The new M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy motorway bypass in County Wexford has officially opened to traffic. Three new sections of road combine to create the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy Public Private Partnership Scheme, the M11/N11 mainline, the N30 dual carriageway and the N30 mainline.
The scheme will result in reductions in travel times on the Dublin to Wexford route of approximately 15 minutes during off-peak times and 30 minutes during peak times.
The PPP contract was awarded to BAM PPP PGGM Iridium in October 2015. The design and construction activities were delivered by a joint venture between BAM Civil Ltd and Dragados Ireland Ltd.
Costing €400 million, the combined 39 km of the M11 motorway and associated roads have been under construction since January 2016 and have been completed on schedule with 1,850,000 person-hours completed on-site during the construction period.
The opening of the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy PPP Scheme was officiated by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD in the presence of Mr Cormac O’Rourke Chairman TII and Cllr. Michael Sheehan Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council.
Officially opening the motorway, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD stated, “The opening of the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy Motorway is yet more proof of the Government’s public capital programme being delivered. The M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy Motorway is a first-class piece of transport infrastructure. I thank all involved in the efficient delivery of the project and I wish all who travel on the road a safe journey.”
Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Michael Sheehan said the new road network was significant not just for Enniscorthy but for the county and southeast as a whole, “The opening of the new motorway is a significant milestone in Wexford’s story. We are open for development, growth and investment as Dublin is within easy reach. This provides new opportunities for Enniscorthy to expand, to rejuvenate the town centre and offer a new chance for the whole county to tell its story and redefine itself to a whole new audience. It is the challenge for this generation – one we must maximize and make the most of.”
The scheme includes fifty-seven new structures, including eight overbridges, five under bridges, thirty-one farm accommodation underpasses, and three Rail River bridges.
Cormac O’Rourke Chairman TII stated, “The completion of the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy motorway marks another significant milestone in modernising our national road infrastructure. It will improve road user safety as well as help to provide the southeast region of the country with the capacity to manage economic growth well into the future.”
Wexford County Council Chief Executive, Tom Enright said, “The extension of the M11 motorway 27 km to the south will bring great savings in travel times, improve traffic safety and will bring employment and investment into County Wexford and Enniscorthy town in particular”.
Pictured above: Tim Hesketh – MD BAM PPP UK & Ireland, Tadhg Lucey – COO BAM Civil, Javier Tuelon – MD UK&I Dragados & Theo Cullinane – MD BAM Ireland
The Health and Safety Authority reports that the construction industry is on track to have the lowest recorded workplace fatalities this year, with two recorded deaths in 2019 and 164 non-fatal workplace incidents in construction from January to June 2019.
These numbers are declining year on year, with 3 fatalities and 278 non-fatal incidents recorded by the HSA during the same period in 2018.
This trend has been lead by construction companies adopting behavioural, technological and psychological best-practice to embed safety on thousands of sites around the country.
Dermot Carey, Director, Safety & Training CIF said: “The construction industry is striving to make 2019 the year with the lowest recorded work fatalities. Any fatality is one too many. Every incident and fatality is poured over by construction companies to elicit learnings that are shared across the industry to improve safety.”
“The research will show that the moment you feel safe on site is the moment you can become complacent, so construction companies will constantly remind workers through a range of channels and practices to think about safety and act safely. Signs, warnings, toolbox talks, even accident re-enactments with actors are used to constantly remind workers of the importance of safety. At an industry level, we will run our annual Safety Week campaign to drive home the safety message,” said Dermot.
The Construction Industry Federation is officially launching Construction Safety Week 2019 which will run from 21st – 25th October. All 47,000 construction companies in the country are invited to participate and there’ll be a national ‘Stand Down for Safety’ to start safety week on sites across the country.
The CIF have teamed up with Rory O’Connor, more commonly known as Rory’s Stories, who has been conducting talks to construction workers around the country. Rory is very vocal about both physical on-site safety as well as awareness around mental health.”
