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January/February 2015 CONSTRUCTION 22


T Cover Picture: Jen Kelly of Women in Trades Network Ireland (WITNI) pictured at the Covanta Building in Dublin’s Ringsend by Mark Boland Silverimage Photography with special thanks to the team at Abseil Access Ltd.

Foundation Media Ltd, Foundation Media Sandwith House 52-54 Sandwith Street Lower Dublin 2 P: +353 1 677 3157 Editor: Martin Foran Email: martin@ Commercial Manager: Joe Connolly Email: joe@ Editorial Design: Alex Lifeson Printing: W.G. Baird Publisher Foundation Media Ltd

hings have certainly changed in the industry over the past couple of years and evidence of this monumental shift is particularly stark when it comes to the area of career opportunities.. A recent report by DKM showed that the industry can grow on average by 9% per year up to 2020. Not surprisingly we need the workers in order to keep the momentum going. In recent years we have seen fewer students graduating from construction related college courses. So, the challenge is clear. The response from industry has necessarily been multi-faceted and this is one of the central messages to arise from our research for this issue. This is everyone’s responsibility. From work that is taking place at national level to engaging with schools on the ground throughout

the regions, everyone can play a part. In order for the industry to keep up with demand in the years ahead, we must encourage people to take up the many rewarding and highly sought after construction careers available. From school leavers to career changers – the construction industry has a huge amount to offer. Many of those we spoke to for this issue had begun on another path and crossed over, be that from trade to professional / graduate careers or from college courses to apprenticeships. There is a fluidity of movement and a flexibility around careers in Construction nowadays that makes this a choice with real options. In short, there has never been a better time to enter the industry. C Talk to you soon, Martin

YOUR Construction Industry Federation team - Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6. Tel: 01 4066000 Fax: 01 4966953 Email: Twitter: @CIF_Ireland Construction House, 8 Montpellier Terrace, The Crescent, Galway. Tel: 091 502680 Fax: 091 584575 Email: Construction House, 4 Eastgate Avenue, Little Island, Cork. Tel: 021 4351410 Fax: 021 4351416 Email: PRESIDENT: Dominic Doheny Director General: Tom Parlon Chief Operations Officer: George Hennessy

MAIN CONTRACTING: Martin Lang, Alison Irving SPECIALIST CONTRACTING: Sean Downey, Gillian Ross INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS & EMPLOYMENT SERVICES: Jean Winters, Cheryl Treanor EASTERN REGION: Hubert Fitzpatrick SOUTHERN REGION: Conor O’Connell, Ronan O’Brien WESTERN / MIDLAND REGION: Justin Molloy Safety & Training: Dermot Carey LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT: Robert Butler MEMBERSHIP: Renee McManus, Bernadine Walsh FINANCE / ACCOUNTS: Gabriel MacGrath COMMUNICATIONS: Shane Dempsey Joanna Kiernan

CIRI - CIRI OFFICE: Jeanette Mair CIRI CPD OFFICE: Robert Butler affinity schemes Safe T Cert Dermot Carey Affinity Cover Conor O’Connell, Justin Molloy, Gillian Heffernan CQAI Robert Butler Register of Heritage Contractors Jeanette Mair Imagine Renee McManus CERS: Frances McNally Tel: 01- 407 1434 Email: MILESTONE ADVISORY: Susan O’Mara Tel: 01- 406 8021 Email: CWPS: Brigid Finn Tel: 01- 406 8025 Email:


April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 01

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11 cover story

We explore the changing face of construction careers and education



5 CIF News

51 pensions

Looking at the issues with CIF

Susan O Mara on planning for life beyond your working years


52 CIS Update

APRIL 2017

62 GMIT Construction Management Conference

Greater infrastructure and residential spend needed to sustain economic growth

Significant project movements in early 2017

64 AGM Reports


55 Grant Thornton Conference

The Joint ECA and MEBSCA AGM took place in CIF Dublin followed by the M&ECA AGM


56 LCI Lean Event

MEMBER FOCUS 45 A HEAD FOR HEIGHTS Harry McArdle set up Height for Hire in 1978


Collaboration & innovation will bring greater success

‘People are our greatest assets.’

Corporate Member Focus 58 BUILDING A BRIGHTER FUTURE We check in with Eaton Group

Events 60 South-East Ball The CIF’s South-East Construction Ball 2017

Joseph Little on DIT’s innovative IT for Site Workers CPD programme

65 apprentice fair takes place in dublin CIF brings construction message to apprentice fair

65 CIF Southern Briefing Recent legislative changes addressed in comprehensive briefing

Industry News 67 DEVELOPMENTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS FROM THE WIDER INDUSTRY diary 71 Dates for your Diary Don’t miss a thing

Training 72 Upcoming Training



A look at the CIF training schedule

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 03

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Investing in infrastructure is key to sustaining growth


A message from CIF Director General, Tom Parlon

he connection between infrastructure and balanced regional development has been to the forefront of all CIF activity over the past six weeks. The CIF and its members have made submissions to Government’s National Planning Framework, presented to the Budgetary Oversight Committee, the Joint Committee on Housing and launched a Regional Development Roadmap on this critical issue.


In addition, the CIF is compiling its response to the Government’s Public Capital Programme Review that will outline key infrastructure projects to be allocated funding up to 2021. We have highlighted the connection between increasing infrastructure investment and regional and national economic growth. The ‘Whitaker Formula’ is named after Ireland’s greatest civil servant, who in the late 50s opened-up the Irish economy to investment and shifted Government spending towards productive infrastructure. It essentially states that a strong construction industry delivers world-class infrastructure connecting Ireland’s economic clusters leading to sustained economic and social progress at national level. It appears that we have forgotten this formula as Ireland is now last in the EU for this type of investment. Reports from the Ulster Bank Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) shows activity in the Irish construction industry is growing at a robust pace each month. However, civil engineering is experiencing negative growth for at least four months and the CIF’s Skills Forecast predicts negative growth in this sector until 2018 at least. This is a sign that the pipeline for critical infrastructure projects has run dry.


Currently, growth is concentrated in the commercial sector and in residential within the Dublin and Cork regions. However, the infrastructure crisis has the potential

to undermine economic recovery in the regions and the overall long-term growth of the national economy. The CIF’s Regional Development Roadmap outlines how the Government can invest in infrastructure to deliver strong regional economies that complement and bolster Dublin’s position as a global city. The Greater Dublin Area now accounts for nearly 50% of Irish GDP. To rebalance the economy, the Government must increase investment overall with a focus on regional economies. Analysis carried out by Construction Information Services shows that this region is currently receiving 50% of all investment in road, rail and flood defence infrastructure investment for example. Rebalancing investment will facilitate residential and non-residential projects in regions that have been unable to proceed due to the lack of investment in roads, water and wastewater services over the past decade. Doing this, means Ireland’s regions can attract and support more FDI and domestic companies, drive jobs opportunities and allow people to live productive lives outside the Greater Dublin Area. The status quo will continue to see Dublin grow in an unstructured manner, leading to a dangerously imbalanced community.


Unless the existing bottlenecks are addressed, costs in the economy will

increase and the potential for investment and jobs by the indigenous enterprise sector and multinationals will be dampened. The ‘steady state’ option or status quo in relation to public infrastructure is not a sustainable option. Most worryingly, the proportion of the capital budget devoted to maintenance and depreciation has increased from 20% to 40% since 2010. The CIF is calling on the Government to: • Increase Exchequer investment in public infrastructure to 4% GDP • Secure recalculation of Irish fiscal space by the European Commission • Adequately resource public procurement modernisation • Increase draw down of funding through the European Investment Bank and other EU funds available under the Juncker Plan • Provide sufficient funding in the upcoming mid-term review of the Public Capital Plan to address depreciation and new projects • Utilised this funding, where appropriate, to deliver critical infrastructure in the medium term • Apply, like other EU countries, for a 0.5% of GDP increase in fiscal space for investment under the Structural Reform Clause • Establish a national target and infrastructure delivery unit to operate within the upcoming National Planning Framework


On a related note, at the recent successful Cork Branch Dinner, Minister Coveney agreed to establish a Construction Sector Group to agree and deliver an industrial strategy, ‘Constructing Ireland 2030’, for the construction industry. This has the potential to chart a course to a sustainable and less-volatile industry over the next 20 years. The CIF will work closely with members, Government and other stakeholders to deliver this ambitious vision for our industry. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 05

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CIF news

CIF teams up with Peter McVerry Trust to tackle homelessness T he CIF and Peter McVerry Trust have launched a collaborative partnership aimed at supporting the trust’s efforts to house the homeless.


The year 2017 will see CIF continue to encourage its members to lend their resources and skills to Peter McVerry projects around the country. One housing complex that the CIF and Peter Veronica Gaffney, McVerry Trust (PMVT) Pat Doyle, (CEO, recently refurbished is at Peter McVerry Hogan Court in Dublin. Trust), Frank Kelly The scheme here delivered (Construction homes for 12 individuals Director, Walls last year. Construction) and On a recent visit to Tom Parlon (Director Hogan Court, Pat Doyle General, CIF) CEO of PMVT said the work there was “evidence has been carried out at Hogan Court is “a of effective collaboration between industry, testament to the generosity of our members an NGO and the community”. with over €1m in labour and materials The 12 previously vacant houses here had donated over the course of a year. been transformed into comfortable homes “The residents of Hogan Court, who in 2015. This meant that 12 people left have been through so much, deserve this homelessness and became tenants of Peter opportunity to live in a safe, comfortable McVerry Trust. and healthy environment. The community welcomed their new “I am very proud that the CIF has neighbours and benefitted from works in stepped up to the plate in this way and the public spaces around the complex. we will continue to collaborate with the Peter McVerry Trust is engaged in similar projects around the country and recently secured a site in Limerick City. “We’re working hard to help those who need it the most,” said Pat Doyle. “We hope that this successful and very worthwhile initiative will encourage CIF members to lend their experience, time and labour to transforming our projects into homes and communities.”


In attendance was CIF President, Dominic Doheny who said the work that

Peter McVerry Trust to enhance the lives of many others affected by homelessness in the future.” The Peter McVerry Trust is currently progressing building projects in Dublin, Kildare and Limerick. These projects play a critical role in working towards their strategic objective of providing 450 housing units to vulnerable homeless people. Peter McVerry Trust and CIF will collaborate on the maintenance and upgrading of existing properties, the renovation of new properties for the purposes of housing units – and in some cases emergency hostel accommodation – and on capital projects. The Peter McVerry Trust is now engaged in a series of major capital projects. These projects are put out to public tender and Peter McVerry Trust will, through the CIF, circulate details of the competitions to its members when they arise. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 07

CIF news


ver one hundred men and women attended a special CIF Breakfast Briefing on Increasing Female Participation in Construction. The event, held on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, 8th March, was addressed by a distinguished panel of speakers from the Construction sector and beyond.


The panel included Paypal’s Vice President Louise Phelan; Phil Kane, Country Manager for Eaton Group; Claire Solon, President of The Society Chartered Surveyors; Jen Kelly of Women in Trades Network Ireland and Deirdre Hennessy, Senior Associate with ByrneWallace. PayPal Vice-President Louise Phelan told attendees, “At PayPal we make sure that we have a diverse slate when we are hiring people and that is non-negotiable. “That is the start of making sure that you are opening up the opportunities to both males and females. “Ultimately then the best person should get the job but if you don’t have that diverse slate, we are never going to break that ceiling and make sure that women are at the table.” The CIF event celebrated the achievements of

Tommy Drumm, Kate Rhatigan, Deirdre Cassidy and Gabriel MacGrath

08 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

women in the Construction industry, while providing a forum to discuss issues facing women in Construction and an opportunity for those entering the industry to network with female leaders in the area.


As construction continues to expand strongly, the CIF is keen to see more women involved in the construction industry at all levels and in every sector. CIF Director of Industrial Relations, Jean Winters said, “The Construction industry is a very male dominated industry; we have about 136,000 people in the sector and just 8% of these are women. “Unfortunately we don’t see too many of the women involved in CIF activities and we would like that to change. “We need more women participating and getting involved and being moved into more senior roles within the industry. “We want to get the message out there that the construction industry is not just for men. “We know that the industry is in growth mode and we know that we are going to be looking for more than 112,000 workers up to 2020, so why would we exclude 50% of the population?” C

Louise Phelan (Vice President, PayPal) and Tom Parlon (Director General, CIF).

Aisling Cullen and Georgina Quigley

Jean Winters (CIF Director of Industrial Relations)

CIF news

Deirdre Hennessy, ByrneWallace and Claire Solon, SCSI

Phil Kane, (Country Manager, Eaton Group)

Paypal Vice-President Louise Phelan with Jean Winters, CIF Director, Industrial Relations, beside a photograph of Mirette Corboy, CIF’s first and only female president, who served two terms during the 1980s and 1990s

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 09

cover story



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We have much to do to persuade women that they are genuinely welcome on site 12 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

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Jen Kelly had an unusual route into construction. Working as an Industrial Abseiler led to international travel opportunities – and the chance to compare cultures when it came to equal opportunities and gender balance. Jen tells Construction how her experiences here led to her establishing the Women in Trades Network Ireland (WITNI).


ndustrial Abseilers, also known as Rope Access Technicians, are a multi-skilled bunch. Our work can be on construction sites, oil and gas, onshore or offshore, windfarms, telecommunication towers, geotechnical and more. The common thread, is that the task we are set is usually something that needs to be performed in an awkward or hard-to-reach place. The work can be anywhere from 2-200+ metres up in the air. Because of the nature of abseiling work I ended up in many different countries. Here, I found that there were resources missing – for myself and other women – ones which existed in most other Western nations. All the other places I worked in either had more women on site, or at least had active campaigns to increase the female percentage. This was the impetus to start WITNI.


WITNI generates awareness about life on the tools, and acts as a bridge to bring women and these job roles together. We celebrate and promote the tradeswomen who currently exist here and, in turn, try to inspire others to consider a similar path. We have a number of exceptional tradeswomen across the country already and the feedback from employers and colleagues is rich with praise. So what are some of the things that we can do, to not only attract, but retain women who work on the tools? There’s plenty of scope for us to encourage young women to expand their subject choice at school. We have heard numerous stories of female students being dissuaded from pursuing more technical careers after Junior Cert. We now at least have the economic growth to justify training more young people in these areas. I have mixed feelings about the “female bursary”. On one hand it was a relief to see people realise that we needed to act to increase the female presence in the industry. On the other, it seemed like a compensation for hiring a woman. It’s not always the employer that needs convincing. We have much to do to persuade women that they are genuinely welcome on site.

An aspect of this is the use of “gendered wording”. Not just terms such as “handyperson” vs “handyman,” but others that more subtly reinforce stereotypes. Extensive research over the last few decades on this subject highlights that different genders tend to use different ranges of language. Evidence has shown that maledominated jobs tend to employ more masculine wording in their recruitment materials. The result? The message was conveyed to women that they did not “belong” on the job. There are also online tools we can use to gauge if our language makes a work environment attractive to others. Here is one example: http://gender-decoder. Another area we are all focussing on is reframing the esteem of apprenticeships. There’s an urgency to increase construction employment. Part of encouraging and maintaining this growing workforce, for all genders, simply has to be reflected in an improvement in pay.

‘Earn as You Learn’

This is a wonderful incentive to undertake an apprenticeship, but perhaps we can make it more attractive if we have a higher rate available for mature-aged apprentices, similar to other places such as Australia and the UK. Every conversation I have lately around improving equality at work, inevitably leads to the question of childcare. Unfortunately there are reports of a stigma amongst men who take the current two weeks paid parental leave. Additionally, with an increasing gender pay gap, women’s careers risk being abandoned during long-term domestic financial decision-making. To achieve fairness in this way, it’s essential for employers to actively support a culture of shared care-giving. I was in conversation with some women who work at Mercury Engineering. They described their roles that had evolved from earlier electrical apprenticeships. They emphasised how they were supported during their pregnancies and

beyond. The result? They have stayed with the company for the last 20+ years, and are happy still.

New Horizons

Right now, more than half the Irish population is female. It would be an error not to consider this in our recruitment campaigns. But there is work to be done if we are genuine about creating an inclusive environment on site. It’s a great time to drop our preconceived, speculative ideas about gender jobworthiness. Fortunately we have a wealth of examples from overseas, and enough will and drive at home. Since starting the WITNI project I have been met with encouragement and goodwill across the board. There is a fresh perspective being actively shared now within construction. It runs industry-wide and it predicts diversity within the workforce. Together we are stronger. Let’s be ambitious with our goals. C


THis is a wonderful incentive to undertake an apprenticeship, but perhaps we can make it more attractive if we have a higher rate available for mature-aged apprentices.


