A winning Ethos

5 Dec , 2019  

It speaks volumes for the excellence of the design team at Ethos Engineering that the award-winning M&E consultancy had not just one but two of its senior engineers shortlisted for the prestigious Designer of the Year award at the 2019 Irish Construction Industry Awards which took place in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin on Thursday, June 13 last.

Bragging rights were on the line when Gavin Murphy and Anthony Clifford went up against each other and three other nominees at the annual awards ceremony which recognise and reward companies who strive for excellence within the sector.

As it turned out, Gavin won Designer of the Year, while Ethos Engineering retained the Engineering Firm of the Year Award.  Since its inception in early 2005, Ethos Engineering has established itself as Ireland’s leading mechanical and electrical design consultancy with offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway and London, and 85 employees. Committed to producing designs that are detailed, innovative, practical, efficient, socially responsible and sustainable, the company is no stranger to success and has the awards to prove it. Only last November, Ethos Engineering was named Fit Out Professional Consultancy of the Year at the 2018 Fit Out Awards, while it won the Consultancy of the Year award for three years in-a-row (2015, ’16 and ’17) and the Engineering Firm of the Year accolade at last year’s Irish Construction Industry Awards.

Other recent achievements include the first and largest LEED commercial interiors Platinum rating in Ireland for Google and the first BREEAM Very Good rating for a prison in Ireland.

“We’ve won a number of awards and it’s great to have two more to celebrate,” smiles Gavin, who became an associate director of Ethos Engineering two years ago.

“We’re obviously doing something right when there was two of us from the same office up for the same award. The nominations are more of a reflection on the great work of our design team than anything else. Everyone is a team player.

“We’re a young, ambitious and dynamic company which is passionate about our work and ensuring that our clients are 100% happy. We strive to not only meet expectations, but to exceed them.”

Gavin is a chartered engineer with over 11 years’ experience in the management and delivery of building services and sustainable design solutions. He graduated from DIT Bolton Street with a Bachelor of Engineering in Building Services in 2007 and then completed a Masters in Building Services Engineering with London South Bank University in 2013. He joined Homan O’Brien Associates in 2007 and acted as mechanical engineer on the Mater Adults Hospital which was awarded Association of Consulting Engineering Ireland (ACEI) Award for Excellence in 2014.

Gavin moved to Auckland, New Zealand in 2011 where he took up a position with Beca Ltd. There, he provided M&E project management and delivery for commercial, high rise and mixed-use developments in Auckland and in Jakarta, Indonesia. He joined Ethos Engineering in August 2016 where he has led the delivery of retail, residential, student accommodation and commercial developments in Dublin.

Runner-up for the ACEI Emerging Professional Consulting Engineer of the Year award last year, Gavin’s nomination for the 2019 Irish Construction Industry Awards was based on three recent projects he has successfully delivered. He acted as building services lead for Ethos on Blackpitts Student Accommodation in The Liberties which consisted of 296 student accommodation beds over 12,000m2 and with a total construction cost of approximately €43 million. The project was a design and build contract where Ethos’ client was BAM, who in turn had a contract with Global Student Accommodation, who are another important client for Ethos and therefore it was especially important to ensure a smooth project.

The brief consisted of delivering an energy efficient building, with BREEAM accreditation and one which could be operated and maintained efficiently. The project was successfully handed over to Global Student Accommodation following practical completion in August 2018.

Gavin acted as lead mechanical engineer on the Grade A office development, The Reflector (8 Hanover Quay), and high-end residential development (Hanover Walk) at 8 Hanover in the Dublin Docklands from 2016. The project consisted of a six-level office block of approximately 12,000m2 and 40 apartments with a contract value of about €100 million. The commercial development reached practical completion in November 2018 and the residential in May 2019.

The project planning presented a significant challenge in that it restricted the extent of and the height of MEP plant and equipment on the roof. The solution in the end was to provide sunken cores and to specify bespoke low height dry air coolers for the roof so that the plant would not be visible above the parapet. This required significant coordination with the architects to ensure the interior of the core was not compromised and a functional space could be provided on the roof.

