Category: Construction & Civil

Concrete in Cold Weather Guidelines


During extremely cold weather concrete (particularly fresh and early age concrete) can be severely damaged by frost and ice. When fresh concrete cools below 0ºC the water in the mix freezes and expands which causes cracking internally and blistering of the surface. Mature concrete that is saturated can also be seriously affected by low temperatures.

Certain precautions can be taken to minimise and possibly prevent frost damage to concrete and the following advice whilst not exhaustive will help protect concrete against frost damage.
Further guidance can also be got from the Irish Concrete Federations publication “Guidelines for Concreting in Cold Weather” available on

Effects of cold weather on unprotected concrete
• If there is a risk of frost at night it is essential to protect fresh concrete from freezing.
• Fresh concrete strength must reach 5N/mm² to avoid the effects of frost damage.
• Concrete temperature must be kept at or above 5ºC for the first 48 hours to achieve this.
• Low temperatures will slow down concrete strength development for several weeks.
• Strength development is further reduced during cold weather if GGBS or PFA is used.
• Striking times of formwork must be extended during periods of cold weather.
• External slabs, yards and driveways are particularly vulnerable because they have a large surface area and thin section which allows heat to escape rapidly. Particular precautions must be taken to prevent frost damage to these areas.
• While it is common practice to apply de-icing agents such as salt on concrete surfaces to clear ice and snow during winter, these in themselves can damage the concrete surface that they are applied to. Ammonia based de-icing agents are particularly aggressive and should not be used as they can severely damage concrete surfaces.

Precautions to be taken when concreting in cold weather
• Specifications recommend that concreting should not start when the air temperature is 5ºC and falling and should only begin when the temperature is at 3ºC and rising.
• Fresh concrete should never be placed on or against frozen ground.
• Reinforcing bars and shuttering must be free of ice and snow. Cover and insulate the concrete where possible.
• If concrete has to be placed it should be organised so that it is done as quickly as possible.
• Frost blankets should be used to provide insulation and protection for exposed concrete surfaces.
• Wind breaks will reduce wind chill and evaporation and help lower heat loss especially from slabs.
• Heaters may be necessary to provide continuous heating to the concrete to maintain heat.
• Increasing the cement content or grade of concrete will generate more heat in the concrete; consider the use of air entrainment, polypropylene fibres or accelerator.
• The Irish Standard for Concrete : IS EN 206, recommends using C30/37 (37N) air entrained or C40/50 (50N) concrete where wet horizontal surfaces are exposed to significant freeze/thaw cycles.

Concrete in warm weather guidelines

When concrete is mixed, transported, and placed under hot weather conditions such as high ambient temperature, low humidity, solar radiation, or strong wind, it is important to know what effects these environmental factors can have on the fresh and hardened concrete properties and what precautionary measures are required in the construction operation to prevent damage occurring to the concrete.

Definition of Hot Weather

Hot weather is any combination of the above which impair the quality of the fresh or hardened concrete and/or cause detrimental results. Hot weather concrete problems generally occur during the summer season. Thermal shrinkage is more severe in the spring and autumn (temperature differential).  When air temperatures are identical, a calm, humid day is less severe than a dry, windy, sunny day.

• High ambient temperature
• Solar radiation
• Low relative humidity
• Wind velocity
• High concrete temperature

Potential Problems in Hot Weather – Fresh Concrete

• Increased water demand
• Increased loss of workability with the tendency to add water at the job site
• Increased rate of setting and hardening, resulting in difficult handling and finishing with a risk of cold joints
• Increased potential for plastic shrinkage cracking
• Difficulty in controlling entrained air content.

Potential Problems in Hot Weather – Hardened Concrete

• Potential decrease in 28 day and later age strengths
• Increase in drying shrinkage and thermal cracking
• Increase in permeability
• Reduction in durability
• Difficulty in controlling entrained air content

Avoiding Potential Problems

• Protect concrete against moisture loss during placement and particularly curing period
• Always cure concrete immediately and fully
• Order the correct concrete mix at adequate workability for the job in hand
• Dampen sub-grade before concreting begins
• Plan the work to avoid peak temperatures

Quarry water is much colder than rivers, lakes or the sea – you could die from ‘Cold Shock’ in less than 2 minutes



Cold shock can cause you to gasp and drown immediately or can lead to hypothermia, making it very hard to breath. Assuming you survive the cold shock, the drop in temperature causes finger stiffness (making it difficult to climb out), reduced coordination (making it difficult to swim/tread water) and general muscle weakness. It is impossible to help yourself. If cold shock and the reduced physical capabilities don’t result in drowning, hypothermia may kill you.

