way to provide daylight-mimicking light to fight SAD (https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/mental-health/seasonal-affective-disorder/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-symptoms.html) and boost mood, or use as a subtle night light. Being a smart device, the light strip can be controlled using your voice too, though an app is available.

Synced with a smart assistant, the light strips can also be used as a  way to enhance the experience of music, with the colour changing and animating in time with a beat, ideal for many commercial ambient light purposes.

 

3. Nanoleaf Shapes

Coming in two different shapes, with several starter kits on offer, Nanoleaf Shapes are the standout smart light panels on the market today. Using a modular system, triangle and hexagonal light panels fit together in a multitude of different ways to form unique, ambient lighting. Finding particular popularity among video content creators and streamers, Nanoleaf light panels are easy to set up and can be controlled by a hardware control panel or desktop app. Each shape is touch sensitive, with the ability to change the colour of individual panels with a simple swipe.

While often used to add a striking, neon accent to a background, Nanoleaf’s technology serves as an excellent mood booster and works well in reception areas to provide subtle, reading light.

 

4. Cololight Plus/Pro

The Cololight is a modular-style lamp that can provide ambient lighting even in small spaces. Through the use of reconfigurable hexagonal panels, the lamp can be reworked into a vast array of shapes, increasing and decreasing the light output as necessary.

As a smart lighting device, the ColoLight can be programmed to display a wide range of colours, with dynamic patterns and effects possible. The Plus comes with a plastic base while the Pro has a more stable, stone base, with both looking great in office settings atop desks, giving the chance for personal expression.

 

5. LIFX Beam

One of the biggest changes over the past couple of years is for strip lighting to become a feature in itself. As a feature light, the LIFX Beam stands as one of the most innovative. The start kit comes with 6 illuminable sticks that fasten together with magnets.

As would be expected, the devices can be customised to display any colour and combination, with a diffused effect making them ideal for living room accent lighting. The kit works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and other smart home automation services. The LIFX Beam is also designed to not affect the circadian rhythm of inhabitants, with a Day & Dusk feature that aims to emulate the brightness of the time of day.

 

6. Halo Wall

Crafted by the Spanish designer Martin Azua, the Halo Wall is about as simple as it gets with single, slimline, 1-metre long LED units used to fashion various compositions. The sticks of light can be used as an interesting wall feature but work equally well as subtle ambient light.

While the Halo Wall fixtures look relatively standard on first blush, every element of the design has been carefully considered, using a double methacrylate diffuser atop a shallow aluminum profile to give the impression of pixel lighting. They provide clean, non-harmful light with a CRI of 80, at 3000K, a high standard of colour accuracy and temperature for occupant wellbeing. 

 

7. Dyson Solarcycle Morph

In the typical Dyson style, the Solarcycle Morph takes a technological concept and elevates it beyond other options on the market. In this case, Dyson has turned its attention to feature and accent lighting. Whether used to highlight a wall-mounted picture or pointed at a wall to provide indirect mood lighting, the Solarcycle Morph is a versatile smart light that is potentially the most innovative on the market.

Similar to a draftsman’s lamp,  a spotlight is attached via a flexible arm on top of an illuminating central column. While the lamp can be used as a direct task lamp, it works best as an ambient light source, with it able to mimic the natural daylight cycle automatically. Using Dyson’s Link app, you can synchronise the ambient light with local daylight, or choose from a variety of presets including relaxation and study. The LED bulb is set to last 60 years and can output a colour temperature of anything between 2700 and 6500 kelvin.

With the smart ambient and accent lighting sector still in its relative infancy, the future of the space looks to see even further innovations over the coming years.

 

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 https://mckeon.ie.

 

DkIT Site Visit: Construction Excellence & Perpetual Curiosity

At McKeon Group, we are passionate about introducing the next generation of construction talent to the industry. As a third generation business, we understand the importance of harnessing all that ‘people potential’ to innovate and create change. In fact, earlier this month, we took a group of primary school children on a site visit to expose them to a working construction site – and to a possible future career in the industry! You can read more about that site visit here https://mckeon.ie/removing-barriers-and-normalising-diversity-is-everyones-business/.

It is equally rewarding when we get the opportunity to meet with third level students who have already chosen a career in the industry. Here, we can share the realities of project life, both on and off site. 

Last week, McKeon Group directors Clíona Molloy and Paddy Cassidy met with DKIT School of Engineering’s class of 2022. The engineering class included the future graduates in construction management, civil engineering, building surveying, and architectural technologists. Firstly, let us just say that the future of the industry is in good hands. It was great to see such high levels of enthusiasm and genuine curiosity from the students. Clíona and Paddy spoke to the class about day-to-day life in construction; the range of projects, the exciting challenges, and the sense of achievement when high quality projects are handed over to satisfied clients. They also counselled the eager students on the importance of their networks, starting with their classmates, lecturers, tutors, and of course visiting industry professionals! One of the most important takeaways from the session was the need for continuous learning and continuous upskilling; a shorthand for this might be telling the students to prepare for a lifetime of taking action on perpetual curiosity…

After the presentation, our directors took the students on a tour of the North Building STEM development, where McKeon Group is currently working to deliver a significant extension. (Further project details available at: https://mckeon.ie/project-update-1300sqm-extension-at-dundalk-institute-of-technology/ )

 

 

Exposing third level students to such ‘real world’ projects affords them a meaningful opportunity to explore the job as well as the discipline. This reinforces the fundamental principles and brings to life much of the theory they learn through their coursework. It also gives our team greater insight into new graduates, and with this deeper level of understanding, we can tailor our recruitment and training approach to appeal to the next generation of industry talent. 

Always teaching, always learning – every day in construction is a school day.

 

 

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 https://mckeon.ie 

 

 

McKeon Group: Ongoing Restoration Works at Ardgillan Castle

McKeon Group is proud to hold a position on Fingal County Council’s restoration contractor framework. Among the projects undertaken by the McKeon team under this framework is the restoration of the magnificent Ardgillan Castle, in North County Dublin. 

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 firm family favourite for tours, theater events, parties and more: https://ardgillancastle.ie 

In addition to the ongoing restoration works, this special local attraction will benefit from recently announced funding to ensure the significant expansion of walkways and cycleways, which will connect it to Balbriggan town centre.

Below are just a few of the grand rooms currently being restored by the McKeon site team:

 

 

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 https://mckeon.ie