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ContraCting sustainability rmi infrastruCture l



Lose the tunneL Vision thinking Long-term and irish ConstruCtion - aeCom



Changing the mind-set towards apprenticeships

What UK construction workers are thinking



Modest growth and stable profit margins

Stressing “social return on investment”



SMEs - The backbone of construction

7 major challenges to construction productivity

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Theresa you are not at the races! Who needs Theresa May, give me Maria Bailey any day! The Fine Gael TD has been busy working on ways to minimise the impact of BREXIT on the construction sector in Ireland. As chairperson of the Oireachtas Housing Committee, she knows that some 50% of plumbing materials and 30% of wood products used in Irish building projects are imported from the UK and that following any BREXIT withdrawal, building materials made in the UK would need to be certified to European Union standards. Maria Bailey states that Government departments are proactively working with companies relocating from the UK to Ireland in order to ensure their products still comply whilst also working with other UK companies to ensure their products continue to comply after BREXIT. Offsetting delays or additional charges is also an important aspect of these efforts. It is all about "BREXIT-proofing" the State’s current building policies. Another positive for me is the narrative that is emerging about BREXIT as an opportunity for Irish construction companies. Enterprise Ireland is carrying the torch on this one, suggesting that there are high-potential opportunities for Irish exporters in the UK construction sector notwithstanding challenges posed by BREXIT, not least thanks to the British government’s commitment to a £650 billion pipeline of construction projects. These opportunities for Irish construction companies are in a range of areas, including energy, waste, transport, telecommunications, and social housing and urban regeneration, says the State Agency. Having been sipping the Black stuff recently in Dublin I am sure Boris mentioned the positive gains open to Irish construction firms to Theresa in between her ABBA dance moves.

Michael Hayes Irish Construction Industry Magazine

Publisher: MCD Media Ltd. Managing Editor: Michael McDonnell Editor: Michael Hayes

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1st Floor, 103 Newtown Park, Malahide Road Industrial Park, Coolock, Dublin 17. Telephone: 01 8482286 Mobile: 087 4184353

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Š 2019. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers. The views and opinions contained in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers. The publishers do not accept responsibility for accuracy, errors or omissions in articles or advertisements, or for unsolicited reports or photographs. Reference in this publication to commercial products, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favouring by Irish Construction Industry Magazine. The views and opinions of authors and contributors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of Irish Construction Industry Magazine nor does it assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information contained or submitted.

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Cover Story



AECOM maintains that there’s no doubt that when they take stock of 2018 construction performance across the island of Ireland it was a case of two varying perspectives.

Features Industry Performance – The latest Ulster Bank Construction PMI report signalled a weaker expansion of the Irish construction activity.


Northern Ireland – Market analysis of business conditions in Northern Ireland show the construction sector was subdued at the start of 2019 amid Brexit uncertainty.


Rebuilding Ireland – We examine the ambitions of Rebuilding Ireland and look at what has been achieved so far in terms of social housing delivery.


House Building – CSO figures point to 5,522 new dwelling completions in Q4 2018, compared with 4,567 completions in Q4 2017, an increase of 20.9%.


Apprenticeships – The Government needs to roll out more initiatives to open up the number of apprenticeship places. There is also a need to change the mindset of parents, teachers and students about apprenticeships.

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European Construction – Europe's construction sector faces modest revenue growth and mostly stable profit margins in 2019.


Hardware Focus – SMEs are the backbone of the construction industry despite been frozen out of many public sector contracts, according to the hardware sector.


Housing Supply – According to Goodbody, it is estimated that there were 18,855 new dwelling completions in Ireland in 2018, the largest annual output since 2009.

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Social Procurement – Why a “social return on investment” should be an important part of the procurement process.

European Property – We are at a late stage of the property cycle, yet real estate is still sought after by investors,according to property firm Savills.

BREXIT – We have regularly covered the Irish construction perspective on the impact of BREXIT so it is interesting to get an insight into what UK construction workers are thinking.