Quarries are dangerous:

  • Deep water may contain hidden currents or submerged plants which can drag you under
  • Submerged abandoned machinery/car wrecks which you can impale yourself on if jumping in
  • Underwater ledges/ recesses where you can become trapped
  • Dead animals/excrement cause disease
  • Pollution/rubbish causing eye and skin irritations, stomach problems, fungal infections and rashes
  • Poisonous/toxic algae

Christmas closure

Roadstone wishes to notify all customers and suppliers of our holiday arrangements for the Christmas period.  All locations will close on Thursday December 23rd and will reopen on Wednesday January 5th 2022.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and colleagues a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Architecture At The Edge – CPD Part L and NZEB compliance

Roadstone is attending ARCHITECTURE AT THE EDGE on Saturday 12th October and is delighted to sponsor a CPD Event.

Learn about updates to TGD L 2019 now incorporates a requirement to comply with NZEB standards. This presentation will explain Part L along with the changes required and demonstrate effective measures in ensuring compliance.

  • The NZEB standard as set out in TGD L 2017 Buildings other than dwellings applies to works from 1st January 2019 (subject to transitional arrangements). For Public Sector bodies, NZEB applies from 31st December 2018.
  • TGD L 2019 Dwellings includes numerical indicators for NZEB which apply to works from 1st November 2019 (subject to transitional arrangements).

RIAI CPD points apply

Venue: Human Biology Building NUIG

Date: 12th October 2019

Time: 14:00 – 14:45



thumbnail of Roadstone-pantone-yellow-bg


Roadstone at the CIF Annual Conference 2019

Roadstone was delighted to attend the annual CIF conference as an event sponsor in Croke Park alongside CRH and Farrans.

The Construction Industry Federation presented an informative event with noteworthy speakers throughout the day.

Roadstone displayed its Sustainable urban Drainage System (SuDS) which attracted great attention.

Roadstone is exhibiting at Self Build Citywest

Roadstone is exhibiting at the Self Build Show in Citywest, 13th – 15th September.

Visit our stand to find out more about our innovative building solutions including our Thermal Blocks and Quick Floor Screed.

Our Technical staff will be on hand to answer any questions you might have on our full product range.

KeltStone Walling

Keltstone Walling is a striking and attractive alternative to where plastered finishes would be used.

It is available in two colours, Limestone and Sandstone.

Roadstone is delighted to have supplied Keltstone Walling to the lodges in Center Parcs this year.

Thermal Liteblock

Save on cost and improve Y-Value in your build by using Roadstone’s Thermal Liteblock at key junctions.  Talk to our experts to see how this Thermal Liteblock can save you money on your build.

WINNER Best Interior Building Product – RIAI Architecture Choice Awards

WINNER Best New Product Innovation – Irish Build & Design Awards

WINNER Construction Product of the Year – Irish Construction Industry Awards

Quick Floor Screed

Roadstone’s Quick Floor Screed is a self-compacting, flowing liquid screed that will

  • Enable a smooth and level surface with marginal leveling
  • Ease of installation – 10 times faster than traditional screeds
  • Suitable for Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Floors
  • Ideal for underfloor heating, with swift warmth and comfort

Roadstone Block Paving

Roadstone manufactures a wide range of Block paving.

  • 60mm range – ideally suitable for driveways, patios and footpaths
  • 80mm range – suitable for roads and commercial applications.
  • Aqua permeable range – suitable for water retention areas. A sustainable urban drainage system (SuDS) is an alternative to the traditional pipes, gullies and culverts approach to a development and its drainage strategy. A SuDS system comprises of components and techniques that are deemed to be more sustainable and deal with storm water at source.

Our full range of Block Paving can be viewed on our website.

Joseph Hogan’s becomes Roadstone Ltd.

Roadstone is delighted to announce that from June 1st 2019, Joseph Hogan’s at Ballylin, Foynes, Co. Limerick, will officially operate as Roadstone Ltd.

Operations at the location will continue as normal with the supply of blocks, concrete and aggregates and agricultural lime.

Should you have any projects you would like to discuss please contact John McDermott, the local area Sales Representative for Roadstone Ltd. He can be contacted on 086 258 3103 or at

The office numbers and extensions will remain the same. For any further information please phone 069 65550.

Roadstone wins at the Irish Concrete Society Awards

architectural concrete, fair faced concrete

Roadstone was delighted to win an award as major supplier to The Cliffs of Moher Coach Park Reception Building at the recent Irish Concrete Society Awards.

The design and construction of the building demonstrates a fantastic visual and practical approach to building with concrete.

A quote from the jury describes the building very well:

“In the sensitive landscape along the coast of Clare to which visitors flock to view the Cliffs of Moher, this project seeks to minimise its visual impact on the setting, creating a sunken enclosure of concrete, incorporating reception facilities for the various coach companies serving the site.