Rory O’Connor, CIF Safety Ambassador said: “Worker’s mental health is a silent safety issue for construction workers. There’s over 145,000 people working in the industry and the vast majority of these are men aged between 20-50.
I believe it’s really important that they feel they can talk about mental health on site. I do believe mental health problems can lead to physical accidents on site by people not being in the right frame of mind.
I’ve been doing lots of Toolbox Talks about safety and mental health around the country and these have gotten a great response. I’ve had people come up to me after the talks and tell me their own stories, as well as messages on social media from people talking about their own stories, thankful that I am raising awareness of looking after your mental health. I do believe the stigma is starting to breakdown, but people need to understand that it is okay to talk about it with each other. When people think of safety on construction sites or in the construction industry, they think of hard hats, high vis jackets, glasses and gloves, but no one actually thinks about the person’s own mental health, which is obviously hidden to everyone. The key message we want to spread is of positive mental health and to let construction workers know it is okay not to feel okay. It’s perfectly acceptable to open up and ask for help.”
Physical injury and mental health awareness are not the only issues that CIF are highlighting. Those spending prolonged periods of time outdoors are at risk of developing skin cancer, with almost 90% of skin cancer cases in the construction industry preventable. For this reason, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and the Irish Cancer Society have joined forces to raise awareness of the inherent health risks associated with exposure of unprotected skin to the sun.
The CIF’s Safety Week 2019 takes place from October 21st to 25th this year. This coincides with European Safety Week, the theme of which is ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances’. This year’s CIF Safety Week themes are:
1. Mental Health and Wellbeing in Construction
2. Vehicle Risk & Safety in Lifting
3. Working Safely with Electricity
4. Working Safely at Height
5. Hazardous Substances
Thousand of construction workers will participate in safety related activities for the duration of the week.
Purcell Construction has been awarded the much sought after CPD Accredited Employer Standard by Engineers Ireland in recognition of their continuing professional development strategy.
Founded in 1988, Purcell Construction is a leading Irish building contractor with offices in Galway and Dublin. The organisation has successfully delivered award winning buildings in the commercial, healthcare, life science, residential, restoration and conservation, education and fit out sectors, including Dolphins Barn Regeneration Project for Dublin City Council and conservation and repair works to the iconic O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway.
At the parchment presentation at Engineers Ireland’s Headquarters in Dublin, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said: “I wish to congratulate Purcell Construction for their dedication to professional development and achieving CPD Accredited Employer status. The CPD Accredited Employer Standard recognises organisations which implement specific continuing professional development policies to support their engineers and technical staff. Professional development has become the keystone for companies to stay ahead of their competitors and at the forefront of their customers’ minds.”
Alan Lawless, Project Coordinator at Purcell Construction commented: “We are extremely proud to have been awarded the Engineers Ireland CPD Accredited Employer Standard. At Purcell we are committed to the highest standards of safety, quality and sustainability and this accreditation is an endorsement of our commitment to CPD.”
“The CPD Accredited Employer Standard has provided our organisation with a tried and tested framework on which our CPD programme can excel. Aligned with our overarching strategic aims, each of the requisite criterion provides a joined-up approach to assessing the CPD needs of our staff and tailoring training events to those needs. Together with Engineers Ireland’s CPD team we have developed a sustainable programme to upskill our people and improve the agility and competitiveness of our organisation.”
With over 100 employees, Purcell Construction is currently recruiting Graduate Engineers, Site Engineers, Senior Engineers and Project Managers to work on projects from their Dublin and Galway offices.
Pictured above: Purcell, Contracts Director, Nigel Tighe, Project Coordinator, Alan Lawless, Managing Director, Michael Bane and Construction Director, Gerry Dolan.
Tetrarch Capital has agreed to sell 84 units at Westpark Apartments on Garter Lane in Citywest to Clúid, Ireland’s largest approved housing body (AHB). Clúid will add the units to its portfolio of affordable social housing, consistent with its strategy of delivering 2,500 new social housing homes over the next 3 years.
