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CONSTRUCTION the official magazine of the construction industry federation january/february 2017

construction outlook 2017

heritage matters

conservation is a growing area for contractors

January/February 2015 CONSTRUCTION 22


T Our cover picture - features (L&R) Seamus Duggan, Joint MD, Duggan Brothers Contractors Ltd. and John Butler, Contracts Manager, Duggan Brothers. The image was taken by Mark Boland of Silverimage photography at St Mary’s church in Kilkenny on 18 January, 2017.

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

he first issue of Construction for 2017 and we are off to an optimistic start. As CIF Director General, Tom Parlon, says in this issue: “For the first time in almost a decade, we can finally look ahead, further than a single year and confidently predict sustained growth up to 2020.” This, naturally, presents a number of challenges for the industry as well as opportunities. However, as we have seen so far, CIF will not be found wanting when it comes to addressing these head-on. As we see in our Cover Story ‘Outlook 2017’, initiatives range from attracting new entrants into the industry in a multi-faceted approach that targets schools and colleges and indeed, the Irish diaspora – to ensuring the health and safety and continuing education of those new entrants and their peers. Meanwhile, on the national stage, the review of the Public Capital Programme and the impending National Planning Framework are key areas for CIF this year. We talk about these and more in our

Cover Story and continue the theme of ‘Outlook 2017’ when we check in with Construction Information Services (CIS) later in the issue. Meanwhile, our Category Focus is on Heritage Contracting – yet another area that ties in with the theme of looking forward, as it is expected to see continued growth over the coming year and more. Uniting all CIF members is a strong passion for what they do and this is particularly evident among members of the Register of Heritage Contractors and found in abundance onsite at St Mary’s in Kilkenny, a major project by Duggan Brothers, set to become a hub on Ireland’s Medieval Mile. Elsewhere, it’s business as usual, with a few new tweaks and introductions to start off the year – and with continued coverage of LEAN events, BIM, Pensions, Training and more. As always, there’s a lot going on. We hope you enjoy the issue. 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: Michael Stone 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, Noel O’Connor SOUTHERN REGION: Conor O’Connell, Ronan O’Brien WESTERN / MIDLAND REGION: Justin Molloy SAFETY & MANPOWER SERVICES: Dermot Carey LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT: Robert Butler MEMBERSHIP: Renee McManus 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:

DIRECTOR / EXECUTIVE TEAM HOUSING & PLANNING: Hubert Fitzpatrick, Noel O’Connor, Jeanette Mair

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 01

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Cover Story



Outlook 2017. Challenges and Opportunities according to CIF experts

january/February 2017

5 CIF News

39 CIS Update

Addressing the latest issues on the national stage with CIF

The latest project news

14 Project Feature

Professional indemnity insurance for contractors. With Capital Insurance Group

56 Corporate Member Focus

45 Focus on Part L


In this issue we look at a major project carried out by Shay Murtagh

16 Category Focus Looking at Heritage Contracting. It’s a growing area and one to watch

31 Member Focus Speaking with Paul Flynn Building Contractors, Ballinasloe

Industry Analysis

53 Training for the future

Find out more about an innovative training scheme being run with Castle Ceilings

42 Insurance Matters

Regarding Part L of the Building Regulations. With Homebond

58 A Revenue briefing On the Help-To-Buy scheme

48 Lean thinking Aidan Clancy was the speaker at a recent Lean event

60 Apprentice fair

49 Pensions


Susan O’Mara on divorce and what it means for your pension

32 Medium-Term view The story behind the Medium Term Strategy for The Amendment of The Public Works Contracts

Geoscience. A new member for CIF

52 Aecom Aecom predicts value of construction industry output to grow by 20% in 2017

The initiative draws the crowds

A well-attended event

62 Worldskills The world’s a stage as they say, and Irish trades play their part in this revered competition

66 Industry News Events, developments and achievements from the wider industry

71 Dates For Your Diary Don’t miss a CIF event in 2017

72 Training



A look at the CIF training schedule

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 03


A message from CIF Director General, Tom Parlon

strategic development and planning in the coming years. The CIF will seek to ensure the NPF focusses on developing strong regions to complement the growth in the Capital. At 40% of Irish GDP, Dublin is beginning to struggle under the externalities arising from rapid population growth as people move to the city for employment. Strong regional economies, connected with urban economic engines such as Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway etc. can drive overall national growth up to 2030 and beyond.



n 2016, the recovery in construction continued. Unfortunately, it remains unevenly distributed across the country with some regions still struggling. For the CIF, 2017 will be about ensuring that construction activity picks up in the regions.


Influencing two interrelated government strategies, the review of the Public Capital Programme and the impending National Planning Framework is a key objective for CIF this year. The CIF will contribute to both critical documents. In the Public Capital Review, we will be seeking a significant increase in the Government’s expenditure on critical productive infrastructure. The Government must do so through increased allocation in the budget, developing innovative funding models to access EU funding such as the Junker fund and, finally, by securing a relaxation in the fiscal rules imposed on Ireland by the EU Commission. The CIF will continue to work on behalf of members throughout the year on this critical issue.


The equally-important National Planning Framework has the potential to shape Irish society over the next 30 years. The NPF will outline how this country can maximise its economic potential through

For the first time in almost a decade, we can finally look ahead, further than a single year and confidently predict sustained growth up to 2020. Construction Information Services estimates there is €19bn in construction projects in the 2017 pipeline. A recent economic report, by DKM consultants, commissioned by CIF, forecast an average annual growth of 9% reaching €20bn in output by 2020. In 2016, the construction industry grew to €15bn output and it now employs 137,000 people directly. This figure grows to over 190,000, when you include indirect employment. This makes the industry one of the most important in the Irish economy.


The CIF will, in 2017, seek to establish an industrial strategy for the industry that aligns the actions of Government Departments and State Agencies behind construction. This alignment will be crucial in ensuring that the education and training system can deliver the 112,000 workers CIF estimates are required to deliver on the ambitious targets set out in the Government’s €43bn Capital Programme and its Rebuilding Ireland Strategy. Approximately one in ten jobs in our economy is now dependent on the construction industry and this figure

is growing at a rate of 1,000 new jobs every month. The CIF has worked closely with Solas and the Education and Training Boards to upskill those on the live register with construction experience. In 2017, we will focus on attracting young people into the industry through promoting the qualities of a career in construction.


Finally, our campaigns around and aimed at attracting those in the Diaspora with construction skills home, will continue throughout the year with extensive social media campaigns throughout the year around St Patrick’s Day and Christmas. Throughout 2017, the CIF will also focus on standards and safety. Enforcing standards in construction and enhancing site safety are the cornerstones of the industry’s reputation. We hope to see CIRI placed on a statutory footing early this year as the CIF and its members take the lead in ensuring the highest standards of building. On safety, the CIF will take a lead role in Ireland’s Construction Safety Week in October and throughout the year, we will be advising members on improving site safety.

Looking forward

I’m greatly looking forward to this year, as I believe that the industry’s reputation will be enhanced by helping to solve Ireland’s housing crisis, addressing its infrastructure gaps and generating thousands of jobs across every community in Ireland. I hope it’s a successful year for us all and I hope the CIF can continue to count on your support throughout 2017. Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF.

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 05

CIF news

Safety must continue to be a priority as the construction sector expects to grow by 33% up to 2020


IF Director General, Tom Parlon, has, at a meeting of leading industry members, asked construction companies to redouble their efforts to reduce accidents on site for 2017.


“Construction companies have worked tirelessly with their industry partners to reduce workplace accidents and fatalities,” said Tom Parlon. “The industry employs over 140,000 people directly and continues to strive to improve safety management and awareness in the sector. “Health and Safety Authority statistics show that tragic accidents are much more likely to occur within the micro-enterprise and self-employed sectors of the industry. “It is vital that we redouble our efforts to get the safety message to smaller companies and sole traders, to reduce accidents and always strive towards a zero-fatality industry.”


According to DKM consultants, construction activity is anticipated to grow by 9% per year up to 2020. “With a strong increase in activity, there will be a subsequent need to expand the workforce and we expect a strong growth of new employees coming onsite, along with those returning to Ireland for work,” says Tom Parlon. “We are asking construction companies, particularly smaller companies and the selfemployed to refocus on Health and Safety for 2017. Now is the time to reflect on our current Health and Safety procedures so you can be busy and safe.


“We must ensure that the industry maintains its strong record on the management and awareness of safety and health issues.”

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) provides a wide range of construction related health and safety management training programmes and services to meet the needs of the sector. Programmes are highly regarded by regulatory bodies, local authorities and all of those involved in the procurement of construction services. These health and safety courses are fully accredited by IOSH and QQI and designed to provide additional support to construction professionals who need to be fully aware of their legal roles and responsibilities while on-site. For more information see: training-and-development/health-andsafety-courses-by-cif.html

For decades, employers and workers within the construction industry have been investing time and money to drive improvements and ensure that all workers can work safely on construction projects in Ireland. Approximately 90,000 workers complete the Safe Pass Programme every year. However, progress and innovation are constant requirements in an ever-evolving working environment. “The safety and health of workers is paramount and many employers in the construction sector have been leading the field in this area for years,” said Tom Parlon. “We point to the 2016 NISO safety awards where construction companies demonstrated that they have safety regimes in place comparable with multinational companies in hi-tech industry. “However, we can never become complacent. The industry looks set to grow considerably over the next number of years and with that comes an increased risk.

health and safety standards and increase awareness on the subject and we encourage construction clients to reward those companies who invest in better health and safety performance. “Health and safety should be to the fore when planning every project – regardless of size – and on workers’ minds at all times. “This year, the CIF will deliver a sustained campaign on safety to keep the message at the forefront of industry. “We will continue to work with the HSA and our partners in the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee to highlight safety during Construction Safety Week in late October.”


“We need to constantly strive for better

Joanna joins CIF Communications team Joanna Kiernan took on the role of Communications Executive with the CIF in early January. Joanna is a former journalist, who brings a decade of experience, working for a number of national newspapers and magazines, to the positon. The CIF Communications Department is currently developing content across our website and Construction magazine and Joanna is looking forward to working with members to further showcase their projects and companies. You can contact Joanna on or phone 01 4066039.

Joanna Kiernan

06 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

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CIF news At last year’s ‘Higher Options’ event, RDS.

At the launch of website, Tom Parlon, Director General CIF and Tony Harrison, TechnoTeachers Association.

School leavers, the Irish construction industry needs you! M odern construction activity, internationally focused companies and increasing salary levels mean there has never been a more rewarding or more interesting time to pursue a career in construction. CIF Director General, Tom Parlon, is encouraging secondary level students – and school leavers in particular – to consider a career in construction. “The overall outlook for the construction industry is very positive. However, firms from all sectors are reporting shortages of both experienced staff and apprentices this year. As a result, demand for employees in trades and across construction is growing as we face an estimated €19bn of activity in the 2017 pipeline. “We need young people, who are interested in the many career options in construction, to know that the industry is viable and innovative, as they will have a vital role to play in constructing Ireland into

the future.” A career in construction is also now a truly global choice. It opens up an entire world of opportunity for young people and equips them with easily transferable skills and knowledge, which can bring them to wherever they wish to go.


A significant cohort of Irish companies is shaping the future of countries like Dubai, Canada, the UK and Australia by delivering major infrastructure projects that are transforming economies and the lives of people living in these countries. The CIF recently established apprentices. ie to connect young people, who are looking for apprenticeships, with Ireland’s leading construction companies. An estimated 2,000 new apprentices started in 2016 and the construction industry is committed to increasing this number to an annual sign-up rate of 4,000.

“The construction industry needs young people to drive it forward and it can provide huge opportunities, whatever path they take,” says Tom Parlon. “The apprenticeship route, for example, is a viable option for many who might never apply to third-level. “Similarly, the CIF would like to see the number of CAO applicants for construction related courses increasing this year once again, building on last year’s sizable boost. “There is growing demand for a huge variety of construction-related roles; from engineers, quantity surveyors and architects, to plasterers, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers and beyond.”


In fact, this demand is so strong for these roles that many Irish construction firms are now calling for members of the diaspora with relevant expertise to return home – a phenomenon we are witnessing first hand through the new jobs website

Quarterly Report: house building up 30%


“Measures must be taken to provide finance to regional housebuilders in tandem with the recent measures taken at national level,” notes CIF. A total of 5,626 residential units were registered in 2016, which Strengthening represents a significant increase All measures of house building (30.9%) on house building activity activity and housing output show carried out in 2015. a strengthening trend as we begin Dublin saw the majority of 2017. housing units registered last year However, the planning with a total of 3,223 homes built, environment and access to but house building activity across development finance will continue the country is also strengthening. to be critical factors for all involved According to the CIF House in the house building sector. Building Activity Report, a total The year 2017 will see of 11,320 residential units were housing supply remain as a key commenced in the 11-month issue confronting industry and period January to November 2016. Government.  08 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017 ouse building activity increased by over 30% in 2016 according to the latest figures from the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).  

This figure represents an increase of 46.5% (3,593 units) on the total number of units commenced during the first 11 months of 2015. Similarly, individual/One Off housing units, which represented just 35.6% of total commencements, increased by 33.1% on the same period in 2015. Urban centres such as Cork and greater Dublin continue to experience the most concentrated levels of new housing supply with 1,419 and 6,209 new units commenced respectively last year.


A total of 13,376 residential units

were completed in the 11-month period January to November 2016, which represents a 18.2% increase in activity on the same period in 2015. The average monthly completion figure currently stands at 1,216 units. In the last House Building Activity Report, the CIF estimated that circa 14,000 residential units would be completed by the end of 2016. However, increasing levels of activity towards the tail end of the year have increased output levels and we can therefore expect this figure to result in circa 14,500 units.

CIF news

Government and industry must collaborate more effectively –

or housing and infrastructure issues will damage economy


ew CIF President Dominic Doheny has called on the Government to work with the construction industry to create an ambitious strategy that delivers sustainable growth, exports and jobs across Ireland. Mr. Doheny, who is from Tullamore, Co. Offaly and is joint Managing Director of John Flanagan Construction Ltd., said: “The Government is turning to construction to deliver ambitious targets in the delivery of world class infrastructure, housing and the specialist buildings that attract and retain global companies to Ireland.  “They must set out with industry a growth strategy that builds our capacity to deliver the sustainable level of 25,000 housing output required annually and the €43bn infrastructure set out in the Government’s Public Capital Programme. 

society with connected and thriving regional economies that provide opportunity for people to work and live in communities around Ireland. “The price of inaction is a continuing housing and homelessness crisis, the decline of rural Ireland and a congested Capital choking under the weight of producing over 40% of Irish GDP. “The industry currently accounts for 7% GNP and the widely-accepted level in a developed but growing economy is 12-15%.  “The CIF believes that this gap can be filled by supporting regional construction companies to deliver housing and infrastructure outside the Greater Dublin area.   “The industry currently employs around 140,000 people directly, far more than any other sector in Ireland. So, the potential for regional job creation is huge.



“DKM consultants estimate that achieving these targets would see the construction industry grow from €15bn to €20bn by 2020, generating around 110,000 jobs. “This could be a transformative period for Ireland’s economy and society if our industry is supported in the same way Ireland’s food, med-tech and financial services industries have been over the past 30 years.  “I believe that industry and Government must collaborate to set out an ambitious strategy for construction similar to those established with the food and financial services industries.  “The prize is a dynamic economy and

“In 2017, the CIF is calling for a significant increase in capital expenditure in the upcoming review of the public capital programme. “This review, coupled with the imminent National Planning Framework, will be seminal for Irish economic development over the next few decades. We must get it right.   “The Government must help ensure that the construction industry has the capacity to deliver in the coming decade.    “However, currently house building, particularly outside Dublin, isn’t viable. House builders cannot gain access to finance at the right terms from banks or other

CIF President Dominic Doheny sources. “How can we have balanced regional development if there are no construction companies capable of building outside our major urban centres?  “In addition, infrastructure funding is at record lows and any increase in the budget will not be felt by the civil engineering sector for 2-3 years due to lead-in times.”  Dominic Doheny is a graduate of both Bolton Street and Trinity College Dublin and has been the joint Managing Director of John Flanagan Developments since 1989. He is the former Chairman of the Irish Home Builders Association and brings a wealth of personal experience, spanning more than three decades, to the role of CIF President. He will hold the role for two years.    

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 09

cover story

the year ahead According to CIS the current growth trajectory for 2017 should address the many deficits in all sectors which arose during the deep recession. Here, our CIF experts take a look at some of the main issues on the horizon.


he Irish construction sector ended 2016 on a positive note, with activity continuing to rise sharply amid a faster expansion of new orders, according to the The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®).


Construction activity had risen in each of the past 40 months, with panelists mainly linking the latest expansion to higher new work volumes. “Momentum behind the sector’s recovery continues to look encouragingly solid,” said Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank. “Firms themselves remain strongly optimistic about the coming year with almost two-thirds of respondents expecting further growth in activity in the coming 12 months.” The positive news came against the backdrop of the recent DKM report commissioned by the Construction Industry Federation which showed construction activity is anticipated to grow by 9% per year up to 2020. This growth will be driven by government targets in house building, infrastructure development and commercial growth too. DKM estimates that 112,000 new jobs will be created by the sector by 2020 to deliver on these targets. CIF Initiatives and campaigns such as and cifjobs, coupled with the proactive approach seen at local level in a number of member companies, are addressing this head on.

Dermot Carey – sourcing the skills

“As the industry recovers, it becomes more difficult to source the skills needed to meet the rising workload,” says Head of Safety and Manpower Services at CIF, Dermot Carey “Addressing this issue has been the mandate of the CIF Manpower, Education and Training Committee and serious

10 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

Dermot Carey, centre, with Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF to his left and Dave Tracy, Sisk, launching groundwork was done in 2016 to address the need for construction professionals, tradespersons / apprentices and semiskilled and general operatives. “We have taken the view that we can source talent from a number of locations – as follows: • “Live register –there are people still on the live register who say they have construction experience. We have engaged with the Department of Social Protection, SOLAS and the Education Training Boards to work together to give these people training to once again access the industry – this is a work in progress. • The second level students – this is a longer-term action; the industry struggles with a legacy of a poor image from the downturn of previous years. “We have an uphill battle to persuade the ‘Mammies and Daddies’ that there is a good career to be had in this industry. Robert • “Apprentices – while Butler numbers are growing it is not fast enough, particularly in the wet trades. Employers need to step up if there are to be adequate numbers to meet the rising demand. • “The Irish Diaspora – large numbers of Irish construction workers left the country during the recession to find work.

“Some of these people will want to return. To facilitate this we have launched the new service, “This service allows CIF members to advertise jobs / vacancies and these are promoted to the Irish abroad. So far the response has been very positive. “So, in 2017, the challenge will be to keep the focus on the opportunities that exist in the construction sector and to work with government agencies to ensure the sector can deliver on the demands made of it.”

