Author: BBD-Admin

Roadstone wins two prestigious concrete awards

At the 38th annual Irish Concrete Society awards it was announced that Roadstone was a major supplier to both the overall winning project, and that of the highly commended category.

Both of the projects represented an outstanding use of concrete. Roadstone is delighted to have been involved both projects and would like to congratulate all involved.

Overall winner – Pálás Cinema, Galway

Read our case study on this project here

Highly commended – Visual Control Tower, Dublin Airport

Read our case study on this project here

Roadstone Thermal Liteblock- Building Energy Efficiency

Thermal Liteblock Logo

Roadstone has launched a new Thermal Liteblock system. The Roadstone Thermal Liteblock is a lightweight, durable and thermally efficient concrete block that provides improved energy efficiency in the design and construction of new buildings, and combined with a program of thermal modelling provides customers with solutions for compliance with the recently revised building regulations. There is now a greatly increased emphasis on minimising heat loss in the fabric of new buildings and particularly thermal bridging that can occur at building junctions. Roadstone’s product development included thermal modelling of a wide range of these building junctions which means that we can provide customers with design solutions and validated thermal performance calculations, through our technical support team. Roadstone’s product launch program included a number of regional seminars throughout Ireland that were well attended by architects, BER assessors, engineers and building contractors.

Roadstone has thermally modelled each critical junction detail, ACD’s as listed in TGD L 2011 appendix D1, D2, D4 and D6 and has calculated the psi value for each junction. This means we can provide a certified (y) factor calculation to our customers when using the Roadstone Thermal Liteblock system and the improved benefits of this will be evident in the improved BER results for your building. By using the Roadstone Thermal Liteblock System you can comfortably comply with TGD Part L 2011 thermal bridging requirements.

Roadstone has now developed a designated web page for Thermal Liteblock that includes the product brochure, contact details for our technical support team and a wide range of details that are now available for download. These details are fully certified and have been thermally modelled by our NSAI certified energy consultants Evolusion Innovation, to demonstrate compliance with TGD Part L.

Please contact one of our technical support team to discuss CPD accredited Liteblock seminars that can be provided in your practice or to discuss design solutions for your project.

If you are interested in taking part in one of our regional CPD seminars please fill out the CPD seminar enquiry form by clicking here.


Did You Know? – Concrete Blocks


The minimum strength for the use of solid masonry units (Dense and Lightweight) in Ireland is 7.5N/mm² in line with the Current building regulations Technical Guidance Documents part A – Please refer to Clause

Concrete block strength descriptions have been updated in line with IS EN 771-3. The relevant testing method is now mortar capped and dry tested. Block strength descriptions are now displayed as follows:


Old New
5N 7.5N
10N 13N
15N 18N
20N 24N
30N 36N

Old New
3N 4.5N
10N 13N
15N 18N
20N 24N

Standards Required to Build a Concrete Masonry Wall in Ireland

  • Produced to:
    I.S. EN 771-3 – 2011 Aggregate Concrete Masonry Units (Dense and Lightweight)
  • Level of conformity:
    CE Level 2+ Externally certified by a notified body (i.e. NSAI)
  • Intended use:
    As common, facing or exposed masonry in load bearing or non-load bearing building and civil engineering applications when designed and built in accordance with the current Irish Building Regulations