April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 13

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cover story

new horizons Martin Foran highlights career development initiatives being undertaken by CIF members, some of which feature in following pages.


recent report by DKM has showed that the industry can grow on average by 9% per annum up to 2020, but warned of potential skills shortages. This is compounded by the fact that there have been less people graduating from construction-related college courses over the past few years. Commissioned by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and carried out by DKM in conjunction with SOLAS, the recent report stated that construction activity could potentially generate a requirement for 112,000 jobs up to 2020. The additional workers will be needed to deliver on the ambitious targets set out in the Government’s €43bn Capital Programme, the Rebuilding Ireland Strategy and in meeting the increasing demand from Foreign Direct Investment companies for buildings. The figures make fascinating reading. With a forecast of 9% annual growth on average construction can become a €20bn industry by 2020. It can potentially employ 213,000 direct workers making it the largest generator of jobs in all communities throughout the

economy. The industry will require an additional almost 36,000 skilled craftspersons (including apprentices) by 2020. The forecast of the total requirement for new apprentices in 2020 is 3,835. This would be over 2,000 above the intake levels for the year 2015. The message to young people and those who have emigrated: there is a significant number of quality careers across all the trades and functions in construction companies. This is significant, as it is not only jobs on sites that need to be filled, the traditional “boots on the ground” image of construction.


Betty McLoughlin, a recent past President of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors says there is a growing interest in pursuing trade careers: “We are, for instance, seeing an increase in interest in apprenticeships from students my school. But it is difficult to get information and to ascertain where the opportunities are. Students find it difficult to get sponsorship, to find where the vacancies are.” Betty believes that a culture shift is needed

on behalf of parents to encourage students in this direction. She also advises that local companies should interact and engage with their local schools – as many of our CIF companies featured in this issue have been doing. CIF, in association with the Government and agencies such as SOLAS and the Educational Training Boards (ETBs), is working to deliver skilled employees and apprentices through innovative initiatives. CIF is attempting to ensure there are sufficient skilled employees by engaging in several initiatives. The Federation is working with the ETBs to upskill those on the live register with construction experience. It is also attracting young people into the industry by highlighting the modern globalised careers available.


CIF has also been getting positive news about the industry and Ireland in general to those in the diaspora to attract them back. The CIF is partnering with a number of organisations such as DKM consultants, Hays Recruitment Ireland, ICDS Recruitment, and the CIF’s Pension Administration Services to inform Irish emigrants of the opportunities in Ireland. And at the same time there has been a surge of local initiatives which has seen local businesses, often in conjunction with the different agencies, come forward wwith with tailor-made responses at local level. Amongst these is Castle Ceilings and Partitions Ltd. who have been taking people off unemployment on a unique course. In the South East a number of companies came together in recent times to develop a shared apprenticeship scheme for wet trades. There have been Open Days and Apprentice Fairs and now Safe Pass courses delivered to Transition Year students as facilitated recently by Mercury Engineering (see our report later). The message is clear, we need more companies to engage with schools and colleges on a local level to encourage and inspire and inform those who may have an interest in construction related courses. C Betty McLoughlin

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 15

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cover story

Building a strong in-house team

As the industry evolves, the way we attract new talent into construction careers must change to keep pace. Construction spoke to a number of companies about how they are developing their in-house teams. Over the past 10 years, Clancy Construction has worked closely with colleges taking on placement students

says John. “Where we see a particular student has potential we would generally offer them a full-time position with us on the completion of their degree course. “Most of these people would be working as junior site managers, engineers and surveyors, and would have a mentor during their placement. “This has worked out really well for us and indeed for the students themselves. “Once they return to us after completing their college studies, we again support them in further education if they wish to pursue a Masters Degree in project management, quantity surveying or whatever is their chosen field. “Some of our current Project Managers have come through this system and we have found that this kind of system has really helped us to have a professional, dynamic management team, full of ideas and enthusiasm, which we embrace wholeheartedly. “In particular, I would really like to acknowledge Waterford Institute of Technology for all their support over the years. “We have an excellent working relationship with the college which has been of mutual benefit to all.”

Castle Ceilings and Partitions Ltd. – “The course will definitely bring opportunities.”


he graduate programme at Clancy Construction has been taking place for many years with great success. “Each year, for the past 10 years, we have worked closely with a number of colleges where we take on placement students for nine months during the third year of

their chosen course,” explains Managing Director, John O’Shaughnessy. “This has mainly involved engineering and construction managers with some quantity surveyors. “During their nine-month placements we would be working closely with them,”

Castle Ceilings and Partitions Ltd. provides us with an example of a company that has been taking the initiative as regards direct training to address skills shortages. Castle, along with the Galway and Roscommon Educational Training Board (GRETB), City & Guilds and the CIF are getting people back to work via the Career Traineeship initiative. With the GRETB the company is offering a City and Guilds Traineeship in Interior Systems, Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Interior Systems (Construction) – partitioning, Ceiling Fixing and Drylining. Shane Fahey from Salthill in Galway has been taking part in the nine-month course with Castle Ceilings. Prior to this he was a student of mechanical engineering. Shane is loving the training and the experience. “I decided to take a break from college and heard about Castle Ceilings and about what a good opportunity this was,” he says. “I am really loving it so far,” says Shane, explaining how there has been a mix of both practical and theoretical elements in the course. “They are very, very good to work

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 17

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Shane Fahey, Castle Ceilings, Trainee for,” says Shane. “I’m learning a lot. The teachers really put the time into it. “You are constantly tested in practical terms and in the classroom.” Among the projects Shane has been involved in is one at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. “It was amazing,” he says. It was my first time going onto a site like that. “I have learned a lot really. It was my first time going out doing this sort of work. It framed me as an adult to be honest. “I was perhaps used to getting up a little later in the mornings and here I got into a routine and so I’d say I’m also getting a lot out of it in a personal way too – an awful lot. At time of speaking to Construction Shane has another 20 weeks to go on the course. “There are 20 people involved,” he says. “Everyone is enjoying it a lot. I believe it will definitely bring opportunities.

18 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

“Personally, I am delighted that I took up this course.”

CJK Engineering – “We get them into the mindset of thinking about apprenticeships.”

As a company CJK Engineering has grown steadily over almost twenty years to become a key contractor in the Irish M&E services sector of the construction industry. Priding itself on hiring the best talent, the company has 70 apprentices on its books at the current time and it is actively liaising with schools in its local area in an effort to attract key staff. This is done through presenting special half-hour talks which are intended to explain the role of the apprentice electrician in general and the potential job opportunities an electrical apprenticeship can offer. “As a company we want to highlight

that an apprenticeship is the first step in the electrical sector,” says Conor Kearney, Managing Director. “We also explain about the long-term opportunities available on completion of apprenticeships. “The talks are intended for fifth and sixth years – to get them into the mindset of thinking about apprenticeships. “We have hired some excellent apprentices through using this approach.” As far as Conor is concerned CJK wants to hear from those who genuinely WANT to be electricians. There is no time here for the idea of an apprenticeship as some sort of poor relation to college, an attitude which in any case, is changing fast. CJK looks for applicants who have Leaving Certificates and who are focussed on what they want to do. They look for candidates who display a great attitude – “people who get on as team

cover story players, have excellent attendance and timekeeping and who want to learn.” They also want those who can pass each college phase first time with “exam scores that reflect their ability”. In return, an exciting and rewarding career awaits those who fit the bill. The company has also been reaching out to older people who may be interested in returning to training. “We currently employ five apprentices between the ages of 28 and 35,” explains Conor. Among these are people who have been away travelling and are unskilled or indeed who have qualifications but want to switch. “These people have to be looked at as well as the traditional school leavers,” notes Conor. “There is a higher percentage of these people who do extremely well in college. Often they have personal and family responsibilities and they put everything into it.” Now CJK is redoubling its efforts once again to attract more females into the industry. “This is the next target on our radar,” says Conor. “We have presented to co-ed schools but now we intend to present to all-girls schools in the near future. too”

Haughton & Young - “You need to start at grass roots if you want the best.”

The Haughton and Young Apprenticeship Of Excellence Through Training Programme, is intended to achieve and maintain the highest standards possible where apprenticeships with the company are concerned. A well-known mechanical engineering company, Haughton and Young takes the training, development and wellbeing of all its apprentices very seriously. To this end, Des Haughton and Paul Young who are the co-founders of the company decided to set up a special apprenticeship programme within the organisation. Alan O’Reilly and Stephen Bradshaw were charged with the responsibility of organising and running this programme. Between them, Alan and Stephen have over 40-years’ experience within the Mechanical and Ventilation industry. “We gave the programme the title of: Haughton and Young Apprenticeship Of Excellence Through Training Programme, explains Alan. “As part of our roles we visit Solas Training centres and ETB Training Centres as often as we can; this allows us

to meet with course instructors to discuss the apprentices’ development and progress. “We also hold assessments and training for our apprentices every Friday afternoon at our training centre and on other sites.” With 30 apprentices on the company’s books, a minimum of four are chosen each week for these assessments which can include tasks like hanging radiators and wash-hand basins. A safety officer also gives an induction and it is all documented and extremely thorough. On the visits to the training centres Haughton &Young meet up with the powers that be, travelling to locations such as Dublin, Dundalk, Althone, Cork and Limerick. They incorporate feedback received into their overall plan. “The apprentices are away for a considerable length of time,” says Alan. “We make it our business to visit the centres and see how they are performing and we get feedback from the apprentices themselves. “We have found that the standard, over the last two years, has increased immensely by giving them a voice and Solas has given us very positive feedback. “As for the apprentices, they want this engagement. Paul Young and Des Haughton are right behind this too and whatever the apprentices need, they get. “You can really see the results as regards improvement. “You need to start at grass roots if you want the best. We look at this as an Academy.”

L&M Keating – “Last year we achieved Accredited CPD Employer status with Engineers Ireland.” “L&M Keating is a truly multidisciplinary building and civil engineering contractor. This year we will be 30 years in business,” says director, Richard Browne. “We are a solutions focused technically driven company, working with the client to deliver some of the most technical and challenging building, civil and marine projects. “We find that graduates do very well in our company as they can learn our ethos from the very start. “We’ve been very happy with the graduates we have managed to attract to our business over the years. A high percentage of our top people came to us as graduates. “The increased activity in the construction sector and reduced number of graduates has however put pressure on the industry. “We have reacted by putting structured

programmes in place targeting graduate engagement, development and career building. “People work best when they like what they do. We try to move graduates around within the organisation to challenge them and to find their perfect fit. “Our new Design Office in Dublin means we can offer now offer even more variety to our graduates in all aspects of construction. “Last year was a big year for staff development in the company. We achieved Accredited CPD Employer status with Engineers Ireland. “Our people make our company and it was fantastic to get Engineers Ireland’s endorsement of our investment in our people.”

Suir Engineering – “Placements from the colleges continue to be very successful for us.”

Suir Engineering offers both apprenticeships and career opportunities for college graduates. When it comes to forging links with potential future employees, Suir Engineering has a very wide approach which ranges from social media usage to secondary school visits. We continue our programme of visiting the schools and colleges around the Country explaining to potential future employees the benefits of considering a trade as a career, says David Phelan, Business Development Director. Suir Engineering liaises with the third level colleges in order to attract graduates and fill placement positions. “Placements from the colleges continue to be a very successful for us,” says David. “In the meantime we continue to attend trade fares, college open days and employment expos.” Once embarked on their career with Suir of course there is upskilling and continuous improvement training for staff. One thing that has worked well at the company is their internal poster campaign – advertising positions within the company first, allowing existing staff to switch career paths. Suir provides an example of how ongoing support is now taking many forms. “To help ease the burden of college fees for apprentices, we now offer payment assistance plans for any apprentice who wishes to avail of it,” says David. “In order to ensure our apprentices have the right tools for the job, we now purchase a top of the range tool box plus tools for all new apprentices joining the company.” C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 19

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CIF view: Education & Careers in Construction By Dermot Carey, Director of Safety and Training at CIF


the numbers currently registering are in the low double digits. In a recovering economy, the construction industry is competing against other industries to attract talent. Unless construction employers recognise this, they will be out manoeuvred by other sectors who will hoover up the young people with attractive opportunities. How can the construction sector respond? We know there is an interest amongst young people in the industry but they struggle to get a foot on the ladder.

his industry has changed in the last two-three years. From a low point in 2012 when the industry employed just 98,000 people to a point now that 1,000 people a month are joining the sector.


Now over 140,000 people are employed and the DKM Report, Construction Skills Demand to 2020 is predicting the level of employment rising by a further 112,000 people in the next three years. Where will we get the talent to deliver these projects? This is what CIF is trying to address at this time. With this need for talent in mind, we are also aware that the industry has changed technically – compliance with Building Regulations, quality (do it right first time), Lean – these are all in sharp focus at this time and the industry has a lot to lose if we cannot deliver on these requirements.

skilled people


Dermot Carey, Director of Safety & Training

We need engineers, project managers, and trades people, semi-skilled and general operatives. To address this challenge, CIF has been engaging with all the stakeholders/ influencers that we believe can partner with us to seek solutions. Groups such as the Institute of Career Guidance Counsellors, the TechnoTeachers Association (who teach construction studies), SOLAS and the Educational Training Boards (ETBs). We are working with them to ensure that there are access routes into the industry available for young people who see the opportunities. We are encouraged by the positive interaction that we have had with State bodies to date. A number of CIF members have tapped into the expertise and services these bodies

provide to develop traineeships for their particular skill need which will ensure that they can grow their businesses and be ahead of the posse.


A key partner in the recovery of people and skills back into the construction sector is the industry itself – by this I mean contractors. Memories of difficult times are slow to dissipate – the reluctance to train/employ people is understandable. We are seeing this at the moment – particularly in the low levels of registrations to the wet trade apprenticeships. There is much talk about the need to increase the number of residential units under construction – this is labour intensive and needs the wet trades but

One way we can sell the industry is to get active with the transition year (TY) in your local second level school and offer work experience. Catch them at a young age, expose them to the opportunities that exist. The number on the unemployment register is falling – last week (at time of writing) it was reported in the media as less than 7 % - full employment is suggested to be at 4% unemployment. Therefore the pool of people on the “dole” is shrinking – we have been tapping into that source for the past year. There is potential to attract the “diaspora” back – we are doing this with our initiative We can try and attract workers from other industries and of course we can depend on foreign (mobile) labour. The future for sustainable skills is investment in young people who are seeking exciting career opportunities – the construction sector offers this but contractors need to lead the way. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 21

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new faces

Construction spoke with a number of young tradespeople and construction professionals about their work and career plans Joelle Smyth, Electrical Apprentice, Mercury Engineering

Joelle Smyth


am an Electrical Apprentice, so I am training to be an electrician. I did my Leaving Cert last year and I started in college doing business psychology – but I found that it didn’t suit me at all.

My dad works on site and, knowing other apprentices, he thought it would really suit me. He was right. I am here since October last and still in Phase One. I am very happy.

Daniel Cowley, recently qualified Carpenter and Trainee Foreman, Sisk


finished my apprenticeship here in 2011. I am now on track to become a Foreman with the company. This is what I wanted to do since I was in school. There, I did Construction Studies – Carpentry was what I liked most. I saw the apprenticeships online and sent in a CV to David Tracey here at Sisk and got an interview. I loved it and now I am on the Trainee

22 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

Foreman Programme. I’ve been over a year at this and it is very good. I’m learning every day. It is very interesting work too. You get a lot of responsibility as well. For a young person to succeed in a career like this I’d say you’d want to be practical and have good people skills too. Subjects like Construction Studies and Maths are important at school. C

I like working with my hands and being outside – where a lot of my work has been so far. The people here are great to work with. I find that everyone is very friendly. It doesn’t really make any difference being female. For any other young women thinking of a career like this, I’d say that if they thought it was for them and they didn’t mind doing the work, which can be physical at times, then any girl is well able to do it. You just have to really want to do it – and have that passion for it. As for subjects in school, maths and physics would help. As yet, I haven’t thought about what future direction I will take, but this route opens up a lot of possibilities, one of these being travel. I’m very happy with my choice. C

Daniel Cowley

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Eoghan Maxwell and Evan Ivory: first year Apprentices with Sisk

L-r: Eoghan and Evan at work


van: I knew from day one that college life was not the life for me. I wanted to work with my hands. You are being trained here and sent to college to do something that you love – and you are earning while you are doing it. I love it.