Concrete is cleverly used to hold back the earth enabling the necessary accommodation to be concealed in a mounded form. Benefiting from the inherent strength, robustness and resilience of concrete, its comprehensive use seems particularly appropriate here.

Carefully detailed fair-faced concrete is used extensively in the floors, walls and ceilings both internally and externally, treated with various finishes from exposed aggregate to highly polished, according to its location. Artificial lighting is hidden in niches carved out of the concrete, whilst canted sky windows are crafted to allow daylight into the concealed interior.”


Roadstone sponsors Trowel Ready Mortar for the 2019 National Bricklaying Final

Roadstone was delighted to sponsor Trowel Ready Mortar for the 2019 National Bricklaying Final at Ireland Skills Live in the RDS.

“The mortar was a success, the trucks arrived on time each morning.  The consistency and workability of the mortar was second to none..” Brian Conville, Ireland Skills Live

Congratulations to the overall winner Jason Shanahan and all of those who took part in the competition.

“The Roadstone TRM mortar at the National Skills Competition was ideal for the brickwork project we had to build, the mortar was nice and workable and had a nice creamy consistency to it which made building the project just that bit easier for us. It was very consistent when going off which made it very easy for us to time the pointing of the brick in the competition this allowed us to build as much as we could and yet still be able to point up the brickwork to our desired finish.

The mortar when pointed was very aesthetically pleasing to the eye and this allowed us to get as much points for the overall appearance of our projects in the competition. Overall the mortar supplied was perfect for the job at hand and I could definitely see myself using more of the Roadstone mortar for future jobs”.

 – Jason Shanahan, 2019 National Bricklaying Competition Winner

Jason Shanahan, 22 year old from Cork, completed the Phase 4 and 6 of his apprenticeship in TUDublin formerly DIT.

There was a total of six competitors in the 18 hour competition.  The aim of the exam was to test their ability to read and understand a drawing along with the basics of bricklaying i.e. rang, gauge, measurements, level, plump, details and the overall visual look of the job.

This was made a lot harder due to the pressure that comes with competition and being watched by large crowds including the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, who made sure to inspect the high level of workmanship during his visit to the event.

Roadstone to attend the National Construction Summit

Roadstone will attend the National Construction Summit on Thursday 14th March at The Citywest Hotel.

During the Summit, Roadstone will offer technical advice on SuDS and paving solutions.

Visit the Roadstone stand to view our SuDS model and get a better understanding of how our Aquaflow Permeable Paving System works. A variety of paving samples will also be on offer.

For further opportunities to learn about SuDS make sure to check the programme for details of our main stage presentation titled: “Practical solutions for SuDS in the built environment”.

Read about the Aquaflow range here

Ryan Bros. (Ennis) Ltd. becomes Roadstone Ltd.

Ryan Bros

Roadstone is delighted to announce that from January 1st 2019, Ryan Bros. (Ennis) Ltd. at Toonagh Quarry, Ennis, Co. Clare, will officially operate as Roadstone Ltd.

Operations at the location will continue as normal with the supply of blocks, concrete and aggregates. The retail shop will also continue to supply paving, walling and stone.

Should you have any projects you would like to discuss please contact Derek Power, the local area Sales Representative for Roadstone Ltd. He can be contacted on 086  825 7882 or at

The office numbers and extensions will remain the same. For any further information please phone 065 683 7644.

Roadstone Autumn Seminar Series



Roadstone would like to invite you to attend an upcoming Roadstone CPD accredited seminar in your region.  The seminars will identify some of the key changes to the Irish Building Regulations and present practical and cost-effective solutions that will contribute significantly towards efficient design and construction.

Roadstone is committed to product innovation aimed at providing building solutions to builders, contractors and designers alike.  This includes the development of the Thermal Liteblock system, manufactured in Ireland, providing excellent insulation properties which specifically mitigate heat loss at thermal bridges – a key challenge in the construction industry. The Roadstone Thermal Liteblock is also the only concrete block solution to the thermal bridging requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations.

These seminars will also present and overview of Roadstone solutions to other challenges presented from the building regulations and specifications, including:

  • Concrete to I.S. EN206 + Case studies
  • Paving + Permeable Surfacing Solutions- SuDS
  • Aggregates and Standards
  • Concrete Blocks + Part L-Case Studies

The seminar is a CPD event and will take place in a number of regions over the coming weeks. Our invited audience will be comprised of Contractors, Architects, Engineers, designers and professional representatives from across the sector. This CPD event will include refreshments and an opportunity to network with your colleagues and the Roadstone Commercial Innovation team.

