The over-riding message from the 4th annual Construction Management Conference in GMIT on Tuesday, 11 March was one of cautious optimism for the industry, and a broad welcome for the new range of regulations.
Several hundred delegates attended the event hosted by the GMIT Department of Building & Civil Engineering, including architects, engineers, contractors, surveyors, property professionals, academics, and students from GMIT, IT Sligo and Athlone IT.
Presentations focused on a range of topics such as prospects for the industry, developments in construction products, best practice in building dilapidations, the Construction Contracts Act 2013, the Brooker Report and the new Building Control (Amendment) Regulations among other topics.
Hubert Fitzpatrick, Director of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), identified new regulations in terms of building control and contractor registration. “The measures of the new building regulations and Construction Industry Registration Ireland (CIRI) are positive moves to ensure the industry moves towards a more professional ethos”, he said.
Paul Carey, Managing Director of Carey Developments, speaking from a contractor’s view, said there had been a pick up but that he hadn’t seen it yet.
“We have to remain positive and bounce back. Confidence is coming back into the market and significant Galway projects are coming on board included the N17/18 Gort Tuam bypass on which contract signing is imminent, the Harbour Development Project where planning is progressing, and a range of schools building programmes in the county,” he said.
Michael O’Connor, President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI), gave a presentation on the Brooker Report and its findings.
“The new terms of engagement under the Capital Works Management Framework does not represent value for money and encourages low fee bidding, with some clients expressing the desire to pay higher fees to get a better service and to have a more collaborative design service,” he noted.
The conference was hosted by the GMIT Department of Building & Civil Engineering and Chaired and organised by lecturer Martin Taggart.
Michael Carmody, GMIT President, announced during that conference tht GMIT is to offer a brand new programme catering to demand in the sector.
“GMIT received over 40 expressions of interest in a potential Building Information Modelling (BIM) up-skilling programme. Many other professionals from industry have also approached us directly. I am therefore pleased to note that we have responded by offering a new accredited BIM programme. We expect to offer it from September,” said Mr Carmody.