    • TGD Part A Structure
    • TGD Part B Fire Safety: class A1
    • TGD Part E Sound: Density >1900kgs
    • Part L Energy: Roadstone Thermal Liteblock reduce the thermal bridging at key junctions & air leakage
  • Designed to: Eurocode 6
    • I.S. EN 1996-1-1 General rules for reinforced and unreinforced masonry structures + National Annex
    • I.S. EN 1996-1-2 General rules. Structural fire design + National Annex
    • I.S. EN 1996-2:2006 Design considerations, selection of materials and execution of masonry + National Annex
  • Exposure/Durability tables and recommended Details:
    S.R. 325: 2014 Recommendations for the design of Masonry structures in Ireland to Eurocode 6.
  • Mortars and  Plasterers:
    I.S. EN 998-1 Specification for mortar for masonry – Part1: Rendering and plastering Mortar
    I.S. EN 998-1 Specification for mortar for masonry – Part2: Masonry Mortar
  • Rendering and Plastering:
    I.S. EN 13914: 2005 Pt. 1- Design preparation and application of external rendering and internal plastering – External Rendering
    I.S. EN 13914: 2005 Pt. 2- Design preparation and application of external rendering and internal plastering – Internal Plastering
  • Materials:
    • Cement: I.S. EN 197-1 : 2011
    • Aggregates: I.S. EN 12620 & SR 16 Guidance on the use of I.S. EN 12620 Aggregates for Concrete
    • Sands: I.S. EN13139 & SR 18 Guidance on the use of I.S. EN 13139 Aggregates for Mortar
    • Admixtures: I.S. EN 934-2
    • Water: I.S. EN 2008 Mixing water for concrete
  • Ancillary components:
    • I.S. EN 845-1 Specification for ancillary components for masonry –Part 1: Ties, tension straps hangers and brackets
    • I.S. EN 845-2 Specification for ancillary components for masonry –Part 2: Lintels
    • I.S. EN 845-3 Specification for ancillary components for masonry –Part 3: Bed Joint Reinforcement of steel meshwork

S.R. = Standard Recommendation for the use of standards in Ireland prepared under the direction of the NSAI (National Standards Authority Ireland)

New Huntstown Brick range launched

Huntstown Brick

Roadstone recently launched its NEW range of Huntstown Brick at the National Ploughing championships in Ratheniska. With over 200,000 attendees this event was a huge success.

Huntstown new brick range offers a unique range of colours and textures, providing stylish, durable and innovative building solutions to designers, contractors and house builders alike.

There are four new colours added to our range, Red Multi, Golden Multi, Georgian Blend and Harvest Blend available in smooth or antiqued rumbled ranges.

A significant investment in product development coupled with our own technical expertise and innovation has added a new dynamic to our programme of product development.

Huntstown brick is also colour and texture compatible with the full Forticrete range of facing masonry specials including quoins, sills, splayed and coping units.

Roadstone have a network of Retail Outlets and display areas throughout the country where you can view and collect samples of Huntstown brick.

TAMS II – Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme II

Farm Buildings - Cork

Grant schemes for on farm investment have long been part of the Irish farming scene. In 2015, after a lot of thought, planning and negotiation, we had the introduction of a new five year investment programme termed TAMS II – Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme II.

The sums surrounding TAMS II look attractive. Overall a budget of €395 Million is penned in for the six years and €175 Million of this is allocated to the Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage Scheme eg farm buildings.

Individual applications can attract 60% grant aid on investments of up to €80,000 for qualifying young farmers and 40% grant for up to €80k investment by farmers with no age restriction. That amounts to potential grant payments of €48k or €32k, depending on the category of the applicant, for carrying out desirable farm improvements.

However the TAMS II scheme has some fundamental differences to anything that has gone before it.

  • All applications have to be made on-line.
  • Applications will be made in tranches of three months with the final closing date of end of December 2020. Farmers can make multiple applications provided they come in under the overall grant ceiling.
  • At the end of each application period the Department marking list will assess and rank the merits of the applications in the three months before issuing approvals.

TAMS II may be experiencing some teething delays but very much up and running. The first tranche for the qualifying Young Farmer Scheme, which closed during September, attracted some 6,300 applications. In mid October none of these applicants have been issued with approval notices. So as yet no actual concrete has been poured under the TAMS II scheme.

October 30 2015 is the closing date nominated for the widely available 40% grant Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage Scheme.  The same closing date has been nominated for the Pig and Poultry Investment Scheme which also includes a 40% grant up to a ceiling of an €80 k investment.