To register your interest please contact –

Date Venue Time CPD SEMINAR Duration
7th November 2018 Hibernian Hotel Mallow 5.30pm • Concrete to I.S. EN206 + Case studies
• Paving + Permeable Surfacing Solutions- SuDS
• Aggregates and Standards
Approx 1 hr 30 mins.  Finger Food + Tea/Coffee available from 5pm
14th November 2018 Athlone Springs Hotel 7.30am • Concrete to I.S. EN206 + Case studies
• Paving + Permeable Surfacing Solutions- SuDS
• Concrete Blocks + Part L-Case Studies
Approx 1 hr 30 Mins.  Breakfast available from 7am
20th November 2018 Tullamore Court Hotel 7.30am • Concrete to I.S. EN206 + case studies
• Paving + Permeable Surfacing Solutions- SUDS
• Concrete Blocks + Part L-Case Studies
Approx 1 hr 30 mins.  Tea/Coffee + pastries available from 7am

Roadstone brand to carry CRH endorsement



Roadstone will now adopt the endorsement line “A CRH Company”, as part of a new company logo.

CRH is the global name of Roadstone’s parent company. CRH was formed in 1970 when Irish Cement and Roadstone merged to become Cement-Roadstone Holdings now known as CRH plc.

CRH is now one of the leading global brands in the building materials industry today. It is recognised for leadership in operational performance, environmental performance, corporate social responsibility, innovative building solutions and sustainable construction.

On a practical level the only change required, will be to update how our company branding appears. In particular, documentation will now bear the new endorsed logo, as will our signage, website, and our vehicle fleet in due course.

Be assured that the company, the products and services we supply, will all remain the same.


concrete truck


About CRH

CRH (LSE: CRH, ISE: CRG, NYSE: CRH) is the leading building materials business in the world, employing c.71,000 people at c.3,200 operating locations in 28 countries. It is the largest building
materials business in North America and in Europe and also has regional positions in Asia.

CRH manufactures and supplies a range of integrated building materials, products and innovative end-toend solutions which can be found throughout the built environment in a wide range of construction projects from major public infrastructure to homes and commercial buildings.

A Fortune 500 company, CRH is a constituent member of the FTSE 100 Index, the EURO STOXX 50 Index, the ISEQ 20 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) Europe. CRH is ranked among sector leaders by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) rating agencies. CRH’s American Depositary Shares are listed on the NYSE.

For more information, please visit:


New to Roadstone: Milan Linear Paving

block paving, linear paving, concrete paving, patio slab

Roadstone is delighted to announce the launch of a new paving range. The Milan Block Paving Range is a linear paving product that is available in 3 colours.

Both charcoal and natural are available in a smooth or textured finish, while a white granite product is available only in a textured finish.

Paving sizes available include 480mm X 120mm, and 360mm X 120mm

The Milan Block Paving range is designed to ideally suit patios, gardens, paths and a range of commercial applications.

To view the full range visit our Paving Product Selector:

For technical specification visit the Milan Paving product page:

The future of rainwater management – Irish Building Magazine

permeable paving

The following article first appeared in Irish Building Magazine and can be downloaded HERE


The drainage solution of the future, a sustainable urban drainage system (SuDS) is an alternative to the traditional pipes, gullies and culverts approach to a development and drainage strategy. “If you could imagine a green field,” says Michael Vaughan of Roadstone, “you’d have about a 10% water runoff. A built-up, hard landscape area could have up to 50% runoff. The sheer amount of runoff water you have to deal with is immense when you are constructing high-density developments.” Managing the water on site, minimising its runoff, infiltrating the water for passive treatment and controlling its discharge rate are the key elements of this kind of drainage. The Roadstone Aquaflow paving system provides a practical solution to SuDS.

Michael Vaughan says that the fact of the matter is that while there are drainage systems in place throughout the country, we can’t keep feeding into them forever more. “I think this is an issue the entire country will be dealing with going forward. The way we address this issue is by dealing with the water close to its source,” he explains. By doing that, we can use SuDS paving which allows the water to filter through the paving into a sub-structure, which is designed, and you have controlled release of the water back into the ground.” The Roadstone Aquaflow SuDS allows rainwater to infiltrate through a permeable block paved surface into a unique sub-base before being released in a controlled manner into the ground or storage tanks for reuse or delayed discharge. The system is capable of handling rainfall up to 4,500mm per sq.m per hour.

The water leaving the Aquaflow system is cleaned by filtration and microbial action and can be used for secondary non-potable uses such as flushing toilets and watering soft landscapes. A further advantage of Roadstone’s Aquaflow system is that roof water can be drained directly into the sub-base through a dispersion chamber. A good example of the efficient use of SuDS is the 21,000 sq.m car park with a SuDS system used by Kildare County Council offices “It takes the carpark surface water and filtrates it, then transfers it into storage tanks to be used as non-potable water in the building itself,” says Michael.