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Jan/Feb 2019


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Killeen Road Depot Kileen Road, Dublin 12 TEL: 01 601 1500 WEB:

Santry Depot Old Airport Road, Cloghran, Co. Dublin TEL: 01 9018690 WEB:

Cork Depot Unit 10, Sarsfield Court, Silver Bullet Industrial Estate, Glanmire, Co. Cork TEL: 021 486 6400 FAX: 021 486 6610 WEB:

Galway Depot Airglooney Industrial Estate, Ballygaddy Road, Tuam, Co. Galway TEL: 093 60470 FAX: 093 60477 WEB:

Suppliers of:

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Westport1.qxp_Layout 1 26/02/2019 10:42 Page 1



Westport Equipment has been founded by two veterans of the equipment rental industry who between them have extensive experience in specialist product supply in both the UK and Ireland.


his exciting new team has partnered with a number of key suppliers of access, shoring, training, temporary fencing, crowd control barriers and formwork to ensure that they have the products to meet the demands of their customers. Already the business has taken delivery of nearly 1000 tonnes of rental equipment and has equipment on hire to access contractors in Cork doing retrofit work and several housing sites in Dublin. The first operational depot for the business is in Dunboyne Co. Meath. The business also has a training centre and the first scaffolding training course will run at the centre on the 6th March this year. The company is one of a select few who have an accredited trainer for these courses. The management team is made up of Liam Brew & Liam Spring; Liam Brew was the General Manager for an international shoring business which he grew from a start up to an Irish market leading position. Liam hired and sold equipment to many of the major infrastructure and many residential projects, examples include the Limerick Tunnel, Cork N25 South Ring road works, Dublin Airport T2, the Luas works in Dublin City Centre and the NUI Galway as well as many other projects all around Ireland. For the past three years Liam led a major modular building hire and sales business. Liam Spring has over ten years’ experience as a director in

multi-site rental businesses across Ireland and the UK that provided scaffolding, formwork, modular building, safety products, and shoring. He has extensive asset finance experience. The theme in this new business will be an enthusiasm for the customer, efficient business systems together with a passion for investing in modern rental fleet which the firm believes will make them a supplier of scale in their chosen product areas.

Jan/Feb 2019

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rossing the River Great Ouse, the viaduct is the first UK project with offset V-shaped piers, which posed some unique challenges to the work. One of these major challenges was constructing the foundations for the V-shaped piers. The section across the River Great Ouse is supported by two of these piers, one at either side of the river, which are supported by foundations stretching into the water. This presented a unique challenge for VolkerFitzpatrick. Each pier sits on a piled foundation, placed within a cofferdam that stretches out into the river itself. However, during the planning phase, VolkerFitzpatrick identified that the loads to be placed on the cofferdam base slab would be too heavy for the ground conditions to support. VolkerFitzpatrick worked with Sword Construction and RMD Kwikform to find a solution. Due to the intricacies of the viaduct and V-Piers, 3D printing was utilised to provide a real-life, physical picture of the solution. This visualization allowed the team to streamline the planning process and physically see the working area, allowing them to plan the best way to manoeuvre equipment into the cofferdam. Ian Hawkesford, Engineer at RMD Kwikform, said: “One of the biggest challenges was forming the piers, due to the offset nature of each side of the ‘V’, the stop ends are not perpendicular to the main formwork, which creates issues when it comes to tying the stop ends in place. “With each pier being built within a cofferdam, space was always at a premium. During discussions aimed at reducing load pressures on the cofferdam, we came to the conclusion that the best solution was to pour the V piers in two separate pours. Tying through the face of the structure wasn’t permitted and was not possible on the internal faces; so, conducting two separate pours allowed us to keep the amount of propping to a minimum within the footprint of the cofferdam.” RMD Kwikform supported the project with their newly launched visualization tool, LocusEye. This allowed the team to