Robert Butler ongoing training

In tandem with increased numbers and increased output, the need for ongoing training is vital. “I believe the phased introduction of the elearning programme content with the introduction of the CIF Virtual College as our new learning platform provides an opportunity for our members to gain access to online programmes,” says Robert Butler, Head of Training & Development at CIF. “In some small way I hope this will eventually provide our members in 2017 with a solution to the current issue of releasing personnel from site to attend programmes during the core day or working week. “Working with our partners, Dillon Productions, we plan to roll out in 2017 a wide range of new programme offerings which will be available online 24-hours a day, seven-daysa-week. “This will allow our programmes to be available to our CIF members as well as our clients in a more flexible way, providing, with bulk purchases, better value – while CIF Learning & Development maintains our high standards for content and delivery. “CIF plans to roll out the Building Regulations Ten Module Programme over the coming months which can be accessed to complete the QQI Level 6 award or can be also

cover story purchased on a module of interest base as well without completing the examination. “In our pipeline for 2017 we also plan to launch an eight module Human Resources / Industrial Relations Programme which will also be released on a phased basis. “While these programmes will form part of the offer provided online we will also be offering short, free advisory pieces as well as taking an innovative look at the Site Induction process. “CIF Leaning & Development will continue to also offer our well-established programmes nationally over the coming twelve months. “There are two regional training plans for the coming twelve months which will be provided in soft copy to those interested in our regional offering for 2017. “As always we listen to our members and we are running a new Temporary Works programme with a professional provided starting in February 2017 based upon demand; the first programme is already booked out. “If any member company has a training need and they want to advise us of that need, we are happy to investigate the possibility of CIF developing content to meet that.”

and also in discharging their responsibilities under statutory regulations, including the Building Control Regulations, and Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations. “In November 2016 Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney, TD, formally confirmed the appointment of Mr Rory O’Donnell as the inaugural chairperson of the CIRI Appeals Committee. “The successful introduction of CIRI on a voluntary basis and the move to a statutory register in the near future is a key priority for Government. “It is now proposed to bring forward a Memorandum for Government seeking approval for a draft Heads of Bill to be referred for pre-legislative scrutiny to the Oireachtas Committee. “The Industry and the Department share in the common goal of delivering a robust, quality registration system that serves the needs and expectations of consumers and of competent construction practitioners.”

Hubert Fitzpatrick – challenges for housing

“The development and house building industry continues to face challenges going into 2017,” says Hubert Fitzpatrick, CIF Director, Housing, Planning & The Construction Industry Register Ireland Development. (CIRI) is an official online register established “With an annual demand for new housing with the support of Government, of competent units at 25,000 units and rising to 30,000 builders, building services contractors, units, the industry still has some specialist building elements way to go to deliver this range of and tradespersons who carry output. out construction works. “Recent government “Its objective is to be initiatives to increase the rate of recognised as the primary house building are now having online resource used by an impact. consumers in the public “Such measures including and private procurement the Help To Buy Scheme, of construction services,” the Housing Infrastructure says Jeanette Mair, Housing, Activation Fund of €200m, Planning & Development the establishment of the Executive in the CIF. Project Delivery Office in the Jeanette “The CIF first responded Department of Housing and Mair to the wishes of the then amendments being introduced Minister for the Environment, to planning legislation are most welcome. Community & Local Government in “Ongoing challenges still arise, such establishing the Construction Industry as cost and availability of development Register Ireland (CIRI) in March 2014 finance, servicing of lands, construction consistent with the introduction of the costs, affordability for first time purchasers Building Control (Amendment) Regulations and financial 2014. viability of house “During 2016, the building in many Department of Housing, parts of the Planning, Community and country. Local Government completed “Relationships preparation of the draft with utility Heads of Bill for legislation providers such which will enable CIRI to be as ESB Networks placed on a statutory footing and Irish Water in line with Action 279 of the will be critical Action Plan for Jobs 2016. in ensuring “CIRI assists users of Hubert that adequate construction services when Fitzpatrick services are selecting a competent builder

Jeanette Mair – CIRI, overview & where we are now

CIF President Dominic Doheny

“We must get it right”

“In 2017, CIF is calling for a significant increase in capital expenditure in the upcoming review of the Public Capital Programme,” says new CIF President Dominic Doheny. “This review, coupled with the imminent National Planning Framework will be seminal for Irish economic development over the next few decades.   “We must get it right. The Government must help ensure that the construction industry has the capacity to deliver in the coming decade.”    Speaking of the need for collaboration on a strategy for the sector, Dominic Doheny says: “This could be a transformative period for the Ireland’s economy and society if our industry is supported in the same way Ireland’s food, med-tech and financial services industries have been over the past 30 years. (You can read more from Dominic Doheny in this issue’s CIF News).

available as required for the opening up of new development lands. “As the economy recovers, and impact of government initiatives take effect, we will see a continued increase in house building levels so that industry can meet the sustainable demand for new units. “For 2017, industry forecasts that new house completion figures could amount to 18,000 units. “This would be an increase of over 40% on completion levels compared to 2015.”

Sean Downey – opportunities and challenges

Sean Downey

“It is anticipated that there will be strong domestic growth but this may be led by large scale residential developments, a sector that our larger M&E members have traditionally not been widely involved in,” says CIF Director, Specialist Contracting, Sean Downey. “This sector will no doubt

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 11

cover story create significant demand for the domestic specialist contractors market and bring challenges for skills availability. “The commercial office market and fit-out/ refurbishment sector is expected to continue to grow and may peak towards the end of 2017 Martin but will also bring greater Lang demand for structural and finishing trades and labour. “The greatest risks to our economy are no doubt associated with the fallout surrounding the UK’s Brexit strategy and the change of President in the US which has already had an influence on a number of FDI investment decisions that have been put on hold pending further clarity on the US Government’s approach to reining in foreign investment.”

Jean Winters – Industrial Relations and Employment Services

The main priority for the Industrial Relations and Employment Services Department over the coming year will be to oversee the introduction of a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) for the construction industry, says Jean Winters, Director, Industrial Relations and Manpower Services. “The SEO will set legally binding remuneration, pensions and sick pay for craftsmen, construction operatives and apprentices in the construction industry,” says Jean. “The SEO will replace the previously registered employment agreements and will ensure that contractors can tender on a level playing field with regard to labour costs. “CIF applied for an SEO towards the end of 2016 and it is anticipated that the Labour Court will conduct a hearing into the application in early 2017. “Separately, an application for an SEO was made jointly by the TEEU and Unite to cover workers in the mechanical sector. “It is also expected that an application for an SEO in the electrical sector will be made in early 2017. “The upturn in activity in the industry has resulted in an increase in employment levels. A priority for the Department is to ensure that members are fully aware of their obligations under employment protective legislation. “This will ensure that members do not fall foul of the law, which in turn

12 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

will prevent future costly claims at the Workplace Relations Commission or Labour Court.”

Martin Lang – Tendering and Contracts, SME Participation, Capital Investment, Regional Development

“The CIF has completed its submission on the Medium Term Strategy for the Public Works Forms of Contract, focusing on the elements members believe are of importance to ensure continued improvement, not only in the terms of balanced contracts but also in the area of wider participation by SME members,” Says Martin Lang, Director, Main Contracting, CIF. “To quote from the strategy: In the regions, small local contractors have been decimated during the recession years and are now struggling against excessive turnover requirements, onerous prequalification criteria and the creation of frameworks and bundles which eliminate them from competing for works which keep their businesses alive, although progress has been made in this area over the last number of years more is required, particularly at a regional level. “The implementation of our MTS will go a long way in the achievement of these aims. “The document will form the basis of our engagement with the Government Construction Contracts Committee and the Office of Government Procurement as well as Government Departments, State Agencies and stakeholders to the industry with the aim of achieving real change in the public works area. “The CIF looks forward to engaging with the GCCC to make further improvements to the PWC Forms of Contract. In the private sector the task will be to deliver a new form of private sector contract through our work with the Liaison Committee. “Our direct dealings with all of the public procurers and government departments has proven to be of benefit in achieving our goals in the recent past and these important relationships will continue and deepen during the next number of years. “Undoubtedly, one of the main obstacles to continued improvement for the industry is the availability and access to funding whether it is for capital in terms of plant, machinery staff or for development. “Without this funding and the impact it has on achieving Jean effective cash flows throughout Winters

As increasing numbers of new employees choose to enter the industry safety takes on even greater significance

“Upping the ante from a safety perspective”

From a health and safety perspective, the goal is the same as last year – zero accidents and zero deaths, writes Dermot Carey Head of Safety & Manpower Policy, CIF So what does 2017 hold? The CIF will once again continue to raise the profile of this issue and keep improvement on the agenda. There are a number of key concerns that keep arising and we would hope to work with the Health and Safety Authority to address: The high number of accidents arising from small sites – our hope for 2017 is that industry and the Authority can work together to address this issue. The high number of accidents that appear in construction statistics from peripheral activities – particularly farming-related construction – there is a problem here with small / self- employed operators who carry out this type of work. Serious accidents associated with machinery and work at heights also continue to challenge this industry. Another emerging challenge that the industry must address is the danger arising from exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) – or dust. The pending re-categorisation of this dust as a carcinogen will focus the industry and I believe is the next “smoking ban” Looking forward, there will be other challenges that we can anticipate – such as an increased workload. As the economy recovers, the increased number of projects and new people joining the industry will challenge safety management in 2017. It is good to see the recovery but the industry must be mindful to up the ante from a safety perspective. A date for the diary – week commencing 23 October 2017 has been designated Construction Safety Week – we would hope to build on last year’s successful event.

the entire supply chain across the industry, growth on a sustainable and economic level will be curtailed. “This whole area of funding, capital investment in infrastructure, both commercial and social, needs to be the focus of our efforts when we are considering what lies ahead if our industry is to achieve full potential to bring economic prosperity across the entire country.” C

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project feature

Chorley Wastewater Treatment Works - Shay Murtagh


hay Murtagh were recently contracted to design, manufacture, deliver and install three Final Settlement Tanks by C2V+, a CH2M and VolkerStevin joint venture, as part of upgrading the Wastewater Treatment Works in Chorley. The technical design team completed drawings and 3D renderings for each of the tanks for C2V+ approval. Shay Murtagh Precast manufactured wall panels and copings for each tank, which when installed, measured 43.37m internal diameter and 6m high with launder cast onto the walls. The concrete launder was cast onto the main wall panels as a second stage casting, shortly after the wall panels themselves were cast.

the project team were very impressed with the speed with which the tank walls were erected.



The units were delivered to site using their “Just in Time” logistics system, having been stored at their facility until arriving on-site on the day of installation. The Shay Murtagh site crew installed each of the tanks, first pouring a reinforced base comprising 738m3 of concrete, then following on with the efficient erection of the wall units. The wall units were post-tensioned and ring beam poured at the base. Each of the three tanks passed a “7-day water drop test”. The 43.37m diameter tanks were the first pre-stressed, post tensioned tanks that C2V+ have installed in the AMP6 framework and

14 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017


The units were delivered to site using their “Just in Time” logistics system.


Mike Ryding, C2V+ project manager, says: “It was essential that we worked together to enable the logistics of the installation process to work whilst still maintaining progress on the other critical sections of the project. “The project successfully utilised the off-site pre-casting construction of the wall panels to substantially reduce the number of vehicle movements to and from site and as a result the disturbance caused by the works to residents. “We look forward to working together with Shay Murtagh going forward through the AMP6 process.” C

Seamus Duggan, Joint Managing Director, Duggan Brothers and John Butler, Contracts Manager

16 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

category focus

St Mary’s – a jewel in the crown

A major project at St Mary’s church in Kilkenny will see the building become a hub of ‘Ireland’s Medieval Mile’. Martin Foran talks to key figures involved in the project, from Duggan Brothers Contractors Ltd. and Kilkenny County Council, about the challenges of taking on a major heritage project.

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 17

Seamus Duggan, Joint Managing Director, Duggan Brothers, John Butler, Contracts Manager and Evelyn Graham, Project Liaison Manager, Kilkenny County Council


here’s no typical Heritage project but there are typical challenges that present during the course of carrying out major works on an historic building or other structure. Confined spaces, undoing inappropriate repairs and finding contractors with the right skills and ethos were all in a day’s work when Duggan Brothers worked at St Mary’s in Kilkenny. So too were the conditions of the Public Works Contract and even a visit from storm Barney, who put in an appearance along the way in November 2015. Among the secrets to the team’s success in what has been hailed as a hugely significant project that forms a major hub on Ireland’s Medieval Mile: a knowledgeable and understanding client, a strong design team, a passion for the work and being prepared for lots and lots of archaeology! So says John Butler, Contracts Manager

18 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

with Duggan Brother’s who knows the history of St Mary’s well. It’s not surprising of course. It’s been a major part of his life for two years now. John is clearly passionate about the works here and justifiably proud of what has been achieved: turning a deconsecrated church / parish hall / badminton court and community centre into a modern museum-standard focal point set to attract locals and visitors from outside Kilkenny in their droves.


Along with joint company managing director, Seamus Duggan, John guides us through the site as it becomes evident how one could not function in his role without a deep empathy with the building and respect for the craftsmanship of years gone by. “You have to have a particular interest,” says John. “It can be rewarding and it can also be challenging on a project like this. “Throughout the project McCullough


Structural Repairs were carried out sensitively but also so that a casual visitor to the museum can distinguish the original elements of the roof from 21st century repairs.


category focus occupied by the original chancel to the east of the medieval church was constructed with a fully glazed aluminium façade looking out over Kilkenny City.

Key players:

At a glance

St Mary’s Hall, formerly St Mary’s Church, High Street, Kilkenny was founded in the 13th century by Strongbow’s son-in-law William Marshal as the parish church of the City. This Conservation project in a tight City Centre Site comprises the conservation and preservation of St Mary’s Hall and its reuse as a public facility / museum building. This work includes removal of sand/ cement pointing externally and re-pointing in lime mortar; specialised stone cleaning, repair (and replacement where necessary) of rain water goods; removal of the existing roof covering while protecting the 17th century roof structure plus the internal fabric of the church; repairs to the roof timbers, and only in cases where repair was not an option, was any timber replaced. Structural Repairs were carried out sensitively but also so that a casual visitor to the museum can distinguish the original elements of the roof from 21st century repairs. The original slates were salvaged and re-fitted to the roof. Where necessary, salvaged slates of a similar vintage were sourced and incorporated seamlessly in to the works.

WIT course Student from WIT on-site

Further structural repairs were carried out to windows, walls, foundations, floors and the tower.

Other works included:

The removal of glazing to the existing windows in the chancel nave and transepts, repair of existing opes plus the re-formation of some of the original opes which were closed-in during the works in the 16th century; constructing 2 no. significant extensions, timber treatment as required; stabilisation of ceiling and cornice; careful removal of gypsum plaster to internal walls and replacing same with lime mortar; decorations plus the detailed conservation work on both the internal and external stone features. In cases where the stone was beyond repair, the stone masons on site tooled out replacements with the same care and dedication that the original masons would have done in the 13th century. Coupled with this there was a significant Mechanical & Electrical installation to ensure the building meets all demands and expectations to current standards. A new room to the rear, called the Kilkenny Room, covering the area once

During the project there was significant engagement with Waterford Institute of Technology’s Bachelor of Science in Applied Conservation Skills course. Staff and students came to the site once a week and the design team members gave talks on various areas of conservation. There were also workshops carried out. A couple of the course participants who were from Kilkenny even took up employment on the site with the stonemason contactor and site Archaeologist.

• Client: Kilkenny County Council • Architect: McCullough Mulvin Architects • Civil / Structural Engineer: O’Connor Sutton Cronin Consulting Engineers • Services Engineer: McArdle McSweeny Associates • Quantity Surveyor: Brendan Merry & Partners • Contract Value: €4.75m • Contract Duration: 18 Months • Category: Refurb • Key Sub-Contractors: Neil O’Dwyer Masonry, Rainey, George O’Malley, M & I Lead, Connon Studios, Curran Aluminium, Fox Brothers Gorey, Kilkenny Archaeology, Noel Morris Ltd, Premier Paving, Blanchfield Mechanical and Excel Electrical. Kilkenny County Council was the client for this project and has committed substantial funding to see it through to successful completion. Fáilte Ireland provided generous support and grant-aided this project to the tune of almost €4m which was carried out under the banner of Ireland’s Medieval Mile. Kilkenny Civic Trust provided additional funding of €400,000 and the museum is now being managed and operated by the Trust The Heritage Council helped with funding for works including the purchase of the Church & graveyard in 2009, restoration works to the Shee Mausoleum in 2013 as well as the publication of the Conservation Plan in 2005 which was instrumental in achieving the long-term survival of St Mary’s. Peter Cox, MD of Carrig Conservation International Ltd., was the conservation consultant as part of the existing team with McCullough Mulvin lead-Architects.

Mulvin Architects, Carrig Conservation and our own highly experienced site management team were always very cognisant of how it was all done hundreds of years ago. “It did make you appreciate the work. You can see how it was done and the pride that was taken.” This was thrown into sharp relief at several key moments. For example, while faced with finding a flooring solution in the area of a sunken chapel, “we realised we were facing the exact challenge that the builders of hundreds of years ago had mulled over,” says John.

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 19

The client Kilkenny County Council was the client here. The primary objective says Evelyn Graham, Project Liaison Architect for the Council, was to “restore and extend St Mary’s church to a modern museum standard facility, restore the fabric and undo certain inappropriate works that had been done previously”. Local reaction to the project has been fantastic, says Evelyn. “People didn’t realise just what a gem we had here. “The roof was one of my favourite parts of the job,” adds Evelyn. “It is one of the best preserved mid-17 century roofs in the country. “From the specialist timber analysis we learnt that the timber was felled in 1619 and was growing from the 1390s. It is all oak and very sound.”

John adds: “We can’t talk about the work in St Marys without recognising our two key personnel, Paddy Byrne and Pat O’Neill who between them oversaw every aspect of the works and took great pride in ensuring that the works were completed to the highest standard. “Paddy was responsible for the structural conservation works and then Pat took over to oversee the completion and finishing of the project.”

Best practice

According to what is considered best practice in conservation nowadays, the new work stands out from the old. The result is an honesty about what is new, alongside a natural respect for what is old. New interventions are not hidden. Yet the materials used complement each other well, lead and stonework for example. Old and new, side by side. An enquiry about some of the main challenges and areas of work here throws light on a common issue in modern heritage contracting: making good previous “repairs” sometimes only carried out in the last half-century. “The façade,” says John, “was repointed in the 1960s. “It was pointed with sand / cement pointing. The problem was that it was trapping water within the structure.” This means the wall is unable to breathe. “We had to remove all the existing sand /cement over all elevations and replace with a lime mix. That was there originally and it allows the building to breathe. “That aspect of the job went on for

20 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

about five months.” Perhaps the biggest challenge, says Seamus, was the roof. It was certainly one of the biggest jobs. “It had to be stripped. All came off except the structural timbers. They were maintained in place where this was possible. “One major thing was that the building was completely dry. They had done a fabulous job all those years ago. “What’s more, when we took down the timber and compared it to a modern piece, we saw how a 4x4 piece of the older timber was about three times as dense. As regards the roof: “There was a temporary RC structure in it supporting the apex,” continues Seamus. “We had to carefully take that out after the structural repairs and strengthening works had been completed.”


All stone that was replaced was tooled on-site in temporary workshops. There was even a replica cross made on-site for the roof. The tower finials too, were tooled on site. Another issue was lime plastering and the amount of time it takes to cure. “Here it is all about getting the moisture content right,” says John. “That had a major impact on our programme,” continues John. this point neatly serving to highlight elements of the logistical challenges and how proper planning was key to success. This is no more evidenced than in the area of archaeology. “There are around 30,000 people buried here,” says Seamus. “We had a lot of archaeology here and had to be very respectful of what we found. Some bodies were eight hundred years old. Some were only fourteen inches below the surface. “Archaeology was a big challenge. It took a lot of time.” As John explains, the key was to work in sections: “We opened up other areas to work around what would likely happen,” he says. “We had to open up a certain amount and then expect archaeology. It was a particular logistical challenge.” So too was the weather, but again, not enough of a challenge to cause too much upset – even when storm Barney paid a visit.


