With offices in Dublin and Donegal, Murray & Gillespie is one of Ireland’s leading quantity surveying and cost consultancy practices. Building Ireland had a chat with co-founder Derrick Murray to find out more about the full range of services provided by this industry-leading firm.
Established in 2005 by Donegal men Derrick Murray and Michael Gillespie, Murray & Gillespie is an outstanding chartered quantity surveyor practice boasting an exceptional track record working with clients throughout the construction industry.
For a decade and a half, they have been assisting with a wide range of value-added services including cost consulting; cost estimating; value determination; risk management; property development; Bills of Quantities; estimating; final accounts; loss assessing and a whole lot more.
A sister company of Nationwide Claims, Murray & Gillespie work with a variety of public and private sector clients on projects of all sizes and specifications.
Synonymous with delivering excellent results to clients in all aspects of quantity surveying, loss assessing and insurance claims, Murray & Gillespie / Nationwide Claims deliver valuable insights into how to effectively manage the build process, whether they are working for the main contractor, architect or client.
“You could be sitting on either side of the table,” Derrick notes. “If you are working for the contractor or builder, you are trying to win the project for them by pricing it up accurately, whereas when you are working for the client or architect, you are trying to save them money off the builder. So, it depends on who you are working for, although the principles are the same.
“With the client or architect, it’s essentially all about keeping costs under control and making sure they don’t get out of hand.”
All sectors of the construction industry are catered for – commercial, industrial, residential, leisure and offices, civils, etc. – and Murray & Gillespie are as comfortable with refurbs and extensions as they are new builds. At the time of writing, they were working on large commercial projects in Finglas and Blanchardstown as well as a 47-unit residential development in Letterkenny for Respond.
With four quantity surveyors on the team at present, the practice is going from strength to strength on the back of repeat business and positive work of mouth. “We’re extremely busy,” Derrick confirms. “Even through the recession, we had enough to keep us going and we never had to let anybody go.
“Indeed, we could possibly do with another quantity surveyor in here at the moment as there is scope for expansion if we could find the right candidate.
“At the present time, we are working predominantly for smaller to medium-sized contractors, as larger clients might take up too much of our resources. We don’t want to overstretch ourselves. So we’re concentrating on doing valuations for contractors who are turning over a couple of million a year. We’re very busy and we’re happy with the size we’re at as we are able to maintain control of everything and keep the quality levels high.
“A lot of times we could be on the opposite side of the table, working for the client or architect; it all depends on who engages us.”
Recently engaged by DMC Construction for a project that was featured on Room To Improve, Murray & Gillespie provide an extensive range of quantity surveying services. Through these quantity surveying services, clients stand to make significant cost savings thanks to the insights and recommendations provided, including cash flow projections, cost planning, change management, risk assessment and more.
Murray & Gillespie also carry out value engineering on critical cost elements such as foundations, structure, finishes, etc. in order to deliver the most effective cost and efficiency improvements.
Meanwhile, their detailed and comprehensive appraisals provide clients with a clear understanding of whether their development project has the ability to meet its budget. All information is presented in a clear and concise manner allowing for informed decisions to be made. If required, Murray & Gillespie can advise on appropriate solutions to any discrepancies highlighted.
Project monitoring services involve careful reviews taken during each step of the construction process, with key data highlighted to give clients a clear picture on the progress they are making and any potential pitfalls.
Murray & Gillespie are also active in helping clients develop energy efficient buildings and can provide BER certificates for all domestic and commercial constructions. Through their sustainability recommendations, they have helped many clients achieve exemplary BREEAM ratings.
The practice is so highly-regarded across the construction industry – from Donegal to Cork and everywhere in between – that they have never had to advertise.
Likewise, sister company Nationwide Claims – a public loss assessors company with a wealth of experience working for policy holders all around Ireland. Nationwide Claims have successfully handled hundreds of domestic and commercial claims and, because of that, insurance companies and loss adjusters respect them for their approach across the industry.
Acting exclusively on behalf of policyholders nationwide, Nationwide Claims handle any type of residential and commercial property claims such as burglary, burst pipes, fire, flood or subsidence. Adapting a carefully measured approach based on their vast negotiating experience, they invariably achieve the best outcome for clients.
“Quantity surveying and loss assessment are the two services we are focussing on at the moment,” says Derrick. “We got into loss assessment when the recession hit around 2007/08 and it has served us well.”
Looking to the future, the Donegal man believes modest growth could be on the cards but stresses that Murray & Gillespie have no aspirations to rule the world: “We will focus on continuing to provide quality services to our clients,” he concludes. “We’ll keep educating ourselves and remain abreast of all changes in the industry and new regulations, so that we can provide our clients with the level of service they demand.
“We don’t want to get too big because the practice would be harder to manager if you had ten or eleven quantity surveyors. We prefer to be hands-on and to keep close eye on everything that’s going on.”
It’s an approach that’s worked a treat for Murray & Gillespie so far, so why change it?
Murray & Gillespie Quantity Surveyors Ltd.
Ballyboggan Business Centre,
Tel 01 8822988
Mobile: 087 9472950
Fax: 01 8822990
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, February/March 2020, Vol 6 No 1