Jan/Feb 2019

visualize the solution with VolkerFitzpatrick and Sword, rectifying any potential issues ahead of time. In addition, through the physical modelling, it allowed for engineers to better understand the tolerances and the movement of equipment. This 3D modelling technique played a key part in the development and design phases of the project. Due to the viaduct’s very complicated geometric structure, which proved difficult to accurately model in two dimensions, RMD Kwikform created over 120 different drawings to highlight the varying dimensions and curvature of the structure, leading to the model being 3D printed. One major positive for the project was the existing relationship between Sword Construction and RMD Kwikform. Sword are a well-known and respected Formwork Contractor within the Civil Engineering sector and have worked extensively with RMD Kwikform on a number of projects, including Biomass plants in Snetterton and Tilbury, the Ipswich Tidal Barrier and the Astmoor Approach Viaduct as part of the Mersey Gateway project. This previous experience with both RMDK and its products resulted in easier construction and allowed the project to progress more smoothly. Commenting on the project, Luke Daley, Contract Manager for Swords Construction UK LTD: “The V piers are very unusual and challenging, but RMD Kwikform has shown its expertise in developing a solution for the safe construction of the V Piers and bridge. RMD Kwikform have had an extremely high level of engineering input into the project, with the team performing regular site visits to support. “In addition, RMD Kwikform developed special formwork to expand the capabilities of the Superslim Soldiers. The special equipment included a curved soldier for the base of the V Pier, angled brackets for access and angled wedges for the stop end shutters.” For more information, please visit

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n the event of a fire, the dampers should close immediately to prevent the spread of fire and smoke through the ducting or open when needed to enable smoke extraction. The way they are controlled plays a vital role in keeping escape routes clear and allowing access for fire-fighters. Safegard Systems fifth generation system, the V5 intelligent addressable life safety damper system is a flexible and sophisticated package designed specifically for the control of smoke and fire dampers. Unlike most fire alarm systems, a dedicated panel can monitor damper end switches and does not assume that, simply because power has been removed, the dampers have reached a failsafe position. The system has been updated to add several important new features to its widely used predecessor V4, which already provided the ability to manage multiple dampers from a single simple interface without the need for additional hardware. Safegard Systems believes this is critical for the safety of buildings and can also provide lifetime cost savings for building owners. reliability The V5 employs a solid-state embedded computer for reliability and is simple to use and install. It is based around a two-core network cable that communicates with the local interfaces at each damper. This significantly reduces wiring costs compared to more conventional hard-wired solutions. Heat and smoke detectors can be fitted directly into the damper interface, either to control the damper to which it is fitted or other dampers within the system. It can also be linked to a local test switch enabling dampers to be conveniently and easily tested remotely or via the test function available at the panel. The system can also be scheduled to automatically test dampers on a regular basis and provides remote access for checking and maintenance. The V5 is designed to work on interoperable open protocol platforms and can also be linked to the building management system (BMS) via RS485 or BACnet. This open system approach provides considerable lifecycle benefits to the end client for ongoing operation and maintenance. The control system consists of a 15-inch embedded panel computer, UPS and preloaded software, which is extremely user friendly. The server architecture reduces commissioning

time, simplifies operation and allows scope for future changes to the building and its HVAC systems. It also provides full diagnostics for system and device integration. In many cases the fire alarm system is used to control dampers, but this strategy does not offer the flexible and sophisticated operation that is built into the V5 system. More basic approaches simply shut every damper in the building in the event of a fire whereas the V5 offers control of each individual damper. This allows system designers to provide users with a more strategic and targeted approach for fire compartmentalisation, pressurisation and smoke extraction. “There is growing awareness across the Irish building sector of the need to provide a more flexible and sophisticated approach to fire and smoke control,” said Stephen Martin, Head of Sales & Marketing at Safegard Systems. “As a result, more people are looking for expert advice and tailormade solutions that fit their fire safety strategies. They want a sophisticated approach, but one that is also easy to use – and works quickly and automatically in the event of a fire to support the emergency services. The Grenfell Tower inquiry has clearly exposed the inherent dangers in simply looking for the cheapest solutions. It never makes sense to cut corners when it comes to fire safety and using a purposely designed product for life safety damper control provides peace of mind. However, it can also deliver major cost savings over the lifecycle of the building by cutting maintenance costs and easing access,” added Mr Martin. safegard systems | unit 33 southern Cross Business Park | Bray | County Wicklow | a98 ht99 | ireland Phone: + 353 1 2761600 Jan/Feb 2019