Tetrarch acquired 80 aparthotel units in 6 blocks at Westpark in 2017. All units were in a very poor state of repair, and many were uninhabitable at the time. Tetrarch subsequently secured planning permission from South Dublin County Council to convert the six blocks from 80 aparthotel units to 84 residential units (34 x 1 bed, 44 x 2 bed and 6 x 3 bed apartments).
The first four blocks of 56 apartments have recently transferred to Clúid, with the final two blocks due for completion and transfer to Cluid before the end of the year. The four completed blocks are currently in the process of being occupied.
All units are being delivered to Clúid on a turn key basis, following a c.€10m refurbishment process by project contractor McKelan Construction on behalf of Tetrarch Capital.
The refurbishment works included new windows and doors, extensive fire stopping and protection, new balconies, and a full internal fit out, including new kitchens and bathrooms. A complete re-landscaping of the extensive estate common areas will occur before the final units are handed over to Clúid.
Michael McElligott, Chief Executive of Tetrarch Capital said: “We are very pleased to have agreed the sale of the Westpark Apartments to Clúid, helping turn a struggling aparthotel scheme into high quality, long term residential accommodation. Our refurbishment work, which is nearing completion, is transforming a former dilapidated development into 84 fine apartments in what is Dublin’s fastest growing suburb.
We have worked diligently with South County Dublin and Clúid adopting an innovative approach to deliver an excellent family friendly development that will address some of the housing shortage in South Dublin.”
Clúid’s Director of New Business, Fiona Cormican sais: “Clúid Housing is delighted to have agreed this deal with Tetrarch Capital which will improve the supply of social housing in West Dublin, an area of acute shortage. We look forward to helping new tenants at Westpark move off the local authority housing waiting list, and into a new home.”
Clúid is financing the project through a combination of loans from the Housing Finance Agency (HFA), and financial support from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
The Westpark Apartments are located adjacent to the golf course at Citywest Hotel, which is also owned by Tetrarch Capital. Tetrarch is advancing plans for the development of a scheme of apartments on a separate residential site it owns on Garter Lane.
Miesian Plaza, Baggot Street, Dublin 2, has secured LEED Platinum v4 Certification, the highest possible accreditation rating awarded by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), is the most widely-used green building rating system in the world. LEED is an independent building certification accreditation system run by the USGBC.
The USGBC has confirmed that Miesian Plaza is the first development in Ireland to be awarded LEED Platinum v4 Certification in any category. There are only 178 LEED v4 Platinum Buildings in the world and Miesian Plaza is the 179th Building. All other developments in Ireland submitted to the USGBC accreditation process opted back in 2015/2016 to seek LEED V.3 Certification.
There are four LEED certification levels, Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. LEED v4 was initiated by USGBC in 2013.
To secure LEED Platinum v4 accreditation, Miesian Plaza was assessed by USGBC for:
Location and transport;
Energy and atmosphere;
Materials and resources;
Indoor environmental quality;
Regional priority credits.
“We made a conscious decision when we acquired the property to ensure the three office buildings included in the development would secure the highest possible environmental and sustainability accreditation. Particular attention was also paid to ensure that high quality facilities and amenities for staff were put in place,” said David Torpey, Development Director, Remley Developments Limited.
Miesian Plaza includes three office buildings of approximately 240,000ft2 of Grade A office accommodation, constructed between 2014 and 2017, including tenant fit-out, all finished to an exceptionally high standard. Block 1 is occupied by The Department of Health, The Department of Children and Youth Affairs and The Department of Finance; and Blocks 2 & 3 are occupied by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. Remley is satisfied that its tenants will reap the benefit of the LEED Platinum Version 4 accreditation awarded to the development, by virtue that the energy consumption is substantially less than buildings which could not secure such LEED accreditation.
