Outright winner of The Public Sector’s Excellence In Business Construction Award for the past two years, James’s Street Steel is Ireland’s largest manufacturer and supplier of rebar to the construction industry. We visited the company’s well-appointed Rathcoole HQ and touched base with managing director Sean Kavanagh to find out more about this industry-leading, family-run operation.
Over the past 45 years, James’s Street Steel has forged a stellar reputation as Ireland’s premier specialist rebar manufacturer for the construction industry, offering competitive rates for both cut and bent bar and mesh reinforcement and regularly supplying a who’s who of main contractors for prestigious building projects city-wide.
This progressive, client-focussed, industry-leading, family-run business – established by Joe Kavanagh Snr. and Maureen Kavanagh in 1974 and now managed by his two sons, Sean and Joe Jnr. – delivers a whopping 2,600 tonnes of reinforced steel per month to building sites across the capital, providing an invaluable service to Irish construction as well as generating direct, gainful employment for a team of 35 highly-skilled personnel.
Regarding James’s Street Steel’s back-to-back successes at the Excellence In Business Construction Awards, MD Sean Kavanagh notes: “It was really nice to be nominated for the award again and to win it for the second time. It’s always nice to be noticed. We’re in business since ’74 and we like to think we provide an excellent service, so it’s no harm to get the odd mention at these awards ceremonies.
“Particularly as the rebar industry in general isn’t well known in construction, it’s good to get a bit of publicity and to remind people that we’re here and what we do.”
As well as being Ireland’s largest manufacturer of cut and bent bar and mesh reinforcement, James’s Street Steel also stock a comprehensive range of standard mesh sheets, reinforcement accessories, spacers and tie wire. All reinforcement is fabricated to the relevant British Standards and the company is CARES certified for processing steel reinforcement.
With the capacity to deliver any quantity of rebar cut and bent within a maximum of four days, James’s Street Steel pride themselves on offering not just a professional and value-added service but also a friendly one, with a keen emphasis on customer care, guaranteeing the same attention to detail on every contract, large or small.
Indeed, some of the projects completed down through the years have been of the distinctly large and landmark variety, including Croke Park for John Sisk & Son (6,000 tonnes), Tallaght Hospital for CF Structures (4,000 tonnes), the Criminal Courts (5,000 tonnes) and Covanta – Dublin Incinerator (4,000 tonnes) for PJ Hegarty & Sons, M9 Waterford for Bam Contractors (5,000 tonnes) and Smithfield Redevelopment for G&T Crampton (8,0000 tonnes) as well as Kevin Street Garda Station for JJ Rhatigan (3,000 tonnes) and Beacon South Quarter for John Paul Construction (2,800 tonnes).
The largest rebar yard in Ireland, James’s Street Steel carry a stock of over 15,000 tonnes of rebar and coil, and 2,000 tonnes of mesh.
“My father started off by cutting and bending rebar in the construction sites and then rented a yard in Ballsbridge before moving to James’s Street in 1982. In 2009, we relocated to a purpose-built facility here in Greenogue and the business has grown and grown since – from 1,000 tonnes a month to 2,600, going to both main contractors and developers as well as the precast companies – Banagher Precast, Shay Murtagh, Concast Precast and Killeshal Precast. Eventually it all ends up on site.”
By providing high-quality, failsafe, fully-certified products backed up by an unrivalled level of service, James’s Street Steel has established strong relationships with key players within the construction industry, renowned far and wide for reliability, efficiency and competitiveness.
“Every building is different so we cut and bend the steel as per the client’s design team and engineer’s drawings and then deliver it on site to fit in exactly with their schedule,” says Sean. “We offer a three-four-day maximum turnaround time on any rebar in any quantity, running five RMS shearlines, which nobody else does.”
To remain at the forefront of the industry, the company has moved with the times, embracing the latest technologies as well as adapting the very best quality (ISO 9001), environmental and Health & Safety management systems.
“Everything is computerised and linked to the office,” says Sean. “From the office, we can fully track each order and see exactly when it’s going to be finished and delivered, and with full traceability from source.”
At least 50% of the rebar going into Dublin city centre comes from James’s Street Steel. At the time of writing, they were working on or had just completed projects for Rhatigan (Charlemont), John Paul Construction (Aungier Street and Townsend Street), BAM (Roundwood Reservoir Upgrade), McAleer & Rushe (Merrion Road and Francis Street), Collen (MS Grangecastle and Frascatti), Liffey Development (Millers Glen) and Sisk (Kilmacud) to mention just some.
Looking to the future, Sean says his main priority is to maintain the high levels of service for which the business is known industry-wide: “I don’t want to take over the world – just to supply a good service and have the capacity to always be able to help my customers out.
“We leave 20% of our capacity free so that we can jump in for our regular customers if there are any sudden design changes or if they need extra tonnage quickly for any reason. That’s why we enjoy such good relationships with Collen and other main contractors.
“We’re doing 2,600 tonnes of cut and bent, delivered, per month and we carry a stock of 17,500 tonnes between the yard in James’s Street and Greenore Port in Louth. We handle all our own deliveries, with seven trucks and 22 trailers as well as four rigids. By keeping the transportation in house, we have complete control of everything and can offer the best rates. Steel prices have been very volatile since 2015 but, as we carry a large stock, we can fix the price and give customers value for money and peace of mind.”
That’s typical of James’s Street Steel – always raising the bar!
James’s Street Steel Ltd.,
611 Jordanstown Road,
Greenogue Business Park,
Tel: 01 4587156 / 4587165
Mobile: 087 6329466
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, November 2019, Vol 5 No 10