Celebrating the best builders’ merchants

Builders’ merchants from Belfast, Lisburn, Newry, Larne, Coleraine and Ballywalter were honoured at the fifth Octabuild Builders’ Merchant Awards for Northern Ireland, which were held on the 12th of April at a gala event in the Hilton Belfast. An important date in the construction calendar, companies who participate in the Octabuild Awards all operate independently but share a number of important attributes. They all have a solid manufacturing base in Ireland, operate to the highest technical and management quality standards and are market leaders in their business sectors. Octabuild member firms also use builders’ merchants as their primary sales route to the end- user.

The annual Octabuild Awards recognise and celebrate those merchants in Northern Ireland who consistently strive for excellence. Almost 250 representatives from the merchant and building industry attended the gala event where the province’s most respected builders’ merchants were honoured. The building material manufacturers who organised the awards as Octabuild include Gyproc, Dulux Paints, Glennon Brothers, Kingspan Insulation, Sanbra Fyffe, Tegral and Wavin. On the night, Octabuild chairman Declan Smyth commented that Octabuild companies come together to promote the supply of quality products and to highlight the benefit of dealing with merchants who operate well-managed business and who believe in providing a quality service. “Measuring ourselves against our peers in any business is essential if we are to improve our competitiveness. Octabuild established these awards to do just that, to give you the opportunity to see how your businesses match with your competitors and to learn from the results.”

Declan went on to talk about the performance of the industry over the past eight years. “We appear to be in recovery mode although the prospect of Brexit makes it difficult to be confident of that continuing. Until more clarity emerges, the uncertainty will no doubt lead to delays in companies making decisions on capital spending.”

According to the Construction Skills Network, construction output growth in Northern Ireland is projected to average 0.5% a year up to 2022. This limited growth means that business focus, management, customer service and premises must become best-in-class if merchants are to compete for the business available. “The Octabuild group of companies is very pleased that we have the opportunity to support you in this endeavour by making these key areas the focus of our awards.”

The Octabuild Awards began 34 years ago and in that time, merchants across Northern Ireland have come together to promote the supply of quality products and to highlight the bene t of dealing with merchants who operate well- managed business and who believe in providing a quality service.

Speaking to the audience, Declan said, “The fact that you entered the Octabuild Builders Merchants Awards is a signal that you subscribe to this ethos.”

To find out more about Octabuild, visit www.octabuild.ie

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Gyproc is the market leader in plaster, plasterboard and drylining systems. Since its conception in 1936, Gyproc has provided innovative, cost-effective and reliable products that meet the demands of the construction industry. Looking to the future, Gyproc is determined to remain at the forefront, as market leader, continuing to provide innovative and sustainable design solutions.


Glennon Brothers is the leading timber processing form last year celebrated 100 years in business. The company is now the premier name in the Irish and UK timber processing industry, with its plants in Ireland and Scotland offering a one-stop-shop solution to the construction, pallet wood and fencing industries.


ICI Dulux Ltd is one of the most internationally famous paint brands and one of the first companies to introduce alkyd- based paints. Dulux is part of AkzoNobel, leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals.


Kingspan Insulation is a market-leading manufacturer of premium and high performance rigid insulation products and insulated systems for building fabric and building services applications. Kingspan Insulation has a vast product range, including premium performance rigid Kooltherm® insulation; high performance rigid Therma® insulation; and high performance rigid extruded polystyrene insulation.


Sanbra Fyffe Ltd is the chief company of the Northstone Group and it has been a manufacturer and wholesaler of plumbing supplies to the builders’ merchant trade since 1934, providing a countrywide delivery service for all its various brands. The company’s ability to grow is as a result of its tradition, manufacturing excellence, market knowledge, a skilled and motivated sales team and a brand name synonymous with a quality product and service.


Tegral Building Products Limited is Ireland’s leading supplier of roofing and cladding materials and is the only Irish manufacturer of fibre cement slates. Tegral also supplies metal roofing and cladding products for agricultural and industrial buildings. Based in Athy, Co. Kildare the company has been an integral part of Ireland since 1936 and celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.


Wavin Ireland is a member of the Wavin Group – the world leader in plastic pipe systems for residential, non-residential and civil engineering projects. Systems offered, include market leading above and below ground drainage and Hep2O hot and cold plumbing and underfloor heating, as well as a wide range of Wavin drainage and stormwater management solutions for all application areas.


W: www.octabuild.ie