CIF Director of Specialist Contracting Sean Downey: Now is the time to do more with less

by | Aug 30, 2022

With the lull in activity being reported by both the CSO and the BNP Paribas data trackers, you would expect there to be concern around future demand for construction services. CIF members report that current activity levels remain strong with demands for qualified labour and material supply chains still under pressure.

Diversification both geographically and within multiple client sectors will support any contractor’s transition as the domestic economy, perhaps, starts to shift towards a focus on more residential projects and the public capital programme.

It is anticipated that the pause in some private sector developments due to the uncertainty of construction price inflation will lead to a potential gap in demand for private sector projects in 2023 as the pre- commencement design and planning has been delayed.

We have been working on supporting the industry to have better resilience in the face of these macro-economic shifts. The launch of the Construction Technology Centre (CTC) and the Housing Demonstration Park are further commitments from government to enable the future development of the industry.

CIF Director Sean Downey. Picture: Conor McCabe Photogrphy

We are already moving towards a more sophisticated sub-supply chain that is utilising more off- site methods of delivery.

The challenge of reducing costs and driving better standards can be realised as we drive scale in this method of delivery and address the new business model’s requirements. The CIF continues to work with the Build Digital Project to support the digital transformation of the sector as it nears the end of its first year of operation.

The CTC, led by NUI Galway, together with its consortia partners will no doubt assist in the identification of solutions to productivity, efficiency and sustainability challenges that have plagued the sector.

This paradigm shift towards doing more with less resources is what the industry is aiming for. It can potentially help to stabilise both employment and secure balance sheets even as demand softens domestically.

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