In a significant boost to sustainable building practices, KTF Housing – the Irish timber frame home manufacturing company – has recently secured a supporting grant from Enterprise Ireland and welcomed a visit from European commissioner Mairead McGuinness. 

Cutting-edge technology

Established in 1999 in Ardee, Co Louth, KTF Housing now consistently blends traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology at its facility in Dundalk.

The grant – provided under Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Built to Innovate’ initiative – will facilitate employee and lean training in manufacturing and onsite environments, reinforcing KTF Housing’s commitment to enhancing the skills of its workforce and fostering innovation in creating sustainable homes.

The ‘Built to Innovate’ initiative part of the government’s ‘Housing for All’ programme – aims to boost construction productivity in Ireland by promoting the use of offsite manufacturing in precision factory environments. This shift from traditional construction methods to offsite production has led to faster construction of high-quality, energy-efficient homes.

The initiative provides ‘Lean Transform’ productivity training grants to enhance output, quality, and cost-efficiency, alongside R&D grants for advanced offsite systems, fostering Ireland’s leadership in this field. Timber frame structures, a primary offsite system, involve factory-produced house elements for rapid assembly, further advancing productivity and innovation in the construction industry.

The recent visit by commissioner McGuinness, who is originally from Ardee, further highlighted KTF Housing’s importance in the Irish construction sector. Her interest in KTF Housing’s initiatives aligns with broader EU goals of sustainable development and innovation in building technologies. 

McGuinness said: “I was delighted to visit KTF Housing and learn more about how they combine traditional and modern expertise to build sustainable housing, quickly and effectively.

"As the European Year of Skills continues, it’s great to see the company receive funding from Enterprise Ireland to upskill its workforce – exactly what we need if we’re serious about building more homes that are also more sustainable. At EU level, we’re committed to reskilling and upskilling people so that they can help us build a more sustainable economy – and this is what’s happening right here in Co Louth led by KTF Housing.”

Representing Enterprise Ireland, Tom Kelly, divisional manager, industrial and life sciences said: “It has been great to work with the innovative team in KTF Housing to assist them on this exciting phase of development.

'Improve productivity and reduce the cost of residential construction'

"The Enterprise Ireland ‘Build to Innovate’ initiative aims to improve productivity and reduce the cost of residential construction. KTF is a leader in Irish timber frame home manufacturing and the company’s commitment to the faster construction of high-quality, energy-efficient homes will greatly contribute to the industry’s ability to cost-effectively increase output to meet housing demand and to deliver quality, sustainable homes.”

A spokesperson for KTF Housing, Thomas Keenan, director, expressed gratitude and optimism: “This significant funding from Enterprise Ireland marks a new chapter in KTF’s journey as we are always committed to investing in our staff members, their upskilling and training. It reinforces our commitment to sustainable construction and innovation, aligning perfectly with our mission to deliver environmentally responsible and high-quality homes across Ireland.”

The recent grant funding and McGuinness’s visit are not just milestones for KTF Housing but are also indicative of the growing importance of sustainable practices in the Irish construction industry. KTF’s focus on staff development, community engagement, and sustainable building practices positions it as a model for the future of construction in Ireland and beyond.

KTF Housing's journey, marked by this significant funding and the recognition by a prominent EU commissioner, signals a bright future for sustainable construction in Ireland, aligning with national and European objectives for a more resource-efficient and environmentally responsible economy.