You are coming in every day to do something different. There is always something new coming up and it is always hands-on. Eoghan: I always enjoyed working with my hands; it’s the route I wanted to take. Here you are learning every day,

there is nothing better. The company is great to work for too. After you are finished, the world is your oyster. The future is bright at home or abroad. There are lots of opportunities around now. I’d tell anyone to go for it. C

Brian Cass, BIM Manager, Clancy Construction


was always fascinated by the construction sector when I was younger. My bother worked for Duggan Bros. so I suppose it was in the family. When I first went to college in DIT I did a Certificate in Civil Engineering and then a Diploma in Structural Engineering. I graduated in ’03 and began working for Duggan Bros. as a site engineer/manager. I stayed for around eight years. Then the recession kicked in and I decided to go back to education. I went to Waterford (WIT) and did an Honours Degree. I got into the final year of that course based on my education and experience and there I picked up an interest in BIM.

It was a new process being taught in college and I ended up basing my thesis on the subject – and doing a module that was presented to Clancys. They obviously liked what they saw and hired me shortly after that. I am now working as BIM Coordinator and am currently with a project for a large multi-national – a Blue Chip client, based in Dublin. As for the work, there is a Lean aspect to it and this makes it exciting. There is also a very precise aspect to it. In general there is a a lot more happening in the industry now and it’s definitely a good industry to be in. Technology is starting to integrate more as well – and that’s a very exciting part of it for me. C

Brian Cass

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 23

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Lisa Roche, Estimating Assistant / Quantity Surveyor, Collen Construction

Lisa Roche


studied Construction Management in DIT Bolton Street. I am a quantity surveyor now and presently working in the estimating department here in Collen as well as completing my Masters Degree in Quantity Surveying. I love the work here and I am getting a wide range of experience in the department. I wanted to be involved in the industry from an early age in school.

I took an option of doing woodwork in my first year of secondary school. You could test out different modules there. I loved it and went on to do Construction studies for the Leaving Cert. It was my best subject. My wanting to work in the industry stemmed from there. It all appealed to me but I didn’t know exactly what line I wanted to pursue. I felt if I did the construction

management course and got a broad understanding of a range of elements then I would be able to decide what area I wanted to go into. I like the process in quantity surveying. Working with people is an extremely big part of it too – a lot comes down to people skills. For any young girls thinking of a career in construction I’d say they should not be afraid to go for it. The industry is competitive but it is not a sexist industry. It is predominantly male but there is a lot of room for women. I think most of the men here are very happy to work with women and want to see them in the industry. At the end of the day, I think the men think the same as the women in that they just want to see people who are good at their jobs in the industry. So go for it – if its something you want to do and have a passion for. At the end of the day, if you want it to work then it will work. C

Daniel Williams, Engineer, L&M Keating


left school after the Junior Cert to take up an apprenticeship which I served as a carpenter in Cork. I always had a desire to get into the management and design aspect of construction. About a year after completing my apprenticeship, the downturn in the economy really started impacting. Work was becoming scarce and it became clear that my options were either go abroad to work or pursue third level education. I studied in Cork Institute of Technology. I began by completing the three-year Civil Engineering Degree (BEng). This opened up the opportunity to progress to the Structural Engineering Degree (BEng Hons) where I did a

24 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

further 2 years before graduating in 2015. Now I’m working with L&M Keating and really enjoying it. I had an interview with them the day after my last exam. Here I’ve been involved in a variety of projects, including marine, building and heritage works. L&M Keating have a strong emphasis on immersing their graduates in a diverse range of work. I’d advise prospective new entrants to talk to as many people as they can in the industry, get as much feedback as possible and, if they do choose a certain path not to fear changing down the line. Your path / choice is never set in stone. C

Daniel Williams

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Taking their first steps at Sisk

The Sisk Training Centre was set up over forty years ago by John G. Sisk who had a passion for the trade of Carpentry & Joinery and realised the importance of developing talented craftspersons. Construction dropped in to find out more. spread across the four years,” explains Dave, “but we are building this up to forty, which will average ten per year.” Carpentry and joinery is the skill taught here. Sisk also has apprentice bricklayers who are out on sites. Among these is Kevin Ward who took part in Irelandskills competition in December 2016. Dave is justifiably proud of the apprentices’ achievements. “On top of Kevin Ward’s success in bricklaying we won the joinery in CIT in Cork too,” he tells us. “James McSwiney won and Paul Kearney also took part in the finals. “For the last twenty years and more we have had someone in the joinery final, year-on-year.” Of the projects that the training centre apprentices are currently engaged in they all have one thing in common in that they all have a real life end use. Real work conditions apply here

Apprentices with Sisk image: L to r: Kevin Moynihan, Daniel Crowley and Oisín Murphy


t the Sisk Training Centre near the Red Cow Roundabout in Dublin, manager Dave Tracey shows us a copy of a new poster which has gone out to over 50 secondary schools. The bright attractive design sends out a clear message: Sisk is wide open to hearing from prospective new apprentices. It seems highly likely that this poster will trigger the first steps towards a rewarding career path for a number of young people.

26 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

And for those who apply and are successful, the first glimpse of Sisk, will be the meeting room in which we are now seated, just upstairs from the buzzing workshop. Here, around a dozen apprentices are currently engaged in various aspects of their work in what is the only standalone main contractor-run training centre of its type in Ireland, Dave tells us. “We have twenty-four apprentices

cover story L to R: Joseph Murphy, Eoghan Maxwell, James McSwiney

Stephen Chapman, 1st year Apprentice Carpenter/Joiner Real work conditions apply here, says Dave. “We are up against other contractors to win work. “We have to tender and we have to meet quality and other standards – all the apprenticeship training is linked in to that. “They get to see the whole process take place and in the end the products go out and don’t come back – we do it once and do it right. It’s good for the apprentices as they see projects right through from start to finish.” Success in competitions and on these real world projects is down to the level of training and also the development of staff that continues after apprenticeships. The young workers here know there is a good and well-defined structure in place. The results are all around, starting with Dave himself, who began his career on this same site as a trainee. Then there is Martin Gormley, an employee of thirty-eight years, who started out as an apprentice carpenter and is a senior site agent for the company now. “We have many former apprentices in Sisk who are in senior management positions,” says Dave. Even the young people here today can already look to the foreman training after qualifying, if they so desire. “We have a structure for that,” says Dave. “With a Level 6 qualification after apprenticeship, some go to Level 7 on the national framework and beyond.”

Not everyone will go on and that is to be expected. “Some want to stay on the tools and that is fine,” says Dave. “Some want to travel and that is an option of course.” Some of these apprentices will travel and some will come back to Sisk. “We welcome that,” says Dave. “They get more experiences under their belts and want to come back. “We take that as a measure of what we do here.” So what is needed in the first place? “A good cover letter and CV,” says Dave. “That’s the first point of contact. “They all have to sell themselves and show us that this is what they really want.” After that they sky’s the limit. “We remain true to the guiding principles of the founder, John Sisk, who in 1859 wrote “Building and contracting is in essence about people, their skills, their training and their motivation,” adds Dave.

Martin Gormley

For Martin Gormley, visiting the Sisk Training Centre is a trip down memory

lane. It was on this site – if not this actual building, which was not built in his day – that Martin first trained like generations of carpenters / joiners at Sisk. Thirty-eight years later and Martin is senior site manager with the company and observes how while the basics have not changed some things are different now. Martin’s daughter, Aoife, who also served her carpentry/joinery apprenticeship with Sisk, is a current site manager with the company. “Power tools are widely used now,” says Martin. “We trained more on hand tools when I was here. “The apprentices sometimes also deal with different materials now,” adds Martin. “Standards have also got better in some ways; they are getting more into spraying, for example,” says Martin, observing some young workers at a nearby bench. “Years ago we’d have put lacquer or varnish on some surfaces by brush application; now they are spraying and getting better finishes.” C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 27

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Safe Pass proves a hit in class

Mercury Engineering’s recent Safe Pass training day for Transition Year students in a Tipperary school gave them an insight into pursuing construction-related careers


Safe Pass Transition Year students at Coláiste Dun Iascaigh


call has gone out for more construction businesses to engage with local schools, particularly in the regions, when it comes to encouraging and facilitating young adults to pursue an interest in construction-related careers. A recent event at Cahir in County Tipperary could now be used as a model for other members around the country to get involved with schools in their areas when it comes to promoting interest in the sector, says CIF’s Dermot Carey. The Cahir event saw Safe Pass training delivered to Transition Year students at Coláiste Dun Iascaigh in Tipperary. “The idea came about,” says the school’s woodwork teacher Stephen O’Brien, “because when our students went out on work experience they weren’t able to get placements on sites and couldn’t even visit sites as they didn’t have a Safe Pass course.” Mercury Engineering became involved and the Mercury Safety Advisor Eddie Mangan facilitated two day-long sessions at the school. “I was delighted to come along,” said Eddie, when Construction dropped in on his session with the young learners. “It sounded like a great idea. “Anything that helps in keeping accidents to an absolute minimum through the raising of awareness amongst young adults

is to be welcomed.” This was the first time that Eddie had worked with a group of young adults and though it marked a bit of a departure he was full of praise for the group. “They have been great,” said Eddie. “And they have asked great questions. “And if this makes a difference as regards the future for these young people then so much the better.” This was echoed by Stephen. “We hope that all of this would maybe foster a love for construction subjects and perhaps down the road they will build their careers in the industry. “I definitely see more interest and uptake nowadays in this area. We have three construction classes in both fifth and sixth year,” added Stephen. “What was nice was to see the girls as well as the boys involved,” said Peter Creedon, school principal of Dun Iascaigh, a community college under the Tipperary Educational Training Board, which currently has 662 students. “We offer a lot of practical subjects and there would be a large proportion of students going on to courses in those areas in third level or straight to apprenticeships. “Health and safety is a serious issue on sites.” C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 29

cover story

The Key to Attracting and Retaining Top Talent Attracting high quality construction professionals to your firm requires more than money. Robbie Cousins spoke to leading recruitment experts to find out what you can do to secure that ideal candidate.


hile salary is a key factor in attracting talent, there are others that can improve your prospects of landing the ideal construction professional. So: What should construction firms be doing to get their ideal candidate?

The Package

Brendan Kelly, director, O’Neill & Brennan Group says: “Candidates often ask about salary before allowing their CV to be put forward. “If your salary and benefits package is not attractive, you are immediately making things difficult for yourself. “However, if you mainly supply short-term contracts, you can appeal to operatives by delivering payment on time and being open, honest and transparent with them throughout the duration of their placement.” Barry Kelly of ICDS Recruitment says that in addition to the right salary, firms will make themselves more attractive to more experienced candidates, particularly with families, “if the contract is permanent and the package includes pensions, CPD opportunities, and there is an element of flexible hours”. Paraic Kelly of says: “Salary levels are important, particularly to younger candidates. “However, for more experienced candidates, other factors, such as job sustainability and future prospects come into play. “Employers should be mindful when recruiting from abroad that a returning expat may be bringing an emigrating family with them.”

Make a compelling proposition

While main contractors may offer the most

30 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

prestigious contracts, smaller contractors might have an edge when it comes to engagement. Brendan Kelly says: “Many people think that it’s much easier for bigger companies to attract talent because they often have the bigger, higher profile clients and contracts. “This may be true and access to these types of projects is something that any company of that size should sell itself on. “However, small to medium-sized companies are able to offer candidates the chance to work on projects from inception to completion. “This can be very attractive as it gives opportunities to grow as a professional, in addition to having project ownership and the satisfaction of seeing a project through.” In addition to salary, ideal candidates will be looking to work for companies that offer career development opportunities and companies with a corporate culture that fits with their needs. Paraic Kelly says: “Firms have to make a compelling proposition to attract candidates to want to work for them. “They should use all their resources to present their company in as positive a light as possible, show achievements amongst staff and how much value is placed on staff ’s contribution to the company’s success. “Use the company website to show the people behind the business, the type of work they do, and show people developing

and advancing within the business.” Barry Kelly of ICDS says: “Digital media has given companies greater control in getting their message out there. “Companies should have a clear and concise message that speaks directly to candidates. “They should be search engine optimised to ensure the first message potential candidates see is a positive one.”

Routes to candidates

With salary, package and company message covered, what is the best route to the ideal candidate? Paraic Kelly of recommends that companies use the full mix of services at their disposal. “While I would recommend using specialist jobs boards such as, I also strongly recommend that recruiting companies also use a mix of recruitment agencies, general job boards, social media, Google ads, local papers, representative body job websites such as and job aggregators such as to ensure they reach as many candidates as possible.” Barry Kelly of ICDS advises that “top agencies such as ICDS already have candidates on their books. “We can provide expert advice on the right package, and we have a global network of offices and partners who can find candidates with the right experience.” Brendan Kelly of O’Neill Brennan

cover story says companies should “plan ahead, and talk to recruiters, as the firms such as O’Neill Brennan Group have a large pool of talent on tap and can use online tools to get jobs in front of the right candidates anywhere in the world as well as offering country specific micro-websites that can be indexed in foreign search engines.”

in candidates. According to Brendan Kelly of O’Neill Brennan Group, recruitment agencies are at present looking for construction professionals from abroad who have proven BIM and off-site construction experience. Locally, construction professionals with BCAR (Building Control & Amendment Regulation) experience and competency are also in high demand.

Top Tips for Recruiting Top Talent Paraic Kelly: Irish

1. Make a compelling proposition to work for your organisation. 2. Use a mix of agencies, job boards, social media, Google, local papers, industry. platforms (cifjobs. ie), and job aggregators such as, 3. Promote your employer brand. Show the people behind the business. 4. Be an organisation where candidates can Grow, Learn and Contribute. 5. Sell the Vision and Culture of your company.

Brendan Kelly: O’Neill & Brennan Group 1. Plan ahead and source your preferred person early, whether for contract or permanent positions. 2. Use company profiling to determine the best fit for employee and qualifications required. Prioritise requirements and be flexible in that you may not get a perfect fit. 3. An experienced professional may take longer to find, but is always worth pursuing over a lesserexperienced candidate available immediately. 4. Keep lines of communication open – keep candidates informed. Good candidates have options. Lack of feedback could send a candidate elsewhere 5. Recruitment can be time-consuming and costly. Recruitment firms have talent pools and knowledge of salaries, career expectations and available skillsets.

Barry Kelly: ICDS

1. Specialist recruitment agencies have a pool of talent or direct access to ideal candidates to fit most jobs. 2. Maximise your online presence to tell your company story. Optimise on search engines to ensure a positive message is communicated. 3. If recruiting returning middle to senior expat professionals, be aware that a full-time job improves their ability to get a mortgage. 4. Embrace new skills. Employees with experience of large international projects have a lot to offer in terms of experience. Don’t dismiss it. 5. Get connected: Companies with a cloud-based IT set up are more attractive to candidates who are used to working remotely onsite with minimal need for returning to the office. It also makes company operations more productive.

Barry Kelly ICDS Recruitment


Lean, BIM and offsite have been in the Irish construction lexicon for many years. Plan walkthroughs using Virtual and Augmented Reality are examples of emerging disciplines that are already adding to the mix, as will Big Data. These skills will pervade across all levels of the construction industry, and savvy firms build teams that have a mix of these skills to meet the future needs of an ever-evolving construction sector. Visit any site to today, and you will see workers using tablets to read plans and record information. There are stories of young apprentices passing on their digital skills to an older generation of site managers. Adoption of a Lean philosophy of reducing waste and delivering greater efficiency and value is for many the only way the Irish construction industry will be sustainable into the future.


Lean is a philosophy that should not be limited to larger firms. For example, taking a Lean approach to how they load their vans will greatly improve the efficiency and profitability of a tradesperson. Lean is also facilitating the adoption of BIM and new offsite methods as well as other modern practices that are changing Irish construction. Lean also encapsulates many of the new skills that recruiters are seeking


Brendan Kelly of O’Neill Brennan Group says for the moment that BCAR knowledge is essential for engineers and QS’s, and it is becoming a standalone role for some companies. “We are also seeing the emergence of BIM Managers/Co-Ordinators as more companies are changing their processes. Quality Advisors are also becoming a requirement for many sites.” In the UK, Leitrim native and Laing O’Rourke Chief Executive Ray O’Rourke is spearheading change in international construction with his company’s offsite Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) process at their state-of-the-art Industrial Park manufacturing facilities. The company’s goal is to take as much of the build offsite that is possible. Off-site manufacturing has been part of the Irish construction landscape for many years.