Now is the time to take notice of water management systems, according to the experts at Roadstone. “We have to look to the future, we have to put rain water management on a sustainable footing.” says Michael Vaughan. “We can’t keep putting water through existing systems because the capacity will keep increasing and increasing. We have to manage the possibility of flooding also, which happens throughout the country each year and this is one element that would help in managing it.”

The Roadstone Aquaflow paving system is ideal for new builds, and SuDS is something we will likely see as a requirement in new developments of the future, says Michael Vaughan.

“Roadstone are a one-stop shop for SuDS. Roadstone can provide a full design service for your Aquaflow paving system issuing a site specific Aquaflow design including construction depths, invert levels, restraints, drainage and any other design elements.”

Roadstone have shown full commitment to SuDS paving solutions by providing a SuDS equivalent for all their popular standard paving ranges. For example Roadstone Castlestone paving range has an Aquaflow Castlestone permeable paving equivalent. Permeable paving is available in a full range of colours including Roadstones popular blended colours. Other permeable finishes are available such as permeable porous asphalt in the form of the “Duraflow” product, permeable “no fines concrete” and “core gravel sheets” complete the permeable range.


  • Roadstone designed, Formpave Aquaflow system
  • 21,000m² car park
  • ML Aquaflow Paving Blocks and inbitex membrane in a 350mm deep sub-base (specification graded stone with 30% voids to maximize storage) over SC membrane to form a tanked system
  • Use of mains water reduced by incorporating filtered rainwater from the car park, which is stored to overhead storage tanks for non-potable water use.


  • New adjacent 5,000m² asphalt carpark partially drains into the permeable paving and is accommodated by the existing system
  • Áras Chill Dara reported no standing water on the car-park even after major rain events, ensuring cleaner surfaces
  • Aquaflow ML Paving in good condition both visually and structurally
  • Today, the system is fully operational and providing water to overhead storage tanks for non-potable building services use as required



Interest grows in Roadstone SuDS systems – Construction Industry News

permeable paving, block paving

The following article first appeared in Construction Industry News and can be downloaded HERE


Across the country water drainage and sewage systems handle the water runoff from large scale developments. As the scale of development increases in the coming years, the problem of surface water management will be greatly exacerbated.

According to Michael Vaughan, Roadstone National Sales Manager Architectural Products, an undeveloped site has a surface water run-off of 10%, while a high density development can experience a run-off of up to 55%.

The challenge of managing surface water run-off is being met by an increased use of SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems) or permeable paving systems. One of the key principles of SuDS is reducing water quantity thus dealing with surface water at the source reduces the effects of urbanisation and the impact of localised flooding.

Michael says Roadstone has been receiving an increased number of enquiries from across the country in recent times about Roadstone’s Aquaflow (SuDS) range of paving.

Roadstone Aquaflow system allows rain to infiltrate through a permeable block paved surface into a unique sub-base before being released in a controlled manner into the ground or into main sewers or water courses. The system is capable of handling rainfall of 4500mm per sq. m per hour.

The water leaving the Aquaflow system is cleaned by filtration and microbial action and can also be stored in an integrated tanking system for secondary non-potable uses such as flushing toilets. watering soft landscapes and firefighting. A further advantage of Roadstone’s Aquaflow system is that roof water can be drained through an aquaflow distribution tank directly into the sub-base.

Roadstone can provide all the materials necessary to facilitate the design and construction of the Aquaflow  permeable paving system. Michael explains that the Roadstone team like to get involved in a project as early as possible so the project team can avail of their design and technical expertise.

In 2005, Roadstone designed the Formpave Aquaflow system to facilitate a 21,000-sq m car parking space at Aras Chill Dara, the then new Kildare County Council offices. Over the years,
Aras Chill Dara reported no standing water on the car-park, even after major rain events, ensuring cleaner surfaces. Twelve years on the Aquaflow Paving is still performing its water management function.


Developments in Roadstone’s Thermal Liteblock – Irish Building magazine

Part L, Liteblock

The following article first appeared in the Irish Building magazine and can be downloaded HERE

Award Winning Thermal Liteblock

Alan Lowe, Roadstone’s Senior Technical Manager discusses the new developments regarding Roadstone Thermal Liteblock, their large range of thermally modeled construction details and the features and benefits of the Thermal Liteblock which is available from Roadstone outlets nationwide.

Roadstone’s multi-award winning Thermal Liteblock is manufactured by Roadstone in Ireland. Thermal Liteblock is used at key junctions to provide reductions in thermal bridging and heat loss. It has thermal conductivity values less than 0.33 W/mK which is a 300% improvement over standard concrete blocks. This is achieved using a specific mix design which includes lightweight aggregates. This mix produces a robust concrete block with excellent insulation properties while maintaining structural strength and allowing for traditional construction methods to be used. Thermal Liteblock can be used with traditional mortars and renders and is compatible with standard concrete fixings.