Meanwhile, doing the work under the Public Works Contract was challenging says Seamus. “There are obviously issues with the contract. “The whole thing is to transfer risk to

Skills Most of the skills, such as stone pointing and roofing were sub-contracted out, says Seamus Duggan. “It’s great that the skills are there,” he adds. “However there are only a certain number of contractors that could carry out this work and hence the selection of the key subcontractors was critical.” On this note, Seamus Duggan says the Register of Heritage Contractors, of which Duggan Brothers is a member, is a helpful element. “You can get more exposure to this type of work there and the types of subcontractors that are out there. “The key here is the right selection of sub-contractors and partners to carry out the work. “The Register is the first place you ‘d go,” adds Seamus. “We want to be on it and top specialist sub-contractors would want to be on it too.”

the contractor from day one and that is not right on a project of this nature as he does not know what he will encounter and hence cannot adequately determine or price for that risk. “From a risk perspective I was very aware of this. Although the Pricing Document was not subject to adjustment the PQS (Brendan Merry & Partners) had produced a comprehensive document which accurately captured the works’ scope. “This was a good start and coupled with stringent cost management on site the risks were controlled. “The reason it worked out well was down to the collaborative nature and good working relationship of all involved.” This extends obviously to the client, Kilkenny County Council, where Evelyn Graham is Project Liaison Architect. “For all of us it would be better if there was a better contract,” Evelyn says. “We have been arguing that for years.” Echoing Seamus Duggan, Evelyn also puts a lot of the success down to cooperation – extending to that received from the local businesses in the area. Everyone, it seemed, wanted this to work. As a result the project has been a success and stands testimony to how, when a clear vision and good planning are allied to expert skills and cooperation, it’s hard for anything to hold a good team back. Including storm Barney. C

category focus

acol – Restoration for a new generation acol ltd MD Dermot Collier reflects on 25 years in business and looks forward to opportunities provided by a new generation of clients Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI.).


Dermot says of this: “As a result of the challenges faced during the downturn, we have become more streamlined and now provide a superior service to clients. “Our membership of the Register

of Heritage Contractors underpins our competency for restoration and conservation work. “CIRI gives potential clients the assurance that acol is a competent contractor that is pre-qualified legally and systematically to take on tendered work. It makes the tendering process much more efficient for everyone.” C


Acol restoration reveals hidden history of well-known Chadwicks arch

Dermot Collier


n recent times, a new generation of clients has challenged Irish contractors operating in the building restoration sector to come up with creative solutions in realising their vision and re-imagining our historical buildings to meet the needs of a new generation of entrepreneur and business,” says Dermot Collier, MD and founder of building restoration specialists acol ltd, who have just celebrated 25 years in business.


“The time has never been better for clients and contractors, as new building regulations, systems and adopted codes of practice by members of the Register of Heritage Contractors and CIRI mean that the quality of workmanship is exceptional,” Dermot adds. Last year, acol completed work on the restoration of the external façade of the Shelbourne Hotel. They quickly followed this with restorations on a range of

important historical buildings and structures across the country, including the arched entrance to Chadwicks, Thomas Street, Dublin. (See case study). During 2016, acol also expanded its office fit-out business with, amongst other projects, the innovative fit-out of Dogpatch Labs’ mezzanine level business incubation centre at the CHQ in Dublin’s Docklands. This project included the development of a mezzanine breakout area – with synthetic grass, planting, furnishings, all discretely overlooking the CHQ mall. Dermot Collier says: “We provide the full range of building and structural repair services as well as façade cleaning services. “We developed the fit-out service to help new businesses, and old, to sympathetically fit-out older building interiors, making them more conducive to staff needs without losing the historical essence of the space.” During 2016 acol became a registered member of the

Specialist restoration contractor acol ltd’s recent work on the famous arched entrance to Chadwicks of Thomas Street, Dublin uncovered the hidden history of the original Victorian business that occupied the site. acol was contracted by the client, Grafton Group plc, to clean, repair and refurbish the iconic archway. Originally built in 1861, the monumental arch with imposing Doric columns was conceived as the entrance to Kelly’s, a well-known timber-merchants on the street until the mid-twentieth century. When the acol team removed the contemporary signage they uncovered the original 1861 embossed wording that adorned it: “City Saw Mills” and “Timber and Slate Stores”. However, the Roman stucco cement of the arch had weathered and it was in poor condition. This was not helped by water seepage damage to the structure caused by a lack of flashing at the top of the arch. The contracted works included the repair of the Roman Stucco cement on the arch.

acol’s expertise in the sympathetic repair using Roman Stucco cement – as borne out by the company’s work on the facade of The Shelbourne Hotel last year – gradually restored the arch to its original condition, using materials consistent with the Victorian period. This work was carried out without affecting the traffic to and from one of the country’s busiest builders’ providers. With the works now complete, the City Saw Mills’ embossed lettering once again adorns the arch and clients of Chadwicks can take a moment as they enter under the arch to appreciate the history the site. The conservation consultant on the project was Frank Keohane, Chartered Building Surveyor. acol offers the full range building, structural and monument restoration services including structural repair, traditional brick pointing with lime mortar, façade cleaning and turnkey office fit-outs. acol ltd, Specialist Restoration Contractor, Merrywell, Drumree Co Meath, Tel: 01 8250171. Web: acol. ie . Email:

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 21

> Complete Restoration Projects

> Retention & Restoration

> Building Facades, Roofs and Windows

> Wiggan & Flush Pointing

> Cathodic Protection

> Hotel & Office Fit Outs

Merrywell, Drumree, Co Meath T: 01 8250171 E: Web:

category focus

CIF VIEW: Heritage Contracting & Conservation of the built environment by Jeanette Mair


here is an ever increasing demand for main and specialist heritage contractors who have the competence, i.e. knowledge and skills, to conserve, repair and restore the wide range of heritage structures and sites in Ireland.


The success of each project is dependent on the competence, attitude and approach of the contractors who carry out the work. The skills of the traditional craftsmen involved, coupled with effective management of the works programme, are essential elements for the client. The Register of Heritage Contractors provides an accredited listing of such competent main contractors and specialist contractors in the field of built heritage conservation. The Register is overseen by an independent Board comprised of senior figures from the construction industry, the professions, third level institutions and conservation bodies (including: Construction Industry Federation; Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland; Office of Public Works; The Heritage Council; Irish Georgian Society; Limerick Institute of Technology; Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; Fingal County Council). The Board works to ensure that all heritage projects in the fields of conservation and restoration meet the highest quality standards.

Registered Heritage Contractors are assessed against prescribed standards by an Assessment Committee which reports to the main Board. Requirements for registration include: prior validated experience, business/industry requirements, and the requirement for annual renewal and continuous professional learning and development. In addition, all Registered Heritage Contractors are required to observe a Code of Ethics.


The Register of Heritage Contractors thus represents an increasingly regarded quality standard for contracting within the field of conservation and restoration (heritage) projects. Registered Heritage Contractors are advantaged when it comes to tendering for heritage work, not only by virtue of their registered status, but also by the level of traditional building skills in-house. Support for traditional building and conservation skills is essential to the ongoing repair of our built heritage. And it is widely acknowledged that the economic recession severely impacted construction to the extent that the industry now faces a serious skills deficit. Government investment in this sector is beginning to mirror the long-held view of the heritage contracting industry itself which is that targeting investment in this skilled sector results in the creation of sustainable construction jobs and contributes to economic regeneration. Actions introduced by Government to date such as the “Town and Village Renewal Initiative” and the “Living City Initiative” are steps in the right direction. Furthermore, jobs created in conservation tend to be locally-based in small to medium sized enterprises with a

Jeanette Mair: CIF executive and manager of the Register of Heritage Contractors balanced regional spread. It is widely accepted that mechanical and electrical engineering works play a critical and often a central role in many of today’s prestigious heritage projects – particularly those of a national, economic and cultural importance. Mechanical and electrical engineering works have the power to be one of the most transformative factors to ensuring the practical utilisation of such buildings; thereby preserving them and sustaining their fabric into the future by putting them to productive use.


In 2016 the Heritage Registration Board together with the OPW sought to identify those in the Specialist Mechanical and Electrical Contracting sector with the capacity and competence to undertake works of this nature. The Heritage Registration Board has now produced a special application form for those interested in applying for registration on the Register of Heritage Contractors as a Specialist Contractor – Building Services (Mechanical and Electrical). If you are interested and would like to have an informal discussion with regard to Heritage Registration, please contact Jeanette Mair, manager of the Register of Heritage Contractors, CIF, by, Tel: 014066035 or email: For clients, a full list of Registered Heritage Contractors is available on the Register’s dedicated website. Further information, news and CPD events, together with applications forms and guidelines, is also available on the website: C

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 23

companies have amassed a wealth of knowledge when it comes to dealing with historical buildings. These are well represented on the Register of Heritage Contractors.


Michael O’Sullivan FCIOB, FBEng. of Dunwoody & Dobson Ltd. Chair, Board of Resister of Heritage Contractors

A matter of Heritage

Awareness of our cultural heritage in terms of the built environment is increasing. Contracting work here has a real and lasting contribution to make, not just to our cultural heritage, but to the wider economy when we consider areas such as travel and tourism. Meanwhile, initiatives such as the Register of Heritage Contractors have resonated well beyond this sector.


ou wouldn’t be in the Conservation or Heritage area if you didn’t have passion for it,” says Michael O’Sullivan. Michael, who is chairman of the board of the Register of Heritage Contractors says that, generally, a heritage project “is one where you are working on a building of heritage importance and have to treat the construction and fabric of the building with retention and repair as the leading concerns”.


You can of course get variations. “In City Hall in Dublin we retained as much as possible of the original building but incorporated fire breaks and services to bring it up to modern standards,” explains Michael, who is with Dunwoody and Dobson Ltd.

24 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

“We installed new heating, new electrics, a lift, fire alarm and data systems but it all had to be very, very carefully installed and managed in the building so that it blended in and didn’t ‘hit you in the face’ and destroy the visual impact of the original construction and finishes. “That incorporation of modern services is one of the current major challenges we have with works in heritage buildings,” Michael adds. “It does require a special skill on both the designers’ and installers’ part, to get this right.” Heritage Contracting is marked by challenges such as this, together with the general construction elements, complying with current regulations for the industry, safety of site personnel, time challenges and sourcing competent crafts personnel for example, and a number of specialised

“The Register sets out the criteria required to become a Registered Contractor, with three categories of specialism,” explains Michael. “Main or General Contractor, who can deliver a multi-trades project, Specialist Contractor who will complete a specific element of work and a newly introduced category of Services Contractor who can complete the specialist services installations,” adds Michael. “It sets standards. You have to show competencies; you have to show you have delivered projects to a standard and quality that were signed off by a grade one listed architect or someone with an equivalent knowledge in heritage works. “Its sets requirements for education and CPD, both prior to becoming a member and after, in order to retain membership. Naturally the Register has been an important development in this sector of the industry, but its effects have been felt beyond this area. It was, explains Michael, a forerunner to CIRI which was based on the set up of the Register of Heritage Contractors. “We had done a lot of groundwork and had systems in place which were adapted for CIRI,” explains Michael.


Another more obvious way that developments in this area resonate widely with the public, is in the area of tourism, and therefore by extension, the wider economy. Take the recently completed major works at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin or Ashford Castle in Cong Co. Mayo. “When you get a client who has an interest in the building, its history and its care for the next generations, and who has the money and is willing to spend it, then it does pay back,” says Michael. “We hope we will see a lot more heritage work in the future,” he adds. “It is growing – there is no doubt about that. “There is huge potential for regeneration in our rural towns around the country. A wealth of old buildings exist that could be developed and protected from abandonment and deriliction such as old courthouses/ churches that could be utilised as tourist centres or other community-based activities. “Old shops, stables and the like could be possibly turned into modern hostel units to encourage the younger tourists. “We have a vast quantity of old buildings and we have altered our attitude whereby

category focus we now appreciate them and make an effort to adapt them to modern use where appropriate,” Michael says. “It will cost initially but with a longterm pay back. The flexibility of building regulations, planners and planning laws will dictate development in this area.


“The continuation of quality construction and craftsmanship depends on education in this specific area”. “We are probably lucky at the moment in that we have good teams out there with the experience and knowledge of how to deal with the heritage stock of buildings.” However, there are a number of familiar challenges which heritage work shares with other sectors of the industry. “The vast majority of our competent craftsmen/women are of the older age group with very few following in their footsteps, being trained or getting experience,” Michael says. “If the volume of work ramps up – as we know it will – we are going to have a serious shortage of skills; we can already see the number employed in construction increasing.” (See, on this note, our section on WIT courses). “We did lose a whole raft of apprenticeships with the changes to the training structures,” Michael adds. “Similarly, when the recession hit, and the construction industry was one of the first to feel its effects, apprenticeships were not seen as a good route to employment.” The industry has also changed through the recession, according to Michael. “The general format of construction companies changed from having management staff and numerous trades directly employed, including apprentices, to just having management staff,” he says. “Work is ongoing in re-designing courses and apprenticeships to fit the current requirements of the industry and we are gradually getting a framework in place to do this through individual organisations, government organisations and colleges.


“The changes to the structure of construction companies from direct employment to sub-contracting was brought about also to some degree by the government form of contract,” Michael adds. “It was a disaster for the industry especially for companies in the Heritage works area.” “It transferred such a ridiculous amount of risk from the client onto a company,” says Michel, referring in particular to unseen works that can arise.

“Bills of Quantities were not part of the contract leaving contractors with a guessing game of what work needed to be priced.” Another of the risks in the contract related to the discovery of artefacts or works of interest. “If discovered, the contractor had to still control the site, possibly shut down all other works and wait for the agreed procedures to happen, while bearing the cost for the delay,” Michael explains. “This transfer of risk was unfair on contractors and in order to stay in business, contractors had to radically change their company structures. “This lead to the decrease in direct staff. “Outside of the recession, you would hold your staff even if there was very little work, on the reasonable assumption that it would pick up in the near future and there was a margin of profit being made on work to sustain this,” Michael adds. “This changed and if you had employees without work for a week you couldn’t afford to keep them on. “The redundancy rebate scheme was also removed during the recession. This scheme gave a rebate of the monies paid in, back to the employer where he had to make staff redundant and pay large sums in redundancy. “With the removal, companies were reluctant to take on directly employed staff, as it was now going to cost hefty sums of money if they had to be made redundant at some time in the future. “Companies had to let go skilled, experienced and trained craftspersons, some of these were lost to the industry by either emigrating or transferring to another industry.”


Now, however, Michael is optimistic for the future. “I know there is a great group of Heritage Contractors in this area at the moment, some who have weathered the storm of recession and some new emerging companies,” he says. The Register of Heritage Contractors is creating something of an energy and a buzz in this sector. “It has brought together a lot of talent,” says Michael. “We now know who is working in this section of the industry and the quality and standard of work they are capable of. We are seriously looking for it to take the next step, which is statutory recognition,” Michael adds. “That statutory end of it is one part, but recognition by client bodies is another. “We need clients to say: ‘we need a Registered Heritage Contractor to work on this building as it is of high importance and we need to get it right first time’.” C

Colm Murray, Architecture Officer, Heritage Council and Vice Chair of Board of Register of Heritage Contractors Colm Murray is Architecture Officer with the Heritage Council and Vice Chairman of the Board, Register of Heritage Contractors. “Over the past fifteen to twenty years,” says Colm, “it has become progressively embedded in our consciousness that we need to take care of our older buildings. “We’d be optimistic that this is an area of Irish life that is going to grow and we will continue to take more and more care of the old buildings that we have.

Support “However, in broad terms, we are still coming out of the downturn. From the point of view of Heritage conservation we are still dealing with less state support than in previous times,” Colm adds. “So conservation is still a tough enough sector to be in. Grant funding for projects is limited and that impacts on how clients think about their projects and limits the capacity of organisations like the Heritage Council to support good projects. “Having said that, there are some big projects and initiatives out there that are independent of the need for grant support and conservation is still necessary.” What is fascinating about heritage conservation work, according to Colm, is that it is very attuned to quality alongside the fact that people here are concerned with matters of detail; things like the preciousness of existing fabric and the character of buildings. High quality skills are of course in demand here and Colm believes that we need to bridge skills gaps with training. Of particular significance is CPD – “in-work training where it is in your employer’s interest to send you on a course,” Colm adds.

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 25

category focus

The Students: Waterford plays part in teaching conservation skills vital to tourism


s Ireland continues to capitalise on its heritage of ancient castles and historical buildings, with campaigns such as Ireland’s Ancient East, the availability of skilled professionals in conservation is becoming more and more important. Ian O’Neill, course leader on Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) Bachelor of Science in Applied Conservation Skills outlines the opportunities for Ireland with the right skill set in place: “Producing graduates that understand best conservation practice is an important part of supporting the Irish tourism industry and ensuring that even more of our historical structures are properly and safely restored,” says Ian.


Group picture taken at San Gemini Preservation Studies Summer Programme, Italy, which Peter attanded on a scholarship Students gain a range of skills which will enable them to perform competently, effectively and creatively within the conservation and conservationrelated construction fields, or work in a supervisory capacity on building conservation projects.

The innovative course, run by the Department of Architecture in conjunction with local authorities, is designed to upskill construction professionals in the conservation of historic buildings, applying Scholarship both practical and research principles. Mayo-based Peter McMurray, who recently Students work on live conservation won the Madeleine Gervais Scholarship projects (e.g. St Mary’s in Kilkenny) as well as attending Student of WIT course on-site WIT for theory-based modules. at St Mary’s “Our unique one-year, Level 7 degree programme is an accelerated programme for up-skilling qualified construction trades people, construction professionals and other operatives in building conservation and has attracted students from around the country, interested in the conservation of historic buildings,” adds Ian. “It prepares students to manage change in protected structures in a way that retains character and qualities of special interest, learning to recognise materials, craftsmanship WIT and techniques of previous students at generations and treat them Curraghmore according to conservation House principles,” Ian says.

and spent a month studying historic buildings, was keen to study the BSc in Applied Conservation Skills as he wanted to improve his all-round knowledge of conservation and to find new avenues within it. (The Madelaine Gervais award has only been awarded to the Applied Conservation Skills group). Peter was 47 when he embarked on the course, and while he initially had worries about the distance from Mayo to Waterford and his ability to study, he says: “I bit the bullet and went for it. “There are not many courses for conservation in Ireland. This is a great starting point. “The course gives tradespeople the chance to have their qualifications recognised to specialise in conservation. If you have the time and interest it is a good add-on to your qualifications,” Peter says. Current students come from a primarily construction/ trades background and a number have taken part in the programme as part of a backto-work partnership scheme between the Department of Social Protection and Waterford City and County Council. C

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 27

category focus

Sweden summer school: a solid foundation for rediscovering our architectural Roots


ugh Kavanagh is a surveyor from Cork. Having studied as an architectural technician in the 1990s, his love of old buildings led him to work in archaeology and building conservation for the past 15 years. Hugh is a recent graduate of Waterford IT’s BSc in Applied Building Conservation, and he has recently completed his studies at the inaugural INTBAU European Summer School in Classical Architecture which was held in Sweden. The four-week course was based in the idyllic setting of Engelsberg, two hours north west of Stockholm at a World Heritage Site owned by the Ax:son Johnson Foundation.