The Living City Initiative (LCI) is a tax incentive scheme designed to encourage people to live in the historic inner city areas of Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Galway and Kilkenny by giving tax relief on refurbishment costs. The scheme was introduced in early May 2015 and runs until May 2020, having been broadened in 2017 to include residential investors/landlords.
Up to 92 homes have been refurbished or are on course to be refurbished in the city centre because of the LCI.
Since its launch in 2015, there has been an increasing uptake each year of the tax incentive scheme in Cork City. Cork’s city centre population increased by 19% during the last census period and residential vacancy decreased by 26%.
A total of 69 properties are on course to be refurbished or have been refurbished since 2015 delivering 92 residential units. Uptake last year was the highest since the scheme began – with 24 applications.
Lord Mayor, Cllr John Sheehan said: “A measure of a housing scheme’s success is when local communities are seeking to have to it extended into their areas and that is happening with Living Cities. Such initiatives help create a vibrant and sustainable city. We need a variety of housing solutions and this is clearly one that is working”.
In the first half of 2019, 15 applications were received (9 of these during Q2), which is in keeping with the upward trend. Fifteen ‘LCI’ applications were received in 2017, 11 in 2016 and just two in the first year of the scheme.
Of the 67 applications made under the scheme to date (one application can relate to a number of properties), 53 have been granted first stage certification and 14 have been granted final stage certification. A total of 34 of the applications are owner occupier and 33 are rented out for residential usage.
The scheme applies to “pre 1915” properties located within designated areas of Cork City Centre and refurbishment costs includes labour & materials, professional fees and fixtures and fittings.
Mercury has announced that it plans to put 50 Trainee Data Technicians through a brand-new bespoke traineeship over the next three years.
As there is currently no national trade for Data Technicians, Mercury has created its own standard for would be technicians, who will undertake excellent technical education during their traineeship. Mercury’s Trainee Data Technicians will take part in a course that offers a solid mixture of onsite and offsite training.
The Trainee Data Technicians at Mercury will undergo a 3-year training programme whereby they will learn the principal roles and responsibilities of a Data Technician. Mercury’s trainees will work on key projects across a variety of clients’ sites, in Mercury’s newly created Data Technician Training Centre and with a variety of external training providers. Trainees will receive numerous accreditations from City & Guilds, CNET in addition to training and certification from all the major Global IT Infrastructure manufacturers on installation and commissioning, all of which are globally recognised.
Keith Foran, General Manager, Technologies at Mercury said “We are delighted to announce this fantastic new programme. This traineeship is a brilliant opportunity to offer an entry level role to 50 talented individuals who will form part of the next generation of data technology professionals.”
Technical Support Services
Mercury’s Technical Support Services (TSS) business unit provides highly specialist mechanical, electrical and ICT services to clients across Ireland and Europe. Its TSS experts have the in-depth knowledge to deliver a clients’ vision.
Structured cabling installations
Data centre upgrades & fit outs
Fire alarm & gas detection systems
Facility maintenance and;
The Digital Hub has signed a partnership agreement with SEAI to affirm its commitment to energy efficiency.
The Digital Hub Development Agency has now become a member of the Public Sector Energy Partnership Programme through which it will lead by example in its contribution to the Public Sector energy efficiency target of 33% energy efficiency savings.
The Programme helps public bodies to save money, improve the environment, and meet national energy saving obligations.
As a first-step The Digital Hub will conduct an Energy Audit of active buildings on its campus with a view to scoping an Energy Performance Contract for multiple buildings. The Digital Hub will also establish and implement a structured energy management programme and an action plan for energy efficiency projects to deliver energy savings in the short and long term.