By 2016 Thermal Liteblock was established in the market, winning national awards. Speaking to Irish building magazine, Alan says Thermal Liteblock has proved to be a very successful product, being specified by designers on a wide range of domestic, commercial and public projects. He describes Roadstone’s most recent addition to the Thermal Liteblock range, developing a higher strength Thermal Liteblock: “We have recently developed a 13N/mm² Thermal Liteblock. The building regulation minimum standard is 7.5 N/mm² for the compressive strength of standard and lightweight concrete blocks. The 13 N/mm² Thermal Liteblock is suitable where higher design strength is required, such as in commercial developments where compliance with NZEB (Near Zero-Energy Buildings) is required. Thermal Liteblock is now available in a range of strengths, sizes and configurations providing far greater design and construction flexibility for our customers.”

The Roadstone Thermal Liteblock system combines the Roadstone Thermal Liteblock with the Roadstone Concrete Block range, which when used in accordance with the Acceptable Construction Details (ACDs), achieves Psi values equal to or better than the standards set out in TGD Part L 2011. Roadstone have thermally modelled all relevant details in Appendix D of TGD L 2011. From this extensive research, Roadstone are now in a position to provide detail solutions that comply fully with Psi value requirements outlined in TGD L 2011 – Appendix D. Roadstone also offers a specialist design service. Alan explains, “If a client comes to us with a project at the design stage or with bespoke details we can engage our design consultants Evolusion Innovation to carry out fully certified y value calculations for the project. From this, we can assist our customers in identifying cost savings and/or enhanced Building Energy Rating (BER) performance. We have over 150 certified thermally modelled details that are available to our customers for incorporation into their projects.”

“We were able to achieve a thermally efficient block and one which meets the robustness, integrity and strength that is required by the Irish and European standards.”

Alan describes how the Thermal Liteblock was originally developed. “Roadstone recognised back in 2013 that Part L of the building regulations had changed the thermal bridging requirements for construction details. We reviewed the Psi value requirements in Part L and examined how we could achieve a more thermally efficient concrete block to achieve compliance. We completed 12 months of Research & Development to manufacture a concrete block with low density and improved thermal performance while maintaining the required structural characteristics of a concrete block.” Speaking of their success, he says, “We were able to achieve a thermally efficient block and one which meets the robustness, integrity and strength that is required by the Irish and European standards.”

Key features and benefits:

  • Reduced Thermal Bridging resulting in reduced heat loss, and lower heating bills.
  • Excellent thermal conductivity (Lambda λ) value less than 0.33 W/mK for masonry block.
  • Robust and durable concrete block with a minimum compressive strength of 7.5N/mm².
  • Suits traditional construction methods familiar to Irish and UK designers and builders.
  • CE marked – manufactured to the requirements of I.S. EN 771-3 to System 2+.
  • Thermal Liteblock is required only in key locations in conjunction with the Roadstone Concrete Block range.
  • The Roadstone Thermal Liteblock system is a very cost effective solution and can result in significant savings in the overall build cost.
  • Improved (y) value calculations are achieved when using the Roadstone Thermal Liteblock system.
  • When a full building specific (y) value calculation is carried out using the Psi Values incorporating the Roadstone Thermal Liteblock, improved (y) value of between 0.03 and 0.06 can typically be achieved.
  • Compliant U-values are achieved without having to provide a cavity in excess of 150mm.
  • Roadstone Thermal Liteblock is unique in colour to enable traceability on site.
  • Photographic recording of the Thermal Liteblock built on site can then form evidence of compliance for the Assigned Certifier, Architects, Engineers and BER assessors.

Thermal Liteblock’s 2016 Awards:

Winner Best Interior Building Product – RIAI Architecture Choice Awards
Winner Best New Product Innovation – Irish Build & Design Awards
Winner Construction Product of the Year – Irish Construction Industry Awards


N17 N18 Gort To Tuam PPP Scheme

The N17 N18 Gort To Tuam PPP Scheme was separated into 3 sections, North, Middle and South.

Roadstone is delighted to see the opening of the new M17/M18, having supplied and laid 1 Million squared metres of blacktop to the job over the last 2 years.

Roadstone won the contract to lay CBGM, Base, Binder and Wearing Course on both the North and Middle sections including all side roads on the Tuam By-Pass and Rathmorrissy interchange.


Rathmorrissy Interchange is the largest on the contract linking M6 Galway to Dublin motorway and M17/M18 Gort to Tuam motorway. The roundabout itself is almost 1 km in circumference and was a very complicated and challenging aspect to the contract.

Annagh Hill interchange is located at Annagh hill on N63. The interchange consists  4 roundabouts and approximately 4km of a road network.