Love of buildings

Hugh owes his love of buildings to growing up in Cobh. It was through this heritage work that he began looking at ways to apply the tried

Hugh Kavanagh in studio

INTBAU summer school, Sweden

heritage demands further attention, learning more about how these buildings work makes sense,” adds Hugh. “Roughly half the building stock in all our towns and cities could be classed as pre-modernist or traditional with an average lifespan of 150 years or so.”


and tested practical wisdom of traditional construction to the designs of new buildings. “So many traditional designs still make sense,” he says. “Simple things like pitch roofs, solid walls for thermal mass and the use of lime for breathable walls and slabs. “These local traditions developed for very practical reasons and still make sense today.” So what, some might wonder, is the point in studying classical architecture

28 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

which, presumably, is only applicable to large country houses and the wealthiest clients? “Traditional architecture is simply a toned-down version of classical architecture,” says Hugh. “By learning the language of classical architecture you learn a grammar and a vocabulary that can be applied to many new building projects, big or small. “With the building conservation industry only going to expand as our built

Hugh is convinced that traditional architecture will be a small, but important, part of a more sustainable architectural solution. “We already see it in the growing interest in using local skills, materials and techniques for self-build projects,” Hugh says. “We just need to imagine this approach for larger projects such as on our streets and housing developments. “To make this step up we need to look at how it was done in the past and rediscover the traditional foundations that our existing buildings were designed from,” Hugh adds. “Conserving traditional buildings is growing in popularity, so why not look at designing new buildings with a traditional philosophy as well?” C

category focus

The Department: “The development of traditional building skills� The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs has an oversight role in maintaining and improving the protection of the architectural heritage, by legislation through the planning system, policy and guidance, and in operating grant schemes, which offer owners some financial assistance for undertaking quality conservation projects.


eritage works are a growing sector of the construction industry. The number of historic buildings which are entered on each local authority’s record of protected structures increases with every succeeding development plan.


Currently there are over 40,700 protected structures, with some thousands of structures in over 530 architectural conservation areas, mostly in urban areas. Public awareness of heritage, and the wish to conserve the buildings of our past, has led to a major increase in private works, tourism-related works and commercial projects involving historic buildings. Several reports in recent years estimate that approximately 17,000 construction workers are engaged in the heritage sector of the construction industry, approximately 2,670 of whom are skilled craftspersons. Historic buildings are constructed of materials and systems which perform in a different manner to contemporary materials and construction systems. This means that design, craft and management training, which concentrates on new-build, does not impart the skills to deal with traditional buildings. Irish buildings have a different character and different weathering patterns than buildings in other countries.


Therefore construction skills and conservation knowledge learned abroad do not always transfer here directly. National expertise in the way our own buildings were built and require attention, particularly when it comes to local construction materials and the ways they were used, and the need to deal with high levels of moisture is vital. The Department is working with stakeholders to design ways to ensure that all of those who work with traditionally constructed buildings, whether protected

30 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

or not, are competent to do so. The Department is encouraging the construction industry and professional institutes to maintain robust, standards-led conservation accreditation and registration schemes, so that clients can be confident that scheme members they engage have the necessary design, analytical, supervisory and/or craft skills to appropriately repair and develop traditionally constructed buildings. However, our construction education and training system has more to do in this context: most apprenticeship curriculums and advanced training courses may not contain all the specialist material to provide graduates with the heritage contracting skills required by industry to assure employers of the quality of the work completed. The limited number of relevant apprenticeships, the very low take-up especially in the wet trades in recent years, and rules around engaging apprentices have proved challenging. The recently commenced apprenticeship in stone cutting and stone masonry (Tralee ETB) has been largely supported by the Office of Public Works with limited employer uptake.


Therefore, there is a current need for

medium and large-scale construction employers, who carry out heritage projects to jointly examine their future training needs in this sector. This will ensure that training courses can be initiated to cater for the range of construction, managerial and design skills they will require in the short- and mediumterm, at entry and upskilling levels. It may not be sustainable to continue to buy in specialist skills from abroad or to always take on subcontractors for such work. The current emphasis on construction quality, which underpins the forthcoming statutory basis of the CIRI register, logically points towards the certification of individual competence. The Department has looked at skills cards schemes which have operated in the UK since 2008 and give the worker the opportunity to obtain a heritage skills card (for a stated craft and at a stated level) to verify their competence. Where the State procures, grant-funds or foregoes tax for conservation works, there is an expectation that the work will be of high quality.


Upon completion of a current research and scoping exercise, a draft Action Plan For Traditional Building Skills And Conservation Education, the Department will examine the merits, following consultation with other Departments and stakeholders, of the introduction of a heritage skills card scheme, amongst other initiatives. From: Built Heritage, Architectural Policy and Strategic Infrastructure Section. Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs C

member focus

family values at the heart of Paul Flynn Construction Ltd. Ballinasloe-based Construction Company, Paul Flynn Construction Ltd. has been building and developing quality projects all over Ireland since 1975. Director Tara Flynn spoke to us about the family business, which has built its reputation on strong traditional values.


essentially stopped,” says Tara. “So we are quite happy with how the business is progressing.” While Paul Snr stepped down as the company director two years ago, he is still very much involved in the business, as are the rest of the Flynn family.

running of the business,” says Tara. “Myself and my brothers, Paul Jnr, a Chartered Civil Engineer; Mark, a Project Manager and John, a Civil Engineer, all work together in the business. The boardroom can be a lively place at times! “One thing that Paul Snr has drummed into the culture of the business is an emphasis on traditional values in all dealings with clients at Paul Flynn Construction; quality and integrity are the cornerstone of our reputation. “People know us, they know we are honest and reliable and they know that we deliver the highest quality of work,” Tara adds. “Compliance, accreditation and training are of absolute importance to our company. We operate a Safe-T-Cert safety management system to ensure a safe working environment and we are also members of CIRI.” With a consistent track record for delivering projects within budget and on time, the sterling reputation of Paul Flynn Construction looks set to continue well into the next half century. “We are looking forward to growing our business and will endeavor to continue to provide an excellent service to all our clients,” says Tara.



hen Paul Flynn Senior founded Paul Flynn Construction in the mid-1970s the company’s primary focus was on the private residential market.


However, nearly a half-century later, the company has adapted and grown to meet the demands of the industry. These days Paul Flynn Construction is a leading figure in educational and commercial construction nationwide. Garbally College in Ballinasloe, St. Sylvester’s Junior School in Malahide, Davitt College in Castlebar, Co. Mayo and works in Rockwell College in Tipperary are just some of the school projects that Paul Flynn Construction has recently completed. The company is currently working on projects for Shannon Airport Authority and the Department of Education and the Educational Training Boards, both in Galway and Westmeath. “When Paul Senior started the company all those years ago, it was a different time,” says director, Tara Flynn. Over the years, Paul Flynn Construction has shifted its emphasis to school-building, healthcare and commercial buildings. “This move has kept us busy throughout the downturn when housing activity

Tara Flynn pictured at the last CIF Annual Conference with Minister Simon Coveney

“It is very much a family-run business with my father, Paul Flynn Snr, still actively involved in the day-to-day

“We welcome the creation of the 10 year vision introduced by CIF and would hope that it will entice the diaspora to return to Ireland. “Together with the implementation of the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Housing strategy, one would hope that these types of initiatives will really kick start the construction Industry again.” C Paul Flynn Construction Ltd., Ballinasloe, Co Galway. Phone: (090) 9643181 / (087) 7746349 E-mail: Website:

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 31

industry analysis

the roadmap to a fair and balanced contract The CIF recently published its document: Medium Term Strategy for the Amendment of The Public Works Contracts. Martin Foran discovers what it means for members.


ore than a year’s worth of work went into the preparation of the CIF submission: Medium Term Strategy for the Amendment of The Public Works Contracts. Yet, to fully understand the background here, it is necessary to go back almost a decade to when, as Philip Crampton says, “the so-called ‘New Government Contracts” were introduced, much to the chagrin of the CIF”. “Charlie McCreevy as Minister for Finance had announced in a budget speech that they were going to introduce fixed-priced lump sum contracts,” recalls Philip, who chaired the CIF group responsible for the development of the recent submission. “Everything stopped,” says Philip Crampton, who is Joint Managing Director of the firm G&T Crampton. “There was a body called the Forum for The Construction Industry at that time and it stopped work. “The Government Contacts

Philip Crampton

32 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

Pictured with the document: Medium Term Strategy For The Amendment of The Public Works Contracts: (L-R): Sean Downey, CIF Director, Specialist Contracting; Philip Crampton, Chairman of the PTCM committee (Procurement, Tendering, Contractual Matters); Martin Lang, Director, Main Contracting, CIF and Alison Irving, Executive, Main Contracting, CIF. Committee for Construction (GCCC) set about drafting contracts and we kept asking, ‘what are you drafting?’ “We were horrified when we saw.”


The GDLA Contract and Civil Engineering Contract were being replaced, explains Philip, and what came after was essentially “very unfair”. Crampton, a former CIF President, recalls: “We campaigned and campaigned and we got them watered down slightly, but we were never happy with the contracts. “The Procurement Tendering and Contractual Matters Committee, (PTC), decided we had to work and work until we got them changed. To this end, we lobbied everyone we could. “Eventually, in December 2014, with lots of stakeholders having made lots of submissions to the GCCC, they agreed that changes had to be made. “At that stage there were four interim measures to be introduced: “Reducing the level of risk being transferred; direct tendering of specialist

work; inclusion of an informal dispute resolution and the main thing was the reintroduction of the Bill of Quantities. “We were asked to make submissions on a medium-term strategy and that is what we have here (in this recent submission document). “The chairman of the GCCC, David O’Brien has received this and possibly other submissions and is to hold stakeholder meetings.” Clearly, the level of dissatisfaction with the contracts prior to amendments, was significant. “The level of risk being put onto contactors was what people found very unfair,” explains Philip Crampton. “The contracts were so onerous several major contractors stopped bidding for government work.”


One company which fell into this category is Jones Engineering Group. Jones is a household name and has been active across three centuries. “We stopped pricing government work,”

industry analysis

Background and context

“It is encouraging that the GCCC have engaged positively with the CIF in the review of the PWC contracts and it is hoped that this will lead to more collaborative and equitable contracts in fulfilling the recognised objective of risk being carried by the party in the best position to manage the risk.” John Cradock MD, John Cradock Ltd.

says its CEO, Jim Curley. “The conditions were so onerous it would have been foolhardy. “There was nowhere to go if you came across unforeseen works, for example. Under any reasonable contract the risks should be placed where they can be best managed. “Risk /reward levels were totally out of sync,” adds Jim. “Walking away from Public Works at that time turned out to be a good thing for us. It forced us to look at other sectors and markets and it encouraged us to do other things; we expanded overseas.” Meanwhile, there was a sustained effort to get the new contract conditions in place. Philip Crampton takes up the story again: “We made a submission in around 2013/14 which basically addressed all of the things we saw that were wrong with the contracts. “At that stage they were engaging with us and other stakeholders. Meetings happened together and separately and

In December 2014 the Office of Government Procurement published the report of the Review of the Performance of the Public Works Contract which set out interim recommendations for amendments to the Public Works Contracts and a medium-term Strategy for the development, procurement and administration of projects under the Exchequer Capital Programme. The document proposed a range of interim measures intended to leave the core contact intact but rebalance the level of risk transferred, whilst also providing greater visibility of the price make-up of a construction project.

Primary amongst the measures proposed were: • Reducing the level of risk being transferred by making the Bill of Quantities the primary reference document for tender purposes on employer-designed contracts • Direct tendering of specialist works packages where specialist works make up a significant proportion of the overall project value or where they have a significant impact on the long-term performance of the project • In awarding works projects a greater concentration on quality criteria that are directly linked to the project in order to deter unsustainable pricing • The inclusion of informal dispute resolution methods to reduce the volume of disputes that are currently being referred to the formal procedures described in the contract These measures with the exception of that referring to a greater concentration on quality criteria were introduced by the Office of Government Procurement in January 2016 with the publication of Circular 01/16. Once these important measures had

everyone made submissions,” Philip adds. “In December 2014, as my Presidency was about to come to an end there was a stakeholders’ meeting held. They published what they hoped to do and we were very happy.” This was a good note to end Philip Crampton’s CIF Presidency.


“I am happy to say we are now back pricing government work,” says Jim Curley.

come into effect the CIF began to look to the medium-term strategy issues to develop a submission.

Preparation There were three main areas considered when it came to the development of the CIF’s submission on the Medium Term Strategy for the Review of the Public Works Contracts. • The Interim recommendations of the Report on the Review of the Performance of the Public Works Contracts including those changes implemented under Circular 01/06 as well as the yet-to-be-implimented MEAT Award Criteria recommendation • The issues set out in the Report as being for consideration under a Medium Term Strategy • Those issues of importance to the CIF which were raised in the original submission on the Review of the Public Works Contract but not addressed in the Report as well as issues that have arisen in the intervening period.

Interim Recommendation in Circular 01/16 • Selection of specialists. • Dispute management procedure

Interim Recommendations not yet implemented • MEAT Award criteria

Issues for consideration under medium-term strategy • Risk management • Encouraging co-operative behaviour • Introduction of Performance Evaluation • Alternative forms of contract

Other issues requiring consideration • Prequalification • Dispute Resolution

“We are very keen to get first-hand experience of working with these contract conditions; we think they are a big step forward.” As to where we are now, the Interim Recommendations have been more or less introduced and the Bill of Quantities is a contract document. “The hiring of specialist contractors is back to where we’d like it to be along with some other issues,” says Philip Crampton. Among the most significant issues for

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 33

industry analysis Jim Curley is the treatment of specialist sub-contractors. “Under the replaced contract there was no nomination for specialist subcontractors. There was little or no protection offered to the sub-contractor. “This contract allows for separate selection of the specialists. I think that’s very very welcome.” Now it’s about going further. • Interim Recommendations not yet implemented include the MEAT Award. MEAT stands for, Most Economically Advantageous Tender. The point being made here is that there should be other criteria apart from the lowest figure – but what should these be? (A system, in order to function properly, has to be transparent). “That is going to be difficult – we set out some points as to how it should operate,” points out Philip Crampton. Says Jim Curley, on MEAT: “We support this but you have to make sure there is a consistency of approach. “These MEAT criteria are often done on a desktop evaluation. You need people to get into the ‘meat’ of the situation. “We will support it,” says Jim, noting the need for guidelines to be in place. • Risk management: “The GCCC are recommending risk templates and ratings and we welcome this,” says Philip Crampton. “The contract was vehemently in the employer’s favour. We are encouraging cooperative behaviour.” This cooperative approach is, of course, key. Says Jim Curley: “There’s a lot of work needed and both sides need to work together. There needs to be a reasonable level of cooperation. We are all in favour of encouraging more cooperative behaviours.” • Performance evaluation introduction: “We welcome this as well,” says Philip Crampton. “At the end of the contact, contractors will be evaluated as to how

Jim Curley

“We very much look forward to engaging with the OGP and the GCCC on the medium-term strategy for the review of the Public Works Contracts (PWC) to bring about a PWC that is collaborative in nature not onesided and adversarial, (current PWC contracts), which will ensure that we in the industry play our part in achieving the Government Infrastructural and Capital Works programme 2016-2021.” John O’Shaughnessy MD, Clancy Construction they did.” “Again,” adds Jim Curley, “clear guidance is needed, there needs to be KPIs that anyone can sign up to and agree.” • The alternative forms of contract: It is often pointed out that there are in fact other forms of proven contracts out there internationally. They are widely used and there are lots of precedents and whole suites that go with them. The suggestion is that these should be looked at.

Others issues requiring consideration:

• Prequalification: Here, it’s about making the process as slim-line as possible and as easy to do. • Dispute resolution is very important agree Philip Crampton and Jim Curley. “When we tender for an Irish Government contract we have to sign a form that says if the project goes to

34 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

arbitration we will cover our own costs in arbitration even if we win the arbitration,” notes Philip. “It is very unfair. We will be putting all our efforts into getting that removed. Unless you sign it, it is an invalid tender.” So, what happens next? “Before the end of the second quarter of this year it is hoped to have had meaningful engagement,” says Philip Crampton. “We are hopeful of a positive outcome. Meanwhile, they are not waiting till everything is agreed – if they see sense in things they go ahead and introduce these. “They have accepted the CIF subcontract,” points out Philip Crampton. “It has been developed internally between members here.”

High praise

In the meantime, the submission document has received high praise indeed. “It is,” says Jim Curley, “one of the best submissions I have seen come out of the CIF – and they have produced some fine documents. “This is extremely succinct and detailed.” This is echoed by Philip Crampton: “An awful lot of work has gone into this over a year and more by the PTC committee and sub committees and of course Martin Lang and Alison Irving, (Director and Executive, Main Contracting, CIF), he stresses. All of this is clear from the result. It is, says Philip Crampton: “a roadmap towards having a sustainable, fair, balanced government contract”. C

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industry analysis

Deficits to be addressed as growth trajectory set As the Irish Construction Industry continues its sustained recovery 2017 should see a growth trajectory that addresses the many deficits which arose throughout the recession, says Construction Information Services (CIS).

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The €227m redevelopment of Alexandra Basin will transform Dublin Port’s infrastructure and enable it to service the economy for decades ahead.


he recently published CIS Construction Opportunities Report for 2017 provides clear evidence of the upward momentum in the industry and shows signs of activity spreading beyond the Dublin and Leinster regions. The Report contains 519 key projects totalling almost €19bn across all sectors and regions, which have recently been submitted, are approved, due to commence, are progressing through the construction cycle or will be nearing completion in 2017. The following is highlighted project activity for each sector in the coming year.

Civil Sector

The Government’s commitment to the Civil sector continues into 2017 with plans progressing on a number of major road schemes.

Work is currently ongoing on three major road schemes in Ireland (N25, New Ross Bypass, M11 Enniscorthy and N17/N18 Gort to Tuam) with a combined value of €1.225bn. Plans will progress during 2017 on three other road schemes (N6 Galway City Bypass, N22 Macroom Bypass and M7 Naas) with a combined value of €770m.

Utilities sector

Irish Water’s delivery of their business plan will involve a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water, wastewater quality, capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021. A substantial amount of this is expected to be invested in 2017. Major schemes to go ahead in 2017 are (€200m) Vartry in Wicklow and (€300m) Poolbeg Water treatment Plant.

Transport sector

The Dublin Airport Authority hopes to commence work on the new North runway

and taxiways at Dublin airport during 2017. It will cost €320m and is expected to be delivered in 2020, with an estimated 1,200 jobs set to be supported during the development. The €227m redevelopment of Alexandra Basin will transform Dublin Port’s infrastructure and enable it to service the economy for decades ahead.

Hospitality sector

It is estimated that there is a requirement of approximately 6,000 new hotel bedrooms in Dublin City to ensure that the supply constraint does not affect Dublin tourism. In 2017 we expect to see a number of new hotel developments to move on-site along with many major hotel extensions. Dublin also sees a significant shortage of student accommodation across the Capital. Almost 6,000 beds for students are in the

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 39

industry analysis

“The Dublin Docklands area of the city remains the hub for activity within this sector, with over €1bn euro worth of schemes planned.”

pipeline for Dublin City with more than 2,000 places already under construction in purpose-built student blocks.

Sport & community sector

With the recent announcement of the IRFU’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, the coming year will see plans develop for the upgrade and redevelopment of targeted stadia throughout the country. Construction work is entering its final stages on the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and plans are also progressing significantly on the new stadium at Casement Park, Belfast. Elsewhere work is expected to commence during 2017 on both the redevelopment of the RDS and The Curragh Racecourse.

