Library success speaks volumes for Truwood

The library project was one of the Monaghan Company’s biggest projects to date, with Truwood supplying 56 large reading desks, 457 bookcases and 2,285 shelves, plus 1,400m2 flush veneer panelling and 1,500m2 acoustic and slatted panelling.

The project spanned over a period of almost a year from December 2013 to just before the opening. Fitting joinery to a high level of precision was a prerequisite as architects Carr Cotter & Naessens had specified a tolerance of 2mm throughout.

“One of the biggest challenges was fitting slatted panelling to v-beams located in the ceiling where we were working at a height of over 10m with a span of over 20m,” said project manager John Harrison. “But the biggest challenge of all was just managing the job over the year – we had 30 people on site and our factory was at full capacity.”

Project management is becoming an increasingly important part of Truwood’s business, says MD Philip McKenna, who founded the company in 1981. “Originally we were a joinery firm but as times have changed we’ve had to evolve. Now our professional office team is as important as our skilled craftsmen, we project manage and schedule the manufacture and fit-out of the job from beginning to completion. We have five people working full time producing working drawings, including two architects, two technicians and a specialist in furniture design/manufacture – for the Dun Laoghaire library we had 490 drawings in total with, on average, three revisions per drawing!”

Truwood started life as a supplier of fitted kitchens, but it subsequently broke into the hospitality industry doing fit outs for pubs and restaurants. Now its biggest sector is commercial property – Truwood recently fitted out the new UTV studios and headquarters in Dublin (pictured) and is contracted to fit out Twitter’s new European head offices in Dublin and new offices for Microsoft in Amsterdam.

truwood-1The company also specialises in the manufacture of acoustic panelling, and the fitting out of theatre spaces features prominently in its portfolio; including the Bórd Gáis Energy Theatre, the 3Arena (pictured) and various university lecture halls. “Acoustic panelling is increasingly being specified by architects in a wide range of locations,” says McKenna. “It’s used quite a lot in restaurants and pubs on the continent and we see its use increasing here. Another area where there is increasing demand is for fire-rated panelling, not just on fire doors but throughout a building.”

Truwood prides itself on the fact that it has married traditional skills with the latest technology. Modern CNC machinery helps to deliver bespoke items exactly as specified by clients and its own in-house veneer plant provides an exceptional range of choice to customers.

Business in the home market is growing for Truwood with a 30% increase this year which is expected to be surpassed in 2015. Notably, a large percentage of the company’s business is exports to the USA and Canada fitting out Irish Bars from Boston (pictured) to Vancouver and Fort Lauderdale to Calgary. “We have one Canadian Interior Designer who works exclusively with Truwood,” explains Philip. “Everything is manufactured in Ireland and shipped to its destination where our team fly out to complete the fit-out. We are in the fortunate position whereby all of our new work comes as a result of our reputation for quality and high recommendations from previous clients. As a result we haven’t had the need to employ any sales people and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that will be the case for years to come!”