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ocusing on practical engineering solutions, supported with advanced technology and the latest in modern supply processes, Ridgeway have the capacity to handle large or small projects and the flexibility to deliver quality products on time and within budget. We supply a wide variety of bespoke architectural press gratings and perforated planks. These are widely used in construction, engineering and manufacturing environments due to their versatility, aesthetics and functionally. These are also often used in architectural applications such as façade cladding, brise soleil, sun screening or balustrade infills. The vast range of product applications means that the number of permutations is endless. We stock wide ranges of expanded metal mesh, welded wire mesh and perforated metals. Expanded Metal Mesh is a unique material with a fascinating production process, which can turn any ductile solid metal into thousands of varieties of mesh.

For more information on the full range of metal mesh products stocked by ridgeway call our ashbourne office on: +353 (01) 802 7173 or our Belfast office on: + 44 (0) 2890 454599 or email us on or visit nationwide delivery available. Our weldmesh can be manufactured in both roll and panel forms with vertical and horizontal wires electrically welded at each intersection providing a very strong and versatile product. We stock a wide range of sheets, stocked in pallet quantities in a variety of wire diameters and mesh sizes. Precision Perforated Metal is one of the most exciting developments in architecture today. The very latest technology in laser perforation allows complex designs from photographs to be punched into steel panels creating unique facades and cladding for building exteriors. We supply woven architectural mesh, it is available in many different patterns. Each has its own characteristics and optional effect, with specific degrees of density, texture or transparency. In addition many of these patterns are self-supporting which therefore reduce both cost and complexity of fabrication and installation. Ridgeway also offer a wide range of perimeter fencing, temporary fencing and gabions solutions to suit your landscaping and specialist sports fencing needs.


Jan/Feb 2019

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JONES ENGINEERING OBTAIN BIM LEVEL 2 BSI KITEMARK™ FOR PAS 1192-2:2013 Jones Engineering, a leading international engineering contractor has received the BSI Kitemark™ for BIM Level 2 in accordance with PAS 1192-2:2013 (Design and Construction) certification from BSI (British Standards Institution), one of the most respected and reputable standards and certification providers globally. Jones Engineering successfully passed the audit held in November 2018 making them the first Irish engineering contractor to hold a BSI Kitemark for BIM (Design and Construction) certificate that covers Mechanical, Electrical and Fire Protection systems. The BSI Kitemark builds on the Verification scheme that Jones Engineering successfully obtained at the end of 2017 for BIM Level 2 covering PAS 1192-2:2013 (Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling). It demonstrates that their BIM processes, procedures and management systems on completed projects are fully in compliance with the standards set out within PAS 1192-2:2013 which also includes meeting the requirements of BS 1192:2007+A2:16 and BS 1192-4:2014. This BSI BIM Kitemark™ will also have a direct association with the new ISO Standards of BS EN ISO 19650-1 and BS EN ISO 19650-2 which were published on the 18th January. This means that the transition from PAS1192-2 over to the ISO 19650 standards should be a seamless transition, with minimum impact on Jones Engineering aligning to these new ISO standards. Andy Butterfield, Product Certification Director of Built Environment at BSI said: “Huge congratulations to Jones Engineering for achieving the BSI Kitemark for BIM Design and Construction (PAS 1192-2). We’re delighted to have supported the team with this achievement which demonstrates their commitment to best practice. In a competitive marketplace, organizations delivering BIM projects need to find a way to differentiate themselves, regardless of whether they are tendering for public or private sector projects. Progressing from BIM verification to the BSI Kitemark has enabled Jones Engineering to build their business in the new era of digital technology and access global markets, giving its clients the reassurance that they are working with partners operating at the highest possible standard.” John O’Brien, BIM Manager, Jones Engineering said: “It’s a

