The Irish Construction Excellence Awards celebrate the pursuit and achievement of excellence in Irish Construction and the 2018 winners were announced at a Gala Awards Event in the Round Room, Mansion House, Dublin, on Friday, March 23 last.
It was a night to remember for Project Manager Willie McLaughlin and the team at Bennett Construction Ltd who walked away with the Education/Healthcare category for their exemplary work on the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland project.
“It always nice to win and it was a nice surprise to get,” Willie recalled in conversation with Building Ireland. “It was a great project to work on, a lovely building, and we’re very proud of the finished product.”
Bennett Construction Ltd were the assigned builder and PSCS on the RCSI New Academic and Education Building, which was the largest redevelopment project in Dublin’s city centre in recent years.
The building was constructed upon the site of a previously uncompleted scheme, which contained a basement box element only, which was in turn incorporated into the new development.
Demolitions and alterations, temporary works, piling, excavation and earthworks were all required in advance of the construction phase.
This project demanded a highly complex programme of spaces including technically advanced simulated environments for clinical and surgical training as well as facilities for students and staff.
The interlinked vertical stacking of such varied functions meant an increased complexity of structure and services due to the nature of the highly compact urban site.
Ultimately, BCL provided a turnkey medical training facility to the highest specification, management and coordination of over 300 workers on site during the peak of this project.
“There were many logistical challenges,” Willie reflected. “It was a city centre site that’s not designed for construction traffic but our logistics manager kept things moving.
“The project involved 10 floors in total – four down and six up and the floor area was approximately 1,200 sq m per floor.
“Development work on the existing basement box had started in 2005 but stalled because of the recession. The client wanted to extend the box by another 50% and, following the redevelopment, it now accommodates a full-size varsity standard sports hall in minus four.
“Minus 3 is a gym and Minus 2 is a 540 seat two level auditorium. The ground level consists of an entrance area off York Street while Floors 1 and 2 cater for a library and staff area. Floors 3 and 4 house screening rooms for surgical training for students and Floor 5 contains clinical simulation operating theatres.”
Willie added: “It’s a multi-use building and was basically four projects rolled into one!”
The behind-the-scenes worked that went on in the two-year project were captured for posterity by architect Dermot Bannon of Room to Improve fame and an RTÉ camera crew. They were regular visitors to the site to film the extraordinary transformation as part of a documentary, entitled ‘Dermot Bannon & the Big Build’, which was broadcast in October, 2017 on RTÉ One.
“They followed us on site for the duration of the project and followed its progress,” Willie remarked. “It was certainly an interesting viewpoint!”
Bennett Construction is an international family owned construction services company with offices and projects in Dublin, London and Germany.
The Bennett Group was founded in 1917 in Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Since then the group has grown dramatically in both size and reputation. They first entered the UK and particularly the London market in the mid 1980’s and are now an established market force with an experienced and focused team.
They have a broad portfolio of successfully completed projects across a range of sectors including Residential, Restoration / Refurbishment, Hospitality, Commercial, Industrial, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical.
They have built their reputation on their client focus and hands-on approach. They are proud of the fact that the majority of their workload comes from repeat business and that they have a strong reputation for our competitive edge and reliable execution of all projects undertaken.
This is achieved through their relentless attention to detail and an experienced team with the drive and customer focus to ensure client satisfaction is a given on all Bennett projects.
The Mullingar headquartered company continue to invest in modern business practices and management techniques in order to ensure that they remain at the cutting edge of their industry. They continue to build on their reputation with their focus firmly on growing the ability of the business to deliver in new and innovative ways.
Their ambition and goals for almost a century have always been to deliver quality projects and value for money to their clients; their success and reputation today have been testament to this wisdom.
Incidentally, the progressive company was shortlisted in four other categories at the ICE Awards: Dorset Street in the Commercial (over €10m) Category; Penneys in the Commercial/Industrial (under €10m) Category; AIR BnB in the Refurbishment / Retrofit / Fit-out Category and 57 East in the International Category.
Willie joined the company in 2002 and is currently working on the EXO project which is located close to the 3 Arena. The development consists of the construction of a commercial office building ranging in height from 8 storeys to 17 storeys.
“We pride ourselves on working with people and building relationships a long with always giving a good service. We like to get in and do the job,” Willie concluded.
Bennett (Construction) Ltd
+ 353 44 9346000 + 353 44 9346040
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, July 2018, Vol 4 No 6