Celebrating 65 years in Ireland as Wavin look to the future

The Hardware Journal has spoken to Michael O’Donohoe, Wavin Country Director, on developments since the company first came to Ireland and where it is going in terms of customer service, innovation and sustainability.

Since its arrival in Ireland in 1958, Wavin has always been interested in helping to solve the big challenges of the day. Michael says, “At that time the challenge concerned delivering safe drinking water to Ireland’s growing population, while today our purpose is to build healthy, sustainable environments an issue more top of mind than ever as we see the effects of climate change in real time”.

As Wavin reaches 65 years in Ireland, they’re delighted to look forward, to celebrate their continued innovation and to keep focused on their purpose. As part of the global Wavin Group, which in turn is part of Orbia, they are helping to tackle some of world’s biggest challenges: water supply, sanitation, climate resilient cities and building performance.

Customers at the heart of what we do “Customer service remains at the heart of our business. Our Merchant Web Shop, launched last year, helps make ordering and tracking order history easier than ever before, it’s another way for us to think customer first. The Merchant Web Shop allows Wavin merchant customers a simple and effective e-business solution for ordering”.

Further enhancements currently being rolled out include stock availability and multiple order file formats, which will see further growth in customer orders placed online by year-end. In parallel with this, Customer Service has been enhanced with a wider next-day delivery area and with a lunchtime target cut-off for important site deliveries.

Wavin`s technical expertise is always on hand to help merchant customers with product selection and innovations. They offer a full technical consultancy, Building Information Modelling (BIM) services, Continuous Professional Development Training (CPD) and customer support to ensure efficient, high-quality installation and project delivery.

The early days
Wavin Ireland began life in a small industrial unit in Cian Park, Drumcondra, Dublin 3. It enjoyed prosperous growth and in 1962 relocated to a new 26-acre purpose-built site in Balbriggan, where it remains today.

Wavin Ireland is part of the wider Wavin organisation globally which is Orbia’s Building & Installation Business Group and is a world leader in plastic pipe systems for residential, nonresidential and civil engineering projects. Systems 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.

Wavin’s sustainability promise – rooted in innovation
Wavin has always been known for innovation. In 1978, Wavin Ireland developed and launched the market leading Wavin Access Junction or WAJ as it’s known. It has been the number one selling Access Junction for the last 40 years and one of the company’s most successful export products, a position that is still maintained today.

In recent years, they have introduced several new product innovations that offer solutions for their customers in terms of quality, efficiency and sustainability.

For example, Wavin AS+ is an innovative wastewater system designed to reduce noise levels, Wavin AS+ is the ideal solution for tackling noise pollution in multi-occupancy developments, such as apartments, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, libraries and offices.

HepVO, their slimline waterless trap is ideal in modern builds where space is at a premium and can be installed horizontally or vertically. Suitable for a wide range of household plumbing applications, from showers to kitchen sinks and as a dry sealing valve it can’t fail due to evaporation, movement or siphonage.

HepVO’s latest iteration, which will be available soon, offers a 15-year guarantee and features sustainable packaging. Building on the success and reliability delivered by its predecessor, Tigris K1/M1, the new Wavin Tigris K5/M5 press fit plumbing and heating system delivers compelling new features for installers. The fitting is the first of its kind to feature an innovative Acoustic Leak Alert function meaning any un-pressed fittings will be heard loud and clear, even if the installer is working in a noisy environment. To further assist installers, the In4Sure 360 view feature gives a quick visual check to ensure the pipe has been inserted fully into the fitting before pressing.

The new fittings also offer an improved flow and can now be pressed with multiple pressing profiles.
In terms of systems innovation, Wavin developed Recycore® Technology, an innovative and state-of-the-art manufacturing process developed to reduce the use of virgin materials by using at least 50% recycled content yet ensuring the same high performance and handling characteristics that customers of its virgin products have come to expect. With the success of Recycore in drain and sewer pipes, Wavin will extend the technology to gutter and gutter downpipes – containing a minimum of 55% of recycled PVC-U.
Wavin`s sustainability promise extends across products, processes and community involvement and they’re committed to reaching carbon net zero status by 2050. Their goal is to lead the industry in sustainability by 2025 and they are committed to help reduce emissions in the built environment.

They have recently launched environmental product declarations (EPDs) for their suite of products sold in the Irish and UK markets. Based on third-party verified life cycle assessments (LCAs), EPDs transparently map production processes to resource impacts. Providing details on the environmental impact across the entire life cycle, EPDs enable building designers, planners, contractors and developers to choose more sustainable products and solutions.

Continuing on the path of sustainable innovation, RootSeal repels tree roots which solves a number of challenges for architects, specifiers, developers and planners. RootSeal Technology gives drainage systems enhanced protection by using a naturally sourced inhibitor to harmlessly repel tree roots and to reduce the risk of damage and upheaval. It also removes the disruption and environmental cost of repairing or replacing drainage systems damaged by tree root ingress and is being rolled out across our sewer range – look out for the green seal. Find out more at wavin.ie/rootseal.

Wavin have also introduced water absorption products like TreeTanks which can be easily and effectively integrated into urban areas without disrupting vital infrastructure. Delivering nutrients and water to trees, the product allows for the greening up and cooling of cityscapes, vital as our cities manage the challenge of increasing temperatures.

Community support
Wavin Ireland remains committed to the local community. The Wavin lake for example is approximately 26 acres set in a wildlife sanctuary. The lake was man made in the early nineteenth century (1826) to provide water for the Cotton Mills in the Balbriggan area. It was acquired by Wavin in 1974 to augment the Balbriggan water supply to the factory, to ensure a constant level of water for the plant’s cooling process.

Michael O’Donohoe, Country Director, Wavin Ireland with Sadhbh Burt Fitzgerald, Project Manager, Bí Urban Rain Garden Project.

Twenty years later, after improvements to the water supply system in the area, Wavin no longer needed the lake as a commercial natural resource and effectively gave it back to the community in 1993 by entering into a 99-year lease with Gormanstown Anglers. The angling club have transformed the lake into what is now a rich community resource full of beautiful wildlife and fauna.

Support for community activity has continued since the 1960s. In 2022, Wavin further extended this support programme through a collaboration with the Irish Institute of Music and Song (IIMS) development in Balbriggan. Sustainability is at the heart of the IIMS development and Wavin AquaCell units have been supplied to facilitate stormwater management within the site. As a result, the IIMS plans to name this out-door area ‘The Wavin Amphitheatre’.

Another local project which Wavin currently supports is Bí Urban, a social enterprise in Dublin’s North-West inner city. Bí Urban’s Rain Garden project harvests rainwater to create little oases in the urban landscape. Their support for TU Dublin’s Design + Construct Centre at the Broombridge site in Dublin is another local support initiative that reflects their confidence in the future. Michael says “We`re delighted to celebrate this milestone anniversary at Wavin Ireland, and we’ll continue to innovate in terms of products and customer service as we look to the future.

For more information on any Wavin product speak to your representative or contact customerservice.ie@wavin.com