Based in the historic Liberties area of Dublin city centre, The Digital Hub is an enterprise cluster for growing technology companies. Home to over 70 established businesses and employing almost 750 people, The Digital Hub is the largest cluster of digital media, technology and internet businesses in Ireland, providing a space for indigenous enterprises such as Bizimply, Good Travel Software, Sonru and Xwerx to scale and grow. Major global companies like Eventbrite, Lonely Planet and Software AG are also based in The Digital Hub along with industry organisations such as NDRC, Silicon Republic and Tyndall National Institute. The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival is also based at The Digital Hub.
Pictured above: Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO of the Digital Hub Development Agency, Gabriela Miralha da Silveira, Operations Manager, Digital Hub Development Agency and Jim Gannon, CEO of SEAI.
High Speed 2 will change transport in Britain. With a £55.7bn budget and a major scope of works for the years ahead to its operation in 2026 and beyond, there are opportunities for Irish companies on this major infrastructure project. For our ‘Big Build’ series Irish building magazine speaks to Robin Lapish, Supply Chain Manager at HS2 Ltd about the contracts awarded, what the client wants and the opportunities ahead.
HS2 is a high-speed railway which will bring the British railway system into the 21st century. HS2 with 345 miles of new high-speed track will connect the city centres of London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds. It will connect 25 stations and nearly 30 million people; nearly half the British population. This will be the “backbone” of the British rail network. Traveling at a top speed of 225 mph, making it easier to get to work and to travel for leisure, HS2 will support the regeneration of the towns and cities served, having a positive effect on regional economies.
Government funded, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited is the company responsible for developing and delivering the high-speed rail network. Irish building magazine speaks with Robin Lapish, Supply Chain Manager at HS2 Ltd to find out about the procurement on this major project and the opportunities that are coming in the years ahead.
HS2 is currently on the ground. Robin has been working on the project since 2014. He works in the Procurement & Supply Chain Department. HS2 Ltd is the client and project manager, in order to develop the infrastructure it needs the help of a large supply chain of companies. HS2 Ltd seeks the most innovative and cost-effective solutions that the construction industry can offer in order to provide value for money to the taxpayer. The prime objective Robin says is to ensure HS2 becomes a “catalyst for growth”, and to do that they require a partnership with the supply chain and want to work with the best. “As a public project funded by the taxpayer, HS2 must be procured in an open and transparent manner. For us to work with the best suppliers, we don’t discriminate by geography; procurement is open to international companies. HS2 Ltd wants to work collaboratively to deliver the best possible end product – a railway that is the most dependable, accessible and people-focused in the world and one that can unlock the true potential of the regions served.”
So far HS2 Ltd has committed to invest over £8 billion into contracts and this is set to double by 2020. Speaking to Robin, he says that today (February 6) HS2 Ltd has announced their preferred construction partners for their London stations. Euston in central London and in the north-west, Old Oak Common – this will be a new super hub linking to Heathrow Airport and Crossrail. The Euston contract will be awarded to Mace and Dragados, while the Old Oak Common contract will be awarded to Balfour Beatty and Vinci. This is £2.3 billion in contracts between these two stations. Robin says the contractors will work in partnership with HS2’s designers to coordinate the
delivery of the two stations. “The works will include delivering the structures, the platforms, the concourse; the links with other rail and tube stations. There are major spin-off benefits on HS2. Old Oak Common will kick-start huge regeneration in its north-west London area, potentially creating 65,000 jobs and 25,500 new homes.”
Robin says HS2 Ltd still has a number of contracts to procure for the railway systems. “These are the contracts that will turn what is a series of building projects into a railway: track, power, signalling, and telecom systems.” HS2 Ltd has undertaken market engagement over the past 3 years to find the best approach to these contracts. “They are very technically demanding and involve a lot of new technologies. In addition, we still need to buy the construction of two brand new stations for Birmingham, one in the centre and one at the airport interchange. We’re also well underway with procurement of our first train fleet what we call our ‘rolling stock’. The trains will provide passengers with a new benchmark in comfort and reliability. We will push the boundaries.”