The third of Gavin’s projects was a confidential Dublin City Centre offices build where he acted as mechanical engineering lead for a fit out which started in early 2017 and reached practical completion in 2018. This project consisted of a full commercial kitchen, workspace, conference room and cafes over seven floors, approximately 7,000m2 and a contract value of €7 million.

Although the project might be considered small when compared to other fit out projects, it was extremely complex and needed to be at an extremely high pace. This demanded a high level of collaboration with many stakeholders to ensure the designs met the client brief with regard to worker comfort, maintainability and operational efficiency as well as design detail so the project could be delivered efficiently by the contractors on site.

At 32, Anthony Clifford is a few years younger than Gavin. He began his career by gaining experience working as a commissioning engineer with Spectrum Engineering while studying for his degree in 2007. He worked on a variety of projects, including pharmaceutical, office fit outs and healthcare. Working as a commissioning engineer encouraged Anthony to progress his career and gave him the confidence with practical, on site knowledge which many students didn’t have during their time in college.

Anthony graduated in 2011 from DIT, Bolton Street with an honours degree in Building Services Engineering. He then took the opportunity to gain overseas experience working with the international consultancy, WSP in Perth, and Q Electrical in Brisbane. Taking on additional responsibilities for detailed design elements saw him advance quickly in both consultancies and gain a wide range of design experience in mechanical and electrical services design, including AutoCAD drafting.

Anthony returned to Ireland in 2013 and worked for a start-up company called Klondike where he diversified his skillset further with exposure to financial management, project planning and client relationship management. He frequently travelled to the Middle-East for face-to-face meetings and successfully sourced funders to invest in the company.

In 2015, he joined Ethos Engineering as a design engineer. He was entrusted to act as lead mechanical engineer on a host of projects where he gained a deeper understanding of the industry and building services project delivery. Anthony has managed a variety of office fit outs ranging in scale and delivered all with complete professionalism. His role is to design and lead projects from start to finish. He is also in the final year of a distant learning Masters in Building Services Engineering Management with Brunel University and is in the process of undergoing Chartership through CIBSE to gain CEng status. Anthony was also a finalist for the Young Designer of the Year at the Fit Out Awards in 2018, the only MEP engineer in the category.

Anthony had led nine projects to successful handover, within budgets and on time, in the past year alone. The standout ones were Grant Thornton in City Quay, BPFI Office Fit Out, Perrigo Office Fit Out, TD Securities Office Fit Out and CBRE Office Fit Out. In 2018, he handed over a total of 22,500m2 of net lettable office space along with 33 apartments with the overall contract value being €30.81 million.

In terms of innovative engineering that Anthony experienced last year was the tri-generation feasibility study for a new client. This required extensive research which created an opportunity for him to demonstrate his understanding of the renewable technology. Tri-generation was explored to better understand its requirements and how effective if could be based on historical metered data. The building thermal and electrical loads were analysed and a CHP unit was selected based on assessing the thermal and electrical profiles which Anthony created and modelled himself. The information was presented to the client through consultant advice documents, a separate report and also a PowerPoint presentation. This innovative design approach allowed the client to better understand the technology and Anthony was able to advise if the client should proceed based on findings such as equipment cost, loss of net lettable area, expected payback period, system behaviour, maintenance requirements etc.

Ethos Engineering continues to go from strength to strength by providing unrivalled mechanical and electrical consultancy services to the residential, commercial, retail, data centre, sports, leisure, micro-electronic, healthcare, educational, municipal, high tech and pharmaceutical sectors. The company takes pride in delivering superior services, while paying careful attention to detail in order to achieve the best solutions. A team player, Ethos has developed excellent working relationships with its fellow design and construction team professionals for projects they have been involved in.

Key personnel include managing director Greg Hayden and executive directors John Coroner and Colm Devin. Ethos’ vision is “to be the company people want to work for and with”.

Ethos Engineering (Head Office)

Penthouse Suite,

Apex Business Centre,

Blackthorn Road,


Dublin 18.

Telephone: +353 (0)1 2932220

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.ethoseng.ie

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, August, Vol 5 No 8