Belfast Telegraph

Sponsor helps lay foundations for young architects

By Stephanie Bell

The innovative RTU company has come a long way from the small family-run firm set up on a home farm in Parkgate in 1990 that produced mortar to now being the largest supplier of factory-produced mortar in Northern Ireland.

Rapid growth and new product development saw the business establish a strong foothold in the property industry.

This year they are delighted to be part of the 2017 Belfast Telegraph Property Awards as sponsors of the Young Architect of the Year prize.

Director David McIlroy strongly believes in supporting the industries that have supported his company over the years.

"To have the opportunity to sponsor Young Architect of the Year means we are supporting the talent of the future and we are delighted to recognise one of the individuals who will undoubtedly help shape the architecture of Belfast and Northern Ireland for many years to come," he said.

RTU developed rapidly in its early days introducing its first new product to the market in 1992 - factory-produced mortar - which was the first product of its kind in Northern Ireland and is known as "tubbed mortar".

By 1998 it had outgrown the family farm and moved to a new production plant in Newtownabbey, closer to their Greater Belfast market.

The company continued to prosper until the recession hit in 2007, and although it experienced seven difficult years within the construction industry, RTU continued to innovate, introducing a number of new products for the construction market.

In 2008 and in another first for Northern Ireland, RTU launched Ultraflo, a revolutionary calcium sulphate liquid floor screed which was followed in 2013 with Exposa decorative concrete, again the first of its kind here.

Exposa was recently recognised within the industry when it was awarded an Environmental Improvement Award by the Concrete Society for its use in Portstewart promenade in early 2017.

The company works with many of the country's leading construction companies, including Henry Brothers, McAleer & Rushe, Tracey Bros and O'Hare McGovern, supplying to large building projects such as University of Ulster, Queen's University Belfast, The Mac building and Portstewart promenade.

Today RTU is also one of the top three suppliers of concrete to the construction industry in Northern Ireland, with recent large pour projects including Henderson's Warehouse at Mallusk, the Lidl Store in Andersonstown and the new Translink Warehouse in Duncrue.

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