More recently, Mercury Engineering has been one of the leading offsite proponents with their off-site manufacturing plant in Newbridge. Meanwhile, at the recent Grant Thornton Construction Conference Collen director, Michael Browne said that offsite has helped Collen overcome the challenge of finding experienced tradesmen. So, offsite, particularly for largescale Direct Foreign Investment pharmaceutical and tech developments, will result in greater demand for experienced site managers and assemblers. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 31

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Mount Lucas: An innovative approach to meeting non-craft training needs

The National Construction Training Centre’s innovative approach training for noncraft workers and potential construction recruits is helping to fill a gap for site-ready workers. Robbie Cousins learns how it is meeting the industry’s changing needs.


y working with industry stakeholders The National Construction Training Centre at Mount Lucas has devised a set of easily adaptable non-craft worker training programmes to meet evolving industry needs The National Construction Training Centre at Mount Lucas, County Offaly was built by FÁS in 2008. In January 2016, Laois and Offaly Education Training Boards (LOETBs) took over responsibility for the centre with the dual goal of developing construction skills for youth and unemployed in Laois, Offaly and the surrounding counties, and developing experienced workers’ skillsets to meet changing industry needs. Mount Lucas’s remit covers non-craft worker training and certification of New Entrants and Experienced Workers in the National Construction Skills Certificate (CSCS). It also offers an Employment Skills for Construction (Formwork) Programme tailored to industry needs.

Changeover In addition, Mount Lucas administers the CITB UK changeover programme for Irish CSCS cardholders who wish to attain recognition to allow them to work in the UK by completing the UK Health Safety & Environmental (HSE) Test, the compulsory pre-clearance test that enables entry to work on UK sites. You might ask why the latter programme is provided when workers are in such short supply in Ireland. Irish contractors may be aiming to meet demands in Ireland, but quite a number also export their expertise to the UK and need their teams to be appropriately certified. This is an example of how working with industry and taking a responsive approach to planning its programmes adds the Mount

32 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

construction employers and City & Guilds to train form workers, as a specific need had arisen within the construction sector. “The first graduates qualified in February 2017, and many have gone straight into employment within the Industry.”


Training at Mount Lucas Lucas story to a growing compendium of recent Irish construction success stories. All services provided at Mount Lucas are funded and supported by SOLAS with the training provision delivered under a Contract Training (CT) structure which facilitates the flexibility and innovation necessary to respond to industry and concurrently meet the specific needs of people who are unemployed, underemployed, or are in employment but requiring new or enhanced skills. During 2016 – its first year operating under LOETB – 531 participants completed programmes at Mount Lucas. Centre manager, John Kelly says the centre’s focus is on an inclusive partnership approach which consistently includes the key stakeholders; SOLAS, CIF, local employers and the Department of Social Protection in its deliberations.He explains: “Mount Lucas maintains a collaborative relationship with the Construction Industry Federation and other bodies that guides the training provision to meet developing gaps within the industry. “During 2016, for instance, our Employment Skills for Construction (Formwork) Programme was developed in partnership with the SOLAS, Department of Social Protection (DSP), CIF, local

That pilot programme, a key part of the State’s national response, through SOLAS, to meet emerging needs in the construction industry has been reviewed and significant changes are being planned for the 2017 provision. This will kick off once the last of the four programmes of the pilot phase come to an end. Mount Lucas is catering for unemployed people and upskilling them in basic skills that prepare them to work as general operatives or form workers in the industry. Training is provided on site. But much of the preparation for a job in construction occurs during work placement that forms a core element of every programme – and accreditation is provided through City and Guilds. The training at Mount Lucas is provided in a simulated work environment. John Kelly explains: “The facilities at Mount Lucas include a simulated work environment that replicates actual building sites. We have over 15 acres assigned for machinery training. “We also have a 700 sq m Construction Hall that is used for small machine training and is currently in use as a workshop for the Formwork programme. All areas in Mt. Lucas are set out so participants are trained in Construction skills in real work environments. “And like any building site, if participants arrive to site without appropriate Personal Protection Equipment, they are not allowed onsite.” The close relationship with industry has enabled Mount Lucas to give participants

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John Kelly, Centre Manager with instructor Ian.

– who range from recent early schoolleavers to long term unemployed people – real work exposure with employers who assume responsibility for mentoring and monitoring the trainee on-site in return for the opportunity to train an individual, who comes to them site-ready, in the specific approach favoured by that employer. Thus the trainee is ready to seamlessly step up to employment when a vacancy arises. LOETB is the State’s training and education arm in its region and thus must ensure that while meeting industry needs it simultaneously facilitates, supports and prepares unemployed people, not merely for a job, but a career in the construction industry. Some of that is attempted through providing a range of skills that are required by industry, but also through

developing relationships with employers that ensures training continues long after employment begins. Training is not confined to unemployed people. As an example, LOETB is currently exploring with City and Guilds the possibility of accrediting, through formal acknowledgement of on-site experience, those who mentor current trainees and can illustrate their skills through work place assessment.

What graduates have to say about the Form Work Programme

Meeting future needs LOETB as the governing body of Mount Lucas has initiated a strategic planning process that aims to maximise its benefit to the construction industry, fulfil its national remit and also advance LOETB’s service provision in the areas of education and training in Laois and Offaly. True to form the planning process has taken the collaborative approach with SOLAS, CIF, employers in the industry and other key stakeholders all contributing to its direction. Mount Lucas is in the process of launching a user-friendly website that will illustrate all the courses that are on offer within the centre. The website will enable trainees and Construction Workers to look at Course calendar’s and to make bookings for all programmes. C

Trainee 1. Tshesko Onema Company: Murform Structures Ltd Site: Facebook, Clonee Tshesko says: “Completing the course and being given employment by the company that I completed my work experience with has given me a chance to create a future for myself and my family.”

Mount Lucas Programmes CSCS for New Entrants

Comprises: Theory and practical assessment of machinery skills Duration: Four days Candidate requirements: Must hold a valid Safe Pass card How to apply: Contact the centre website or www.fetchcourses. ie or contact the local DSP/Intreo office.

CSCS for existing workers

Comprises: Theory and practical assessment of machinery skills Duration: One day Candidate requirements: Must hold a valid Safe Pass card, must have completed a logbook or New Entrants Programme complete with six months’ practical experience on the particular Machine. How to apply: Contact the centre website or www.fetchcourses. ie

UK Changeover Programme

Comprises: Skills interview, skills theory touch screen test Duration: Two hours per category Candidate requirements: Must hold a valid card for the Category sought and must fill out an application form. How to apply: Contact the centre website

Construction Skills (Form Work or General Operative Programmes)

Comprises: Ten weeks on site at Mount Lucas, and four to six weeks work placement on a construction site Duration: 14-16 weeks Candidate requirements: Must be referred from the DSP How to apply: Contact the centre website or contact the local DSP/Intreo office.

Trainee 2. Stephen Moran Company: E&R Formwork Ltd Site: Microsoft, Lucan Stephen says: “Finishing the course has given me great confidence in my own ability and also the confidence to get full-time employment with E&R Formwork. I am grateful for the course run in Mount Lucas and how it has helped me to get a job in the Construction Industry.”

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 33

cover story

THE RISE OF THE TECHNOTEACHERS The TechnoTeachers Association chairperson Tony Harrison outlines the significance of technical subjects at second level in shaping and inspiring future industry players.


iscussions regarding a new school amalgamation some years ago saw a Dept. of Education Inspector being challenged as follows …. “And why should the new school curriculum include Woodwork and the like, who needs it and do you know of anyone who actually uses it?” The Inspector replied, “I won’t be irreverent enough to mention Our Lord, but how about St. Joseph?” The skills of woodwork, now Materials Technology Wood, have been in demand since long before the first rough wheel was fashioned from timber. Combined with the knowledge and intellectual reasoning of Construction Studies, civilizations, from the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt to those living in the shadow of “The Shard” have understood the value and important role of skilled designers, builders and craftsmen. That role, in this third millennium, is as vital as ever.


Today’s students are challenged to achieve proficiency across a broad range of skills. They do not merely make an end product. They design, understand the material, analyse and evaluate, all in the process of creating a unique piece to answer a particular task. Examples of such creative thinking can be seen each year in the project work produced by our Junior and Leaving Certificate students. It is evident that the students of today produce exceptional, skilled examples of unique work. At Leaving Certificate level students take Construction Studies and Design and Communication Graphics. Both subjects involve topics rooted in design, building and civil engineering.

34 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

Students encounter the most recent ideas and advances in house design, near zero energy building, passive building and renewable energies, the use of 3D modelling, computer aided design and manufacturing, 3D printing and the use of laser cutters. Modern “Technology Rooms” promote interest in the built environment by displaying building details and specifications, models, examples of student work and information about work, courses and careers in construction. In general, students are enthusiastic about the technology subjects, with many opting to continue their studies in senior cycle. There has been a steady increase in the number of students taking these subjects at both Junior and Leaving Certificate level. However, there are obstacles within schools which students encounter.


While Career Guidance tends to present third level construction-related courses in terms of a student’s interests and aptitudes the caveat of the importance of “subject balance” often rears its head. “Have you included a language, a science subject, a business subject?” and so on. All too often student choice is reduced to either one Technology subject or another to ensure a “balanced” Leaving Cert. result. The idea of leaving school in order to take up an apprenticeship is frequently frowned upon. Indeed, school league tables, that influential “holy grail” of educational endorsement, so beloved by the media, only values and counts traditional college entries. Despite this, it is encouraging to hear the Minister for Education and Skills recently focus on the value of apprenticeships, both

Tony Harrison

to students and the economy. Apprenticeships can also serve as training for future site managers and creating opportunities for self-employment and business building. Also encouraging are recent C.A.O. figures showing an increase in first preference applications for Architecture and other Built Environment courses. Another ongoing concern is the number of girls who continue the study of technology subjects at third level and who forge careers in the construction industry. There is always a cohort of girls, albeit small, who opt to take these subjects for Junior Certificate. This number usually dwindles further in Leaving Certificate, leaving only a select few who are interested in Architecture or related design courses. Here is evidence, not of the “glass ceiling” but rather, a “concrete ceiling”. The notion that careers are not all open to both genders is still, unfortunately, alive and well. Second level students need increased opportunities to meet with and speak to others who have made successful careers in construction related industries, and to become aware of the wide range of employment opportunities which can be exploited.


Girls often begin second level by having to choose between a Technology subject or Home Economics. Tradition and stereotyping will often see them opt for the latter. On a positive note, more schools are now offering “taster” courses in every subject so that students can make informed decisions about their future. Transition Year affords an ideal opportunity for students to experience the possibilities that the world of construction presents. C

cover story

HIGHLY SKILLED TRADESPEOPLE ESSENTIAL FOR INDUSTRY’S FUTURE SUCCESS PROFESSIONALS Quantity surveyors Engineers (structural, site, building services)



Carpenters Electricians Plumbers/pipe fitters Painters/decorators Steel fixers/erectors Plasterers Bricklayers/stonemasons

Groundsworkers Drivers (forklift, site dumper) Crane operators Scaffolders Construction labourers

a range of skilled trades, professionals and operative roles is already increasing, with those featuring strongly in SOLAS’ analysis of vacancy trends listed in the table. While the live register remains a source of skills for the construction sector, this labour pool is contracting and we are likely to see shortages emerging in the near future in many of the occupations listed in the table. Indeed, the recent forecasts suggest a doubling of employment in some occupations, with an additional 15,000 qualified carpenters potentially required over the next four years. With a relatively low apprenticeship intake in recent years compared to the period prior to 2008, those with skilled construction trades will be in high demand.


SOLAS has responded to the expanding demand for construction skills by funding a large volume of training in various construction skills, including recently introducing new training courses in shuttering carpentry; curtain wall hangers and steel fixing. Last year, SOLAS funded training courses for 9,250 estimated beneficiaries in the area of built environment as well as providing training for 2,500 new apprentices in the construction trades. C


OLAS is the Further Education and Training Authority in Ireland. Its role is to research, fund, plan and coordinate Further Education and Training (FET) provision in collaboration with Education and Training Boards and its other key partners.


FET is available to all learners aged 16 to 65 providing them with the opportunity to gain qualifications at Level 1 to 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), progress to programmes of higher education and training, gaining employment, up-skilling and re-skilling. Each year, FET planning and provision is informed by the work of the SOLAS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) who provide a valuable data gathering, analytical and research resources about the labour market and

projected skill needs. According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office, 138,000 are employed in the construction sector (quarter 4 2016, Quarterly National Household Survey). Employment has been increasing steadily with an additional 12,000 persons employed compared to 2015, primarily relating to increases for those employed in skilled trades. However, employment levels still remain significantly below pre-recession levels.


If Government-led initiatives particularly relating to housing progress as planned, employment in this sector is forecast to grow to over 210,000 by 2020 with skilled trades and labourers the main occupations to see significant growth. Indeed, there is evidence that demand for


With a relatively low apprenticeship intake in recent years compared to the period prior to 2008, those with skilled construction trades will be in high demand


Those with skilled construction trades will be in high demand in the coming years

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 35


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cover story

A construction qualification can take you anywhere

A career in construction is now a global choice. It opens up an entire world of opportunity and equips people with easily transferable skills and knowledge, which can bring them to wherever they wish to go. Industry experts Sean Finlay of Geoscience Ireland and Colm Fitzgerald of PM Group outline the increasing global nature of Construction careers.

Sean Finlay, Geoscience Ireland


career in the construction industry is not just a platform for career progression in Ireland. A background in the science of breaking new ground and constructing infrastructure which supports societies and economies of overseas nations is also possible, writes, Geoscience Ireland director, Sean Finlay. Geoscience Ireland’s (GI’s) network of companies which encompass a wide range of skillsets are illustrative of the extent and flexibility of a construction related qualification. GI’s member companies deliver integrated expertise in water, minerals, environmental and infrastructure development to clients in over 50 countries. The range of ovreseas clients who utilise the service of GI’s member companies is significant, with the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and United Nations being the predominant users of GI’s member companies services. National, regional and local governments from across the world also utilise member companies services as well as clients from the private sector. Ireland’s construction sector as typified

38 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

by GI’s members companies, possess a strong track history in the UK and other mature markets such as North America and parts of Europe. The African market is emerging in terms of the demand for the delivery of infrastructure to support an expanding population, combatting the effects of climate change as well as the delivery of sustainable renewable energy solutions. J.B.Barry & Partners, specialists in water infrastructure has been working on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project - which commenced back in the 1980s to transfer water from the mountains in Lesotho to meet the demand in the growing population and industrial areas of Gauteng Province in South Africa. The ongoing development required J.B.Barry to deliver project management, procurement, civil engineering, tunnelling, environmental, public health and socio-economic expertise. J.B.Barry has also delivered engineering solutions to wastewater treatment plants in developing Eastern European countries such as Turkey and Croatia. The economic development of West Africa, where governments are investing in transport and access infrastructure such as highways and airports, has brought considerable projects to GI Members. Public Works (PW) Group and PW Mining have major footprints in the region providing contracting services, quarrying the aggregates required for construction and mining projects. C Sean Finlay is the Director of Geoscience Ireland

Colm Fitzgerald, PM Group “If you are looking for a career that will allow you to explore the world, work with great people and challenge you to reach your full potential, you need to choose construction and particularly international construction in the exciting world of the pharmaceutical, food and data centre industries, is the message from Group Head of Construction Services, PM Group, Colm Fitzgerald. In PM Group, we work on major, large-scale, construction projects across the world. Our construction professionals work in Ireland, the UK, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Moscow, China and Singapore. This geographical spread is serviced through a network of offices in Europe, Asia and the US where we work for the world’s top companies. Our construction graduates have been recruited from various third level institutes across Ireland and the UK. The specific discipline varies from construction/project management to quantity surveying through to classical engineering disciplines – civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, chemical etc. Graduates come into PM Group on a fasttrack, two year, Next Graduate Programme where they are immediately assigned to projects and begin their hands-on experience. “There’s no waiting around in the office from day one our graduates are encouraged to contribute to the team and take ownership of their role. To become an internationally skilled construction manager, you need to work through from a junior to a senior role in your region. Surprisingly language skills are useful but not essential as much of the international construction industry business is done in English. Besides the obvious qualifications, the main qualities we look for are the ability to work in teams and to be able to deal with and respect people of different cultures. Project assignments typically last one to two years, so you’ll need to be comfortable and enthusiastic about exploring the world too.”

