Built to Innovate
L to r: Chris Chambers, Director, Clancy Construction; Des Riordan, Project Director, Clancy Construction; Michael McGrath, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform; Tom Maguire, Senior Development Advisor, Enterprise Ireland; and Tom Kelly, Manager, Enterprise Ireland Industrial and Lifesciences Division pictured at new 554-bed student accommodation on Bandon Road, Cork, built by Clancy Construction. 

Enterprise Ireland has announced that Clancy Construction has been funded for an ambitious productivity improvement programme under ‘Built to Innovate’, an Enterprise Ireland initiative under Housing for All.

‘Built to Innovate’ initiative

The announcement has been made as Clancy celebrates the on-time and budget completion of a 554-bed project in Cork City using offsite construction methods.

Clancy is the first firm to secure approval under Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Built to Innovate’ initiative. The initiative aims to achieve faster, higher quality construction of housing by providing funding support for productivity training, innovation and the introduction of digital, paperless systems.

Bandon Road student accommodation

The use of off-site construction reduced the overall personnel required on site of the 554-bed Bandon Road student accommodation development and, at the same time, increased productivity, despite repeated delays caused by Covid-19 lockdowns. The opening of the new scheme ahead of the new college term is also expected to free up accommodation in urban Cork and return it to the rental market.

The completed Bandon Road project comprises 77 apartments spread across five blocks, with the frames manufactured and assembled off site. The frames were then delivered and quickly erected on site. Bathroom pods were also assembled in the same way. The model of construction meant that an individual apartment block of five to six storeys high was constructed and weatherproof in an 18-week period, with the internal finishing cycle taking just 16 weeks.

New construction technologies

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath TD has welcomed the announcement, saying, “Schemes such as this will help the construction sector prove new technologies that will ultimately help speed up the delivery of big infrastructure projects. We’re on a pathway to delivering 300,000 new homes between now and 2030, and modern methods of construction are going to play a significant role in achieving this. Enterprise Ireland is helping companies such as Clancy Construction maximise the value of modern methods of construction, and I look forward to seeing this new technology being further utilised to deliver thousands of much-needed homes in the years ahead.”

Clancy Construction

John O’Shaughnessy, Managing Director, Clancy, said, “We were delighted to work with Enterprise Ireland on this new scheme, which forms part of the Housing for All initiative. This project was halted for 12 weeks as a result of two Covid-19 lockdowns and also faced supply chain disruptions as well as social distancing requirements. However, by making use of technological advancements, lean construction and off-site construction, the development has been completed on time and within budget. It shows the value of innovation and lean processes, and I am confident that it can be replicated across the residential construction sector.”

Clancy is a family-owned business founded in Tipperary, and this year celebrates 75 years of experience in the construction industry. The company has an extensive portfolio of projects, including building two 24-bed isolation wards in 14 weeks for the HSE during the Covid-19 crisis.

Enterprise Ireland

Tom Kelly, Manager, Enterprise Ireland Industrial and Lifesciences Division, commented, “Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Built to Innovate’ initiative aims to improve construction productivity by increasing offsite production in factory-controlled environments and improving site and factory processes. This project on Bandon Road proves the potential of offsite construction to accelerate the delivery of housing within budget. Under ‘Built to Innovate’, we welcome Clancy Construction’s plans to further improve productivity with training and the introduction of advanced digital systems.”

To learn more about the Built to Innovate initiative, visit

www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/funding-supports/built-to-innovate

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