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Brett Martin's Ireland Sales Manager Glenn Goodman (right) talks about Brett Martin's local pride and on-going product innovation.

Home-grown manufacturer Brett Martin is one of the most respected companies in the province's construction sector, with a solid reputation spanning 50 years. Continuing to grow in stature, the company now has over 800 employees at several sites across the UK. It also exports to 70+ countries and has a turnover in excess of £112 million per year, so it’s little wonder that Brett Martin’s products are the first port of call for merchants and contractors alike. Here, Glenn Goodman from Brett Martin’s Plumbing and Drainage division talks about the importance of the company’s Northern Ireland roots, the ongoing product innovation and its role in one of the country’s biggest ever construction projects.

How important do you feel your Northern Irish heritage is to customers?  The fact that we are a locally based manufacturer has always been one of the company’s strongest facets. Brett Martin remains on the company's original site in Newtownabbey, albeit the facility now covers some 35 acres.  It's here that Brett Martin innovates, designs and manufactures its range of underground drainage and plumbing systems, rainwater goods and roofing products for the local market. This is the key - we are based in the heart of the market so Brett Martin is in the unique position of fully understanding the requirements of local building regulations and is best placed to provide a responsive service to customers.  Ongoing investment in regional infrastructure means the locally based sales team can provide high levels of support for our market.  Underlining this, we've recently added five new vehicles to our fleet, which operates throughout Ireland on a three-to-five day delivery promise.

What else is Brett Martin known for?  Whilst it is unlikely that anyone involved in construction here hasn't, at some point, handled, specified or installed a Brett Martin drainage product, the company's competencies go beyond its drainage portfolio.  Brett Martin has a global reputation for its rooflight sheets, plastics for fabrication, printing substrates and architectural rooflight systems. In fact, over 50% of all products manufactured at Mallusk are exported. Some recent projects the company has been involved in include Cluj Stadia in Romania, The Ageas Bowl in Hampshire and the AMEX stadium in Brighton.

What investment has Brett Martin made in technical support?  Brett Martin has invested £2m in a dedicated 'Centre for Innovation’ - a resource for technical support, product quality, innovation and testing. Around ten technical engineers, along with research and development staff and quality specialists are employed in the centre and help ensure that all Brett Martin products and new developments comply with standards and provide customers with the high quality service and products they have come to expect.

Tell us more about Brett Martin’s role in prestigious construction projects in Northern Ireland.  It's true to say that Brett Martin drainage products have underpinned the regeneration of Belfast. Brett Martin takes great pride in its involvement in these landmark buildings which include the Titanic Signature Building , The MAC arts venue, Belfast Sewers project and latterly Victoria Square, to name but a few.  It is not only testament to the high quality of the products in our underground drainage range that they were chosen to help ensure the buildings remain on solid ground for years to come, but also to the service and support we provide to the local construction sector.

What emphasis do you place on product development?  Building industry professionals are always looking for new solutions – whether to comply with new regulations, improve performance, cut costs, or simply make the job at hand easier. Our manufacturing expertise gives us a real edge here, allowing us to constantly develop and innovate with our ranges to cater for demand.
For example, Cascade
, our cast-iron style range of gutters, downpipes and soil systems, is continually being evolved and developed.  Demands from the marketplace for a coloured cast iron alternative for both refurbishment and new build projects has led to the development of six heritage colours: Oxford Blue, Olive Green, Graphite Grey, Sandstone and Porcelain White.  Providing the authentic styling of cast iron, yet with all the benefits of modern plastics, building professionals can achieve a heritage look without compromising the requirements of today’s fast-paced construction contracts on time, money or safety.
Alongside Cascade, another example of our ability to develop products to meet the demands of the market is our recently launched range of Twinwall multi-fittings which are compatible with a selection of other manufacturers’ pipes for a fully BBA certified system. Interchangeable pipes and fittings is a first for this market and can only benefit many highway drainage schemes. 

What trends have you noticed over the past 12 months and how have you responded to them?  We have witnessed a significant increase in the demand for rainwater harvesting products and have responded by introducing our own environmentally friendly system that is robust, easy to install and represents real value for money.  Saving homeowners up to 50% of their annual potable water usage, Brett Martin’s range includes a Home and Garden, and Garden only system in five tank size options from 1,200 to 6,000 litres, suitable for both residential and commercial applications, new build and retrofit. 

For further information on Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage products please contact