Building Britain 2019

Page 14


Irish Post

Building Britain 2019


Irish Up & Comers 2019 PÁDRAIG BELTON Reports on who to watch in Construction in Britain The Irish construction sector saw 10,600 new people join the industry in 2018, bringing the workforce’s current fighting strength to 145,500, the Construction Industry Federation says. But the sector still badly needs more civil engineers, construction project managers, quantity surveyors, and mechanical and electrical engineers, says the CIF’s Jeanette Mair. And this is only to meet demand in Ireland. Fortunately, though, constellations of up and coming stars are appearing in the Irish sector—with many of them also lending a hand in building Britain, too. Up and coming Irish building professionals hard at work on British projects this year include promising figures like these:

1. FLAN MCNAMARA For the Kilrush native who oversaw construction of the Shard, you’d think he’d rest a year or two on his laurels. But

now he’s launched straight into a £150 million tech hub for Spanish banking giant Santander, with the development firm Vanguard Real Estate he joined in December 2017. The new workplace campus, accommodating over 5,000 employees, is slated to open in 2022 in Central Milton Keynes. The design, by architects LOM, consists of three naturally-lit, connecting atria, maximising natural light and ventilation, and encouraging direct connections with nature. McNamara peeled potatoes in his parents’ fish-and-chip chop in Kilrush as a child. After his father and uncle died when he was very young, in the late 1960s, his mother emigrated to London to find work. He began working with his uncle Dessie, a construction foreman in Camden Town, and trained as a mechanical and electrical engineer. He says he owes his start to a four year apprenticeship under chief engineer Frank Tipples, whose wife was Irish.

Flan McNamara This led to work in Oman and Yemen in the 1980s, followed by Heathrow’s Terminal Three in 1986, and a succession of major projects after across Canary Wharf, the City, and Barcelona’s Olympic stadium, alongside Ray and Des O’Rourke.

2. IAN O’CONNOR Energy manager at John Sisk & Son. Sisk has set a goal of a three percent annual reduction in its energy consumption, and in December 2018 produced its first Carbon Report, detailing the company’s carbons emissions. He points out Sisk is the first Irish business to join EP100 (Energy Productivity 100), a global energy efficiency initiative, run with the Climate Group, in which 39 businesses have committed to doubling their energy productivity by 2030. O’Connor says he and his colleagues are “proud to be leading the way in demonstrating climate leadership”

3. NIALL KANE Niall Kane head of smart places at Watford-based VINCI Construction UK

Head of smart places at Watford-based VINCI

Construction UK. A 2003 Trinity graduate, Kane returned to university to study architecture at the Dublin Institute of Technology. He went quickly on to be head of innovation at Murphy Surveys, followed by two years as a digital engineer at Skanska. Kane now leads and manages VINCI’s digital engineering team, who he has convinced his company to refer to as “digital avengers”, each with specialist superhero digital and engineering skills. He also was a judge in the 2019 Irish Construction Industry Awards.

4. LYNN LAMBE Founder of Little Lambe Consultancy in Dublin. A marketing consultancy firm for the Irish construction industry, the DIT graduate says she spotted a gap to provide on the ground marketing help for Irish firms looking to grow their brand in Britain. “I realised there was a gap in the market for an agency who dealt with just construction businesses,” says Lambe. It’s all been a whirlwind journey for the 28 year-old South Dublin native, who comes