fantastic achievement for Jones Engineering, as very few organisations have obtained this BIM Kitemark of excellence. It shows that Irish companies are embracing Digital Engineering and are delivering BIM Level 2 projects to the highest of standards. Our focus is now about consistency, together with maintaining this Continuous Improvement philosophy within our BIM strategy.” Jim Curley, Group Chief Executive, Jones Engineering said: “The BSI Kitemark is an acknowledgement of our commitment to consistent and demonstrable workflows for BIM. The focus BSI places on continuous improvement and engagement ties in with our core values and reflects our belief in added value for our clients. Relationships are the lifeblood of our company and strengthening these throughout the project delivery process is of utmost importance.” As well as achieving this high standard, Jones Engineering have been presented with a number of awards in recent years recognising their approach, delivery and innovations within BIM. With fast-track schedules and increasing project complexities becoming the standard in the industry, having independently tested and verified BIM procedures leads to greater efficiencies and value, going beyond all project expectations. Jones engineering are currently recruiting Bim detailers for their mechanical, electrical and sprinkler divisions. interested candidates are invited to send a copy of their CV to

ROBOT IS A WINNER! In a remote part of Colombia, there is an area full of tunnels into the Earth, owned by Operadora Minera S.A.S. and it is in these tunnels that 3.5 tons of gold are hauled out of per year. With the help of dynamite, rails and large 32" w × 96" l × 48" carts, three men work to load 3 – 4 tons of blasted material by hand into the carts, normally two, per day. The blasted material is then processed further to find the gold hiding within. Campo Elías Gómez Merchán, Director General of Operadora Minera, and his team were looking for ways to increase worker safety, alleviate stress on workers' bodies and increase the amount of material generated during a shift. After a lot of research into various solutions, they started looking at electric demolition robots as they can execute the manual digging and hauling tasks the workers were performing, thus moving the workers away from hazardous areas. The robot's compact size enables it to be used in tight spaces, while its steel track helps the machine move over sharp rocks and withstand the hot, humid environment (rubber tracks would crack or could be cut). The availability of different attachments enables the machine to switch between breaking loose rock from the sides of the tunnel walls and excavating the fallen rock. The electric-power does not produce harmful emissions, keeping workers safer. All these features help Operadora Minera accomplish their goals, but now the decision of what robot to choose. Gómez Merchán looked at a Husqvarna DXR 270 demolition robot. After putting the robot through a rigorous test in the mine to see if it could withstand high heat, swinging large loads of material that could stress a machine, as well as how well it manoeuvered and ease-ofoperation, Gómez Merchán and his team ultimately decided the

Husqvarna DXR 270 demolition robot would be the robot for the job. It is powerful, agile, easy-to-operate and they were impressed by the level of service and support Husqvarna offered with the machine. After the robot was sent, Johan Ekström, Product Manager, Demolition Robots from Husqvarna Construction Products – Americas, followed and after training four operators the basic operation and maintenance of the DXR 270, the operators then strted to learn how to perform the specific tasks the DXR would handle in the mine. This included using the bucket attachment to dig, pick up and unload the material in carts all at a 35 degree angle as well as learning maneuvering and balancing the machine at different levels. The four operators have passed their practice plan evaluation and the DXR and agile operators are accomplishing in two hours what it took the three man team to manually load during a 12 hour shift. Needless to say, everyone was pleased with the result. The DXR is able to increase the mine's efficiency as well as increase worker safety. A winwin! For demonstration contact: Jan/Feb 2019

