Based in Donegal Town, Ferm Engineering Ltd is a leading mechanical and electrical engineering company operating almost 15 years now. Building Ireland heard all about the thriving company and its current projects recently from founder and Managing Director, Jim McCabe.
Ferm Engineering Ltd has enjoyed a steady growth since setting up shop in 2006 and the plan in Donegal Town is to continue the growth of the business.
Right now the company is immersed in work on the new Donegal GAA Centre of Excellence in Convoy, which is based around 40 kilometres outside the town of Donegal.
As of right now, Ferm Engineering Ltd, which is also known as FERM ENG LTD, is in the final stages of its work on the project which is valued at €250,000.
Company founder Jim McCabe gave Building Ireland the lowdown recently.
“It’s about 40 kilometres east of Donegal Town and we’ve done the mechanical, plumbing, heating and electrical work on it,” Jim explained.
“There are 80 showers in it and we’ve been working on it over 12 months now, so we’re in the final stages of it and it should be completed soon.”
Operating with 55 staff, Ferm Engineering Ltd was established by Jim to service the changing needs of the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors in relation to mechanical and electrical engineering, and the growing requirements for expertise in the renewable energy sector. The initials FERM stand for Facilities, Electrical, Renewables and Mechanical.
Having worked for over 25 years as facilities manager in a major pharmaceutical company, Jim himself has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this area. He holds third level qualifications in Electrical / Mechanical Engineering and Business Studies, and combines these with a hands-on and practical solution to every situation. Ferm Engineering can advise on the optimum solution to any engineering problem.
The company provides engineering support to high-end mechanical and pharmaceutical companies as well as to the educational and healthcare sectors. Its value proposition couples renewable and conventional technologies in a coherent fashion to maximise the benefits that renewable energies offer. Ferm Engineering’s mission is not just to sell products, but to supply successful solutions.
The family-run business has the facilities and expertise to prepare and develop drawings and specifications. It employs highly qualified and skilled craftspeople and engineers to carry out on-site installation work, and supplies a wide range of products in relation to the services it provides. The installation crew have senior trade certificates in either electrical or mechanical fitting disciplines, while the engineers in the design office are qualified to degree level and are members of Engineers Ireland.
Today the company which specialises in mechanical, electrical, facilities and renewables, which includes solar thermal, heat pumps, wind turbines and solar photovoltaic, has a number of on-going projects, particularly in the educational sector.
“Right now we’re doing a number of schools around the country,” said Jim. “We’ve a secondary school in Roscommon and then St Joseph’s Fairview in Dublin as well.
“We’ve work in IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT that we’ve just recently completed.
“It takes a lot of work to manage all the sites and we’re always looking at recruiting one or two more to add to our staff here. We use sub-contractors alright but we’ve always got our eye on adding more people permanently.”
Among the services offered by Ferm Engineering are facility maintenance, electrical contracting and renewable energy.
The thriving business venture offers a range of management services for commercial or industrial facilities from an on-going maintenance perspective.
It’s a 24/7 service which covers heating and air conditioning systems, electrical systems, production equipment, rodent control, landscape maintenance, waste management, housekeeping, major repairs and refurbishment.
“We do a lot of maintenance contract work for the pharmaceutical sector,” said the Managing Director.
Ferm Engineering also provides a full electrical contracting service that includes complete new build installation, complete building rewiring, fire alarm systems, security access and lighting systems, and IT cabling and networking for the commercial and industrial sectors as well as complete new build installation to your specification from standard installation to more advanced solutions, including home networks (Cat 5E / Cat 6), home cinema, surround sound, multi-room audio and CCTV for domestic customers.
Ferm Engineering brings together its expertise in both the electrical and mechanical engineering fields to put functional solutions together in the area of renewable energy.
The company holds a strong belief that by coupling together complementary renewable and conventional technologies in a coherent fashion, it can maximise the benefits and savings that renewable energies offer.
As a company, Ferm Engineering strives to deliver an excellent service on time, within budget and to the highest standards. It has successfully completed projects in the commercial, industrial, healthcare and educational sectors.
Repeat business has undoubtedly been a huge aspect of the company’s success to date, but when it comes to continued growth Jim says providing a consistently excellent service has been the key to success.
“I feel that we actually provide an excellent service to our clients,” he said. “We provide them with expertise when it comes to the work that we carry out and never take short cuts.”
To no surprise, Ferm Engineering places a strong emphasis on Health & Safety and complies with all regulations and codes of practice in relation to health, safety and welfare. All staff members receive regular training in this regard.
Jim is joined in the company by his son James, who is now a partner and cited by the founder as “a key person in the business”.
Ferm Engineering dovetails with McCabe Architects, which is run by another son, Declan. Also based in Donegal Town, the practice has undertaken a number of award-winning projects nationally and internationally, and has gained national acclaim for the architectural and cultural success of its ecclesiastical projects.
Looking ahead to 2020, Jim concluded: “The hopes are to continue growing the business and look at what we can do with our own organisation to make us more efficient.”
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, May/June 2020, Vol 6 No 3