For its civil engineering contracts, HS2 Ltd has used a two-stage Design & Build approach to construction to engage the expertise of contractors, Robin says. “We did this to get contractors on board early, because we realise the value a contractor can add to the design of a major project. This allows the exploration of different options before selecting the right solutions.”
Robin tells us about the 4 joint venture organisations undertaking 7 packages of work, which are geographical packages, along the Phase 1 line from Birmingham to London. These are at the detailed design stage; with designers working with the contractors to develop the best approach before moving on to the construction phase. These packages include sections of open route as well as tunnelling. The main scope here is around the earthworks. “There is a huge earthworks programme to be done on HS2. Over 100 million tonnes of earth will be moved, alongside the construction of structures, tunnels, and viaducts. There are over 300 bridges to be built from Birmingham to London. This is high-density civil engineering with obstacles and challenges in the form of existing railways and roads to weave through.”
The contracts awarded are outlined below, noticeably with some big names working on the project in joint ventures.
Main Works Civil Engineering Contracts
Below are the civil engineering services contracts along the Phase 1 route (London to Birmingham), including earthworks (embankments, cuttings and tunnels) and structures (bridges and viaducts). Seven contracts, potentially worth over £6bn in total, are divided geographically and are being delivered by four Joint Ventures. This includes options for Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe.
SCS JV (Skanska Construction (UK) Limited, Costain Limited, STRABAG AG)
Area South 1 (S1) Euston Tunnels & Approaches
Area South 2 (S2) Northolt Tunnels
Align JV (Bouygues Travaux Publics, VolkerFitzpatrick Limited, Sir Robert McAlpine Limited)
Area Central 1 (C1) Colne Valley Viaduct and Chiltern Tunnels
EK JV (Eiffage Genie Civil, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited)
Area Central 2 (C2) North Portal of Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley
Area Central 3 (C3) Brackley to South Portal of Long Itchington Wood Tunnel
BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Limited, VINCI Construction UK Limited, VINCI Construction Terrassement)
Area North 1 (N1) Long Itchington Wood Tunnel South Portal to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur
Area North 2 (N2) Delta Junction to West Coast Main Line tie-in at Handsacre
Enabling Works Contracts
Below are the enabling works contracts along the Phase 1 route. They include demolition, ecological works, surveys, utilities, site clearance, archaeology and road and water course activities. Three contracts, worth £900m in total, are divided geographically and are being delivered by three Joint Ventures.
CS JV (Costain Limited, Skanska Construction UK Limited)
Area South – Euston to Northolt Tunnels North Portal
Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure Limited, BAM Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited)
Area Central – Colne Valley Viaduct to Long Itchington Wood Tunnel South Portal
LM JV (Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited, J. Murphy & Sons Limited)
Area North – Long Itchington Wood Tunnel South Portal to Birmingham Curzon Street and West Coast Mainline tie-in
As we speak about London stations contracts announcement today, we hear HS2 Ltd is looking forward to working with their partners. This leads us to ask Robin about the client’s requirements.
For HS2 Ltd it is not just about what is delivered but how it is delivered. Robin says this is what will define the success of HS2. “Regardless of where companies appear in our supply chain, all companies have a contribution to make to our project goals. HS2 has developed seven goals, these define how we go about engaging with the supply chain. There are clear metrics that measure our progress and will help define our success. HS2 Ltd has to provide economic benefits in developing the railway, deliver value for money, create an exemplary customer experience, and upskill the workforce in the process. It is hugely important that companies tendering for work take note of our goals as they are critical to how HS2 Ltd and its contractors procure and select companies and measure performance over the course of the delivery phase.”
HS2 Ltd is designing High Speed 2 holistically for it to be maintained over the lifecycle of the infrastructure. Robin tells us that they require high standards with regards how the work is delivered. “Given the significance of HS2, we have a duty to raise the bar in how we go about undertaking a construction project, caring for the health, safety and wellbeing of our people throughout the supply chain, raising the bar in how workforce welfare issues are managed. Being a good neighbour is important to us and we care about the areas that our trains will travel through.”
