Widely regarded as one of Ireland’s leading interior specialists, Castle Group have delivered a range of outstanding solutions to a who’s who of main contractors. They are currently on site on a number of prestigious projects with JJ Rhatigan, including The National Forensic Mental Health Hospital in Portrane; Project Trinity on Lansdowne Road and student accommodation at NUIG. We had a chat with Senior Quantity Surveyor Declan Derrane to find out more.
The signing of the construction contract for the new multi-million-euro National Forensic Mental Health Service (NFMHS) complex, at Portrane in Dublin was announced in June, 2017. The new 130-bed adult forensic hospital at St. Ita’s Campus, Portrane, replaces the 94-bed Central Mental Hospital complex at Dundrum.
The facility at Portrane, which is due to open in early 2020, will also include a new 30-bed Intensive Care Rehabilitation Unit (ICRU), together with a ten-bed Forensic Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) unit. This development fulfils recommendations made in the national mental health policy ‘A Vision for Change’.
JJ Rhatigan OHL (JJ Rhatigan & Company in partnership with Obrascón Huarte Lain) signed a €120m contract with the HSE for the construction of state-of-the-art National Forensic Mental Health Hospital, with the entire complex designed to meet BREEAM accreditation as a cost-effective means of bringing sustainable value to development.
Long-term Rhatigan partners, Castle Group are delivering all the ceilings and partitions on this project. “We are on site for three months and will remain there until the end of the current calendar year,” Senior Quantity Surveyor Declan Derrane told Building Ireland. “There are various buildings involved in this project with challenging designs, one of which is the reception building and includes a variety of high-end ceilings and partitions.”
It’s a €1m project for the Galway-based ceilings and partitions contractor, who are also currently involved in a €8m subcontract with Rhatigan at Project Trinity apartment complex on Lansdowne Road. Castle are also nearing the completion of a 472 Student accommodation development at NUIG.
“In the 19 years that Castle Group have been in the construction industry, Castle have worked closely with Rhatigan for 15 of those,” Declan notes.
The Castle Group specialise in Ceilings and Partitions, Premises Fit-Outs, POD manufacturing and installation, Premises Upgrades, Refurbishments, Project Management and Maintenance of Premises, offering a complete one-stop shop package of services from Value Engineering, Designs, and Cost Control through to Project Handovers.
Offering an extensive range of products and systems, Castle specialise in the supply and installation of high-quality, high-performing, cost-effective stud partitions, dry lining, suspended ceilings, carpentry, internal and external rendering, internal glazed screens, fit-out contracts and maintenance.
The newest addition to the Castle Group, Castle Modular was introduced in 2017. With a current procurement order up to 2,000 units for 2018 Castle Modular are providing high quality Pod units at competitive Costs and within agreed time frames. This has also promoted employment to the western region at our Pod Manufacturing Plant in East Galway.
Established in Galway by Seamus Brady in 1999, Castle Group. are an Irish-owned company with experience, knowledge and expertise that has established them as one of the leading interior specialist in the country. CIRI-registered, the company delivers quality workmanship to programme on all project types and they have worked alongside main contractors including JJ Rhatigan, Stewart., John Paul Construction, Sisk, Bennetts, BAM and Elliott on prestigious commercial, pharmaceutical, data, educational, healthcare and fit-out projects nationwide.
Castle Group boasts an impressive client list that includes blue chip companies such as Google, Yahoo, Analogue devices, Alexion, Avaya, Paypal. Current projects Castle have worked on include PPK2 Data hall, RCSI, Arthur Cox, Adare Manor, Ashford Castle, IBM, Kerry Foods, Miesian Plazza, Medtronic, Bausch & Lomb, Beaumount Hospital, Galway Hospital and Limerick Hospital.
At the time of writing, Castle Group have up to 200 men on site. “Our growth has been steady and manageable,” says Declan. “We have good quality workforce and a lot of them have been with us for a long time, this allows us to maintain high standards. We have to be able to provide top tier main contractors such as JJ Rhatigan with this service, we have to provide a guarantee that we can deliver these projects to the highest quality and to do that you need quality people.
Castle Group -Training Academy in conjunction with City & Guilds, GRETB ( Galway Roscommon Educational Training Board ) and the CIF has assisted in achieving a quality workforce demanded by the construction industry, with over 100 trainees passing through our academy during the past 3 years the aim of this training programme is to enable trainees to learn, develop and practice the skills required for employment and/or career progression in the areas of dry lining finishing, ceiling fixing and partitioning. This is a city and guilds NVQ award and will have 3 stages involving 7 weeks off the job training and 36 weeks on the job training.
The fact that Castle Group are experiencing strong growth, having come through such a challenging time for the construction sector in Ireland, speaks for itself really.
As for objectives for 2018 and going forward, Declan reveals: “We are focusing on what our client expectations are for the future, Modular units, off site construction, new systems to benefit the speed of construction, these are what our clients are now challenging us with”.
Are Castle Group now at a stage where they can handpick which projects they want to work on? “Handpick isn’t a word I’d use. It’s still a competitive market and there’s no place for complacency or arrogance. What I would say is that in the last six months main contractors have narrowed their focus on subcontractors that they want to work with as well as giving notice of what projects they are targeting for the future as well as what they have on their books.”
This is a great endorsement of the services offered. Is quality workmanship the key driver of the business? “Safety, quality, performance and the client’s budget are all critical,” says Declan. “We tick all of those boxes. To be fair, you won’t last long at this level if you aren’t ticking all of the clients’ needs.”
Constant improvement remains a goal for Castle Group, even though extremely high standards are already being met: “We aim to maintain our standards and to improve how we deliver these projects. For example, we introduced Zutec software to the company two years ago and it has doubled our efficiency and improved our ability to delivery projects in a high-quality manner,” Declan concludes. “You have to constantly improve – that’s critical, listen to what the Clients requirements are and DELIVER”.
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Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, September 2018, Vol 4 No 8