Colm Fitzgerald is the Head of Construction Services with PM Group

project feature

ACB Roofing leads the way with Liffey Valley Extension

Valley. This Design and Build project saw ACB Roofing assume a lead role in coordination and delivery of specialist design input required for the completion of this complex extension. The new €26 million development was undertaken in order to add 10,500 m² of shopping and retail area, including six new restaurants over three new floors. ACB Roofing LTD were the external Envelope Contractor nominated by John Sisk & Sons for the project, which was designed by HJL Architects. “Our Scope of works included further developing a design Intent alongside the projects Architects, Engineers and John Sisk on the Alucobond Rainscreen Façade, Kingspan Architectural Wall Cladding, Paralon Roof waterproofing Systems and Fire Barriers all to be installed achieving a strict air tightness value,” ACB Roofing Director Georgina Quigley said.

“These works were in close co-ordination with the glazing and steel works contractors to ensure all parties designs were fully aligned for a seamless construction. Designing interfaces between structural steel, glazing, Emalit glass and secondary steel, insulation, fire barriers with Alucobond cladding and Paralon warm roof built up systems whilst achieving air tightness and U-Value calculations as per project specification, demanding dedicated and professional design input collaboration.” By its very nature, this project posed a number of challenges, not least the tight timeframe and almost constant nearby presence of shoppers and staff. “These external facade works were carried out on a live building, one of Ireland’s busiest shopping centres, where very significant consideration was given through design for business as usual and the public’s safety,” Georgina Quigley explained. “At our peak times we would have had in excess of 30 people onsite. So the program on this project was extremely important and


This project posed a number of challenges, not least the tight, timeframe and almost constant nearby presence of shoppers and staff.



CB Roofing took a lead role in the recent extension of one of Ireland’s busiest shopping centres, Liffey

ensuring the most important dates were being met. For example, we needed to allow the VUE cinema open its doors as scheduled along with ensuring Penneys was operational for the Christmas shopping rush, bearing in mind that we were the water proofing installation contractors and had to complete our works to allow internal finishing commence.” “Being a Design and Build project, one of our main challenges became design, keeping abreast of design requirements and value engineering,” Georgina

Quigley added. “As a large portion of the works were about tying in with the existing shopping centre building, huge consideration was given to the complex design requirements that developed through the construction phase of the contract.” ACB Roofing’s Liffey Valley Shopping Centre project commenced in March 2015 and was completed in July 2016. C For more information see: http://

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 41

Category Focus L to R: Conor O’Connell, Regional Director, Southern Region CIF; Dominic Doheny, CIF President; Cormac Smith, CIF Cork Branch Chairman and Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

Let’s get CIRI-ous The Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) is an official online register established with the support of Government, of competent builders, building services contractors, specialist building elements and tradespersons who carry out construction works. Its objective is to be recognised as the primary online resource used by consumers in the public and private procurement of construction services. So, what is the current thinking on CIRI and why is it so important to the industry?

42 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

Category Focus

Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Gorenment

T ‘‘

It is about ‘buying in’ to a rigorous process.

he Minister for Housing, Planning Community and Local Government, minister Simon Coveney has reaffirmed his commitment to see the Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) put on a statutory footing in the coming months. “The establishment of a statutory register, known as the Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI), for builders, construction contractors and specialist construction contractors, is seen as an essential component of a suite of measures, including the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations, to increase competence, compliance and oversight in the construction sector,” Minister Coveney recently told Construction. Speaking at the CIF Cork Construction Annual Dinner Minister Coveney said that he expected legislation to introduce a mandatory register to be placed before the cabinet within weeks. “I am committed to bringing a Memorandum for the Government to Cabinet shortly seeking approval to publish the General Scheme of a Building Control (Construction Industry Register Ireland) Bill and permission to commence drafting,” Minister Coveney said. “The purpose of the draft Bill will be to place the current voluntary Construction Industry Register Ireland on a statutory footing and thereby provide in law for the registration of builders, contractors and specialist sub-contractors. “This is seen as an additional essential

consumer protection measure giving consumers who engage a registered builder the assurance that they are dealing with a competent and compliant operator. “I see CIRI as an important and necessary step in restoring public confidence and trust in the Construction Sector given the legacy of the building failures that came in the wake of the construction-related economic collapse. “It is an essential consumer protection measure that will give consumers who engage a registered builder the assurance that they are dealing with a competent and compliant operator.” The Minister’s words were warmly welcomed by the CIF President, Dominic Doheny, Cork Branch Chairman, Cormac Smith, and other attendees at the event held in the Fota Island Resort Hotel, Cork. Why is CIRI so crucial? There are many common sense reasons. Hank Fogarty is Chairman of the CIRI Registration Board. “There have been substantial changes to Construction Technology to Building Standards to the Building Control Regulations and the Assigned Certifier regime,” says Hank. “And the entity that puts it all together, (the contractor / the contracting industry) has no regulations. “That is a clear gap in the move to proper regulation for construction generally and should be filled as quickly as possible.”

The gauntlet

As CIRI Registration Board member


Hank Fogarty, Chairman of the CIRI Registration Board

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 43

Category Focus Kevin Sheridan notes: The advent of the relatively new BCAR regulations, while still evolving, has effectively “thrown down the gauntlet” to all the key construction stakeholders “to respond with a more transparent and sustainable system that assures a more professional way in providing buildings and works to protect our national infrastructure and asset base, such that that we can all be proud of the finished product.” “The CIRI registration system has evolved as a model of best practice in a challenging environment,” Kevin adds. “It is overseen by a Board which has a majority of industry stakeholders who are non-contractors and provides independent oversight in the public interest. “The CIRI system is an inclusive and cost effective process that looks at categorising the industry in relation of specific competences to provide an assurance of competence in these areas and this is backed up by mandatory continuing professional development of all of its workforce. “It provides a long-awaited mechanism to assist in the procurement process from large scale works to more modest extensions, refurbishments and fit-outs.”


Seamus Duggan of Duggan Bros Contractors is among the contractor stakeholders. Seamus says: “CIRI is a welcome addition to the Irish Construction Industry as it sets a base-line standard of competence and experience that all registered contractors must achieve. “This can be used as a reference base by employers undertaking construction works. “For CIRI to have full effect it is necessary that it is upgraded from a voluntary to a statutory basis. “From a practical level, the introduction of CIRI has been very beneficial in terms of formal recording of CPD to track and monitor how training and development is advanced within our company. “Whilst we would always have had CPD training in place the necessity to have a formal tracking system certainly helps to ensure that this is structured and delivered right across our staff.” Brian Redmond of L. Redmond (Electrical) says: “As CIRI registered Specialist Contractors, membership allows L. Redmond (Electrical) Ltd. to stand out amongst the competition. “For our clients, this CIRI endorsement gives them the confidence that our skills are fully up-to-date and

44 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

our staff are continually developing their industry training,” Brian adds. CIRI also gives us the reassurance that when we are engaged as Specialist Sub-Contracts by CIRI registered Main Contractors, we will be treated in an ethical and fair manner.” These views are further endorsed by John O’Shaughnessy of Clancy Construction, who notes: “Companies that registered with CIRI are showing their clients and design teams that they are committed to high standards in the industry.”

Buying in

Meanwhile, Kevin Sheridan stresses that CIRI Registration is of course, “more than a marketing tool designed merely to project a positive image to clients and stakeholders, something everyone we speak to in is full agreement with. “It is about ‘buying in’ to a rigorous process to ensure that it provides an accountable and cost-effective process,” says Kevin. “CIRI Registration is about adopting a system where professional constructors strive to maintain a high level of service and the sanctions for non-compliance contained in the scheme will assist in allaying consumer concerns brought about in the past.” Kevin adds that CIRI entails a requirement to demonstrate competence on an ongoing basis. He continues: “With the advent of more rigorous building standards and the related compliance requirements to build to higher and higher standards, it is now more crucial

John O’Shaughnessy than ever to have transparent CIRI standards. “The shift from casual compliance by a minority of industry players in the past, to one of greater accountability through regulatory improvements, means that it is no longer acceptable to leave regulatory compliance to chance and we now need to introduce a statutory CIRI Register to complete the regulatory supply chain.” “The industry cannot afford a weak link in the supply chain and owners and occupiers of our buildings have the right to expect professional products and service where quality delivery in the whole construction life cycle process is underpinned by a sustainable regulatory environment which provides confidence in addressing and overcoming the unacceptable practices of the past,” he concludes.

Next step

Kevin Sheridan

As for the next step, that statutory footing, Hank Fogarty stresses the dangers of any perception that it was not going to happen quickly enough. If that were to have been the case, contractors may have started to wonder: why am I engaging with CPD and all the other requirements we have to have – and renewing our CIRI registration every year? The problems associated with it not happening sooner rather than later could have included the possible loss of momentum and interest and of course, credibility. “That would be a tragedy,” says Hank. “After all, CIRI is good for everyone.” C

member focus: height for hire

a head for Heights Harry McArdle set up Height for Hire in 1978. Today the company is the largest privately owned MEWP access rental company in the UK and Ireland, with over 2,000 machines in its fleet and 20 depots across Ireland, the UK, Hungary and Slovakia.


ack in the 1970s, before there was Height for Hire, founder and Chairman Harry McArdle ran a sludge disposal and water jetting business in Co. Louth. On one particularly tough day at a local industrial plant Harry looked up at his first aerial platform and never looked back.



For local customers who need a flexible solution that allows them to work the hours that suit them, Height for Hire provides a range of self-drive van mounts up to 20m,


You have to move and evolve with the times in order to keep going.


“The access industry and construction sector have seen many changes, as has Ireland, in the last 40 years.” Harry says. “But in that time family businesses have always been the lifeblood of this country and have kept it going in the good times and the bad. “You have to move and evolve with the times in order to keep going. As Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change’.” From humble beginnings with just one 40ft vehicle-mounted machine in 1978, Height for Hire has since grown its fleet to provide a range of battery and diesel scissor and boom lifts up to 50m, as well as specialised solutions for difficult and challenging access through its Spider Lift division. In addition to the core kit and Spider Lifts, Height for Hire also provides truckmounted MEWPs with operators up to 90m for customers working at extreme heights, or who need that extra outreach, and a safe pair of hands.

weighing only 3.5 tonnes, so they can be driven on a standard car license. “It’s been an interesting journey and we’ve seen a lot of changes since we started,” Harry McArdle says. “But while the machines and technology have become more sophisticated, the basic idea remains the same. “It’s about providing safe and practical solutions for working at height, so everyone can get the job done and get home safe.” Height for Hire Safety Training has provided International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) certified training courses for over 25 years.


In recent years, the business has embraced Lean principles and continuous improvement across all depots, introducing several Lean initiatives to improve operational and service metrics and promote safety. “We know our customers need to ensure

all machines are safe and want to maximise uptime on site, so we have built our operational systems with safety, traceability and operational efficiencies in mind,” Harry’s daughter Frances McArdle, Height for Hire’s Director of Safety Training, explains. Height for Hire machines operate a QR code system, which is a unique identifier containing the plant number and can allow customers to download the Thorough Examination Safety Cert directly onto their phone within seconds, using open source software that can be downloaded for free. Each machine also has a full history digitally recorded in a central location on an IT system built in-house by the Height for Hire Technical Support and IT team.


All Service Engineers can access this information at any time on their tablets wherever they are, which allows the Height for Hire team to make sure their machines are fully compliant before they leave the depot. The hire can also be supported on site with access to the Height for Hire Technical Support team, which operates a 24/7 free-phone helpline. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 45

advertising feature: SIG



triking perforated panels from Proteus Facades in TECU Brass with a Capisco patinated finish have created a dynamic aesthetic on Imperial College’s new Molecular Sciences Research Hub in London. The concrete façade, combined with the perforated cladding and triple glazed curtain walling on the Hub fuse together to outwardly portray what this innovative research facilities does on the inside. Aukett Swanke chose Capisco’s CAP 55 finish for the Proteus SC perforated panels early in the design process because they were looking to complement the flat bare concrete façade and glazed elements.

The CAP 55 effect was hand applied by patination specialist Capisco, which gave the Proteus SC TECU Brass perforated panels an enhanced flow, feel and texture. The appearance of the perforated and patinated panels now changes depending on the level of sunlight and the angle at which they are viewed from. The end result is a strikingly beautifully aesthetic that appears to move and shimmer across the

visually flat façade beneath. The perforated panels seamlessly transition through the entrance glazing to form a striking feature within the atrium entrance. This creates an impressive solar composition, accentuated by spotlights, when visitors cast their eyes upwards. “The contrast between the concrete, glass and patinated brass couldn’t be more complementary and, with it, pleasing to the eye,” said Elias Niazi, Design Principal at Aukett Swanke. “The visual outcomes on this project have exceeded expectations. The perforated patterns on the brass panels with artistic patinations add a sense of mystery and mirror the innovative research works carried out inside the building. Elias Niazi, Design Principal explained: “We specified Proteus SC because we liked the wide panels of its TECU Brass perforated system, as well as the company’s ability to work with Capisco on what is a completely bespoke cladding solution.” Proteus Facades, again working with Capisco to create a matching patinated finish, manufactured the window flashings for the Hub. Initially conceived as a simple window flashing, Proteus had to overcome a real technical challenge - the profile of the window reveal is a narrow box that tapers across the width to make it appear as though the window blends into the concrete. The maximum depth of the window reveal was too large for traditional manufacturing processes and so a multi piece flashing design

was developed which could be stud welded and bolted together. This avoided any distortions that would have resulted from traditional welding processes, whilst creating a bespoke element that could be easily installed on site. Proteus Facades is able to supply the CAP 55 finish in either Brass or Bronze materials. The TECU Brass Proteus SC perforated panels were developed in conjunction with the supporting composite panel behind. These had a maximum capacity to support the perforated panels, with the required cavity zone, at 750mm centres. Proteus SC perforated hock on panel system was used, set off from the company’s 125x50mm mullion. The perforated panels encompass a PPC black stainless steel bird mesh, carefully integrated into the back to ensure there was no visual impact to the panel face. The Molecular Sciences Research Hub encompasses technical and laboratory areas clustered around a full height atrium. The striking new hub forms the centre piece of the Imperial West campus. Laing O’Rourke commenced construction works at the end of 2014 with completion in 2016. The façade was installed by its in-house team, Laing Facades. For more inspirational rainscreen facades from Proteus contact SIG Facades, Dublin: (01) 427 0888 Cork: (021) 435 4141 Belfast: (028) 9038 5090



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industry analysis

Breaking new ground: CPD IT for Site Workers CPD IT for Site Workers in DIT gives site workers the skills and knowledge to transition from the traditional site workflow to the new workflow based on virtual design and digital exchange of building information. Joseph Little, Architect and DIT Assistant Head of School (Construction), explains how the programme works


n 2016 the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs appointed by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation reported that: “… the reality is that the industry is moving towards a situation where BIM is becoming an essential requirement internationally. The implications for Irish construction are clear: unless construction contractors and service providers are able to work in a BIM environment they are likely to find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage, particularly in overseas markets…the continued low take-up of ICT within the sector… [is] an emerging competitive disadvantage in project delivery due to slow adoption of process improvement (e.g. Lean) and productivity enhancing Building Information Modelling (BIM) systems.” Lecturer Malachy Mathews in Dublin School of Architecture deeply understands the variety and depth of skill gaps amongst builders and building design professionals that are at the heart of what the Expert Group identified. Mathews was part of the team that created Ireland’s first BIM programmes for building design professionals. In 2016 Malachy worked with a team to fill another piece of the “jigsaw”. The programme is called CPD Certificate in Information Technology Skills for Site Workers.


In mid-September 2016 nineteen site foremen and supervisors walked under the arch of Linenhall in the North City Centre of Dublin to join the DIT team for the pilot of the CPD. The first cohort was representative of site workers from a broad range of innovative

48 CONSTRUCTION April 2017


Joseph Little general builders and specialist subcontractors in the country. They are employed by Designer Group, Suir Engineering, Clancy Construction, Collen Construction Ltd., John Sisk & Sons, Mercury Engineering and Kirby Group. The programme ran for thirteen weeks, mostly on Wednesday afternoons. The CPD (set at QQI Level 6) involves 48 hours of class contact and 52 hours of selfdirected learning. This meant there was about four of homework per week, some of which could be done on, or taken from, the building site. The students found it quite manageable. The programme which costs €1,050 (including registration) was generally paid by the students’ employers.

The Programme Team were very cognisant of the need to keep the content interesting and relevant for the students, showing the value of the content for improving site communications and efficiencies while giving their employers a good return on their investment in skills and knowledge acquisition. All credit to the students who placed their trust in lecturers who asked them to carry out the tasks: it wasn’t always evident to them what the value of a certain task was for some weeks after! Malachy Mathews or fellow lecturer Joe Mady kept telling them: “wait till Week 13 – then it will all make sense”. A programme-specific website provided the structure and key resources for the programme and a Google+ Communities page was the social medium through which the students shared thoughts and asked questions, and to which all posted interesting new links and videos. Concepts and theories were taught through hands-on use of tools.