Leisure sector

of a 6-storey extension to the rear of the campus. It is estimated this building project will create work for 200 construction jobs with a further 75 clinical jobs to be created when the facility becomes operational. Construction is now underway on a new €17m residential care facility in Co. Cork, to consist of a new 120 bedroom household alongside alterations and additions to the existing building.

Educational sector

The Dublin Docklands area of the city remains the hub for activity within this sector, with somewhere in the region of 20 cranes currently on-site and over €1bn euro worth of schemes planned. Further commercial projects are in the pipeline for the area, with significant projects currently awaiting planning approval. Plans have been lodged for the long awaited completion of the ‘Sentinel’ office building in Sandyford, Dublin 18 The continued provision of high quality Grade A office accommodation is vital for the sector with investors and large multinationals viewing Ireland as an attractive proposition for expansion or relocation on the back of Brexit.

The Education sector also looks set for continued growth. The €200m Grangegorman development is expected to commence on-site in Spring 2017. The key elements of this development include the construction of two quads – the Central and Eastern. Also in the Education sector, there are several major school developments expected to get underway in 2017, such as a €15m post primary school development in Dundalk, Co. Louth and a €30m school development on the Maynooth Campus in Co. Kildare. The remaining elements of the School Summer Works Scheme 2016/2017 are expected to get underway during the summer holidays and also the minor works scheme which includes minor refurbishment works to over 3,000 schools nationwide. Works are now underway on the construction of a new €13m Student Hub Facility for DCU. It will include a central auditorium space, venue space, student union offices and a variety of clubs and society rooms.

Medical sector

Residential sector

Construction of the Center Parcs Holiday Resort in Ballymahon, County Longford, estimated at €233m, will start next spring with the opening in 2019. The venture will involve 750 jobs at the construction phase and 1,000 full-time jobs when up and running.

Commercial sector

This year, 2017, is looking very bright for the Medical sector. The main works are expected to get underway on the long awaited New Children’s Hospital at the St. James’s Hospital site in Dublin. This development represents an investment of approximately €750m and will be a world class facility. Main works are also expected to commence in early 2017 on a new €64m extension at the Bon Secours Hospital in Co. Cork. Works to include the construction

40 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

The Residential sector experienced a steady growth of activity in 2016. There were some promising signs in the trends that occurred throughout the year which paves the way for a cautiously optimistic outlook for 2017. According to our data, we estimate that the number of new residential dwellings commencing on-site will approximately be 16,000 by the year end; 2017 will be roughly on par with the output of 2016. Prevailing circumstances will halt any

exponential growth in the sector but new builds should remain strong. Some notable issues for the Residential sector in the next 12 months include the fast tracking of developments of 100 units or more through An Bord Pleanála. The new legislation will be in place for three years once passed by the Dáil in the New Year. Social housing will play a significant role in residential builds for the next 5 years. The Department of Housing plan to spend €5.5bn on social and affordable housing to deliver up to 47,000 new units by 2021. Also, the instalment of the local infrastructure housing activation fund of €200m to create infrastructure to allow up to 15,000-20,000 new homes to go on-site should be in place in 2017.

Industrial sector

In the Industrial sector for 2016, foreign direct investment (FDI) played a vital role in the sector’s activity. Data Centres make up a large element of the sector’s builds. A number of the most prominent online companies were involved in Data Centres in Ireland throughout 2016 including Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. While FDI has been the driving force behind the industrial sector’s strength in 2016, global uncertainty as we enter 2017 is a cause for hesitation. The Brexit result in the United Kingdom and the United States’ transition to a new presidency could lead to a slowdown of activity as the markets adjust to the potential change in international trading agreements. The major scheme for the sector in 2017 will be Apple’s €850m Data Centre in Athenry, Co Galway. The development has been delayed due to a High Court appeal on An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission to the company in August 2016. The appeal will be fast-tracked and a decision is expected to be made on the project in April 2017. If Apple are successful, works are expected to commence on the development in May 2017. CIS is confident that over the next number of years, based on the level of activity we see from our researched data, the construction industry will once again be a main pillar of the Irish economy. C

industry analysis

Professional indemnity insurance for contractors: what you need to know The Professional Indemnity (P.I.) insurance market for construction companies is changing rapidly and very shortly P.I. is likely to become mandatory for all, writes David Lynch, Capital Cover Group. During this regime, responsibility was clearer than it has been at any time since and although the contractor often provided “ad hoc” advice on site, design responsibility was left fairly and squarely with the professional design team.

Specialist Design and Build sub-contractors

David Lynch, Capital Cover Group


hat is Professional Indemnity? Professional Indemnity insurance is to cover your legal liability for the advice and design that you provide and also ensures protection against liability for breach of professional duty that you may face when providing a service. The definition of “design” however has become much wider than ever before.


It is not too long ago that Professional Indemnity (P.I) insurance for contractors in the Construction Industry was practically unheard of. In those days, the employer engaged a team of professional designers and presented the plans and specifications to the contractor to build.

42 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

For a number of years now, as design responsibility shifts further down the line, it has become common practice that specialist sub-contractors (such as mechanical/electrical, glazing, architectural facades etc.) are required to carry Professional Indemnity insurance. This is the case, even if the design work is carried out by professional, independent, insured consultants.

Building Control Regulations

The new BCAR Regulations have opened up the P.I. Market to a wider audience and the requirement to carry P.I. cover is now becoming even more widespread. The fact that main contractors must co-sign Completion Certificates and sub-contractors must sign Ancillary Certificates has entrenched the view that P.I. is necessary.

Professional Indemnity -vPublic Liability

Many contractors ask the question: “do I not have cover for design under my Public Liability (PL) Policy?” The standard contractors’ PL policy does indeed cover claims for advice, design or specification provided that no fee is charged. However, a PL policy is limited in the scope of cover it provides. It will cover

claims for Accidental Bodily Injury to a third party or Accidental Damage to third party property. For example: • PL - A site operative accidentally breaks an antique vase when bringing materials into the house. • P.I. - Kitchen fitter installs a kitchen but it doesn’t meet the customer’s plans or expectations. A Public Liability policy will not cover Financial Loss or Damage to the contract works (either before or after completion). In simple terms, a PL Policy is there to cover your actions (i.e. what you do) whereas a P.I. Policy covers your advice (what you say). The most important thing, if you need P.I Insurance and want to get the best value, is to choose your broker wisely and look for one who knows the market, knows the product and has access to the most competitive terms available. In general, it is not an overly expensive product. C By David Lynch, Director of Capital Cover Group (Official Brokers to CIF). David can be contacted at

advertising feature: fm show

There’s always a better way!

Facilities Management Ireland (FM Ireland), takes place on 7 - 8 March 2017, RDS, Dublin. This is a unique opportunity for all those involved in creating and maintaining retail, industrial, commercial, government buildings and facilities.


M Ireland is where you can come together, network with peers, hear the latest in new ideas, best practice and see latest products, services and solution providers that can be of direct assistance to you and your business. Now more than ever, you need to be sure you’re getting the maximum return from every euro and minute available to you. By putting all the products, people and knowledge you need in one place, FM Ireland offers you the best possible return on your investment. So if you only have the time and budget to attend one event this year, make it this one.

Benefits of attending

• The complete event for those involved in managing, maintaining and operating facilities of all kinds • FREE Exhibition featuring the largest range of products and services assembled in one place in Ireland this year • FREE Conference content addressing your day-to-day concerns • The chance to talk to real people about real products, problems and practice • In-depth advice on products and services from the people who make and supply them • The greatest single gathering of your colleagues and people from related disciplines • Ideas, inspiration and answers, whatever your area of responsibility

and working environment • Meet the organisations who represent you FM Ireland uses a unique combination of conference content, delivered adjacent to Ireland’s largest exhibition of suppliers showcasing the latest products, services and solutions that can assist Irish businesses.

Industry support

FM Ireland benefits from the active support of leading Irish organisations addressing the different aspects covered by the event. Their support guarantees that the conference programme is relevant to the needs of the market, whilst giving FM Ireland access to unique marketing channels from which to promote the event and secure attendance.

standard and what this means for you • Landlord & Tenant update Fire Safety - Hosted by ASFP Ireland and IFE. Including: • Interactive panel discussion on “Passive fire Protection and your legal obligations” • How the “Fixtures and Fittings” matter when looked at from a Fire Safety perspective Building Services - Hosted by IRI Ireland • ISO 45001 ODS and FGas: obligations for service providers • Colling towers and Legionella • EN 378 – the new revisions affecting Refrigeration Other Presentations include: • CMMS supporting the role of the FM • Best Practice in Tendering and Procurement for Companies – the Client’s perspective • Power – securing the quality of supply

The Conference – because knowledge is king

The exhibition – making things better

Topics and themes addressed will include: Health & Safety Presentation - Hosted by IOSH East Ireland Branch. Including: • How to manage Contractors • Legal implications when appointing Project Supervisors • Working at Height • ISO 45001 and how to integrate with ISO 9001 FM and Property Presentation - Hosted by the SCSI and BIFM. Including: • Mobility in the Workplace and Low Cost Fixes • The Stoddart Review – what can we as an industry learn? • ISO 16890 – the new Air Filtration

FM Ireland, 7 - 8 March 2017, RDS Dublin Product – People – Practices

Featuring over 100 exhibitors and thousands of products and services and solutions, this is a unique opportunity to see the latest and discover new approaches and suppliers that can help you.

Don’t miss out! Register now!

Whilst attendance to FM Ireland (Including Health & Safety Ireland and Fire & Safety Ireland) is free, we recommend that you register online. Visit where you can see the latest information. Those companies interested in exhibiting should contact the FM Ireland team on +44 1892 518877 or email: C

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 43

industry analysis

Focus on Part L with Homebond

The main parameters that designers and builders should be aware of when setting out to achieve compliance with Building Regulations Part L 2011 for a new dwelling are highlighted in this special article from Homebond. It highlights the fact that a completely different approach to the design and construction of dwellings is now required when compared to 2006 or earlier.


he Regulations: Building Regulations (Part L Amendment) 2011, published by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government aims to limit the use of fossil fuel energy and related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions arising from the operation of dwellings, while ensuring that occupants can achieve adequate levels of lighting and thermal comfort. Dwellings should be designed and constructed to achieve this aim as far as is practicable, and the Part L amendment consolidates all Part L amendments since 1997 and is a further step in the process of achieving carbon neutral new housing which in turn will make a significant contribution to Ireland’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas levels. In the space of five years, from 2006 to 2011, the performance requirements of the Regulations made a massive leap that has resulted in a completely different approach to the design and construction of dwellings. Previously, a builder could simply go to a builders’ providers and ask what thickness of insulation was required in order to comply with the Regulations. Not anymore! Now, even if the minimum insulation values for walls, floors, roof and windows as set out in Technical Guidance Document L Conservation of Fuel and Energy - Dwellings 2011 (“TGD L Dwellings 2011”) are selected, there is no guarantee that the dwelling will comply with the Regulations.

Demonstrating compliance.

Designers must use a software calculation tool called DEAP (Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure) to demonstrate compliance, and a 4 page summary report generated from DEAP must be submitted to the Building Control Authority at Commencement Notice stage (prior to construction on site) for each type of dwelling to be constructed. DEAP is also used to generate a Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate for each dwelling, and the BER Certificate must be provided by the builder to the purchaser in

order to close the sale of a dwelling. The DEAP calculation tool assesses whether the appropriate specification of floor, wall & roof insulation, external doors, windows, rooflights, renewable energy systems, airtightness, thermal bridge construction details (ACDs), heating controls & system, and whole house ventilation are combined to minimise overall heat loss and the mandated energy performance and carbon performance coefficients. A builder will require drawings of the various key junctions in the dwelling and you can forget about using any of the details for window cills, lintels, eaves, etc. from five or ten years ago. Now all these key junctions need to be carefully considered, designed and assessed to minimise thermal bridging and, most importantly, condensation risk. It is always recommended to perform the DEAP calculations at an early stage in the design process, as it impacts significantly on the overall architectural and structural form of the dwelling. The DEAP calculations should then be kept under review and take account of changes to specification during construction (e.g. changes to boiler efficiency, window solar gain, thermal bridging details, MVHR specification after the original DEAP assessment is carried out). A reasonable degree of flexibility (or margin) will need to be incorporated into the DEAP calculations to ensure that, if there is a change in the specification during construction stage from that included in the original design, compliance with TGD L Dwellings 2011 may still be achieved. Factors included in the DEAP calculations include: • Built form (e.g. apartment, semi-detached, detached, bungalow, etc.) • Area of the dwelling

• Size of the living room area • Number of storeys • Ventilation air leakage characteristics (e.g. chimneys, flues, fans, air leakage testing) • Types of ventilation (e.g. natural, mechanical, heat recovery) • Thermal insulation of the building elements (i.e. U-values of floor, walls, roof, windows, and doors) • Solar gains through glazed openings of the dwelling • Efficiency of main space heating system % • Primary fuel/heating system (e.g. gas, oil, wood pellet, etc.) • Efficiency of secondary space heating system %. • Emitters (e.g. radiators, underfloor heating, etc.) • Heating system controls (e.g. thermostat, type of programmer, zone controls, thermostatic valves, separation of domestic hot water and space heating) • Efficiency of water heater % • Hot water storage insulation (i.e. type and thickness) • Hot water controls • % of low energy lights • Renewable and alternative energy generation technologies incorporated in the dwelling In essence, for the design and constuction to be compliant with the Regulations, the following will be required: • An upskilled professional who is competent in the use of the DEAP software, and who possesses a detailed knowledge of insulation materials and building services components and systems. • Comprehensive specifications and detailed drawings of the key junctions in the dwelling, which have been carefully assessed for airtightness, thermal bridging and condensation risk. • A builder who has upskilled in energyefficient construction techniques & quality control procedures, and who can implement the specified construction details on site. • An Assigned Certiifer or other construction professional who can come on site at all the key stages of construction to certify or validate that the relevant details are in compliance with the Regulations. It is important to remember, that those involved in the design and construction of a dwelling may be required by the relevant Building Control Authority to provide such

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 45

industry analysis evidence as is necessary to establish that the requirements of the Regulations are being complied with; and that the requirements of Part L apply to the completed dwelling, and reasonable measures should be taken during construction and appropriate checks and assessments carried out prior to completion to ensure that compliance with Part L is achieved.

Designing dwellings for energy efficency

There are a number of strategies that may be adopted when designing dwellings for energy efficiency. These approaches are not mutually exclusive and some of them are quite similar: • The whole-house approach A whole-house approach (also known as whole-house systems approach) regards the building as an energy system with interdependent parts. The approach considers the interaction between the occupant, building site, climate, and other elements or components of a building. In this approach the features and performance of any one component are strongly affected by the rest, and energy performance is considered a result of the whole system. This is the approach specified in Building Regulations (Part L Amendment) 2011, and incorporated in the Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP). • The “fabric first” approach This approach prioritises improvement of the thermal properties of the building fabric through the use of high levels of thermal insulation and airtightness. A range of measures is then employed to increase the efficiency of various systems (e.g. heating and hot water, lighting and electrical appliances). System re-sizing may be desirable as a consequence of reduced energy demand, but oversizing (e.g. of heat distribution systems) can significantly improve overall performance. Finally, renewables are installed to meet the remainder of the CO2 and energy reduction requirements. • Passive design strategies The application of the German-developed Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency for buildings (which can be considered as a high-specification “fabric first” approach with an enhanced quality assurance element), reduces the ecological footprint of a building and results in ultra-low-energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. The Passivhaus standard for central Europe requires that the building fulfils the following requirements: • The building must be designed to have an annual heating demand, as calculated with the Passivhaus Planning Package, of no more than 15 kWh/m2 per year for heating and/or cooling energy, or be designed with a peak heat load of 10 W/m2. • Total primary energy consumption (source energy for heating, hot water and electricity) must not be more than 120

46 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

kWh/m2 per year. • The air permeability of the building must not exceed 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pa. Despite adopting this strategy, the minimum performance level for the use of renewable energy sources as set out in TGD L Dwellings 2011 must be achieved, and the designer must demonstrate compliance via DEAP. • “Insulate then generate” philosophy This approach, which is very similar to the “fabric first” approach, first aims to reduce energy demand from passive design strategies (building fabric, thermal mass and airtightness, ventilation and heat recovery), and then to meet the remaining demand through the use of microgeneration technologies. Irrespective of which of these 4 no. strategies is adopted, there are 6 no. basic principles that should be considered to ensure low-energy design for new dwellings: • Site, Orientation and Built Form • Optimisation of Insulation & Airtightness • Passive Solar Design • Energy System & Appliances • Ventilation Strategy • Material Issues

Compliance with other Parts of the Building Regulations

In addition to Part L, there are requirements in other parts of the Building Regulations related to the conservation of fuel and energy, e.g. Part F (Ventilation) and Part J (Heat Producing Appliances) that also need to be fulfilled. The Design Certifier [the person who signs the Certificate of Compliance (Design)] under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, should ensure that all members of the design team are fully aware of how the requirements of Part L may impact on their areas of design. For example: • The roof truss designer should allow provision of adequate load capacity in the roof structure for solar thermal and/ or photovoltaic panels, water storage tanks and MVHR systems • The roof designer should consider the method of fixing the solar thermal and/or photovoltaic panels to the roof structure in order that the integrity of the roof cladding is not compromised • The structural designer should give due consideration to the capacity of the 1st floor construction to support a largevolume hot water storage cylinder • The mechanical designer should specify the distribution of ventilation ducting throughout the dwelling appropriate to the structural form as designed including any particular restrictions therein

• The building designer should ensure that sufficient space requirements are allowed for large items of plant (boilers, hot and cold water storage vessels/tanks, MVHR units) Part F outlines ventilation requirements both to meet the needs of the occupants of the building and to prevent excessive condensation in roofs and roof spaces. A key aim of the provisions in relation to ventilation of occupied spaces is to minimise the risk of condensation, mould growth or other indoor air quality problems. In addition to meeting the requirements of Part F, the avoidance of excessive condensation requires that appropriate heating and ventilation regimes be employed in occupied dwellings.

Recent and further amendments to Part L

The recently published S.I. No. 4 2017 – Building Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2017 amend the Building Regulations 1997 to include a definiton of nearly zero energy buildings in accordance with the provisions of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/31/EU (recast). The Directive requires that all new buildings: • shall be nearly zero energy buildings by 31 December 2020 • occupied and owned by public authorities shall be nearly zero energy buildings after 31 December 2018 ‘Nearly zero-energy building’ means a building that has a very high energy performance, as determined in accordance with Annex I to Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings (recast) (O.J. No. L 153, 18.6.2010, page 13). The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby. This recent Amendment means that irrespective of when construction commences, if the dwelling is not completed by 31 December 2020 (and this could be evidenced by a Completion Certificate or similar certificate issued by the architect/engineer/ surveyor), the new Part L 2017 energy performance & carbon performance coefficient requirements will be mandatory and the additional resultant effect on the design of dwellings will be significant. It is likely in the short term, that designers will incorporate a greater amount of renewable energy systems and high performance ventilation systems in dwellings as standard to demonstrate compliance. C

industry analysis

Clancy - applying lean thinking in construction


idan Clancy, Commercial Director at Clancy Homes, recently delivered a seminar to over 50 delegates as part of the WIT Lean Practitioner Seminar Series on the application of Lean thinking and practices in construction.