Safe T Certification award

In November 2016 Roadstone Contracts was awarded the highest Safe T rating possible. The audit was carried out on this project, and is a testament to the team working on the project.


Contract in Numbers

Official opening Date                                      27th September 2017 (5 months early)

Contract duration                                            2 years


Tuam By-Pass                                                   4.1km

N17/N18 mainline                                           30km

Rathmorrissy circulatory carriageway        1km

Rathmorrissy slip roads (12no.)                    9km

Annagh Hill Interchange                                4 roundabouts including 4km road network

Side Roads                                                         25



  • Communication is key
  • Advanced planning and programming is vital
  • Dealing with issues quickly and effectively builds confidence
  • Quality and quality control are a key part of any large contract


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)

I.S. EN 206: 2013 Concrete Specification

I.S. EN 206: 2013 – Concrete Specification, Performance, Production and Conformity, is the current Irish standard for the specification and
production of concrete and should be used in conjunction with the Irish National Annex I.S. EN206:2013/NA:2015.

Click on this link to download an easy-to-use introductory guide to understanding and interpreting the new standard, courtesy of Roadstone, the standard-bearers for excellence in concrete production.

Notable changes to the standard include revised requirements for fibre reinforced concrete, recycled aggregates and additions (fly ash & GGBS).
The requirements for conformity assessment have also been revised including additional requirements for Self Compacting Concrete and concrete for geotechnical works. The National annex takes these changes into account for Irish conditions with reduced cement contents for some exposure classes, reduced the slump tolerances and increased the strength class for Freeze Thaw.
Alternative equivalent design mixes can now be supplied in place of standard prescribed mixes, if supplied from third party accredited, I.S. EN 206:2013, ready mix concrete producer. See Table NB.2: Alternative Equivalent Design Mixes.
The National Annex also provides specific additional information and responsibilities for the specifier, user and producers in Ireland. Refer to I.S. EN 206 :2013: Tables NA5, NA6 & NA77 (table NC1 to NC6 where the design life & cover are known). The format for specifying and ordering concrete remains the same as that previously specified in I.S. EN206-1: 2002 including compressive strength, consistence and exposure classes.

If you have any questions on concrete specifications or require further technical information on any Roadstone products please contact us via this quick contact form and we’ll gladly assist with your query.

Alternatively please browse our complete concrete range of products by clicking on the following Roadstone website link:

Roadstone Concrete Range

Roadstone wins prestigious award

Roadstone, the leading manufacturer and supplier of building materials in Ireland, is celebrating after their Thermal Liteblock picked up the award for ‘Best New Product Innovation of the Year’ at the recent Irish Building and Design Awards.


Organised and hosted by leading event organisers CMG, the black tie ceremony was held in the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin. Over 500 Professionals from architecture, engineering, construction and design attended the industry’s blue ribbon event to celebrate the nation’s best building and design projects over the past 12 months.

The judging panel for the 2016 ceremony included some of the leading industry professionals such as Martin Lang, CIF Director of Main Contracting and Tim Brick, Executive Director of the Irish Academy of Engineering. This year’s awards received the largest number of submissions since the event’s inception six years ago with each judge commenting on the high standard.
Roadstone led the way in the ‘Best New Product Innovation of the Year’ category for its innovative Thermal Liteblock.

Arthur Lambert - Alan Lowe - Michael Toomey

Arthur Lambert – Alan Lowe – Michael Toomey from Roadstone receiving the award

Thermal Liteblock is a lightweight, durable and thermally efficient concrete block that provides improved energy efficiency in the design and construction of new buildings. The product was developed to meet new building regulations in particular Part L. Launched in May 2015 it includes thermal modelling of a wide range of building junctions which means that we can provide our customers with design solutions and validated thermal performance calculations, through the Roadstone technical support team.

The Thermal Liteblock product launch program included a number of regional seminars throughout Ireland that were well attended by architects, BER assessors, engineers and building contractors. A designated page has been developed on the Roadstone website for Thermal Liteblock that includes technical guidance, DOP and  contact details for our technical support team as well as a large range of technical drawings available to download in various formats.

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.

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.

ISO 50001 Ireland Conference

Kevin Donovan at the ISO50001 Ireland conference 2015

ISO50001 Ireland 2015 on the 20th of May in Croke Park saw the event celebrate it’s 3rd anniversary. The event brought together delegates from Irish processing who are considering the transition to the International energy management standard ISO 50001, but yet to make the journey. The theme/profile of the event is simply to create an exchange of information between organisations who are about to make the transition to the Energy Management Standard ISO 50001 and companies who have already made the transition. Speakers were carefully selected based on their experiences and knowledge of this standard and who are keen to network with delegates in an effort to develop the standard further within Ireland.