A range of proprietary software applications was selected that was considered representative of what the students needed to learn to engage optimally with IT and BIM on site. These were Navisworks, Bluebeam Revu (pdf software), QR code printing and scanning, and the impressive interoperable suite of applications from Google (Mail, Drive, Sites, Sheets, Google+ etc.). There were four assignments and no exam. PROJECT 1 – the first project was to build a simple website. It may seem like a strange thing to ask a site supervisor to do this, but the task is valuable in several ways:

industry analysis The first students came from a range of innovative general builders and subcontractors.

QR Code Project 4 – the Main Project – to report on implementation, proposed or actual, of a way that Information Technology can improve efficiencies, processes or safety within the student’s workplace.


The innovative use students made of the technology they’d been introduced to in Project 4 was impressive. For instance, one came up with a quick, discreet way that anyone on site could log safety incident reports (thereby reducing health and safety incidents on site), another proposed sticking QR codes to the side of builders’ site helmets that could then be scanned (with a QR reader app on a tablet) to provide immediate access to a spreadsheet he created of Safepass training and renewal dates. Time has been allocated for visiting lecturers to give insights into new innovations that foremen may want to see on site. Murphy Surveys talked about digitals point cloud scanning and drones. Topcon brought in several total stations and LN100s (a cross between a self-levelling laser and robotic total station). The students divided into four groups and got hands-on experience setting out a site using data pulled from a BIM model and feeding new datasets back into the model. Due to the pilot project status of the CPD the students were surveyed at the midpoint and completion of the Programme.

(a) It enables better understanding of a common data environment (CDE) – also known as the “cloud” (b) It takes away the mystique of this kind of technology (c) It increases the students’ confidence levels in engaging with software (d) Their personal website then acts as the “portfolio” within which they store all their other project work. Project 2 – learn to navigate and extract information from a BIM model. Importantly the focus was on extracting information from a BIM model not on authoring a model – a totally different competence and role. Project 3 – learn to use and create scanning apps (i.e. barcodes and QR codes) to identify rooms or materials, access websites and datasheets etc.


A BIM model showing services being viewed live on PC and smart phone simultaneously

On the last day, Sean Downey (Director of Specialist Subcontractors in CIF) joined the Dean of the College and Head of School for a conferral of certificates of attendance. He then stayed to hear the students’ insights into how the industry could engage better with IT on site. Exam boards in February established that eighteen of the students passed and formal CPD certificates were subsequently posted. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 49

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industry analysis

Life after career

A solid career plan is key, but planning for life beyond your working years is just as important, writes Susan O’Mara.

Phases of Life

Life Expectancy remains on the increase for men & women. A man, who is 50 now, can expect to live for another 38.7 years, while a woman who is 50 can expect to live for 40.7. If you consider that state pension age will be 68 for that cohort of people, then that is over 20 years of retirement. Along with a financial plan, it’s clear that this phase of life deserves serious consideration. If we park the financial side, and assume that some sort of savings plan is a given (I hope) then what else is there to consider? What will your life after your career look like?


Although a few years away from that particular milestone myself, working


Doing different things is another common theme that crops up in all of the good “how to” retirement guides, whether it’s starting a second career or doing voluntary work. According to a US study by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, people who don’t fully retire have better health. You don’t have to continue in your current career on a part-time basis however; perhaps you can educate yourself and do something new? The benefits of learning in retirement are also surprisingly good for your health.

Entering retirement with only your immediate family and your work network is a frequent cause of retirement depression, which can be a downward spiral that is very difficult to reverse


Dr Jonathan Collie




s the theme of this edition of the magazine is careers, and I work in Retirement Planning, I thought I would use this issue to take a look at life after a career. While the role of the financial adviser is to focus on the money, sometimes the planning phase can raise other issues a client has not previously considered. In the pre-retirement financial planning phase, it is beneficial to take an holistic approach, so that along with diligently saving money, you also make time to consider what that money is for. As I’ve written previously, this can have a beneficial impact on your saving habits. It might also make you think about a phase in life that you haven’t previously considered. Consider that the financial plan is only the tip of the iceberg.

in pensions has given me plenty of anecdotal evidence, speaking with people on a daily basis who are retiring, those with a life plan seem the most emotionally prepared. Do you have an active social network? Writing for an excellent retirement series in the Guardian recently, Dr Jonathan Collie had some serious thoughts on the subject. “Entering retirement with only your immediate family and your work network is a frequent cause of retirement depression”, he warned, ” which can be a downward spiral that is very difficult to reverse”. The Retirement Planning Council of Ireland state that, “staying networked and well connected” is an important part of the pursuit of happiness in retirement.

At the end of the day, many people’s identity is wrapped up in what they do for a living, and that can represent a loss for them when they no longer do that. While they may not be consciously aware that this is troubling for them, it can be a huge source of unhappiness in retirement. Ensuring that you give attention to this side of your life while also planning the financial stability of your retirement may just ensure that you have an enjoyable life after your career. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 51

industry analysis

Onward and upwards With a continued increase in activity across the industry, Construction Information Services (CIS) gives an overview of significant projects that moved stage in Q1 2017.


he commercial sector continues to see a steady rise in activity and optimism. An Bord Pleanala have recently upheld Waterford Council’s decision to grant planning permission for a €58m shopping centre development in the city centre. Plans have also been approved for a €58m retail and commercial development on the corner of Nassau and Dawson Street in Dublin 2. Work is underway on the demolition of an existing two-storey office building to allow for the construction of a €37m office development at the South County Business Park in Sandyford, County Dublin. Construction work is finally underway on the €67m redevelopment of Frascati Shopping Centre in Blackrock, South County Dublin. Plans have also been lodged for a €70m retail development in Carlow.

Hotel and hospitality

With demand on the increase for hotel bedrooms and student accommodation bed spaces, activity in the hotel and hospitality sector has witnessed a significant surge in activity. Construction work is underway on a new €3.8m boutique hotel in the heart of Ranelagh, Dublin 6. The project for Oakmount proposes 41 boutique bedrooms over five storeys. PJ Edwards & Company Limited have commenced piling works to allow for the construction of a €46m student accommodation development in the Point Village, Dublin 1. Main construction work is expected to commence early in Q2 2017 and the development will result in the creation of

52 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

970 student bed spaces. Plans have been approved for a €22m hotel development at the Coombe, Dublin 8. The development proposes the creation of over 230 bedrooms with meeting and conference facilities in a six-storey building, with demolition works expected to commence imminently to allow for main construction. Plans have also been approved for an €11m hotel development on Hendrick Street, Dublin 7. The development proposes the creation of 175 guest bedrooms over seven storeys. Outside of Leinster, construction work is now underway on a student accommodation development for NUI Galway. The project, which is set to be finished during 2018, will see the provision of 429 student bed spaces over five storeys. One of the biggest projects planned for the country in the leisure sector, has seen one of the main infrastructure contracts being awarded. Work will commence on this contract in May 2017 to allow for the overall construction for the €233 million Center Parcs development in Ballymahon, County Longford. The project will cater for up to 2,500 guests, with 500 lodges, more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, a spa,

restaurants, cafes and a large-scale indoor swimming facility.


Construction activity in the private residential sector remains constant. Work is underway on a €32m residential development in Naas, County Kildare. The overall development site has planning approval for 284 units. Gannon Homes have commenced work on the first phase of a €26m residential development in Swords, County Dublin. The first phase of this development will consist of 41 units. The development site has planning permission for a total of 246 units. In the Dublin Docklands, plans have been approved for Block E of the Dublin Landings development on North Wall Quay, Dublin 1. Block E proposes 124 units over 11 storeys. Four blocks make up this large scale development for the Ballymore Group. All four blocks have full planning now, with Block D (office), currently underway. Groundworks have also commenced to allow for construction of the three other blocks.


Construction activity in the medical sector

industry analysis has remained constant in the first quarter of 2017. BAM was officially appointed as the main contractors for the €950m New Children’s Hospital at the St. James’s Hospital site. The main works are expected to commence on-site in April 2017 with a contract duration of approximately 44 months. In Dun Laoghaire, tenders have been returned and are currently being assessed for the appointment of a contractor for the €40m Phase 1 development at the National Rehabilitation Hospital. Works are planned to commence on-site in Q2 2017 with a contract duration of two years. In County Waterford, enabling works have recently commenced to allow for the construction of a new €19m residential care centre at John’s Hill.


Construction activity in the private residential sector remains constant.



In the education sector, tenders have been issued to a select list of contractors for the development of a €13m Student Hub Building. Main works are expected to commence in Q2 2017 and take in the region of 15 months to complete. Construction commenced in early 2017 on a €9.5m Education and Research Centre for The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland in Dublin 9, which is scheduled for completion in Q3 2018. In Tallaght, tenders are expected to be returned in the coming weeks for the appointment of a contractor on a new €14m secondary school development in Kingswood. In Co. Louth, main works got underway on a new €15m Post-Primary school in Dundalk.


The industrial sector continues to provide steady opportunities, with construction mainly concentrated in the data centre and pharma sectors. Works have commenced on the construction of a €59m biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Dunboyne, County Meath. Plans have been lodged by Amazon for a €44m data centre in Dublin 15. Stewart Building Contractors are currently undertaking construction work of a new €60m bio-pharma facility at the Grange Castle Business Park in Dublin 22. Plans have been lodged with Wicklow County Council for a new €90m film studio and a planning decision is expected from the Council in April 2017. *The costings on these projects are

indicative and are based on a price per sq.m. for shell and core only. **This project information was accurate on 10th March 2017. For the latest information on these development, call us on the number below or email

Construction Information Services (CIS) is Ireland’s market leader in supplying real-time information on construction projects from early planning to on-site stages. For more information visit or call 01 2999 200 C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 53

industry analysis



he fifth annual Grant Thornton Construction Conference took place at Croke Park Conference Centre on Wednesday, 22 March. Almost 400 delegates attended the event and heard presentations on the themes of Sustainability and Innovation.


Speakers the event included key-note speaker John Moran (Board Member of EIB, MD of RHH International, and former Secretary of the Department of Finance) who spoke about FutureProofing Ireland’s Infrastructure. Other speakers and panel members included Oliver O’Connor (Head of Construction, Grant Thornton); Dominic Doheny (President, Construction Industry Federation); Claire Solon (Head of Property, Friends First and SCI President); Pat Gilroy, (MD, The Designer Group and former Dublin football manager); Marian Finnegan (Chief Economist, Sherry Fitzgerald); Michael Browne (Director, Collen Construction); Paul Mitchell (Director, Mitchell McDermott); Mark Kellett (CEO, Magnet Networks); Paddy McElligott, (Director, Activate Capital); Darragh Ó’Sé (Auctioneer, Daly O’Sé Properties and former Kerry footballer) and Darragh Moloney (RTE Sport). Opening the conference Oliver O’Connor, Head of Construction at Grant Thornton said that in 2016 ·   Construction output was in excess of €14bn ·   Employment in the sector was up 15% · In excess of €11bn in planning permissions were granted ·  In excess of 11bn in planning applications were submitted

·  €2bn worth of commercial planning applications were submitted ·  16,000 residential units were granted planning · 13,000 residential units moved onsite, of which 6,500, just under half, were in Dublin ·  €750m worth of industrial development moved onsite during 2016 ·  During 2017, 330,000-sq m of commercial property development will be completed. Speaking as part of a panel discussion, CIF President, Dominic Doheny said that the country is in an infrastructure crisis at the moment and called for a 10-year “cross-government, multi-party sustainable infrastructure plan” to be put place. He also said that at the moment CIF members have no infrastructure projects to work on after 2018, and that “SME’s in the regions will not survive unless infrastructure plans are put in place.” During his presentation Designer Group MD Pat Gilroy outlined how his company’s innovative and collaborative approach during the downturn helped it survive and develop new business stream.

Paul Mitchell, Mitchell McDermott

Dominic Doheny, Cif President

Damien O’Callaghan, Heron Bros; David Skelly, KCC Architectural; and Emmet Heron, Heron Bros

Marian Finnegan, Sherry Fitzgerald and Claire Solon, SCSI & Friends First


He said that if project teams took a more collaborative approach to project management, bring in all stakeholders at an earlier stage, and use tools such as those provided by BIM and Lean, this will lead to even greater project success, Collen’s Michael Browne outlined how embracing offsite solutions can help companies overcome the tradesperson deficit in the market. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 55

industry analysis

“People are our greatest assets”

Former Ireland rugby captain Phillip Matthews addresses Lean conference on the need to help a new generation of professionals maximise their true potential.

Eoin Curran, Iveragh Group; Rob Hughes, Ray Curley and Peter Cooney, Jones Engineering


f we really believe that people are our greatest assets we need to start acting like it.” This was the message from Phillip Matthews in his address to the LCI Event: People are our best assets. How can we maximize their potential? The event at the Marker Hotel in Dublin was sponsored by Jones Engineering.


Former President, National College of Ireland and International Rugby Captain Matthews spoke of a balance that which is needed between strategic/business interactions and personal interactions with staff. “We need to support challenge, education praise, and more,” said Matthews. “If we don’t do it with this new generation of talent, our competitors will.” Talent retention and maximising of potential amongst staff is becoming increasingly important. We need to have sincere and authentic regard for our people, was the message – we need to show that we care. Matthews talked about people in his sporting and business life who had shown a sincere interest in him and established a foundation of trust.

56 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

That investment of care and attention gives you permission to challenge people to be at their best, he explained. “Great leaders show that and do connect emotionally with their people. “They establish two things: the balance between showing they care and being able to be abrupt in the moment. That is what great leaders do. “When we have tough time lines, for instance, we have to be straight with people. I can do that if I have created the foundation.”

Growth mindsets

Matthews also spoke about “fixed” mindsets and “growth” mindsets and how the two differ. “We need to create a culture that encourages growth mindsets,” he said. A fixed mindset (where people stick to what they know, want to look smart and avoid failure at all costs and take feedback personally) can have very limiting effects on what can be achieved. A growth mindset however (where people have a desire for continuous learning, confront uncertainties and are not afraid to fail as they know they can learn from these events) presents opportunities every single day for people to achieve and progress.

There are so many untapped resources in our organisations which mindset will encourage more of these to be realised? A growth mind set is surely the answer. More and more people are now considering hiring for growth mindsets, more so than past successes, the audience heard. “The future is unknown and we have to have a culture with people who want to learn and don’t feel their intelligence is limited and fixed,” explained Matt hews. “We need people who will be confident and comfortable in this environment.” The event was also addressed by Jones Engineering’s CEO, Jim Curley, who gave an overview of his company’s Lean journey. Jim explained how, through the recruitment of smart, honest people, a company can better take on the challenges it will meet along the way. He also spoke about Jones’ core values of recruiting, nurturing and developing the best people. “Our Lean journey started many years ago,” explained Jim. Innovation and keeping ahead – particularly in the areas of quality, price and service have been the cornerstones. “Utilising Lean and BIM allowed us to achieve a seismic shift in how we do our

industry analysis business in recent times.” MC for the event, the CIF’s Director General, Tom Parlon, praised the sharing and cooperation evident in the Lean Community. Speaking about how the industry was set to grow, Tom Parlon said the whole concept of Lean is very relevant at the moment. “One of the key strengths of Lean is that it identifies unused talent,” added Tom Parlon

Jim Collins

Keynote Speaker 2 was Jim Collins – a Lean Trainer, Consultant, Coach and Guide. Jim spoke about how traditional Lean tools can be applied to construction and can have a great effect. Large improvements from technology (BIM etc.) can play a big part, but we must not forget the multiple small-improvement opportunities as well. Respect for people is a fundamental part of Lean, noted Jim.

Former Ireland Rugby Captain, Phillip Matthews

Jim Curley, CEO, Jones Engineering


There were a number of “breakout sessions” during the event featuring among others Kevin White - Division Manager, Jones Engineering Group. n,C or are they simply using Lean tools?

Naomi Carrol and Darina Porter, Linesight

Pat Lehane; Tom Barrett, H.A. O’Neil; Gerry Lowe, Henkel

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 57

corporate member: eaton group

Building a Brighter future As Ireland builds for the future, Eaton Group is helping commercial property developers, owners and managers ensure the highest standards of safety, efficiency and sustainability.


he $20bn power management company Eaton Group recognises that a building and its infrastructure are the foundations of any business.