Meanwhile the application for the second tranche of the Young Farm Scheme grants is again underway. Probably in the near future the Department of Agriculture will adjust the tranche application periods for the various TAMS II schemes so that they all run concurrently.

To date Ireland’s tillage farmers have been excluded from the TAMS II grants but it is expected that Farm Minister Coveney will shortly announce grant aid towards grain storage. Farm organisations are also pressing for sheep fencing and road underpasses to be included in TAMS II schemes. The absence of road underpasses is seen as a deterrent to dairy expansion on many farms, and the official policy is geared towards growth in dairy output.

There is a minimum of €2000 in grant payment which means a minimum project outlay of €5,000 where the 40% grant applies.

Every TAMS II application which includes buildings must be accompanied by planning permission or exemption for the unit, Applications must be compliant with adequate slurry and waste water storage on livestock farms.

Materials and building must the up to specification .

Generally the specs are there for a good reason. This is an opportunity for us farmers not to repeat the mistakes of the past. In particular I look at the foolish shortcuts I made in laying concrete 40 years ago. Where the correct foundations, strength of concrete, depth and concrete curing was done, the job is still 100%. Where shortcuts were taken, I will have to invest again.

Author: John Shirley

Author John Shirley

Roadstone Farmcrete – Concrete for the farm

Did You Know? – Mortar

Roadstone - Do you know mortar?

The current standard for mortar is I.S. EN 998-1 :2012  Specification for mortar for masonry.

The sand used to produce mortar should comply with the requirement of SR 18, Guidance on the use of I.S. EN13139:2002 – Aggregates for mortar. The SR gives the NPD’s (National defined parameters) for the PSD (particle size distribution) and chemical requirements of the sands used to produce mortar.

Mortar strength is now specified as a compressive strength class  i.e. M6, the number following the M is the compressive strength for the class at 28days in N/mm²

Table NA.3 below is taken from the Irish National Annex to Eurocode 6 – Design of masonry structures – Part 1-1: General rules for reinforced and unreinforced masonry structures

The table gives new compressive strength class, proportions and the old Mortar designation.


Mortar is available from Roadstone as TRM ( trowel ready mortar) or Flowmix  (dry silo mortar)

Technical Certification & Declaration of Performance (DOP) are available to download – just click here.

Revision of S.R.21

In March of this year the NSAI published the revised draft of S.R. 21. The Standard Recommendation’s full title is,

S.R.21: Guidance on the use of I.S. EN 13242:2013 – Aggregates for unbound and hydraulically bound materials for use in civil engineering work and road construction.

Annex E deals specifically with aggregates for use under (and adjacent to) concrete floors and footpaths.
We are happy to confirm that all relevant Roadstone Ltd locations have been inspected and tested and found to be in full compliance with S.R 21, and all other S.R’s such as
S.R 16 Aggregates for concrete
S.R 17 Aggregates for Bituminous Mixtures and Surface Treatments
S.R 18 Aggregates for Mortar




In 2007, Annex E was added to SR21 in response to concerns about pyritic materials having entered the supply chain from a small limited number of suppliers and resulting in structural damage to a significant number of houses and buildings in the Greater Dublin region. This further revision is substantially on foot of the Pyrite Panel Report 2012 issued by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government following an enquiry into the matter.

Annex E Proposed Specifications

1. Material Properties :

(a) Grading, material now to be a continuously graded 0/31.5 mm as per Table E.2 of S.R 21 Annex E.

(b) Durability:
LA value now required to be a maximum of LA30
Mudrock content of the material shall not exceed 10%
Magnesium Sulphate Soundness value shall comply with MS25

(c) Chemical Requirements:
Total Sulphur;
If <0.1% no Petrography necessary
If between 0.1% and 1% Petrography necessary
If Pyrrhotite present 0.4% Total Sulphur max
If Total Sulphur is > 1% material is unsuitable.