This year saw a collection of presentations from a broad selection of industry sectors, including Food, Pharmaceutical, Medtech, ICT, Transport and representing the Construction sector was our own Kevin Donovan from Roadstone Ireland.

Kevin had the opportunity to share with over 200 of his peers from Irish industry the achievements of Roadstone Ltd to date in adopting the ISO 50001 energy efficiency standard. Now boasting 21 Locations, and Transport Sector the strategy is to continue accreditation of ISO 50001 across the group. Kevin says; “It was an excellent opportunity for me and Roadstone to highlight the significant developments we have achieved in energy efficiency in recent years. It is a credit to the entire Energy/Facility Teams, as well as Senior Management who without their support these accreditations would not be possible.”

Kevin’s full presentation  can be accessed on the event website using   the  password: “iso2015”.

New Thermal Liteblock System – A fabric first approach for compliance with Part L of Building Regulations

Launch of Roadtone Thermal Lite Block


Roadstone Ltd is proud to introduce the Thermal Liteblock System, an exciting new product innovation which was launched recently at an event in Dublin.

The Roadstone Thermal Liteblock is a robust and durable, lightweight block which was developed for use with traditional masonry after extensive research aimed at producing a cost-effective solution for architects, engineers, assigned certifiers and building contractors to comply with Part L of the Building Regulations.

When used in conjunction with Roadstone’s standard Concrete Block range, the system improves thermal conductivity by an impressive 300%.  The mitigation of heat loss at thermal bridges, which is a key challenge in the construction industry, also results in reduced energy bills.

The Roadstone Thermal Liteblock is made from a special mix which includes lightweight aggregrates to achieve conductivity values of 0.33W/mK.  It is manufactured in Ireland and has an average weight of just 11.5kg compared to the standard 20kg concrete block.  Heather in colour to facilitate traceability on site, the Roadstone Thermal Liteblock is also CE marked 2+.

The Thermal Liteblock is used at targeted key locations in conjunction with the Roadstone Concrete Block range, providing a cost effective solution to the construction of new buildings and allowing greater flexibility in the development of designs.

Speaking at the launch event in City Hall Dublin, guest of honour Mr. Tom Parlon, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation said, “Energy efficiency remains the best way to offset energy costs and reduce the carbon emissions of new buildings.  For these reasons, improved energy efficiency standards in new residential, business and public developments are at the core of the new Building Regulations and the Government’s Construction 2020 Strategy.  I welcome this product innovation from Roadstone and the contribution it will make towards achieving these standards.”


Tom Parlon, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation and Larry Byrne, Managing Director of Roadstone Ltd pictured at the launch of Roadstone’s Thermal Liteblock System

Tom Parlon, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation and Larry Byrne, Managing Director of Roadstone Ltd pictured at the launch of Roadstone’s Thermal Liteblock System

Mr. Larry Byrne, Managing Director of Roadstone Ltd added, “Roadstone continually strives to produce only the highest quality products and to give the best service in our industry. In this regard, we are committed to product innovation aimed at meeting national energy efficiency standards. The Thermal Liteblock System is an innovative, cost-effective and Irish-made product, designed for the needs of the Irish construction industry. We are confident that it will play a major role in the industry for many years to come.”


Alan Lowe, Product Development Manager, Roadstone Ltd pictured at the launch of Roadstone’s Thermal Liteblock System

Alan Lowe, Product Development Manager, Roadstone Ltd pictured at the launch of Roadstone’s Thermal Liteblock System

Over 100 industry experts attended the official launch of the Thermal Liteblock System, which included a technical Questions and Answers session on its role in Irish construction.

Thermal Liteblock FAQ’s

Irish Wind Energy Output Reaches Record Heights

Irish wind energy output reached a record high on of 1,942MW on Wednesday. 

The output is enough to power over 1.26 million Irish homes according to figures published by EirGrid, who monitor electricity generation and usage nationally.

The new record is the second such record to be established already in 2015 and overtakes the previous record set on New Years Day of 1,872MW.

Since the start of the year, Irish wind energy has met a third (33%) of all Irish electricity demand from Irish consumers and with high winds forecast beyond the coming weekend, this trend is set to continue.

Roadstone are playing an important part in building on this cleaner, sustainable solution to Ireland’s energy problems. Material supplied by Roadstone includes stone fill for access roads and high strength concrete required for turbine bases and grid networks.

A turbine base can require between 400-800m3 of concrete all supplied in a single pour.

Pictures attached are of one such project – The Garracummer Wind Farm in Co. Tipperary, which went into operation two years ago.  Roadstone supplied the concrete for this project. Due to the national network of concrete plants and quarry locations, Roadstone are ideally located to successfully service similar projects well into the future.

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.

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.