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“Politicians Need to Understand How Construction Works”


Let there be no doubt, this is a pivotal moment for the construction industry in Ireland right now.  After a dysfunctional period of plenty, the global industry imploded and activity across the country came to an abrupt end.  Fast forward just a few years and not only has activity scaled up rapidly, it would appear that traditional construction firms are facing a very different environment.  Uncertainty is still very much present, in the form of Brexit and the wider global economy; however, there also exists major opportunities with the emergence of new technologies (BIM 2.0, robotics, AI and machine learning) and Modern Methods of  Construction (MMC). The true potential of these technologies is only beginning to be seen and while we are at early stages, progress is being made at an unprecedented rate.

At such an important time for the industry, I was fortunate to catch up with the industry leaders guiding member through this change for the current issue of Construction, the CIF magazine.  I have included a few highlights below, you can access the full articles and further industry news here:  https://cif.ie/construction-magazine/


Dominic Doheny – CIF President


“Our politicians need to understand how construction works; it works from under the ground up and despite talk of development that needs to happen above the ground, none of that can happen until the infrastructure is put in place.”


Hubert Fitzpatrick – Director, Housing, Planning & Development


“The most important thing for 2018 is to continue to grow output, as we have for the last two years. We have had a 45% increase in building activity over the past two years and we are looking to see how we can build up to 24,000 housing units in 2018”


Dermot Carey – Director, Safety and Training


“It is clear that the industry has undergone a cultural shift and I believe that this is the key.   As awareness grows, unsafe behaviour on-site is less and less acceptable. One of the most influential factors on this culture change is our annual CIF Construction Safety Week.  Buy-in from the industry is robust.”

Sean Downey – Director, Specialist Contracting


“The outlook for 2018 appears at this stage to be quite mixed. There is going to be continued demand for more construction output and at the same time a need for a smarter way to do business, i.e. more effective, productive work with less physical on-site resources. Construction companies will need to invest in the development of their current operational management structure in order to prepare for the digital transformation that is already underway, both nationally and globally.”


Jean Winters – Director, Industrial Relations and Manpower Services


“From an Industrial Relations perspective, 2018 is going to be a very challenging year.  There are a number of issues on the agenda at the moment that are going to be important issues.  One of the big issues on our agenda for the year is to see that measures are put in place to ensure compliance with the SEO.”


Martin Lang – Director, Main Contracting


“Looking ahead into 2018, the main challenge from a main contracting perspective is sustainable tendering.  We need to avoid the temptation for lowest price tendering and put the emphasis on best price tendering.  This is a client-led practice so the team here will be addressing this with both public and private sector clients, encouraging them to  recognise the value of early contractor involvement and to look at what best practice is in terms of tendering criteria, not just price.”


For access to the full articles and commentary, head over to https://cif.ie/construction-magazine/



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