Penrose Dock is a winner for PJ Hegarty & Sons

12 Jul , 2022  

PJ Hegarty & Sons is proud to be a finalist in the 2022 Irish Construction Excellence Awards (ICE Awards) in the ‘Commercial Over €15m’ category for the magnificent Penrose Dock Development in Cork.

Building Partnerships since 1925, PJ Hegarty & Sons was the main contractor on the €65m project which comprises 250,000 sq. ft. of Grade A commercial office space in two buildings (Penrose One and Penrose Two) along with an underground gym and café. The Irish Construction Excellence Awards are the original and premier recognition of performance excellence for the contracting sector in Ireland, and provide an opportunity for the industry to showcase and reward best practice across the full range of construction disciplines and project categories.

The Penrose Dock project was completed to the satisfaction of the client, John Cleary Developments (JCD), and more than exceeded the client’s KPI milestones of safety, quality, design, quality build, construction, timeline and budget. All of these milestones were exceeded during the COVID-19 pandemic, making it all the more successful as a project. The project was also awarded LEED Gold status. The much sought-after office spaces include tenants such as Matheson, Grant Thornton, Qualcomm, Sophos, Varonis, Dennehy’s Health & Fitness, Naturally Nourished, Cloudera and Cadence.

Win, lose or draw at the ICE Awards in Dublin’s Convention Centre on Saturday, May 14, Penrose Dock is already a winner, having scooped the ‘Large Office Building of the Year’ and the ‘Overall Building of the Year’ accolades at the Irish Building & Architect of the Year Awards 2021.

“We at PJ Hegarty & Sons are delighted with how the project turned out and are extremely proud to be associated with such magnificent buildings,” says PJ Hegarty & Sons Contracts Manager Fergus O’Rourke.

“It is extremely well finished and all members of design teams, Client and contractors deserve huge credit. We’re proud to have been involved in this award-winning project along with the rest of the project team, it truly was a great team effort from all involved. Situated next to Kent Station at the top of MacCurtain Street, Penrose Dock has given a new lease of life to this part of the city.

“It has created a focal point and a contemporary cityscape around which the future of the North Quays can evolve.”

The structural composition comprised finished steel sheet piles in basement, 1.2m basement raft foundation, in situ concrete rising walls, columns and slabs to ground floor level; flat slab at B-2 soffit level, structural Techcrete columns and steel beams to third floor level enveloped by curtain wall glazing, from third floor upwards; structural steel columns and beams with composite metal deck floors, punch window glazing and architectural Techcrete cladding, precast concrete and lift cores, including stair flights and asphalt roof membrane with white solar cap sheet.

Penrose One is seven storeys overground spanning 80,000 sq. ft., while Penrose Two is nine storeys overground spanning 170,000 sq. ft. and also includes a luxury penthouse on the tenth floor. Beneath both buildings is an underground double basement of 8,000 sq. ft., which includes 180 car park spaces.

The PJ Hegarty scope of works was broken into two packages – Shell & Core and Fit-out Scope. The Shell & Core included the overall construction of the double height basement car park, construction of Shell & Core elements for Penrose One and Two, along with associated landscaping and finishes. The fit-out scope comprised several individual office fit-outs for various tenants. In total, 10 floors of the development were fully finished and completed by PJ Hegarty & Sons.

The project team also included Wilson Architecture (Architect), Murphy Matson O’Sullivan (C&S Engineer), Martin Buckley & Associates (M&E Engineer), Michael Barrett Partnership (Quantity Surveyor), Michael Slattery & Associates (Fire Safety Engineer), 20/20 (Glazing), M&S Roofing (Roofing), Techcrete (Façade), Ceiling & Allied (Plasterboard), MBS (Mechanical), Denis O’Neil Electrical (Electrical) and Airflow (Air Con).

This was an extremely challenging site, situated on one of the main corridor roads into Cork city, adjacent to the listed structure of Penrose House and with limited laydown areas. However, probably the single biggest challenge the team faced during the build was the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of this, the project was completed 10 weeks ahead of schedule on January 19, 2021 with the completion of fit-outs. Works commenced on October 16, 2018 and the Shell & Core was completed on July 13, 2020.

The initial tender programme was for 95 calendar weeks. But through collaboration with the design team, client and sub-contractors, PJ Hegarty & Sons revised an accelerated programme of 85 calendar weeks, even after an extra penthouse floor was added to Penrose Two. Seven weeks of Covid lockdown in March / April 2020 meant that the programme became a 92-calendar week programme which was delivered on time and within budget.

“Despite the difficulties that came with COVID-19, the project was delivered to the highest standards of safety and quality ahead of schedule,” Fergus continues.  

“The job completed a total of 865,904 safe man hours and had 500 operatives on site at its peak. We developed a guidance document for COVID-19 which was disseminated to all regional teams and reviewed via an online platform. This was drafted in the early stage of the pandemic.

“A senior management COVID committee was elected to ensure government guidance on COVID-19 was administered across our project. Following on from this, a site specific COVID-19 Containment Plan was developed which included a full review of the project infrastructure and what additional arrangements were required to minimise group gatherings, transmissions, disinfection, personnel guidance on face coverings and hand hygiene etiquette.

“Additional canteen / welfare spaces were installed to manage occupancy, with two-metre social distancing. Lunch breaks were staggered between contractors to cater for this, with a rota in place and posted in the canteen areas.

“Other measures included the installation of one-way systems throughout the building for access between floor space, the installation of screen partitions and reduced occupancy in the DE gowning and drying room areas, the installation of hand sanitisation stations on all floors, the employment of trained COVID-19 marshals on each floor to manage personnel on COVID-19 containment measures, and to offer advice and guidance, and putting temperature checking arrangements on site.

“Penrose Dock was one of the first projects to introduce face coverings as mandatory prior to government instruction.”

He concludes by saying: “Through strict adherence and careful on site management of all these arrangements, COVID protocol measures were in place to ensure a safe working environment for the operatives on site as well as maintaining the target programme to deliver the project on time.”

PJ Hegarty & Sons (Cork Office)

Carroll’s Quay,


T23 DH67

Telephone: 021 450 2371

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.pjhegarty.ie

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, June 2022, Vol 8 No 6