Integral From medium and low voltage switchgear and uninterruptible power supplies to mains lighting, the right technologies and services are integral to the protection of people, assets and productivity. “The building sector is a challenging environment with numerous responsibilities attached to it,” says Phil Kane, Country Manager for Eaton. “Obviously there’s a fundamental need to keep the occupants of a building safe, whether they are staff, visitors or guests. “However, allied to that is the requirement to make best possible use of space, increase energy efficiency, maximise productivity and uphold the reputation of the organisation by ensuring operational continuity. “Eaton has the equipment and expertise to support that, from the earliest design phase to the ongoing maintenance and improvement of the building throughout its life.” The sheer scale of the Eaton Group is eyewatering, the company had global 2016 sales of $19.7bn, employs approximately 95,000 people and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries.

Sectors Eaton serves a range of sectors, not only in construction and building management, but many other industries including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, industrial, oil and gas, railway, data centres, IT, machine-building and energy. “Every day, some of the best-known companies turn to Eaton to address their most critical power management challenges,” Phil Kane says. “We relish these challenges because at Eaton,

58 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

evacuate from a building. we’re always looking for Emergency lighting operates new ways to deliver value alongside their fire detection and in the products, services alarm/communication systems to and solutions that are most provide a high level of protection. important to our customers’ The installation of such success.” technologies is not only a moral Eaton’s history in and legal obligation but can aid Ireland stretches back to the continuity, reputation and 1989, when Transmould, a profitability of a business. subsidiary of Menvier Swain Phil Kane, Country Group, established itself Manager for Eaton Imperative here. Another imperative for buildings Following a series of is the protection of power supplies. acquisitions, including Cooper Industries Energy management is a crucial in 2012, Eaton now offers a vast range of consideration for buildings of all types, from electrical systems and is well known for leisure facilities to hospitals. the CEAG, Menvier and MEM product In Ireland, Eaton has recently supplied lines, as well as the Moeller, Crouseuninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices Hinds and Holec series. for large offices, data centres, hospitals and Focus manufacturing plants. In Ireland, there has been a strong focus These are part of a wider offering of on engagement with consultants to medium-voltage and low-voltage electrical ensure Eaton is considered during the mains distribution systems, including specification process, while an ongoing xEnergy, MODAN and CXH, which programme of continuing professional strengthen resilience, as well as safety. development (CPD) courses provide An emerging strategy for increased energy installers with the most up-to-date independence, control, reliability and technical knowledge. efficiency is energy storage. Addressing and mitigating risks is a In this area, Eaton has partnered with core strength of Eaton. For example, the automotive giant Nissan to develop Storage threat to safety that can arise from fire, Buildings, an accessible energy storage terrorism, crime, extreme weather or solution for all building types. civil unrest, makes evacuation planning a This enables users to store energy, either necessity. in periods where low tariffs apply or from Among Eaton’s class-leading portfolio renewable sources such as solar panels, and of life safety products is an extensive use it when and where it is needed most. C range of emergency lighting, which is crucial in enabling occupants to safely For more information see


Flying the flag in the South East The Construction Industry Federation’s South East Construction Ball 2017 was held in Faithlegg House Hotel, County Waterford and sponsored by Opel, Roadstone and SaintGobain. It was the first such construction event in the South East since 2008.

Delegation from Tom O’Brien Construction. Photo: Leo Murphy


he Construction Industry Federation’s South East Construction Ball 2017 proved to be a great success with over 160 attendees from member companies and sponsors, as well as distinguished guests of the CIF South East Branch.


These guests included Waterford City & County Mayor, Adam Wyse; Waterford metropolitan Mayor, John Hearne; Minister Paul Kehoe; Waterford Council Chief Executive, Michael Walsh; Director of Southern Regional Assembly, Stephen Blair; Laurent Borla (President,Waterford Chamber of Commerce); Tom Parlon (Director General, CIF); Dominic Doheny (CIF president); Ken Thomas (Head of School of Engineering, Waterford Institute of Technology); Ivor Bowe (Chairman – South East Region – Engineers Ireland); Karol Jackson (Chairperson - SCSI - South Eastern Region).

60 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

CIF Members in Attendance: •Cleary Doyle Construction Ltd. •Clancy Construction Ltd. •Anthony Neville Homes Ltd. •Tom O’Brien Construction Ltd. •Airconmech Ltd. •BAM Contractors Ltd. •Winthrop Engineering Ltd. •Mythen Construction Ltd. •Quarryview Developments Ltd. •Radley Engineering Ltd.

highlights the need for developing Ireland’s Regions. It was “an opportune time for contractors to show that there is a vibrant South East Construction community which has the capacity to carry out the required infrastructure works set out in ‘Ireland 2040’,” he noted. Brian also thanked the sponsors Opel, Roadstone and Saint-Gobain for their generous support.

The speakers on the night were, Brian Byrne (Chairman of the CIF South East Branch and Managing Director of Cleary Doyle Construction Ltd); Adam Wyse (Waterford City & County Mayor); Dominic Doheny (CIF President and Joint Managing Director of John Flanagan Developments Ltd.). Brian Byrne, Chairman of the CIF South East Branch and Managing Director of Cleary Doyle Construction Ltd. mentioned the government’s Ireland 2040 plan which

Work together

Waterford City & County Mayor Adam Wyse gave a heartfelt speech on the need for government, the construction industry, financial lenders and all other stakeholders in the construction industry to work together to build the required housing stock to meet demand in the South East Region. CIF president Dominic Doheny, meanwhile, spoke of the need for Ireland’s economic recovery to spread to the regions

events and how it will be a key priority for him as he begins his two-year term as president of the CIF. Dominic also spoke on how every region has its strengths, with the Pharma/Bio-Pharma, Agri-Food and Marine industries particularly strong in the South east. These centres of economic activity must be supported by providing the necessary infrastructure so that they and the regions they are located in can grow.


Sunday Game Panelist Liam Sheedy was the after dinner speaker and gave an insight into his management career, both as an All Ireland winning hurling manager and as Regional Manager at Bank of Ireland. He also gave a preview of the upcoming hurling season. C

L-R: Bernadette Byrne; Brian Byrne (Chairman of the CIF South East Branch); Cllr John Hearne (Metropolitan Mayor); Mary Fitzpatrick & Dominic Doheny (CIF President). Photo: Leo Murphy

L-R: Brian Byrne (Chairman of the CIF South East Branch); Cllr Adam Wyse (Waterford City & County Mayor); Tom Parlon (Director General, CIF); Dominic Doheny (CIF President)

L-R: Laurent Borla (President, Waterford Chamber of Commerce); Tom Parlon (Director General, CIF); Cllr Adam Wyse (Waterford City & County Mayor); Gabrielle & Stephen Blair (Director, Southern Regional Assembly). Photo: Leo Murphy

L-R: Gail & Nigel Cooke and Margaret & Aidan Clancy, all from Clancy Construction.

L-R: Dominic Doheny (CIF President); John O’Shaughnessy (Managing Director, Clancy Construction); Minister Paul Kehoe; Liam Sheedy (Sunday Game Panelist).

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 61


INFRASTRUCTURE SPEND NEEDED TO SUSTAIN IRELAND’S ECONOMIC GROWTH Ireland needs significant infrastructure and residential spend to sustain economic growth. This was one of the key messages to the Seventh Annual International Construction Management Day event at Galway-Mayo institute of Technology (GMIT). Martin Foran was in attendance.


he seventh Annual GMIT International Construction Management Day Conference took place at the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology’s (GMIT’s) Galway campus on Tuesday, 7th March, and hosted by the college’s Department of Building and Civil Engineering. GMIT President, Dr Fergal Barry, opened proceedings by welcoming over 350 delegates to the conference. Dr Barry outlined GMIT plans for capital development of the Institute, in particular noting the urgent need for a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Building.


Dr Barry also welcomed the large increase in first year students into the Department of Building and Civil Engineering and the significant student support and measures that have been put in place. “We in GMIT are delighted at the growing success of the annual conference which started in 2011 in very challenging times for the industry,” said Barry. “We have received great support from industry practitioners including contractors, architects, engineers and surveyors which has helped the conference go from strength to strength.” A very positive morning session took place where the keynote address was given

62 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

L to R: Dr Fergal Barry, GMIT President; Martin Taggart, Conference Chair; Mary Rogers,Head of Dept of Building & Civil Engineering; John O Regan, Director, AECOM Ireland; Gerard MacMichael, Head of School of Engineering; Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF; Seán Canney, Minister of State at the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief; Justin Molloy, Regional Director, CIF. by Minister of State at the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Seán Canney, TD, a graduate and lecturer of GMIT. Minister Canney was joined in the session by John O’Regan, Director of AECOM Ireland and Tom Parlon, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation. All three speakers noted the very positive outlook for construction as delegates heard that construction output in Ireland had increased by 15% in 2016 and was forecast to increase by 20% in 2017. Both Minister Canney and John O’Regan stated that a very significant issue was the unbalanced nature of this growth, which is very heavily concentrated in the eastern side of the country. The western side, whilst growing, was recovering at a far slower rate. The Minister said that this was a matter which concerned him greatly and welcomed the announcement of the Government – Ireland 2040 plan, which is a national planning framework, with the intention to a provide more broadly spread development.


Tom Parlon congratulated GMIT final year students who were in attendance. He said they had been very brave to sign up

to building-related programmes in 2013, but are now reaping the opportunities of multiple and well paid job offers. The panel also noted the then upcoming World Women’s Day, discussing several initiatives to encourage greater diversity in the industry. A number of parallel breakout sessions were held in the pre-lunch sessions. A major focus was placed on Building Information Modelling (BIM) whereby highly accurate 3D models of construction projects can be used to model out design errors before they arrive on site. The BIM models also facilitate accurate costing and time programming of projects. Virtual Reality (VR) headsets can then be used to allow designers, contractors or endusers to “go inside” the model and see what it would look like before it is constructed. 100 VR headsets were given out to delegates so that they could immerse themselves in the BIM models on display. Ralph Montague, Managing Partner of ArcDox, considered the current inefficiencies of construction and outlined the potential of BIM to improve efficiency and engender a “right first time” approach.


Cillian Kelly, National BIM Leader from John Sisk and Son Contractors,

events demonstrated BIM from a time programming perspective, whilst Aonghus Callanan, Director of TC Estimating Services, explored the cost estimating potential of BIM. The Session was rounded off by Jan Gottsche, representing BAM Contractors and Dr Mark Kelly of GMIT, who have been working on research projects in the area of sustainability. They considered how the sustainability agenda can be advanced in construction, making use of tools such as BIM. Head of the Department of Building and Civil Engineering, Mary Rogers, said she was delighted with the success of the conference. Mary told Construction: “The attendance here today is phenomenal and demonstrates the close connection between our department and the industry it serves. “I am pleased that GMIT has led the way in the introduction and use of BIM in the West of Ireland. “Last year we also introduced a BIM Level 8 Diploma, specifically designed to meet the upskilling needs of industry for BIM.” Martin Meehan, principal of Meehan Associates, gave a very informative presentation entitled “From sow’s lug to silk purse.” This charted the redevelopment of Block B, East Point Business Park in Dublin to a LEED Platinum standard. This is an exceptionally high quality in terms of sustainability and bodes well for the redevelopment of the remainder of the complex. The project and Meehan Associates have received several distinguished awards.


Pat McGrath, Head of Research and Systems Development at Construction Information Services, presented on the use of data mining to inform construction development decisions. CIS pull together a vast range of historical and new data to identify development needs in a strategic way. Pat demonstrated the needs for student housing, by using GPS mapping. The final speaker before lunch was Enda McGuane, Managing Director of Winters Property Management. Enda took up the baton regarding the shortage of student housing in Galway and Ireland and considered the economics and design characteristics of encouraging development of much needed additional spaces. Enda noted that to be commercially cost effective, purpose-built student residences

Students and delegates in the GMIT New Foyer at the GMIT International Construction Management Day Conference.

Delegates attending the GMIT International Construction Management Day Conference in GMIT. needed a minimum of 100 bed spaces. The afternoon session took on a distinctly international perspective, with the majority of speakers coming from the UK. Ben Bradford, President of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), is an internationally known expert in fire safety management. He gave a very entertaining presentation of innovation and the evolving nature of fire safety management. Ben stated that this is an area of building regulation compliance that is often badly neglected, noting high profile issues with major projects in both Ireland and the UK.


Whilst he was in attendance, Ben also presented CABE academic accreditation for GMIT programmes in Construction Management, Quantity Surveying and Construction Economics, Civil Engineering and Architectural Technology. The awards were received on behalf of GMIT by Michael Hannon, Vice-President

for Academic Affairs and Registrar. Michael said he was delighted to receive these accreditations on behalf of GMIT and looked forward to a long lasting partnership with CABE that should endeavour to improve the quality of programmes. The next speaker was also from the UK. Chris Chivers is the Immediate Past President of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). Chris gave a lively personal view of Brexit.


According to Martin Taggart, Chairman of GMIT International Construction Management Conference, “There was standing room only at many points during this year’s conference. Over the years, this event has gone from strength to strength. Since it was first organised, when 50 people, including Tom Parlon attended, it has grown in popularity. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 63



Members of joint ECA and MEBSCA gather for AGM

he Joint ECA and MEBSCA AGM took place in CIF, Dublin on 9th February. This was followed by the M&ECA AGM. Members heard from Dermot Durack, PM Group, on market reaction to the Construction Contracts Act and how PM as client advisors have adapted their internal accounting systems to comply with legislation. According to ECA Secretary Sean Downey: “The primary focus of discussion was the outlook for the industry in the next two years. The greatest risks to the Irish economy are no doubt associated with continued uncertainty surrounding a Brexit strategy and any significant change in US foreign policy. This has already had an influence on a number of FDI investment decisions.” It is anticipated that strong domestic growth will continue to be dominated by the commercial office sector. But further growth may be led by large-scale residential developments. The commercial office market and fit-out/refurbishment sector is expected to continue to grow. C

The Secretary and Officers of M&ECA pictured at the M&ECA AGM. Front Row L-R: Michael Kennedy, ECA President; Sean Downey, ECA Secretary;
Sean McElligott, MEBSCA President. Back Row L-R: Niall Bourke, MEBSCA Immediate Past President; Tim Ferris, ECA Vice President; Joe Delaney, MEBSCA Vice President

Members John Fletcher, John Fletcher Ltd., and Joe Lawlor, CJ Ryder Lawlor, review meeting packs at the M&ECA AGM

MEBSCA Immediate Past President Niall Bourke, T Bourke & Co Ltd., congratulates Sean McElligott, Lynskey Engineering Ltd., on his election as President of MEBSCA

64 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

Dermot Durack, PM Group, provided an insight into the practical operation of the Construction Contracts Act for members of the M&ECA


Apprenticeship Fair A special Apprenticeship Fair was held in Collinstown Park Community College, Dublin on 7th March.

L-R Craig Nolan Watson, Gillian Ross CIF, Jarlath Brennan

L-R Patrick Mc Govern, Laura Molloney, Leah Ward, Megan Fogarty

An Apprenticeship Fair, organised by Dublin Southside Partnership and held at Collinstown Community College, Dublin on 7th March, gave second level students direct access to CIF and CIF members to discuss apprenticeship opportunities in the construction sector. In addition to CIF, Sisk, Winthrop Engineering, Designer Group and CJK Engineering had stands at the Fair. CIF Director of Safety & Training Dermot Carey comments: “The fair presented a great opportunity for CIF members and potential apprentices to interact and share information about construction careers.” The Fair, which covered apprenticeships in several industries, was attended by Transition Year and Leaving Certificate students from the local Clondalkin area in South Dublin. C

Southern briefing on property development


s the Residential Construction and Property Development Sector looks forward to an expected increase in activity in 2017, the CIF Southern Region in conjunction with P.J. O’Driscoll & Sons Solicitors, held a morning briefing for members on the many changes to the legal environment surrounding property development over the last number of years.


The briefing was held in the CIF Offices,

Little Island, Cork. Elaine O’Driscoll and Justin Fennell from P.J.O’Driscoll & Sons Solicitors updated members on the following topics; • Building out unfinished estates • Building under licence (where the site is owned by one entity and the building is being done by another, unconnected entity) • New forms of contracts for residential estates • Bond issues • Development Contributions and arrangements for discharge of same

• Purchasers loan issues and loan clauses • Planning including Part V and Planning Compliance (including BCAR and BCMS) • Structural Guarantees • Management Companies   Chairman of the CIF Cork Home Builders Section, Michael O’Sullivan Greene chaired the briefing. CIF Southern Region Executive Ronan O’Brien comments: “With the gradual increase in residential construction it was timely for CIF members to receive an update on legal matters in relation to house building.”