Aidan noted that Clancy has been on a Lean journey for almost four years now, and whilst Lean has come with many challenges the company remains committed to implementing Lean thinking with a particular focus on seeking better collaborative working relationships with all stakeholders in the value chain. In August of 2016 Clancy was appointed as a subcontractor to MACE Group, the principal contractor on Facebook’s Data Centre in Meath. MACE is also firmly dedicated to Lean Construction and utilises Lean Thinking throughout this 220 acre site. Aidan shared some insights that Clancy has gained as it adapts to working in this advanced Lean Construction environment, and spoke about some of the day-today site operations, the use of the Last Planner System®, collaborative data management, and visual communications. Aidan spoke of the widespread acceptance in Ireland, and globally, of the role and importance of Lean Thinking and Practices in Construction.


This has been driven by a combination of Client/Owner demand for Lean capital projects as well as by leading companies in the construction supply chain, like Clancy, that are availing of the innovation and growth opportunities Lean presents. Aidan particularly emphasised the symbiotic relationship between Lean and BIM, noting that “BIM makes construction Lean… [and] BIM makes Lean Construction Leaner”. C

The fifth Annual WIT Lean Enterprise Excellence Forum takes place on Thursday 4 May 2017. This free public event was the largest Lean Conference in Europe in 2016 Aidan Clancy, speaker

About the Speaker – Aidan Clancy Aidan, as an enthusiastic supporter of all things Lean, laid the foundations for Clancy to embark on its Lean journey. Aidan joined the business in 2009 and has been involved in many aspects of the company’s continued success, with a particular focus on collaborative work practices. Clancy is a third-generation family-owned construction contractor operating throughout Ireland. The company is currently involved in many high-profile construction projects, including enabling works for the new National Children’s Hospital and the €200m+ Facebook Data Centre in Meath. Aidan holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Limerick, and in 2016 he completed the Executive MBA at WIT, obtaining first class honours. Aidan is Commercial Director of Clancy Homes, a newly-formed sister company focused exclusively on housing delivery.

About the WIT Lean Practitioner Seminar Series The WIT Lean Enterprise Excellence Group’s Lean Practitioner Seminar Series is a series of free monthly events that bring together practitioners in Lean process, operational, and enterprise excellence from across all sectors, public and private, to share knowledge, experience, expertise and good practices. The Seminar Series provides a straightforward method of promoting and accessing knowledge exchange from cutting-edge research and practice, and provides attendees with free membership of a national community of learning and practice. WIT has become a leader in executive/ practitioner education in the areas of Lean Operational & Enterprise Excellence. There are currently 28 executives participating in the Master of Business in Lean Practice programme at WIT; with a further 40 practitioners participating in the Higher Diploma in Business in Operational Excellence programme (www. In addition to the Seminar Series the 5th Annual WIT Lean Enterprise Excellence Forum takes place on Thursday 4 May 2017. This free public event was the largest Lean Conference in Europe in 2016 – see for further information and bookings.

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 47


industry analysis

DID you know: January is also known as Divorce month..

The number of individuals filing for divorce rises by a third in the month of January, writes Susan O’Mara. Hopefully this doesn’t affect you – but if it does, here is what you need to know about divorce when it comes to your pension.



fter the family home, the most valuable asset a separating couple have is often a pension. The Family Law Act 1995 and the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 were introduced to enable courts to share out pension rights between separating and divorcing couples. Regardless of how amicable a separation, pension rights can only be shared out with a Court Order. The system for dividing up pension benefits can sometimes be seen as complicated and so some couples reach a solution where the pension is left alone and they change the way other assets are shared out. A spouse, a civil partner or a qualified cohabitant (subject to meeting certain conditions) can apply for a Pension Adjustment Order (PAO) at the end of a relationship. For the purposes of this article, I will refer to a “spouse”. However, the information also applies to civil partners and qualified cohabitants.

The process

At the outset, each spouse is required to give particulars of his/her property and income to the other spouse and this information will include full details in relation to a member’s benefit under a pension scheme. After consideration of this information, the Court may serve an order (known as a PAO) on the Trustees of the pension scheme of which either spouse is a member. This order can require the Trustees to pay a portion of the pension benefits to the other spouse or for the benefit of a dependent member of the family. The order requires that the Trustees pay a specified part of the retirement benefits or contingent benefits to the person(s) named

Regardless of how amicable a separation, pension rights can only be shared out with a Court Order.


in the order. PAOs may be made in respect of the following pension arrangements: • Occupational Pension Schemes • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) • Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) • Retirement Annuity Contracts (RACs) including Trust RACs • Buy out Bonds/Personal Retirement Bonds A separate PAO is required for each separate pension arrangement that you have benefits with. Benefits payable under the Social Welfare Acts and disability benefits arising under an Income Protection policy are not pension benefits in the context of the legislation.

The Options

Following the making of the PAO, the pension scheme Trustees will notify the person in whose favour the order is made of the amount and nature of the retirement benefits and/or contingent benefits which have been designated under the order.

So, how are these benefits calculated?

Firstly, the court will rule on two key factors which will determine the amount. These are the “relevant period” and the “relevant percentage”. The relevant period may be the period of marriage but not necessarily so. It cannot be later than the date of granting the decree of judicial separation or divorce. This means future benefits cannot be shared. This information will also include the option of a transfer value that may be available in lieu of keeping the benefit under the existing pension scheme.


Some points to make around this are: • The Court will not make a PAO if the spouse who applies for it has remarried • If a PAO in relation to retirement benefits is made, this will be unaffected by a subsequent change in marital status of either spouse • A PAO in relation to contingent benefits (benefits payable on death in service) cease to have effect if the spouse who is not a member remarries


If the member spouse retires and the spouse who benefited from a PAO has not transferred their benefit to another pension arrangement or has not established an independent benefit, then when the member spouse retires, the non-member spouse must also retire. A PAO will also have to be taken into consideration at retirement in relation to Standard Fund Thresholds and Tax Free Lump Sum payments. Standard Fund Thresholds – When calculating a member’s threshold limit (currently €2m), the member’s entitlement is calculated as the total value they would have got if a PAO was never made. If this calculation puts the member over the threshold, the chargeable excess tax liability is split between the member and the non-member spouse on a pro-rata basis. Tax free lump sum – subject to Revenue regulations, there are formulas for calculating the lump payable to a member on retirement and currently up to €200,000 of this lump sum can be paid tax free. Where a PAO exists, there is a separate €200,000 limit for the member spouse and the non-member spouse. The above is just a brief outline of some of the issues around PAOs and as you can see, it can be a complex area and every situation is different. It is important that in addition to legal advice, you should also seek independent financial advice. C For further information regarding saving for retirement, contact Susan O’Mara at: or on 01 406 8020

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 49

advertising feature: CQMS’17

Register Now for your free trade pass to CQMS’17

Ireland’s Construction and Quarry Machinery Show April 21 and 22 2017 | Molloy’s Quarry Tinnycross, Tullamore, Co Offaly, Ireland #BackedbyAIB

FREE Trade Registration is now open for Friday April 21 at CQMS’17 – Ireland’s Construction and Quarrying Machinery Show. See  CQMS’17 – Ireland’s Construction & Quarrying Machinery Show on April 21 and 22 2017 in Tullamore, Co Offaly is already almost SOLD OUT.  A total of 200 exhibitors will showcase over €70m worth of equipment to 8,000 visitors. CQMS’17 will also facilitate factory visits to equipment manufacturers North & South.  In a move to facilitate enterprise and support exhibitors, Friday 21 April (only) is a trade day and registration is now open at    The closing date for registrations is 31 March and after that the standard €20 admission charge will apply. This widely anticipated show will be

supported by a National print, broadcast and online marketing campaign and over 8000 people are expected to attend. All outdoor stands for CQMS’17 are now full and among the confirmed exhibitors are ECI JCB, Kubota UK, Volkswagen Commercial, Finning CAT, Geith International, Topcon, Atlas Copco Construction & Mining Ltd., Jim Macadam Equipment/Case, Palfinger Ireland, Sandvik, CDE Global, HSS Hire and Laois Hire Group, IFM Ltd., Renault Trucks Ireland, Rockbreakers, Tesab, MacHale Plant Sales, Whelan Plant Sales/ HHIE and many more.  CQMS’17 will have 35% more exhibition space and will occupy 100,000 square meters with 200 exhibitors, two live demonstration zones, a new machinery launch zone, factory visits, family attractions and an exciting air show and

the world famous JCB Dancing Diggers for visitors.  CQMS’17 will offer buyers and sellers an opportunity to see machines at work with two large live demonstration zones as well as a new machinery launch zone with latest technology and innovation from manufacturers and confirmed headline sponsors include AIB Finance & Leasing and Total Lubricants, represented by their Irish distributor partner Finol Oils Ltd. C

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 51

industry analysis

construction industry grew by 15% in 2016 – and further 20% growth expected in 2017


he AECOM Annual Review 2017 of the Construction Industry is predicting that the value of Irish construction industry output will grow by 20% in 2017 after experiencing 15% growth in 2015. John O’Regan, AECOM’s Head of Programme, Cost and Consultancy, Island of Ireland, said that Ireland needs significant infrastructure and residential spend if it is to sustain economic growth.


The AECOM Annual Review 2017 highlights that in 2016: • The estimated value of construction output in 2016 was €14.6 bn up 15% on 2015 • Increasing output was largely driven by commercial building and to a lesser extent home building • Employment in construction continued to grow – up by 9,000 comparing Q3 in 2015 and 2016 • The floor area of non-residential development granted planning floor space was up 70% in the 12 months to July 2016 • While construction activity began to pick up in the regions in the second half of 2016, it is still sluggish compared to the greater Dublin area.   John O’Regan said that the horizon is bright for the Irish construction sector, however, to maximise the benefits it is essential that Ireland attracts back our skilled resources, maintains competitiveness and addresses the significant deficits from seven years of underinvestment. “It is clear that years of under investment by the private and public sectors in physical and social infrastructure will diminish the attractiveness of the island as an investment location if spending is not accelerated,” he said. “Construction spend should generally account for 12% of GNP but clearly after the economic crash investment fell well below that level. “In fact, since 2009, the shortfall has been

52 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

€63bn and a further €26bn is projected by 2022 unless corrective action is taken.


“In relation to competitiveness, construction cost increases have been very constrained over recent years and we expect the rise in construction costs to remain modest in 2017 at around 2.5%. “However, we anticipate that tender prices will rise by 8.5% in Dublin during this coming year and 6% in the regions. “Notwithstanding this, net price increases since the Celtic tiger still lag construction cost increases in the period. “Specialist trades, where resources are constrained, may experience higher tender prices.” Looking at the different market sectors Mr O’Regan pinpointed the AECOM Annual Review 2017 highlights: • While the Government commitment to invest €5.35bn to build 47,000 units by the end of 2021 is very welcome, significant private sector residential investment is required to see real change in the market • Continued strong demand for offices will see the commercial office sector in Dublin continue to boom. However, because of higher commercial rents and housing shortages, companies are increasingly looking to invest further afield • No real increase in significant speculative new build of industrial spaces due to


Specialist trades, where resources are constrained, may experience higher tender prices.


surplus stock from pre-crash era • Expect to see a return to capital expenditure in retail sector which has been sluggish to recover since the crash • Tourism sector is continuing to grow and construction activity in the sector is expected to follow suit in 2017.


As part of the preparation of the AECOM Annual Review, a survey of approximately 400 professional contacts from across the Island’s property and construction sectors was conducted, which showed that even despite Brexit, 69% expect construction activity to grow in 2017. “Those surveyed identified resources and tender inflation as the biggest challenges to domestic construction projects in 2017, with cost control, staff retention and recruitment being the biggest challenges to construction businesses,” said John O’Regan. “In this context, it is clear that the drive to attract experienced craftsmen and industry professionals to the construction industry will move into full swing in 2017.” C

industry analysis

Castle Ceilings & partitions are getting people back to work


astle Ceilings and Partitions Ltd. in partnership with the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB), City & Guilds and the CIF are getting people back to work via the Career Traineeship initiative within the Construction Industry.

initiative. This is aimed at attracting new people to the industry and is being run in partnership with City & Guilds, GRETB and the CIF. “We have successfully offered a City & Guilds Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Interior Systems (Construction) – Partitioning, Ceiling Fixing and Dry Lining,” Pat says.


“We have identified and championed, in collaboration with City & Guilds and GRETB, this much-needed traineeship, following the negative impact that the recession has had on our industry, and it has been a great success. “We would hope that this initiative will attract people back into the trade and encourage others to invest in the training of other disciplines within the construction sector to populate a muchdepleted and critical constituent of the industry,” Pat adds. The traineeship is 43 weeks in duration, with a combination of on-job and off-job training that allows trainees to learn, develop and practice the skills required. It provides a City & Guilds qualification and employment in several areas including: • Wall lining and boarding • Ceiling fixing – plaster boarding and grid ceilings • Partitioning and detailing

Castle Ceilings and Partitions Ltd. are an Irish owned company with over seventeen years of experience, knowledge and expertise which has established them as one of the leading Interior Specialists in the country. Whilst the Castle Ceilings and Partitions Ltd. head office is in Galway, their projects are nationwide – offering an extensive range of products and systems, specialising in the supply and installation of Stud Partitions, Suspended Ceilings, Internal Glazed Screens and Fit-Out Contracts. The company employs over 120 personnel, some of whom have been working within the industry for the past 25 years, providing a wealth of experience and knowledge to clients and contractors. “We have 17 years’ experience in premises fit-outs, company relocations, premises upgrades, refurbishments, renovations, building restorations and premises maintenance,” senior surveyor Pat McDonagh explains.


“We take pride in delivering top quality and cost-effective services to our growing client-base, offering a complete package of services from value engineering cost control to project fit-outs. “As a further commitment to quality, we have developed a detailed cloudbased inspection tool to record all works complete to satisfy BCAR (Building Control (Amendment) regulations 2014),” Pat adds. Castle Ceilings & Partitions’ commitment to the industry is reflected in its newly launched career traineeship

Castle Ceilings and Partitions’ Projects


I he Sus Janu it co

On successful completion of the traineeship programme, trainees are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession.


Castle Ceilings offer opportunities for employment and advancement to trainees, who have shown the necessary initiative and ability and have successfully completed the traineeship. Applications for the next traineeship can be made at www.gretbtrainingcentre. ie by filling out the online application form for the Diploma in Interior Systems, or calling the GRETB on 091 706200. Places on the next course, which is due to commence in early April 2017, are limited. C

Pharmaceuticals including: Medtronic, Bio Medical, Alexion, Grifols and Analog Devices Data Halls: Multinational Data Halls Educational Faculties: NUIG Engineering Building, Arts Building, Library, Biology Building, Colaiste Na Corribe, Colaiste Na Sionna Healthcare: Beaumount Hospital, Limerick Hospital, UCH Galway, Primary Health Centres Commercial: Google, Yahoo, Adare Manor, Royal College of Surgeons, Miesian Plaza, IBM, Kerry Foods Fitouts: SAP, Bioware, Arthur Cox, Avaya, Glasson Lodge, Tommy Hilfiger, McCambridges

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 53


The Hardware Show is coming soon!

Hardware Association Ireland (HAI) is producing its largest trade show ever at RDS Simmonscourt on Sunday 5 and Monday 6 March, 2017. The flagship biennial HAI event, with over 3,700sqm of space sold and an expected 2,000 visitors over the two days, far exceeds the 2015 Show held at Citywest.


“We’re grateful to all the suppliers and manufacturers in the industry that showed early endorsement for the Show by taking more space than they had before and to the many new exhibitors we’re seeing at the Show for the first time in 2017,″ said Annemarie Harte, CEO of HAI. “In terms of trends, 2016 was the third successive year of market growth, following the extremely challenging years of 2008 to 2013. We’re now seeing the manifestation of that growth through the increased popularity of the Show.” Harte continued: “The 2017 Show will feature many areas of interest to everyone involved in the trade. “Given the signs of recovery in the sector and confidence returning, we have deliberately set out to make this Show the best we have ever produced to support and enhance the experience for the visitor.” Some of the features include: • The Hardware Education Hub in the centre of the arena provides a schedule of bite-size presentations on business areas from human resources to

ecommerce, credit management and merchandising. With a feature speaker at lunchtime each day - Alf Dunbar on the Sunday talking about how customer service makes the difference and leading consumer and shopper behaviouralist Ken Hughes on the Monday – this is an essential part of planning your visit. • Google’s Digital Garage – we’re delighted that Google will be joining us at the show to support our visitors with all things digital. Come and ask the Googlers the most basic and advanced of questions, they’re there to help! • Demonstration Zone sponsored by The Hultafors Group. See many of the exhibitors demonstrate their products. Learn key information about using the product and its benefits. Ask questions and inform yourself and your staff through seeing products in action. • Skills Zone sponsored by Makita. Brought to you with the support of DIT and CIT, come and see Ireland’s representatives in both IrelandSkills and WorldSkills competitions show off their skills in the areas of Electrical, Plumbing, Plastering and Painting. Skills are the foundation of modern life. Everything, from the houses we live in to the societies we create,

is the result of skills. They are the driving force behind successful careers and companies, thriving industries, and economies. Skills keep the world working. With over 150 exhibitors and 40 of them brand new to the show, put the dates in your diary and come along on the Sunday or Monday, registration is FREE at www. and parking is available at the RDS too as long as you register in advance. C Exhibitors include: ABC Abrasives, Arc Building Products, BAT Metalwork Ltd, Bolle Eye Safety Products, Bostik, Brett Martin Plumbing & Drainage, Colm Warren Polyhouses, Cork Plastics, Dargan Tools, Draper Tools, FF Group Tool Industries, Glennon Brothers, I.S. Varian & Co, ICON Building Products, Irish Cement, Jefferson Professional Tools & Equipment, Kilsaran, Kingspan, Larsen Building Products, Laydex, MAC Precision Engineering, MacCann and Byrne / Ecological Building Systems, Makita, Metabo UK, Murray Timber Group, N&C Enterprises Ltd, Nord Roofs Ltd, Bosch, 3M, Saint-Gobain, Sanbra Fyffe Ltd., Sika Everbuild, Stand Safe Ltd - Hi Vis & Workwear, Tec7 - Contech Building Products, Tegral, Keystone, Tucks Fasteners & Fixings, Tucks O’Brien, Xtratherm.

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 55

corporate member focus

Introducing Geoscience Ireland, CIF’s Newest Member Geoscience Ireland is the collaborative network of 29 Irish geoscience companies bringing integrated geotechnical expertise to civil, structural, water, minerals and environmental developments in over 50 countries.


upported by the Geological Survey of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, Geoscience Ireland’s network of experts provides design, consultancy and contracting services to the public and private sectors as well as to multilateral development and financial institutions.

What they do

Geoscience is most prominent in the early stages of infrastructure development, although it is relevant at all stages in contracting works in terms of design, construction and in-situ monitoring of geotechnical solutions and environmental impacts. In addition to the geotechnical skills of GI’s members, a core service offer centres on the provision of expert witnesses for arbitration and conciliation services. Geoscience Ireland member companies and their Panel of Experts are well-placed to mediate issues which may arise and impact on the timely delivery of critical infrastructure.

What lies beneath

A major component of site investigation and preliminary geotechnical design is informed by a geological assessment of the terrain and topography. The geological, geophysical, geochemical and environmental services provided by Geoscience Ireland (GI) Members are critical to engineering decisions – and the deeper the foundation, the more complex the underlying geo-systems.