There will be a green corridor of habitats along the HS2 routes, and an emphasis on green construction. “We have contracts to plant around 7 million trees and shrubs. We are looking for a 50% reduction in carbon in the building of our civil engineering and stations.” HS2 Ltd is pushing the supply chain to be efficient and environmentally friendly. It is not about price on this project, it is about value for money.
Robin’s message to companies who want to work in HS2 Ltd’s supply chain is to study and understand what it is they are trying to achieve. “We want companies to make a great effort in working with us to achieve our goals – to achieve an on time and on budget programme and to do so in a way which leaves a sustainable social, economic and environmental legacy. We want companies to come on HS2 and know that they are part of delivering a major milestone project and know that they are on a project that is raising the bar for not just delivery, but for customer service and customer experience. HS2 Ltd has a duty to do that.”
HS2 Ltd is open to new innovations and ideas on how to undertake work and to get advice from the supply chain, this includes SME companies. Robin tells us BIM is central to delivering HS2. “It is about how we use the latest in digital technologies to explore how we design, build and then operate the railway in a virtual world. BIM lets us test our ideas before we start on site. It enables us to explore how we can deliver on site more effectively using offsite methods, seeing how components can be manufactured away from the location and then brought to site with just-in-time delivery.” He says the supply chain has some learning and upskilling to undertake, and HS2 Ltd has a BIM upskilling tool for companies. “On our website we have the BIM requirements stating what we want from our supply chain. The majority of our supply chain will have some interaction with our BIM models.” BIM capability is not the only HS2 innovation.
Lean is a not a contractual requirement but is embedded in offsite construction and BIM, Robin says. “Lean thinking is welcomed as a mindset. Innovation capability is key for us when assessing companies. We developed an innovation hub which captures new ways of undertaking work to give better outcomes. All supply chain companies have access to this and we have created a bank of innovations which we can evaluate, develop and apply if suitable. HS2 Ltd is open to learning from manufacturing and taking innovative approaches from other major projects.” One example is the Thames Tideway and Crossrail projects where HS2 Ltd is looking at techniques and taking them forward. HS2 Ltd has examined manufacturing techniques and is eager to learn from this industry.
Once High Speed 2 opens in 2026, HS2 Ltd will be the infrastructure manager and the network operator. The maintenance contracts are yet to be determined but Robin says they are always planning ahead for the operation of HS2. “What we are doing now is working towards having infrastructure that can be maintained in the most efficient way possible, with minimum risk and disruption to passengers. We can make decisions now that will be beneficial in the long-run. Our train contracts will have a maintenance provision; some aspects of our rail systems may have a maintenance provision. There may be opportunities between now and 2026 and after we open for companies to tender for maintenance work.”
HS2 Ltd has developed an infrastructure monitoring and measurement strategy. “The way we have designed and planned on this project has allowed us to capture a lot of data on the assets we will be maintaining. One of the problems on existing railways is that there is not enough quality data on the asset that is being maintained. As High Speed 2 is new build, we have the opportunity to collect data on what is being installed and then plan for future maintenance.”
Opportunities for Irish companies
In 2016 HS2 Ltd hosted an event in Dublin in partnership with Enterprise Ireland; Robin speaks positively about the visit. “It was a massive success; we had 98 businesses and 140 delegates. HS2 Ltd went to provide information on what we were looking for on the project and spoke about our BIM requirements also.”
Irish building magazine asks what interested companies can now do to track the progress and opportunities on HS2. ”HS2 Ltd wants to hear from companies who have the skills the capabilities and the know-how. HS2 is a construction and engineering project but we are looking for companies from crane operators to caterers, product suppliers to archaeological firms.
