Ones to Watch: Established UK cladding firm Vivalda constructs Irish presence

By Business & Finance
04 May 2018
Darren Bowden, Vivalda Ireland, architecture, cladding
Darren Bowden, Facades Manager, Vivalda Ireland

In our Ones to Watch section, we highlight some of the top movers and shakers. This week we feature Vivalda Ireland.

What is it?

Vivalda is the UK’s largest distributor and fabricator of high-performance architectural cladding systems. Established in 1999, the business has grown consistently over the last two decades, offering architects, specifiers and contractors with a distinctive, added-value, ‘made-to-measure’ service. Instead of just delivering cladding to construction sites, Vivalda cuts panels to exact sizes, even installing prescribed fixing systems, before delivering to site ready for use.

The business has just expanded its operations into Ireland, having established operations in Dublin. Commencing trading in 2017, the Irish arm of Vivalda – which operates on both sides of the border – is on target to smash the million-euro mark in its first year of trading.

Who’s behind it?

Darren Bowden is the driving force behind Vivalda Ireland. He hails from Athy, Co. Kildare and attributes his success to three things – providing a fast, responsive service to customers; delivering cladding to construction sites cut to order and giving informed advice on the safety of various products on the market.

He said: “Since the tragic events of Grenfell Tower last year, there has been a lot of confusion about the right specification of cladding material, as well as the fixings and insulation that make up the complete façade system.”

How is it funded?

Vivalda Ireland is backed by its £40 million turnover parent company, which remains privately owned. With a culture of prudent financial management right back as far as day one of trading, the company has no bank debts and a proud history of funding expansion out of its profits.

Future plans?

Vivalda Ireland has big plans for the future. Bowden said: “While I’ve been working closely with the UK team, mainly for technical support, I am confident that once we complete our first full year of trading, we will be taking on more people.

“We’ve also got plans to invest in our own cutting and drilling technology and are, even at this early stage, giving serious consideration to bring forward the programme if we see current growth rates maintained.”

comtrade digital-services ones to watchBusiness & Finance, Ones to Watch

Business & Finance, in association with Comtrade Digital Services, recognises Ireland’s most dynamic emerging businesses in ‘Ones to Watch’.

Ireland is alive with a vibrant start-up scene and the entrepreneurs featured are shaping the country’s economic landscape.