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 65

industry news

INDUSTRY NEWS GSA Group announces Bennett Construction as partner on Brunswick Street Development

L-R: Paul Bruton, Joint MD, Bennett Construction and Aaron Bailey, Head of Construction (Europe), GSA, announce the appointment of Bennett as the contractor on GSA’s purpose-built student accommodation project in Brunswick Street, Dublin 7


SA (Global Student Accommodation) has announced the appointment of Bennett Construction as the contractor on its purpose-built student accommodation project in Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. The two companies are already working together on the 491-bedroom student development at Kavanagh Court in Gardiner Street, Dublin 1.

Completed Featuring 21,000m2 of predominately student accommodation incorporating 571 en-suite rooms, it is expected that construction will be completed in the middle of 2018 with the first students moving in during the autumn of 2018. There will be 650 jobs created during the building phase with an estimated 75 jobs ongoing, post-completion. The student accommodation will be operated by GSA, the global student accommodation specialists, under their Uninest Student Residences brand. Providing study and leisure space, the

building will offer expansive common areas, including a gym, games rooms and cinema. There will be 3,700m2 of retail space at ground level. Mola Architecture has been engaged on the development of the Brunswick Street complex. Mola previously designed the 101bed student accommodation development at Broadstone Hall in Dublin’s North Inner City and subsequently repositioned Broadstone Hall during the summer of 2016 following the acquisition of the building by GSA. “We are delighted to be commencing work on the Brunswick Street site and look forward to welcoming the first students through the doors next year,” said Aaron Bailey, Head of Construction Europe, GSA. “We are committed to supporting jobs for the local community and worked with the Grangegorman Development Agency to ensure full compliance with the local employment charter.”

Endorsement Paul Bruton, Joint MD, Bennett

Construction, added: “It is a great endorsement for Bennett that GSA Group has partnered with us for the second occasion in Dublin, on the Brunswick St Project. “Some 650 direct jobs will be created during the building phase which will filter down through local employment agencies and labour charters which we at Bennett are always committed to. “We look forward to delivering a high quality product which hopefully leads to further projects with GSA as they expand into the Irish market.” GSA has a commitment to invest €250m in student accommodation in Dublin to provide much-needed homes and new accommodation choices for students studying in the city. In addition to Brunswick Street & Kavanagh Court, Gardiner Street, GSA, alongside joint venture partner Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, is developing a 400-bedroom purpose-build student accommodation at the New Mill, in Mill Street, Dublin 8. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 67

industry news

New Education Initiative is Just the Ticket for Concrete Operatives

L-R: Jim Mansfield, Chair of the Irish Concrete Society; Minister of State for Housing, Damien English; Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF


new initiative to promote excellence in concrete practice has been unveiled which will see concrete operatives in Ireland offered a formally recognised education and guidance course on working with concrete. The Concrete Ticket, an initiative by the Irish Concrete Society, was officially launched in Dublin by Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, Damien English, TD.

Standards The Concrete Ticket aims to ensure that concrete construction is carried out to European and Irish standards by operatives with the necessary skill and training. Under the voluntary initiative, operatives are offered education in the form of a halfday course with guidance on the correct ordering, handling, finishing and curing of concrete for construction. Participants must then complete and pass a multiple choice test, with successful participants receiving an official photo ID card as proof of completion. A number of courses have already taken

place, and some 20 courses are planned for 2017 in locations around the country. The Irish Concrete Society has launched a dedicated website about the Concrete Ticket with information on dates and venues of courses, available at

Recognised Up until now there has been no mechanism for operatives working with concrete to have their skill and expertise formally recognised. Through the Concrete Ticket, operatives can now acquire this recognition. The official launch was attended by a wide range of companies and representative bodies from across the Irish concrete, construction and engineering sectors, as well as from Government Departments and State Agencies. Speaking at the launch of the Concrete Ticket, the Chair of the Irish Concrete Society, Jim Mansfield, said: “The Irish Concrete Society promotes excellence in concrete and ensures we continue to meet European and Irish standards. “While up to now there has been no

accredited education programme for concrete operatives, I’m delighted that the Concrete Ticket will now help fill that gap. “Anyone who works with concrete can now avail of formally recognised training. “Those who complete the course will have demonstrated good technical knowledge of the material they work with, and they’ll have a greater appreciation and understanding of the role they plan in achieving excellence in concrete.”

Minister Commenting on the launch, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, Damien English TD commented: “The Irish concrete industry is renowned for the high calibre of its workforce and the high quality of its finished products. “This initiative will help to recognise and enhance the already high-quality skill base within the industry, and will ensure that, as our economy and the construction industry recovers, we have workers who have the necessary skills to carry out concrete work to European and Irish standards.” C – Your Online Construction News Portal and Resource 68 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

industry news



col Ltd. and P Mac Ltd. have become the first contractors in Ireland to be certified Approved Operators for Tensid cleaning systems and methodology for stone and brick cleaning, graffiti removal systems and Torik Super Heated Steam Cleaning washes in Ireland

Synonymous The name Tensid is synonymous with high quality, effective, environmentally responsible surface cleaning systems. Tensid systems have been used in the specialist cleaning of such international landmark buildings as St Paul’s Cathedral, London and Trinity Church, New York. Brian Klelund, MD of Tensid UK, travelled to Ireland to train and present certificates to acol and P Mac staff. He says: “I am delighted to have two contractors of the stature of acol and P Mac in place in Ireland to provide specialist cleaning services with our systems and methodology. “Tensid systems are designed to deliver sympathetic cleaning solutions for all structural cleaning challenges. “The portfolio of work completed by these firms in recent years means that they are the ideal choices to be certified for the use

Demonstration of sympathetic Torik Super Heated Steam Stone Cleaning of Tensid systems in Ireland. “We have a long relationship with Tensid and used their systems on the restoration of the façade of the Shelbourne Hotel,” says acol MD Dermot Collier. “This certification means we now meet all BCAR and CIRI requirements and can provide even greater assurance to our clients that we deliver surface cleaning solutions for any building or structural type.”

Seminars While Brian Klelund was in Ireland acol and P Mac jointly organised a series of seminars The Art of Stone & Brick

Cleaning, Restoration & Protection. In conjunction with Brian, they shared their vast surface cleaning expertise with Irish construction professionals. Over 130 industry professionals from across the country attended the seminars. The huge success of the seminars, for which CPD points were awarded, has resulted in the two companies planning further joint seminars in the coming months. P Mac MD, Peter MacNamara says: “We took the opportunity to make the most of Brian Klelund’s visit to Dublin and share his and our practical experience and advice, all with the common goal of achieving Best Practice in stone and brick cleaning and restoration. “We were delighted with the take up and positive feedback. We now look forward to organising similar joint events for construction professionals in future.” C

If you would like to know about future seminars email requesting inclusion on the events mailing list using the Subject Line “Seminars”, and include your contact details.

Collen’s colourful celebration of International Women’s Day C

ollen sported something of a colour change from its traditional red branding in support of integration and gender parity. This was all in aid of supporting International Women’s Day.


Collen staff release ballons in support of International Women’s Day.

Coffee mornings were held at the company’s head office in East Wall, Dublin and at all its project sites with donations raised for a women’s charity. Purple cupcakes were supplied by Collen and six purple helium balloons were released from across its project sites in unison. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 69

industry news

A secure solution for sensitive water scheme The new intake chamber and pump house have been built on a site directly alongside the river.

L603 sheet piles to enclose the intake chamber and gravity main. The holding tank – which is located underneath the pump house itself – required 11m-long Larsen L605 sheet piles. Support for these cofferdams was provided by Groundforce’ heavy duty hydraulic frame, Megabrace, with 150-tonne capacity HSK150 hydraulic props installed as knee-braces across the corners. In the deep excavation housing the holding tank and pumping station, Groundforce provided three levels of Megabrace and eight knee-braces. “Once the concrete piles had been installed and the base slab cast on top, MEIC Ltd were able to remove the two lower braces, giving a clear opening of almost 13m x 13m,” says Groundforce General Manager, Joe Lenihan. The excavation linking the gravity main and the pumping station was also supported with two levels of Megabrace, with four 80-tonne capacity HSK80 hydraulic props used to provide lateral support.



roundforce has supplied an intricate cofferdam solution to allow the construction of a new pumping station on the River Clodiagh near Holycross, County Tipperary.

Replace The new intake works is part of Phase 1 of the Thurles Regional Water Supply Scheme for Irish Water and will replace existing water supply sources that are vulnerable to contamination. Main contractor Glan Agua in conjunction with their Civil Engineering Partner MEIC Ltd. have built the new intake chamber and pump house on a site directly alongside the river, upstream of the R661 Rathkennan road bridge. The new facility also includes an underground holding tank with associated pipework, power supply and service ducting, as well as landscaping around the installation. The site is within a Special Area of

70 CONSTRUCTION April 2017

Conservation with unusually high numbers of otters, crayfish and lamprey in the river and badgers in the surrounding fields and woodland. Pollution control and habitat preservation were therefore given top priority.

Precast Approximately 50 x 15m-long precast concrete piles were required to support the concrete structures of the pump house, gravity main and intake chamber. These were installed by specialist contractor Taranto Ltd. Three interlinked cofferdams were required for the construction of the facility with a safe, dry working area inside despite the poor silty ground and the high water table. The excavations reached a depth of 6m with the water table at 1.5m below original ground level. The cofferdams utilised 7m long Larsen

Groundforce also supplied MEIC with EdgeSafe edge protection, LadderSafe access ladders and pile-cropping equipment to trim the concrete piles ready for the base slab to be cast on top. MEIC Ltd.’s main concern was to ensure safe working and environmental protection on the small and very confined site. After consulting with Groundforce, it was decided to use sheet piling to create the cofferdams which, in the end “proved to be the backbone for the safety and success of this project,” according to MEIC project manager Eoin Delaney. “The high water table was factored into the design of the shoring system with water ingress minimised to such an extent that is was much easier to dewater than anticipated,” comments Delaney. He adds: “There was complete confidence in the safe access provided to the excavations themselves due to the strength system. And as the sheet-piles were kept in place for approximately three months it was crucial that workers could confidently work within these underground work-zones productively and safely.” C

for your diary Monday 8th May 2017, 4:00pm

Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017

Helping you plan ahead

Wednesday 28th June 2017, 09:00am

M&ECA Meeting

Location: Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise

Monday 9th October 2017, 4:00pm

Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017

Tuesday 4th July

Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office

Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 4066016

Wednesday 11th October 2017, 09:00am

Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 4066016

Monday 21st August 2017, 4:00pm

Location: Maldron Hotel Portlaoise

Wednesday 10th May 2017, 09:00am

Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office

Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office AGM – Rochestown Park Hotel Tuesday 9th May


M&ECA Meeting

Location: Maldron Hotel Portlaoise


Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017

M&ECA Meeting

Tuesday 17th October

EXECUTIVE BODY MEETING Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 4066016

Monday 28th August 2017, 4:00pm Tuesday 30th May 2017, 4:30pm

Mid West Branch Meeting 2017 Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: Castletroy Park Hotel Limerick Wednesday 31st May 2017, 7:00pm

South East Branch Meeting 2017

Cork Branch IHBA Meetings 2017

Cork Branch IHBA Meeting 2017

Tuesday 29th August


Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office

Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 4066016

Tuesday 7th November 2017, 4:30pm

Contact: Ronan O’Brien Location: Brandon House Hotel  New Ross 

Wednesday 30th August 2017, 09:00am

Monday 12th June 2017, 4:00pm

Tuesday 12th September 2017, 4:30pm

Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office

Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: Castletroy Park Hotel Limerick

Cork Branch IHBA Meeting 2017

M&ECA Meeting

Location: Maldron Hotel Portlaoise

Mid West Branch Meeting 2017

Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office

Mid West Branch Meeting 2017 Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick Wednesday 8th November 2017, 7:00pm

South East Branch Meeting 2017

Wednesday 13th September 2017, 7:00pm

Contact: Ronan O’Brien Location: Brandon House Hotel, New Ross 

Contact: Ronan O’Brien Location: Tower Hotel, Waterford

Wednesday 15th November 2017, 09:00am

Monday 19th June 2017, 4:00pm

Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017

Monday 23rd October 2017, 4:00pm

Contact: Conor O’Connell

South East Branch Meeting 2017

M&ECA Meeting

Location: Maldron Hotel Portlaoise Tuesday 28th November

EXECUTIVE BODY MEETING (FOLLOWED BY CIF AGM at 12.45pm) Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 4066016 Monday 4th December 2017, 4:00pm

Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017 Contact: Conor O’Connell Venue to be confirmed. C

April 2017 CONSTRUCTION 71

training dates

CIF Training & Development CIF training and education programmes for April to May 2017 Course Title/Venue CIF IOSH Project Supervisor Design Process CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD CIF Construction House, Little Island Cork   CIF Site Supervisor Safety Programme Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore   CIF Management & Inspection of Scaffolds CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction In House, Castlebar County Council CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore   insurance Claims Management CIF Construction Hse, Canal Road Dublin   CIF QQI Project  Supervisor Construction Stage, Radisson Blu Hotel, Limerick (C)   CIF QQI Project  Supervisor Construction Stage CIF Offices, Little Island, Cork   CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF QQI Building Control Course - Legislation 1 CSE 1 CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF QQI Building Control Course - Legislation 2 CSE 1 CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF QQI Building Control Course Legislation 3/Code of Practice/Contractors CSE 1 CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF QQI Building Control Course -Part D Materials and Workmanship CSE 1 CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD Castlebar Regional Training Centre, Castlebar   CIF Site Supervisor Safety Programme CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   IOSH Project  Supervisor Design Process CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   QQI Project  Supervisor Construction Stage CIF Construction House,  Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF Site Supervisor Safety Programme Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway (c)   CIF Management & Inspection of Scaffolds CIF Construction House, Little Island Cork   CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   IOSH Project  Supervisor Design Process CIF Offices, Little Island, Co. Cork   CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD Radisson Blu, Limerick (C)   CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6  

72 CONSTRUCTION April 2017


Start Date

End Date

Course times

PSDP 941

20th April Thursday

21st April Friday

9.00am – 17.00pm

CSMP 2942

21st April Friday

21st April Friday

9.00am – 13.00pm

SSSP 2943

27th April Thursday

28th April Friday

9.00am – 17.00pm

SI 2944

28th April Friday

28th April Friday

9.00am – 17.00pm

CSMP 2945

28th April Wednesday

28th April Wednesday

9.00am – 13.00pm

MSIC 3041

2nd May Tuesday

30th May Tuesday

9.30am – 16.30pm

MSIC 2946

3rd May Wednesday

31st May Wednesday

9.30am – 16.30pm

ICM 3037

4th May Thursday

4th May Thursday

9.30am – 16.30pm

PSCS 3027

4th May Tuesday

18th May Thursday

9.00am – 17.00pm

PSCS 2947

5th May Friday

19th May Friday

9.00am – 17.00pm

MSIC 2948

8th May Monday

5th June Monday

9.30am – 16.30pm

BCC 2921

11th May Thursday

11th May Thursday

8.30am – 13.00pm

BCC 2921

11th May Thursday

11th May Thursday

14.00pm – 17.00pm

BCC 2921

12th May Friday

12th May Friday

9.00am – 13.00pm

BCC 2921

12th May Friday

12th May Friday

14.00pm – 17.00pm

CSMP 3038

12th May Friday

12th May Friday

9:00am – 1:00pm

SSSP 2949

15th May Thursday

16th May Friday

9.00am – 17.00pm

PSDP 2950

18th May Thursday

19th May Friday

9.00am – 17.00pm

PSCS 2951

17th May Wednesday

31st May Wednesday

9.00am – 17.00pm

SSSP 2952

25th May Thursday

26th May Friday

9.00am - 17.00pm

SI 2953

26th May Friday

26th May Friday

9.00am - 17.00pm

CSMP 2954

26th May Friday

26th May Friday


PSDP 955

30th May Tuesday

31st May Wednesday

9.00am – 17.00pm

CSMP 2956

30th May Tuesday

30th May Tuesday


MSIC 2957

31st May Wednesday

28th June Wednesday

9.30am – 16.30pm

January/February 2015 CONSTRUCTION 22

January/February 2015 CONSTRUCTION 22

Profile for Construction

Construction April '17  

Construction is the official magazine of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), in Ireland.

Construction April '17  

Construction is the official magazine of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), in Ireland.