56 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

The €227m redevelopment of Alexandra Basin will transform Dublin Port’s infrastructure and enable it to service the economy for decades ahead.

GI’s service offering of 3D modelling and mapping is now fundamental to road infrastructure and, with the advent of Building Information Modelling (BIM), now acts as a key resource in time and cost management.

Geotechnical What is geotechnical engineering? Everything you see around you is supported by soil or rock. Geotechnical engineers are responsible for that. Anything that is not supported by soil or rock, either floats, flies or falls down. Sound geotechnical design and engineering is critical for ensuring the longevity of our road and rail networks, guaranteeing load support of high-rise structures and bridges and informing the shoring and trench design required for deep excavations in urban areas.

Civil engineering

From Ballaghaderreen to Mozambique, the GI Member Companies are involved in the early stage technical assessment and design of roads and motorways. This skillset includes: • Understanding ground characteristics – GI engineers provide solutions to complex ground conditions from soft ground to karst topography • Civil works associated with mining operations • Railway engineering • 3D modelling and mapping through laser scanning and BIM • Feasibility, preliminary and detailed design • Construction supervision and management • Airport runway and taxi-way construction

• Offshore and onshore wind turbine foundations • Geotechnical expertise to understand the mechanics of the underlying soil and rock, ensuring the longevity of quality builds

Where & how they do it

Two-thirds of GI turnover is won in overseas markets. An array of Case Histories is available at


The main GI skillset in roads and highways includes construction: project and construction management and supervision; ground, environmental and site investigation; financial and procurement management. Major road developments include: • The construction of expressways in Nigeria (PW Nigeria) • The construction management and supervision of the Trans-Caprivi highway in Namibia (Nicholas O’Dwyer) • Project management including design, technical and financial management and construction supervision for road rehabilitation in Uganda (J.B. Barry & Partners) • Geophysical investigation and surveying for roads Norway (Apex Geoservices ) and Ireland (BRG, Murphy Surveys) • Pavement testing, evaluation and monitoring, and pavement

corporate member focus Who GI Are & What We Do GI are Expert Consultants in: Geology Geotechnical Engineering Geophysical, Geodetic & Geochemical Surveying Environmental Engineering Institutional Capacity Building

GI are Expert Contractors in: Drilling Lining Infrastructure Mining & Quarrying Geoscience | The science and engineering of breaking ground. Geoscience Ireland | The collaborative network connecting Irish experts to projects and project partners in over 50 countries.

management services for road networks and airport runways in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. (PMS)


GI members are skilled in a delivering a range of technical expertise in an array of water developments, from waste water treatment plants (WWTP) to pipelines. Project Histories include: • Providing technical expertise in project management, procurement, civil engineering, tunnelling, access roads, environment, public health and socioeconomics to the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. (J.B. Barry & Partners) • Construction supervision, commissioning, and environmental monitoring for the upgrading of the Morogoro water supply system in Tanzania (Nicholas O’Dwyer) • Providing design and review of detailed process design of WWTP’s in Saudi Arabia and Qatar (Byrne Looby), Croatia, Turkey and Bosnia & Herzegovina (J.B. Barry) and the UK (Trench Control) • Surveying and mapping the bedrock and soil conditions for water pipelines in Malawi (Apex Geoservices, Nicholas O’Dwyer)

• Pluvial Flood Risk Assessments & Scour analysis and assessment of large combined sewer outfalls. Scour analysis projects in the United Kingdom (IE Consulting)

Extractive industries & energy

Geoscience Ireland’s core goal is to literally underpin and support the construction sector in Ireland through the provision of innovative geotechnical solutions across a range of sectors. Geoscience Ireland’s members are also outward looking and keen to export Irish expertise to foreign markets, not only to improve the durability of infrastructural developments of all types in those areas but also to generate economic growth and employment at home. This outward looking perspective has the potential to offer opportunities to those who seek to expand their business overseas. C

geoscience members

Mining; Lining of Tailings Dams in New Caledonia (FLI); Underground development in Ireland (QME) and India (LTMS); Contract mining in Ghana and Burkina Faso (PW Mining Ltd). Oil & Gas; Site investigation for the Corrib Gas Project in Ireland (Tobin and IDL); Carbon Storage in the Baltic (SLR); Drilling in the UK ( Priority Group, Meehan Drilling); M&E for training facilities in Ghana (Designer Group). Renewables; Site assessments for tidal energy in Canada (GDG) and wind farms in the UK (Tobin, GDG).

APEX Geoservices | AWN Consulting | BRG | ByrneLooby | Designer Group | FLI Group | GDG | The Geological Survey Ireland | IE Consulting | IGSL | Intersocial Consulting | Irish Drilling | J.B.Barry & Partners | Lisheen Technical & Mining Services | Meehan Drilling | Murphy Surveys | Nicolas O’Dwyer Consulting Engineers | Pavement Management Services | Priority Group | PW Mining International | PW Nigeria | QME | Rubicon Heritage | SLR Consulting | Sorhill | TOBIN Consulting | Trench Control | Verde Environmental | Roadstone Ltd. (GI’s newest member)



Remediation of oil polluted terrains in Nigeria (Verde). Capacity Building re SEVESO in Turkey (AWN); Resettlement in Ghana (Intersocial); artisanal mining in Mozambique (SLR).

Sean Finlay | Director | sean.finlay@gsi. ie Elizabeth Murphy | Market Advisor | Andrew Gaynor | Business Development | Stephen D. Walsh| Market Advisor | stephen.

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 57


Home Builders welcome revenue Help-to-Buy incentive


ver 100 CIF Irish Home Builders gathered for a breakfast briefing on the Help to Buy incentive, led by a team from the Revenue Commissioners. The briefing, hosted by the Irish Home Builders Association, took place at the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) Head Office in Dublin. The event focused on how the incentive will work, from the house builders’ and contractors’ perspectives.


CIF Director General Tom Parlon said: “The Help to Buy incentive is part of Minister Coveney’s Rebuilding Ireland strategy that envisages a 25,000 annual output in housing supply. “Recent completion figures for housing show that the industry will produce around 14,000 this year and this is expected to ramp up significantly in the coming years. “Irish home builders want this to work and they want to build. It is inaccurate to state that builders aren’t building. “In many cases builders cannot build because it is not financially viable. The reasons for this are well known at this stage. Finance is a key issue and the banks’ appetite for risk on smaller developments is not there. “The patchy standard of planning in some local authorities is another key cost driver. “A lot of zoned land isn’t properly serviced to enable house building. Minister Coveney is trying to address these issues and remove these genuine barriers.

Anthony Neville, Anthony Neville Homes; Hubert Fitzpatrick, Director, CIF; Brian Farrell, Brenda Hearn and Maura Conneely all from Revenue.

Dave Tracey and Richard Murray from Sisk and John Philips from Dornan Engineering Ltd.


“His infrastructure fund and the Help to Buy incentive are important steps. However, more can be done during the current crisis to reduce the cost of house building by reducing levies, which should be covered by residential property tax for example. “The Government must consider a reduction in VAT, if only until we meet the desired output target identified by the ESRI of 25,000 new houses per year.

58 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF and President, CIF, Dominic Doheny


Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF addresses a crowded gathering. “The tax take on the increased number of houses will surpass the cost of any VAT reduction for the exchequer within a couple of years. “The Help to Buy incentive will have an impact on supply in the first-time buyer market. “Commencement statistics for the past few years show that builders have not been building starter homes; the reason being that banks were not willing to lend when the first-time buyer couldn’t access a mortgage. “The latest Construction Industry Federation (CIF) House Building Activity report shows that house building increased by over 30% in 2016, with a total of 5,626 residential units registered in 2016. “This represents a significant increase on house building activity carried out in 2015 and housing output is strengthening as we

Billy Clancy, Clancy Construction, Maude Foley, CIRI Office, CIF

A full house begin 2017. “However, only 24% of these houses are considered ‘starter homes,’ while in a normally functioning market the level would be closer to 50%. “The Help to Buy incentive is strongly welcomed by industry, whose members want to get up and running with it as soon as they can. “We want this to happen and CIF will continue to work closely with Revenue to ensure the system works and has an impact on the housing crisis.”


House builders must register as qualified contractors to take part in the scheme. Likewise, first-time buyers will only be able to avail of the incentive for houses built by qualified contractors.

These contractors will be allowed to leverage the deposits of first-time buyers who qualify for the scheme to develop sites. The Help to Buy scheme is an incentivised way of increasing stock in the housing market. The scheme provides first-time buyers with a refund of income tax and DIRT paid over the previous four tax years in order to purchase or self-build a new house or apartment. However, a number of criteria will apply to contractors involved in the process, for example they must be tax compliant. The Irish Home Builders Association is encouraging its members to register promptly with Revenue to ensure that the incentive has maximum impact in generating supply to meet the growing demand in the first-time buyer market. C

Safe-T-Cert presentions

Skyline Scaffolding

Keymore Construction Ltd.

Recent presentations of Safe-T-Certs certification were made to Skyline Scaffolding Ltd., (L-R in our picture: Kevin Walsh, Managing Director, Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF and Roisin Mellett, Director), and also to Keymore Construction, from where Managing Director Stephen Morgan is pictured receiving his presentation from Tom Parlon. C

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 59


The Dublin North West Area Partnership Apprenticeship Fair


Construction professionals at the Apprentceship Fair IF was to the fore at the Dublin North West Area Partnership Apprenticeship Fair, which took place in the Finglas Youth Resource Centres.


The event, attended by Sisk, Jones Engineering, Designer Group and Mercury Engineering, aimed to raise awareness of the range of opportunities that exist in the Apprenticeship sector and offered attendees the opportunity to meet organisations, employers and services involved. The Fair featured twenty-six exhibitors – including the CIF, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), and Apprenticeship Council of Ireland – and it attracted over 600 attendees throughout the day. The DNWAP Apprenticeship Fair developed, Construction is told, from the recognition of career opportunities apprenticeships provide in areas of growth of the Irish economy.


“The CIF were delighted to be part of this apprenticeship fair and we received great support from our members who turned up to promote apprenticeships in general and the career openings that they had for young people in particular,” says Dermot Carey of CIF. “As a society, we need to recognise the great opportunities that apprenticeships offer and it is through events like this that we can help to do this. “We hope this event is the first of many as we are keen to support such initiatives.

60 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

The Fair attracted over 600 attendees

“It was superbly organised and there was a big contingent of local schools who turned up to get an understanding of the apprenticeship route to career development.”


The benefits of the Fair were also highlighted by Natasha Kinsella, Regional Skills Manager Dublin, who said: “I was delighted to support this inaugural event arranged by the DNWAP and it was clear by the attendance on the day there is very much an appetite for apprenticeship options, even within the proposed new areas currently under development,” Dermot added. “This form of education not alone provides opportunities for those who may not be in a position to pursue fulltime programmes through CAO, but presents access points to allow all potential learners to progress, either in employment or further study routes.” Natasha Kinsella, Regional Skills Manager Dublin


Karen McGrath, Guidance Counsellor, St Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall was delighted with the turnout: “This was a wonderful idea, both for students and guidance counsellors. “It helped fill the knowledge gap for me as a GC and puts the courses available at CDETB Training Centres and apprenticeships on the map. “This event is fantastic and well laid out.” The DWAP Apprenticeship Fair is a collaborative project between the Dublin North West Area Partnership, Finglas Youth Resource Centre , Ballymun Jobs Centre and Ballymun Regional Youth Resource. To register your interest in the DNWAP Apprenticeship Fair 2017, contact Fergus Craddock, Adult Education Programmes Coordinator, at or (01) 836 1666 C


Alliance of Specialist Contractors (ASCA) AGM


SCA held their annual general meeting on Thursday 19 January 2017 with Tony O’Leary re-elected to the position of Chairman of the Specialist Contractors.

vice chairman

The newly appointed Vice Chairman, Danny Murphy from Highway Markings, comes on board to assist Tony and committee

members in developing plans for the association for the upcoming year.


A presentation to members by Brian Walsh, Davys, on Tax Structuring, Investment and Succession Planning provided serious food for thought for those considering passing assets to family members and restructuring their business.

(L-R) Danny Murphy, ASCA Vice Chairman; Tony O’Leary, Chairman; Sean Downey Director of Specialist Contracting; Gillian Ross Executive Specialist Contracting

The most significant legislative change in 2016 was the commencement of the Construction Contracts Act. The legislation has been in the pipeline for almost 6 years and through the dedicated persistence of ASCA members and the tireless campaign by the Chairman, Tony O’Leary, the act was implemented. ASCA members thanked the Chairman for his diligence. C

(L-R) Colin Goode, EWT; Robert Ranson, Glass Centre; Ian Sweeney, Sweeney Sheet Metal

(L-R) Philip Smith, Davy’s; Tony O’Leay; Brian Cox, Davy’s; Brian Walsh, Davy’s; Sean Downey, Director, Specialist Contracting, CIF – Your Online Construction News Portal and Resource January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 61

events Dara Howlett, Cabinet Making, with Peter Walsh, Ireland’s first WorldSkills champion with mementos from his own participation

Worldskills – a glorious past and a bright future! The 2017 Ireland Skills National Competition displayed a wealth of talent that augurs well for the future when it comes to several trades that are central to our industry. The closing Awards Ceremony also featured a very special guest – Ireland’s first Worldskills champion.

62 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

events Ireland is able to look forward positively to the forthcoming Worldskills International Competition to be held in Abu Dhabi in October 2017, writes Ray English, official Irish Delegate, WorldSkills International. Top of the world World Skills Ireland is hoping to send a team of up to 15 or more competitors in areas from Carpentry, Dry wall and Plastering, Electrical Installation Ray English and Plumbing, amongst others. The team selection is based on the results of the 2016 and 2017 Ireland National Skills Competitions, the outcome of a possible special training initiative and candidate interview. The team is finally assembled after the successful completion of an intense individually targeted skill training programme.

ABOVE: The Silver trowel has been awarded to the Bricklayer winning competitor for many years and is currently sponsored by Cramptons. Here we see Philip Crampton presenting the G&T Crampton Silver Trowel Award to Jonathan Chapman, 2016 Winner.


reland’s first WorldSkills champion, who received his medal from General Franco almost 60 years ago, has declared that he has no intention of retiring at the age of 77.


Galwegian Peter Walsh helped to mark the 60th anniversary of the country’s involvement in WorldSkills, at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Irish competition in Dublin’s Croke Park. Joiner Peter who still works up to 70 hours a week declared that he has no intention of stopping, at the competition, which was held early in order to select a team for participation at the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi event in October. Ireland joined the movement on 1 January 1956 and sent its first team, including Peter, to the world games in Spain in 1957. Now, Dara Howlett, pictured here with Peter, from Blessington, Co Wicklow, will be one of those representing Ireland in the 2017 competition.

Global hub

WorldSkills is the global hub for skills excellence and development, which aims to “raise the profile and recognition of skilled people, and show how important skills are in achieving economic growth and personal success”. The recent Irish competition saw a 30% increase in registrations across 27 trades after a slump of entries during the recession, which saw

just three contenders in bricklaying. Peter Walsh, from the Ballybane Road in Galway, was just 18 when he travelled with the first-ever Irish team to take part in the International competition in Madrid. The joiner was the only Irish team member to take gold at the junior event that year and subsequently took a second gold at senior level in Italy two years later. “I went there to bring home the bacon and I did,” Peter says. “I always practised auto-suggestion so I told myself I was


One of the main legacies of the WorldSkills and the Ireland Skills National Competitions is to give visibility and importance to professional education, as one of the true tools of socioeconomic transformation


Ray English, World Skills

Founded WorldSkills was founded in 1950 and has grown into a global organization that promotes vocational, technological and service oriented education and training. Skilled careers are promoted through the skills organisations in 76 Member countries working with youth, educators, governments, and industries to help prepare the workforce and talent of today for the jobs of the future. WorldSkills brings youth, industries, and educators together to give youth the chance to compete, experience, and learn how to become the best in their skill of choice. From the traditional trades to multiskilled technology careers in the industry and service sectors, supported by partners, industries, governments, volunteers, and educational institutions, WorldSkills is making a direct impact on raising the level of skills throughout the world.

Competing WorldSkills Ireland is cognisant that Ireland is competing globally for talent, skills and knowledge experts. The industry and education and training partners within WorldSkills Ireland recognise that the need has never been greater for educators, business and government leaders to use innovation and a comprehensive approach to attract young people to the jobs of today and the future

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 63


Donal Keys, Chair, Ireland Skills National Competitions, DIT going to win,” he adds. “I had to make a stepladder from scratch to win and then I learned the phrase ‘Enchanted to meet you’ in Spanish which I said to General Franco when he handed me the cup. “Two years later I received my award from the President of Italy, and after that was presented with another award from Prince Philip. “I would advise any young person to take up a trade and get involved in WorldSkills. “Doing what you love is the key. I still work a 70-hour week and I have no intention of stopping, because I enjoy every minute.”

Peter Walsh, Ireland’s first WorldSkills champion


The movement was founded in 1950 in Spain and now represents over 45 skills in 76 member countries and regions. A wide array of skills is represented from aircraft maintenance, carpentry, plumbing, welding and tiling to beauty therapy, cooking and restaurant service. Over 140 craftspeople from all over Ireland took part in 22 events held in both the Dublin and Cork Institutes of Technology over the week in its entirety. Construction was present at Croke Park on the final day. C

Philip Crampton presenting the award for Cabinet Making to Dara Howlett

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Some of the winners included…

Bricklaying, Ryan McLoughlin

Stephen Kent, CCO Bus Eireann, Sponsors

Welding, Christopher Kehoe


The movement was founded in 1950 in Spain and now represents over 45 skills in 76 member countries and regions.


Sheet Metal Work, Gary Kelly

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Ardmac “delighted with completion of medical device design & build project” Celebrating

According to Alan Coakley, Managing Director of Ardmac: “We are delighted to be celebrating another successful completion on behalf of West Pharmaceutical Services. “Being a global leader in cleanroom construction for the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector, coupled with our construction capability, Ardmac were uniquely suited to design and build this medical device manufacturing facility. “This facility is testament to the excellent reputation of West Pharmaceutical Service as leaders in integrated packaging and delivery for Mary Mitchell O’Connor with: to right, Leo Varadkar; to left, Eric Green, CEO West Pharma and Karen Flynn injectable medicines. ` (Senior VP, West) with company representatives. “We are very proud to have been selected; delivering the will make it possible to better service the rdmac, a leader in construction project safely, early and on budget. We look company’s growing healthcare and medical services, joined West Pharmaceutical forward to continuing our great partnership device contract manufacturing business, Services and government leaders to with West Pharmaceutical Services in the announce the opening of a new medical Construction is told. future.” device facility in Damastown, Co Dublin. West anticipates 100 new jobs will be added to the business over the next five Project years as a result of the expansion. Delighted The green-field project included the design “As the healthcare market becomes Ardmac are delighted with the of all Structural, Civil, Architectural, increasingly complex, West is advancing completion of the Medical Device Mechanical and Electrical elements, which our core competencies in the development, Design & Build Project for West included: manufacturing and final packaging of Pharmaceutical Services, providing the • Use of 3D Revit modelling throughout the complex drug delivery systems and handover four weeks early.  design and construction phases of the diagnostic devices for our customers,” says The 60,000 sq ft. building project Karen Flynn, Senior Vice President and includes new cleanrooms, production, • Fit-out of new office, canteen, and toilet Chief Commercial Officer, West. warehousing, office support and canteen areas “We are excited about the growth along with associated site facilities. • Construction of warehouse & plant areas and expansion we are experiencing in The expansion is in response to • Construction of cleanrooms our contract manufacturing business in customer demand for medical device • Mechanical, electrical, sprinkler and Dublin as well as our proprietary products manufacturing – especially in the area process installations business in Waterford, both of which will of diabetes – and represents West’s • External works including roads, car support increasing demand from our global most recent investment in Ireland. parking, loading docks, drainage and customer base.”  The additional capacity in Dublin attenuation tanks


66 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

industry news

Ayrton Group announces Martin Murray as new regional sales manager N

ewly rebranded Ayrton Group, has announced that Martin Murray has joined its expanding team as Regional Sales Manager. Murray brings a wealth of experience with over 30 years working across a variety of sectors, including Construction, Pharmaceutical, Educational and Medical.