“If you have interest in bidding for work, look at the HS2 Ltd supply chain website and see the opportunities and our requirements. If you are looking for contracts you can use the UK’s ‘Contracts Finder’ website where all the direct opportunities are posted. There is also a site called ‘CompeteFor’ which is a shop window for indirect opportunities through our supply chain. All our supply chain partners are required to post on this site. Companies can register online for HS2 Ltd’s quarterly bulletin which provides updates and information on the project. Please engage with us, send us your ideas, we have a special mailbox that we use to communicate with companies, firstname.lastname@example.org.”
This is a project with a lot of opportunities for Irish companies. In this article readers have gotten insight into one of the world’s major projects and the requirements of the client, a project less than an hour away by plane. With the advanced skills and innovation in the Irish construction industry, our companies can deliver at the top level and hopefully Irish building magazine will be covering Irish companies working on HS2 in future issues.
The content of this site is subject to copyright laws and may not be reproduced in any form without the prior consent of the publishers. The views expressed in articles do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. This article first appeared in Irish building magazine.
Propertybridges.com, a Peer to Peer lender to the property sector, has announced that it is bringing on further investment partnerships with Lagan Investments Ltd and Enterprise Ireland.
Lagan Investments Ltd are to become 10% equity shareholders in the business as well as supply up to 5 Million euros of additional lending capital in support of future new housing projects to the Property Bridges platform.
Since it’s official launch in September 2018, and with the initial support of NDRC (National Digital Research Centre) and closely followed by Enterprise Ireland (HPSU program), PropertyBridges.com and their community of lenders have already helped with finance for new home builds in Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford and Limerick.
The plan is to lend in every county across the country to over a 100 plus new housing development projects in the next 3 years to the tune of 150 Million euros. Property Bridges will achieve this with the help of the Irish public, currently over 2000 registered lenders with goal of 10,000 lenders in next three years . Aided by the new partnerships announced today with Lagan Investments and Enterprise Ireland and combined with our growing community of online lenders, we are now in a better position to fund developers and reach our housing development goals.
With the financial support and expert industry knowledge of its new investment partners, PropertyBridges.com aim to become the number one online marketplace for property development investment in Ireland over the next few years. They will achieve this by investing further in their technology, diversifying their investment offering, growing to 20 plus employees in the next 18 months and improving their in-house credit assessment, project monitoring and due diligence capabilities.
John Lagan, Lagan Investments said: “Lagan Investments have a strong track record in real estate and are delighted to partner with Property Bridges, which we consider to be a truly transformational business, helping to deliver much needed homes across Ireland. The highly experienced Property Bridges team have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of property development and lending, providing a simple solution which will help to address residential housing shortages nation-wide.”
Michael Browne, Senior Development Advisor, Enterprise Ireland said: “Property Bridges is a prime example of an Enterprise Ireland high potential start-up company with global ambition, developing innovative solutions to meet growing demand. Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with the Property Bridges since inception to develop a platform to address a gap in the market for housing development finance,while simultaneously aiding the creation of much needed homes. Through partnership with international investors, like Lagan Investments, the company has the potential to continue to successfully scale its operations in Ireland and beyond and we look forward to working closely with Property Bridges to optimise the company’s full growth potential.”
The general public have over 100 Billion euros in their deposit and savings accounts earning little or no interest. They can help solve the housing shortage nationwide while at the same time making a good return on their money
Lenders can lend into each loan from as little as €500 up to €100,000 or more and will return on average approx. 8%+.
Property Bridges through its lenders (the general public and select finance institutions) will raise this money for small developers, medium sized construction firms and private individuals and companies looking to develop housing and match them with thousands of lenders from the ordinary citizens of Ireland.
The old system was dominated by banks, middle men, and ultra-wealthy individuals. It’s an inefficient opaque system, that benefits the intermediaries and one which ordinary investors have no access to. Our platform removes middle-men, and for the first time unlocks this attractive asset-class for both small investors and institutional investors alike.
With technology and the direct investment model, borrowers can access funding faster and at lower costs.