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DURABLE WEATHER RESISTANT MDF CREATES STUNNING ROOF TERRACE AND BBQ AREA A once neglected roof terrace on the top of a luxury private residence in South Kensington, London, has been transformed by Paul Newman Landscapes, using MEDITE® TRICOYA® EXTREME (MTX) in two exciting applications. The ground-breaking, weather resistant, outdoor MDF panel was used both as an underlay for artificial grass in the garden area and to construct a BBQ unit- both of which have been, and will continue, to be exposed to the elements in all seasons. Landscape Designer Paul Newman, however, is totally confident in his decision: “The reputation of MTX precedes it.” he said, “I had only heard good things about MTX before using it for the first time on this project. After achieving such great results here, I have used it widely on many projects with confidence ever since.” Paul Newman Landscapes, based in Hertfordshire, was commissioned to design, build and install all elements of the £85,000 project for the private penthouse residence. It encompassed a leisure garden with privacy screening, a children’s play area and a lounge and dining space, including the BBQ installation. The BBQ unit is unrecognisable as MDF, appearing strong, tidy and finished to a high standard in an RAL navy blue tone. Paul explained: “The BBQ itself is safely self-contained. The entire unit features a granite worktop, while the front and sides are all MTX. There are also stainless-steel inserts running through the structure for support.” “It was quite a task,” he revealed, “as it was a central London site, on the rooftop of a prestigious building. There are permits to navigate and certain criteria to meet. “In specifying MTX, though, there was no fuss from the council and all plans were agreed to quickly. The panels, supplied by James Latham, were hoisted into place with the use of a mobile crane, and all materials were on site in one day, so we could get to work quickly.” A BBQ is one thing, but laying an artificial lawn over MDF is quite another. Paul explained how this idea came into effect. “MTX is extremely dense and smooth, friendlier to the environment than plastic on account of it producing less waste and the fact that it is manufactured with FSC certified timber,” he said. “Furthermore, its 50-year guarantee above ground, and even below artificial grass, makes it extremely reliable. These were all the

specifications we needed.” “You can shape it, cut it, paint it, drill it—and it will still perform the same. So, we simply drilled drainage holes into 18mm thick panels which were then screwed directly onto joists and the artificial grass bonded to this. “It’s also extremely helpful that MTX is readily available in a range of thicknesses & sizes, which we make good use of. It can be finished in any colour, giving us choice and versatility.” “All in all, this is a panel you can trust in terms of longevity and performance,” Paul surmises. The end result of this project is an opulent roof terrace that encourages relaxation in an ambiance of private calm. A soft colour palette of blues and greys, offset with ambient lighting produce a luxurious, serene space, while the amenity of cooking facilities mean endless summers can be spent up here, away from the bustle below. Paul Newman Landscapes has been in business for over 20 years, since 1993, Designing & creating beautiful gardens, terraces and bespoke landscaping. Paul is a member of APL (Association of Professional Landscapers) and PGCA (Professional Garden Consultants Association). keep up with them on instagram @paulnewmanlandscapes or visit discover more about medite triCoYa eXtreme here:


John Paul Construction is pleased to announce a number of key appointments to its senior leadership team. Liam Kenny and John Moran have been appointed to the board as Construction Directors. Liam has 24 years of experience in the industry, and since joining the company in 2004 has operated at senior management level. In 2011 he was instrumental in establishing Absal Paul Contracting in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and as Operations Director was involved in the strategic management of the company. Liam has a track record of delivering complex projects for global multinational organizations in R&D, pharma, data and logistics as well as in the commercial and residential sectors. Over the past 25 years John has been involved in the delivery of major construction projects across a broad range of sectors including commercial, retail, hotel & leisure and residential. Prior to joining the company in 2014, he held senior leadership roles both in main contracting and in property development involving major landmark projects. In line with the further development of the senior management team the company is also pleased to announce the following appointments at Associate Director Level: Niall O’ Connor, Associate Director Construction


Jan/Feb 2019

John moran (Construction director), niall o’Connor (associate director),

mark Coatsworth (associate director), eamon Booth (managing director),

michael kelly (associate director) and Liam kenny (Construction director)

Mick Kelly, Associate Director Planning / Bid Management Mark Coatsworth, Associate Director Pre-construction / Technology Eamon Booth, Managing Director, commented: ‘These appointments will further strengthen our senior leadership team and ensure we continue to have the strategic and delivery expertise to fully capitalize on opportunities in the market and pursue our strategy for growth over the coming years.’

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Irish Construction Industry Magazine  

January/February 2019

Irish Construction Industry Magazine  

January/February 2019