Martin Murray joins Ayrton

Commenting on the announcement, Mathew Browne, Director of Ayrton Group said: “We are delighted to welcome Martin to our expanding team to support our growing activity across all our key markets, including Ireland, UK, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands.   “His experience, expertise and knowledge will ensure the Ayrton Group continues to lead the

Kirby Group Engineering - new group managing director

way as the Safety Organisation of choice in the market. “We are very encouraged by the huge interest in all our positions and continue to receive enquiries and job applications for positions here and overseas.” Martin Murray added: “I am very excited to be part of this new chapter with the Ayrton Group who represent my own ambition and vision in the workforce. 


“It is great to see an Irish-owned company that is committed to providing the highest industry standards here at home and overseas. For more information, visit 

John Paul Construction company announcement

Jimmy Kirby MD, Fergus Frawley, Chairman


irby Group Engineering, last winter announced that Fergus Frawley would be stepping down as Group Managing Director at the end of 2016. Fellow Director, Jimmy Kirby took up this position from 1 January 2017. Fergus Frawley has guided the company through the most difficult global economic conditions in recent history and in doing so, has taken the business from a €50m national electrical contractor to an international multidisciplinary engineering and construction company with a turnover of in excess of €160m. He is, however, slow to take credit for this and puts the company’s success down to the “strength and quality of our people and our ability to support each other as part of a high performing team, combined with a culture steeped in a passion to succeed’.

Strength Commenting on his decision, Fergus says, “after nearly eleven years at the helm and given the strength of the

company, the time is right to pass the mantle to Jimmy. “I am confident that Jimmy’s unquestionable passion and ability to lead the company, together with the strong management team, will continue to deliver sustainable growth over the coming years.” Jimmy has been with the company since 1991 and in that time, among other achievements, has successfully managed the Dublin and T&D business units. In addition to leading a number of key projects, in recent years, as a member of the Board of Directors, he has been responsible for strategy formulation and implementation.

Contribution Jimmy says: “I wish to thank Fergus for his very strong contribution to the company’s success. I am delighted that Fergus is staying with the company to Chair the Board and we will undoubtedly continue to benefit from his immense experience.”

Peter O’Grady Walshe, Chairman; Eamon Booth, Managing Director; John Moran, Associate Director, Contracts


he Board of John Paul Construction are pleased to announce the appointment of Peter O’Grady Walshe as Chairman. Peter succeeds Donal O’Brien who has recently retired after 48 years of invaluable service and leadership of the company.

Complement Peter has served on numerous boards across a wide range of industries and brings enormous business acumen and experience that will complement our senior team, Construction is told. In line with the further development of the senior management team, the Board are also pleased to announce the appointment of John Moran as Associate Director, Contracts.

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 67

industry news

The Construction Manager of the Year (CMYA) Awards - Ireland 2017


in Ireland gives assessors and adjudicators an extremely difficult job, and the standard continues to rise, Construction is told. The competition culminates with an Awards dinner where the winners of each category are awarded gold and silver medals with one Previous winners overall winner announced Previous winners were involved in the Committee CIOB management of projects that included:                  from        the      gold     medalists.  “We consider all of • St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford our finalists to be winners and agree that they • The Square Shopping Centre, Jervis Street deserve the respect and admiration from the Shopping Centre and Dundrum Shopping industry for the excellent work which they do,” Centre in Dublin  is the message from the CIOB in Ireland.  • Wyeth pharmaceuticals in Newbridge and The CMYA is seen as a prestigious award Intel in Lexlip  within the industry and one which is much • The Helix at DCU and the Conway Institute coveted for its recognition of the excellent skills at UCD in Dublin  of the recipient. • George’s Quay development in Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Ferry Terminal  • Pier C at Dublin Airport  Categories • Elmpark Development in Merrion Road in There is one overall category - the Building Dublin category. This will include 5 sub-categories • The Convention Centre in Dublin  based on project values: • projects over €100m • projects €50m to €100m About the competition • projects €30m to €50m The CMYA competition represents a challenge • projects €10m to €30m for the contestants to accurately identify their • projects up to €10m overall role in the completion of complex and   involved projects in connection with which they Winners in each category will be announced have entered into the competition. at the prestigious CMYA Dinner on Friday 16 The initial stages of the competition are June at 8pm in the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. We paper-based. Those who make it to the final hear that Mario Rosenstock has been engaged are invited, by the adjudicators, to interview. The very high level of management expertise as MC for the Awards! ntries are in and expectations are high once again as we look forward to the CIOB Construction Manager of the Year Award (CMYA) in Ireland. This prestigious Awards programme recognises “the ability of managers in the construction industry to deliver projects on time, within budget and to very demanding standards, celebrating excellence of construction management”.

McAleer & Rushe’s Paul Marlow named construction manager of the year in UK


n the UK McAleer & Rushe has been celebrating a double Paul Marlow success at the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) 2016 Construction Manager of the Year Awards, with two employees scooping accolades at the prestigious ceremony. Paul Marlow, was named overall Construction Manager of the Year. McAleer & Rushe currently, at time of writing, has 22 active design-and-build projects, with Dublin projects including a 400-unit city centre student housing scheme and two city centre hotels. Other site locations include Belfast, Edinburgh, Portsmouth & London.

Blue Flame Technology - the way forward


ny major shake up to an industry is usually brought about by a significant change in legislation. This is no different for the heating industry, where the greatest impact is still to be felt with the second phase of the Ecodesign Directive (EU813/2013) not far away. New requirements on flue gas emissions state that from September 2018, harmful NOx emissions from domestic oil boilers must not exceed 120mg/kWh. The limit on NOx emissions produced by oil boilers is outlined in the Ecodesign Directive. This legislation governs the design and performance of energy-using products to reduce

the amount of energy consumed and the subsequent impact on the environment. The Ecodesign Framework Directive is a European initiative put in place to address climate.


The initiative forms part of Europe’s commitment to transform itself into a high energy-efficient, low carbon economy and achieve its 20-20-20 target to lower carbon emissions by 20%, increase energy efficiency by 20% and increase the share of renewable energies by 20% by 2020. A common assumption is that Blue Flame technology has only been developed in response to

these pending changes in legislation, when in fact it has been used throughout Europe for over 30 years. It is widely understood that the principle is based on knowledge taken from the space industry. The first Blue Flame burners used by Firebird were developed by German manufacture MHG Heiztechnik GmbH. Firebird have worked in partnership with MHG for many years and together developed the first mainstream Blue Flame oil condensing boiler (the Blue Supreme Range) in Ireland. Utilising the revolutionary third generation MHG blue flame

burner, application figures from the field have shown NOx levels produced to be as low as 65mg/kWh – nearly half the 120mg/kWh limit for 2018.


The burner is also fitted with the latest Siemens digital control box providing full diagnostic information to the maintenance engineer. For further information on the Firebird range of high performance oil-fired heating systems please visit or contact Firebird Heating Solutions on 026 45253 or email

industry news

National BIM Council Review and Update: Public Sector BIM Adoption 2017


reland’s National BIM Council (NBC) is a committee of construction clients and representatives from the industry supply chain with a shared ambition to set out a national road map for the successful implementation of the digital design, construction and operation of built assets in Ireland. Caroline Spillane, Director General of professional body Engineers Ireland, and chair of the NBC said: “The starting point for the Council has been the review of digital strategies developed by other countries and this has led to the formation of eight key constructs for the NBC roadmap.

Prioritised “The leadership of Government and Industry, public and private sector support, standards, procurement, skills and training have been prioritised as key components.” The research and consultation that has informed the council’s approach is about

to be published at time of writing. The Global BIM Study covers digital adoption across 26 individual countries and highlights the impact of mandates and other key Ireland’s National BIM Council drivers. Spillane adds: BIM across the public capital “certainly, the programme and will mandate importance of Government the manner in which BIM is to as a client and leader for the be adopted across the public adoption of digital tools and sector. processes is a heavily weighted element of any digital strategy Managing and the Office of Government “The OGP is managing the Procurement’s (OGP) recent consultation process that will commencement of a Building conclude with the submission Information Modelling (BIM) at the end of April 2017 adoption strategy for the Irish of an outline strategy for public sector has been warmly Government approval.   welcomed.” “The consultation process David O’Brien, GCCC chair has started with the key and NBC board member capital spending public confirmed that: “the OGP bodies represented on strategy will set an indicative the Government Contracts timeline for the adoption of

Committee for Construction. “Once completed, a draft strategy will be published for comment from industry bodies including the National BIM Council.” With regard to next steps, Stephen Hughes, Head of Construction, Enterprise Ireland, confirmed that “the first half of 2017 will see the NBC broaden its consultation with stakeholders across the key work packages with a view to determining the current state and future vision for digital in construction across Ireland”.

SIG – new website L

eading Roofing distributor, SIG ROOFING has just launched a brand new website:

Right choice “Making the right choice is important, whether you are a seasoned house developer or building your dream home,” says SIG. “We want to ensure that any decisions you make will be informed ones. “Our extensive sales team works closely with customers, designers, builders’ merchants and

manufacturers, to ensure an efficient service, assisting with design, technical and installation issues. “We understand it’s more than just colour you need to know; we can help you identify: profiles, minimum pitch, coverage rate per tile, nail size required, finish required: smooth, sand faced, weathered or alternative options.

Right solution “We offer more than just a single brand; we offer the right solution for you. That’s

why we’re perfectly positioned to support all of your needs. “Visit our new website and take a look at some of the range of roofing products we have available.

Phone: Dublin: (01) 623 4541 Cork: (021) 432 1868 Belfast: (+44) 28 9068 6380 Omagh: (028) 8224 6220 Website: Email:

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 69

industry news

Layher scaffolding benefits clear-cut – almost one year on

he launch of Layher Ireland almost a year T ago, via a dedicated facility in County Meath, has brought the highly acclaimed

range of system scaffolding designs to both the north and the south of the country. Already, under the management of John Carolan, the success achieved in both the contracting and hire sectors has gone a long way to demonstrating the benefits associated with the Layher designs.


Sean Pike, Managing Director of Layher Ltd – of which Layher Ireland is a subsidiary – draws attention to the advantages offered and the choice of equipment available: • “At the heart of the scaffolding range is Layher Allround,” he says, “which is centred on the highly innovative rosette connection system. • “Because this is built in, it minimises the number of components required – there are no separate clamps needed – and therefore the time required for installation. • “Moreover,” he adds, “the design makes a major contribution to health and safety at site as safe erection is optimised and there is a markedly reduced risk of components falling from a structure

during installation or dismantling or being accidentally left at site.” • Layher Allround’s wide bay design and minimal need for cross-bracing also simplifies movement around a scaffold structure while the lower number of standards required, compared to a tube and fitting alternative, means the need to tie-in a structure is kept to a minimum – of particular note in the case of historic building refurbishment. Sean Pike also highlights the range of purpose-designed systems that allow users to fulfil a long list of installation needs. • “Protection is high on this list,” he says, “with our Protect containment panels a prime example. • “Their lightweight design is available in a choice of sizes and enables dust and noise to be shielded in a highly aesthetic way. • “Additionally, our choice of temporary roofing systems brings key advantages in terms of both project quality and scheduling.”


Layher’s Keder XL roofing system is a prime example in this context. The design features aluminium rails which are fixed to

The annual Grant Thornton Construction Conference

he annual Grant Thornton Construction T Conference will be held in Croke Park on Wednesday 22 March 2017.

The theme of the conference is: “Sustainability & Innovation” and we will hear from a broad range of industry speakers and leaders. The timing of the conference will be interesting for most, given the timelines for actions outlined six months ago by Minister Coveney. While the media often gives extensive coverage to the housing aspect of the industry, it is heartening to know that some other parts are growing rapidly and the recent construction sector metrics are testament to this.


The conference will, no doubt, address the

70 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

positives for the student accommodation and office segments in particular, while also addressing the areas for adjustment. Brexit and its implications is well documented as being both a threat and opportunity for the Irish construction sector. Those active in both markets in the recent period will give their views on how the process towards the final act is being managed and how the construction sector here can best protect itself and benefit. Indeed, in advance of the conference more certainty should be obtained by us all given the parliamentary voting dates scheduled in the UK. The Government’s Oliver O’Connor, National Spatial Strategy Head of Construction with (NSS) has recently been launched. Given his media Grant Thornton commentaries in early 2017 regarding Ireland and “future proofing” it

the trusses and eaves of the temporary roof and into which translucent sheets are simply slid into position. Using the Layher Keder XL system, spans of up to 40 metres can be achieved via the lightweight and versatile design. “Bracing requirements are also minimised,” continues Sean Pike, “while both roof and gable sheeting options are available. Even arched and domed installations can be achieved.” With other specific system designs – such as Layher’s modular bridging system – also available, the range of access and protection solutions offered by Layher is extensive. The success achieved by Layher Ireland in less than a year is not only evidence of this, but also demonstrates the benefits that can be achieved – all of which points towards continuous success for Layher users across the Irish market. will be interesting to hear John Moran’s (Former Secretary General in the Department of Finance) views regarding their future impact and whether they are in line with what society requires. Indeed with the European Investment Bank (of which John is a board member) recently committing funding to Ireland (in the area of forestry) it will be worth asking if similar funds are in the pipeline for infrastructural projects.

Project finance

Another topic to be addressed is the area of Project finance. In the past few years there has been a dramatic shift in project financing. This has moved from a situation of a lack of finance for projects of note, to a situation today, where some lenders will actively consider funding projects before planning permission has been obtained. As always, this conference will be both informative and thought provoking with the wide array of attendees gleaning insightful remarks from the contributors. Naturally, the networking opportunities that arise will give a great sense of the optimism now present in the industry. C For information and registration contact

for your diary Monday 06 March 2017, 4:00pm

Monday 10 April 2017, 4:00pm

Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office 4 Eastgate Avenue, Little Island Cork

Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office AGM – Rochestown Park Hotel

Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017

Helping you plan ahead

Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017

Monday 28 August 2017, 4:00pm

Cork Branch IHBA Meetings 2017 Contact: Conor O’Connell Wednesday 30 August 2017, 09:00am

M&ECA Meeting

Location: Maldron Hotel Portlaoise

Monday 08 May 2017, 4:00pm Friday 24 March 2017

Cork Construction Dinner 2017

Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017

Tuesday 12 September 2017, 4:30pm

Location: Fota Island Resort To book, contact: Bríd Cody Email: & 021-4351410

Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office AGM – Rochestown Park Hotel

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

Wednesday 29 March 2017, 09:00am

Wednesday 10 May 2017, 09:00am

Wednesday 13 September 2017, 7:00pm

Location: Maldron Hotel Portlaoise

Location: Maldron Hotel Portlaoise

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

Monday 03 April 2017, 4:00pm

Tuesday 30 May 2017, 4:30pm

Contact: Conor O’Connell

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

M&ECA Meeting

Cork Branch IHBA Meeting 2017 Tuesday 04 April 2017, 4:30pm

Mid West Branch Meeting 2017 Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick Wednesday 05 April 2017, 7:00pm

South East Branch Meeting 2017 Contact: Ronan O’Brien Location: Tower Hotel, Waterford

M&ECA Meeting

Mid West Branch Meeting 2017

Mid West Branch Meeting 2017

South East Branch Meeting 2017

Monday 09 October 2017, 4:00pm

Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017 Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office

Wednesday 31 May 2017, 7:00pm

South East Branch Meeting 2017

Wednesday 11 October 2017, 09:00am

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

Location: Maldron Hotel Portlaoise

M&ECA Meeting

Monday 23 October 2017, 4:00pm Monday 12 June 2017, 4:00pm

Cork Branch IHBA Meeting 2017 Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office

Cork Branch IHBA Meeting 2017 Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office Tuesday 07 November 2017, 4:30pm

Monday 19 June 2017, 4:00pm

Cork Branch Executive 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 08 November 2017, 7:00pm

South East Branch Meeting 2017

Location: Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise

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

Monday 21 August 2017, 4:00pm

Wednesday 15 November 2017, 09:00am

Wednesday 28 June 2017, 09:00am

M&ECA Meeting

Cork Branch Executive Meeting 2017 Contact: Conor O’Connell Location: CIF Cork Office

M&ECA Meeting

Location: Maldron Hotel Portlaoise Monday 04 December 2017, 4:00pm

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

January/February 2017 CONSTRUCTION 71

training dates

CIF Training & Development CIF training and education programmes for January to March 2017 Course Title/Venue 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 Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD CIF Construction House, Little Island, Cork CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction CIF Construction House, Little Island, Cork   CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction full CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction Radisson Hotel, Galway ©   CIF IOSH Project  Supervisor Design Process CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   QQI Project  Supervisor Construction Stage CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6   QQI Project  Supervisor Construction Stage Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore Administration of Safety & Health at Work 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 CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6


Start Date

End Date

Course times

BCC 2921

24th. February Friday

24th. February Friday


BCC 2921

24th. February Friday

24th. February Friday


CSMP 2922

24th. February Friday

24th. February Friday

08.30am – 13.00pm

MSIC 2923

1st. March Wednesday

29th. March Wednesday

09.30am – 16.30pm

MSIC 2924

2nd. March Thursday

30th. March Thursday

09.30am – 16.30pm

MSIC 2925

6th. March Monday

3rd. April Monday

09.30am – 16.30pm

PSDP 2916

6th. March Thursday

7th. March Friday

08.30am – 17.00pm

PSCS 2926

8th. March Wednesday

22nd. March Wednesday

08.30am – 17.00pm

PSCS 2927

9th. March Wednesday

23rd March Wednesday

08.30am – 17.00pm

ASH 2928

09.30am – 16.30pm

BCC 2921

10th. March Friday

10th. March Friday


BCC 2921

10th. March Friday

10th. March Friday


CSMP 2929

10th. March Friday

10th. March Friday

08.30am – 13.00pm

CIF Site Supervisor Safety Programme CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6 CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD CIF Construction House, Little Island, Cork

SSSP 2930

13th. March Monday

14th. March Tuesday

09.00am - 17.00pm

CSMP 2931

24th. March Friday

24th. March Friday

08.30am – 13.00pm

CIF Site Supervisor Safety Programme CIF Construction House, Little Island, Cork

SSSP 2932

30th. March Thursday

31st. March Friday

09.00am - 17.00pm

CIF IOSH Project Supervisor Design Process CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

PSDP 2933

30th. March Thursday

31st. March Friday

08.30am – 17.00pm

CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD Radisson Blu, Galway ©

CSMP 2934

31st. March Friday

31st. March Friday

8.30am - 12.30pm

72 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2017

January/February 2015 CONSTRUCTION 22

January/February 2015 CONSTRUCTION 22

Construction magazine, January / February 2017  

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

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