2. Geological and Petrographic Assessment :
More explicit guidance is given on the geological and petrographic assessment to limit the risk of swelling due to the presence of a reactive form of pyrite.

3. Factory Production Control :
Previous specifications generally called for chemical and physical testing of materials on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. This has been increased to the levels contained in Table E.1.

The main changes are:
Grading: Weekly
% Crushed Particles (Gravel only): Monthly
LA 2/Year
Water Absorption: 2/Year
Soundness: 1/Year
Total Sulphur: Quarterly
Acid Soluble Sulphate: Quarterly
Geological Description Quarterly

Please note that these test frequencies only apply during times of production. A period of production is defined as a full week, month or year.
These test frequencies may be reviewed based on the advice of a Professional Geologist.

4. System of Attestation and Verification :
The system of attestation and verification of performance has changed from System 4 (self-certification) to System 2+ (independent certification) for this particular end use aggregate. There is an 18 month lead in time to allow certain producers to ensure all Quality Management Systems are in place prior to external audit.

5. Documentation :
The full title, “Granular Fill to Annex E of S.R. 21”, of this special end use aggregate should be clearly stated on the Declaration of Performance, and other documentation including the delivery ticket.

6. Future Proposal :
NSAI Aggregates Panel is now tasked with generating a Code of Practice for the use of hardcore which will include supply chain control arrangements.


Roadstone Ltd have a long and successful history of supplying a wide range of building materials to the Irish construction industry with no issues relating to pyritic heave or swelling.

NEW display area at Ballygarvan Retail Outlet

Roadstone Retail Outlet at Ballygarvan, Co. Cork have just put the finishing touches to their new paving & walling display area.  A vibrant new range of natural stone, block paving and walling products are now on show.

Please feel free to give us a call and get advice from our experienced staff members James Mulcahy & Gary Sullivan.

Ballygarvan Retail Outlet: 021 4888211

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 08:00 to 17:00





Leixlip Waste Treatment Facility

In 2014, Roadstone were tasked with supplying a single pour of 1,700m3 of C30/37 D20 S3 ready mixed concrete to the Lower Liffey Valley Sewerage Scheme Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade in Co. Kildare. The scheme aims to upgrade the existing Leixlip WWTP from 80,000 population equivalent to its ultimate capacity of 150,000. The 1,700m3 concrete single pour required considerable planning by Roadstone in terms of manufacture, transport and technical support. The 13 hour pour was closely monitored by Roadstone technical staff at the two supply plants and also during placement of the concrete on site. Three concrete pumps were utilised to ensure a constant rate of pour was delivered. The traffic management, continuity and consistency of concrete supplied were key to the success of the project.

N7 Newlands Cross Free Flow Interchange

Roadstone are currently supplying material to the N7 Newlands Cross Free Flow Interchange upgrade which consisted of major road widening and improvement to the busiest road junction in Ireland. This massive project mainly consists of the construction of a major re-enforced earth bridge 10 meters in height. Over 180,000 tns of 6I granular fill will be used in the construction of the ramps adjacent to the bridge abutments. This material will be placed in 150mm layers and compacted to in excess of 95% of maximum dry density.

Large concrete panels are used to face the side walls of the bridge with pre-cast natural cut-stone effect panels used to face the ramps. These panels are held in place by means of galvanised straps connected to the internal face of the panel at depths of 150mm.

This 6I material will then be covered with a layer of 6F2 and 150mm of Cl 804 before being covered in bituminous base layer. 6N is also used as backfill to the bridge piers

This project also involves the construction of numerous additional and auxiliary traffic lanes. When completed, the work will resulted in a significant improvement to the route capacity and traffic flow at this strategic junction with minimal disruption to existing traffic flow, adjacent residences and commercial enterprises during construction. As a major supplier Roadstone are contributing to the success of this project with their unrivalled experience and commitment to quality and service.