Excellence guaranteed from M.L. Quinn construction

27 Sep , 2019  

M.L. Quinn Construction secured headlines early this year when their social housing project at Ballyboughal, completed for Fingal County Council, was shortlisted in the Residential category for a prestigious Irish Construction Excellence Award. Building Ireland had a chat with Contracts Manager Caolan Quinn to find out more about this exceptional family-run construction company.

M.L. Quinn Construction Ltd. was founded in 1988 and has over 30 years of experience working with both public and private organisations, specialising in housing, education and commercial projects. Based in Newry, County Down, they have completed works for local county councils, public housing, private clubs, non-profit organisations and mixed-use developments.

These projects have been completed in both occupied and unoccupied conditions that have demanded special logistical and safety planning. The company’s mission is to pursue excellence in all operations by improving quality standards and procedures and delivery of services to clients.

For the €1,276,000 Ballyboughal housing site which was delivered for Fingal County Council and shortlisted for a 2019 Irish Construction Excellence Award, the project scope was the construction of six new two-storey, semi-detached houses in three blocks and the refurbishment of two existing detached bungalows.

The works comprised three new two-bedroom, two-storey semi-detached houses; two new three-bedroom, two-storey semi-detached houses; and one new four-bedroom, two-storey, semi-detached house, while two three-bedroom, single-storey detached existing houses were completely refurbished from basically a shell of a building.

New access road, footpaths, parking and all associated site works were also included as well as new boundary walling, fencing and associated landscaping. Programme for the project was a ten-month contract.

The client’s requirement was to achieve an aesthetically-pleasing, fully-serviced site of new and refurbished houses that tenants would be comfortable locating to. The two existing houses were fully refurbished first to allow tenants to move in. The project was completed to the client’s specification of works and satisfaction.

The tender price submitted by M.L. Quinn Construction was the most competitive and they secured a Construction Bond as requested by the client. BIM modelling provided information on data, specifications, aesthetics, thermal and acoustic properties. This collection of data ensured quality control and improved on-site documentation.

Traditional land surveying has changed to GPS Positioning to deliver more accurate site lay-out. Effective communication between all members of the project team through email was a key contributor to the success of this project. Digital safety talks and courses informed workers of potential site hazards and ensured all workers adhered to the safety guidelines. 

The two key challenges encountered on this project were: that the renovation of the two existing houses had to be brought forward due to the tenants’ need for urgent housing accommodation; and storm water drainage.  These drainage works had to be complete within the site boundary prior to the outfall line outside of the site boundary being completed. This involved constant water pumping during the drainage works and after the competition of the drainage, right up to the handover of the contract.

The village of Ballyboughal enters the Tidy Towns competition every year and M.L Quinn were approached by the local committee and asked to mitigate the impact of site development works during the period when the Tidy Towns inspections were being carried out. They complied willingly with this request and restricted the heavy excavation works during this period and also by taking particular care in regards to site tidiness and temporary fencing to the public road side of the site.

Public Health & Safety was paramount throughout this project. The Quality Standards required for this project were achieved through compliance with detailed tender documents, specifications, working drawings, detailed programs and effective communication between all members of the project team. Management commitment, leadership, quality training, assessment and evaluation for all members of the project team achieved all of the required quality standards.

Health & Safety of workers was maintained through construction stage by regular site safety induction, site inspections and site safety audits. All workers were aware of the company safety statement, method statements and risk assessments for all works undertaken on site. Careful consideration was given to public Health & Safety, protection of the environment, protection of public property and conformance with applicable laws, regulations, codes and policies.

All six new houses achieved an A3 rating with energy usage below 60kWh/m2/yr and are highly insulated, with solar PV panels, balanced whole-house mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and high levels of air tightness (all below 0.138ac/h).

The client’s brief was to deliver a high specification housing scheme, built to comply with all the necessary building regulations. M.L. Quinn Construction delivered a project that met all of the legal, aesthetic and functional requirements of the client and in addition the project blends very well into the traditional landscape and environment of the surroundings.

One of the distinguishing factors on these houses is the beautiful feature and façade of the powder coated aluminium bay windows. Construction excellence was obtained in the building of these factors to the detailed design, guaranteeing compliance with the Building Standards requirements in regard to structure, air-tightness, acoustics and insulation values.

All in all, M. L. Quinn Construction had a positive, perceptive hands-on approach throughout the entire process of this project, providing collaborative team building, budget awareness, schedule maintenance, safety and technology to deliver a housing scheme that blends into its surroundings and has a positive psychological impact on its tenants while ensuring every effort was made to achieve the required level of quality, sustainability, regulatory and legal requirements of the client.

To be a finalist at the ICE Awards provided the icing on the cake! “It’s a great bonus to have been nominated for this award,” confirms Contracts Manager Caolan Quinn. “We probably had an assumption that these awards were reserved for the bigger companies but the architect on the project, Annamie Pretorius, recommended that we put forward a submission and that went very well.

“We’re very happy with how that worked out. We’re busy anyway but, at the end of the day, when you are submitting proposals with tenders, it’s certainly no harm to have that there and it’s nice to have it on our CV.”

M.L. Quinn Construction offers a full range of construction services including management contracting, design & build and partnerships in addition to traditional building arrangements. The range of work undertaken varies in type and size from smaller projects right up to €20 million. Having completed over 350 projects, they pride themselves on developing excellence in all aspects of building construction.

The Company is certified to ISO 9001:2008 and to ISO 14001: 2004 standards. They are dedicated to maintaining a safe working environment for all employees and significant resources are deployed to ensure best practice in the areas of Health & Safety. M.L. Quinn has been awarded Safe-T-Cert accreditation and is a member of the Construction Industry Federation and the Construction Industry Register Ireland.

The development at Ballyboughal is by no means your typical row of social housing. To the contrary, with each house featuring different façade, porch and window elements and the project delivered to a very high spec and high-energy rating, it is an exceptional project delivered under challenging conditions on a cramped site – achieving the highest results in both performance and aesthetics.

“The people of Ballyboughal are very proud of their area and it was a real honour to work in this beautiful part of Dublin. We like to think the development reflects what Ballyboughal represents – and that’s certainly the feedback we’ve received from the client and the residents.”

Having begun life providing maintenance and upgrade solutions for the housing executive in Northern Ireland, M. L. Quinn Construction today works almost exclusively in the Republic of Ireland for local authorities in Dublin, Louth, Meath and Monaghan, while recent projects undertaken include four houses in Collinstown Grove, Clondalkin. for Tuath Housing Association and a two-storey, four-classroom school extension in Mulhuddart for the Department of Education.

Fronted by managing director Laurence Quinn and his wife Rosaleen, the company provides full-time, direct employment for a team of up to 20 in addition to subcontractors and has proven itself as a true purveyor of excellence.

M. L. Quinn Construction,

108 Carrickgollogly Road,



County Down,

BT35 7QS.

Tel: 0044 2830 879300

Fax: 0044 2830 879302

Email: [email protected]

Web: mlquinnconstruction.com

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, July, Vol 5 No 7