Louvres form an integral element of the overall design of the majority of facilities built in Ireland, or worldwide. The design of high specification facilities such as hospitals, pharmaceutical research and process plants, data centres, commercial buildings etc. is a multi-disciplinary undertaking involving architects, mechanical and environmental engineers.
Design teams frequently consult with specialist louvre manufacturers where the design strategy required for the facility poses challenges with regard to restricting rain ingress, limiting pressure drop or site is exposure to extreme weather. Equally, the louvres may form part of an important visual façade and may need a bespoke solution.
One of Ireland’s leading louvre manufacturers is QEF Ltd, which is headquartered in the Commercial Centre, Dublin Road, Kilkenny.
QEF Ltd originated in 1988 supplying products to the Roofing and Cladding sector. Over the next 20 years QEF made steady growth, through diversification, to become the leading supplier and installer of Louvres, Brise Soleil, and Acoustic Louvres.
“In early 2008 QEF took a major step forward, launching our own range of weather louvres and brise soleil. This followed extensive R&D, external consultation, detailed design and external testing. 2017 saw the launch of a full range of acoustic louvres to the Irish market, utilising tested design principles, environmentally friendly materials and certification testing,” said Managing Director Tom Brophy.
In designing our own louvre systems the priority for QEF was to achieve the best weathering and airflow to suit Irish climatic conditions, Ireland being an island of the coast of Europe in the path of frequent Atlantic storms, experiences some very extreme weather. In particular, the QEF Vertical louvre systems achieve industry leading results when tested to EN13030 by BSRIA. QEF Vertical louvre systems are well proven in the field and are regularly specified by leading designers for important facilities.
Today, QEF Ltd, offer a comprehensive range of Vertical Storm Louvres, High Performance Louvres, Single Bank louvres, Screening & Decorative louvres which are all designed and manufactured by QEF Ltd. The company also manufacture a range of Brise Soleil options including; Aerofoils 100mm to 450mm, Rectangular Box, Single Skin Fins and Cedar Brise Soleil Systems. QEF’s Acoustic louvre range includes two continuous line aluminium acoustic louvre systems, both in single and double bank options, along with matching acoustic louvre doors.
QEF Ltd are essentially a service company to designers, contractors and clients, our reputation for the products we supply and the efficient service we offer is very important to us. The decision to design and manufacture our own systems was to give QEF Ltd full control of our business, this was aided in no small part by the state of the art aluminium Extrusion and certified finishing services provided by Architectural and Metal Systems in Cork.
QEF Ltd have developed a reputation for providing excellence where their work is concerned and the fact that they have carried out projects for most of the country’s leading Architect’s, Project Managers and Main Contractors is a testament to the high regard that they are held in.
“There is a team of 26 working here and all are not only highly trained, but very motivated to get the work done to the highest standard possible,” added Contracts Director Mark Slattery.
“That is part of the reason that the company has been so successful, the fact that we work well as a team. We place a big emphasis on training. We are a specialised company and a lot of testing and R&D is carried out to ensure that the products we manufacture are to the highest standard.”
Health & Safety is also a key area that the company places a great emphasis on and the fact that they have recently employed a full time Safety Officer shows how serious they are about this.
“We are fortunate not to have any issues when it comes to health and safety. This is something that we take very seriously and all our employees buy into this culture,” stressed Mark.
Tom agreed and he further added that their workload has taken them off these shores on occasion.
“We have carried out contracts in the U.K and in Holland as well in the last few years for some of our Irish clients. There is a very good relationship there with all our clients and the experience that we have gathered over the years has stood to us.”
The increasing demands placed on architects, designers and contractors in terms high tech building performance, environmental design and certification has created challenges and opportunities for specialist suppliers such as QEF, according to Mark. QEF’s design and testing experience, our independent performance certification of our weather louvres and acoustic louvres, along with the option of independent project specific structural analysis has proved invaluable in meeting these challenges.
“QEF regularly work with architect’s pre-tender to design bespoke solutions or modifications to existing designs to achieve the design intent and particular features required by the architect. Practical experience aligned with an innovative approach from our designers and external consultants, regularly produce the desired results. “Mark added.
The future of this company is very bright indeed, as stated their knowledge and expertise has set them ahead of their peers as they look to expand in the future.
Tom concluded: “Market sentiment has been positive in recent years and looks to remain so in the near future, indeed QEF have a very strong order book currently. We are happy with the direction that the business is going. Our aim is to build on our success to date by continuing to enhance the products and services we offer, so that we can continue to ensure customer satisfaction.”
Phone: +353 (0)56 776 4910
Fax: +353 (0)56 776 1557
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, September 2018, Vol 4 No 8