Foundations of Future growth

IRELAND ANNUAL REVIEW 2020

This year we consider how we can help build the foundations of future growth, creating a connected and sustainable legacy for future generations.

As part of this, we surveyed 250 construction professionals across the island of Ireland, along with 58 companies in the US; to gauge industry sentiment on key themes.

FOREWORD

BUILDING A CONNECTED SUSTAINABLE IRELAND

Welcome to our 2020 Ireland Review. As a company we are committed to unlocking the transformational change and innovation required to move our industry forward across the island of Ireland.

Following on from last year's in ‘Taking the Long View’ of the construction industry, we’ve moved forward to consider how we can help build the foundations of future growth, creating a connected and sustainable legacy for future generations.

As part of this, we surveyed 250 construction professionals across the island of Ireland, along with 58 companies in the US; to gauge industry sentiment on key themes.

Our survey results on the following pages reveal how climate implications and social value are making a greater impact on how businesses plan longer term, along with the rising acknowledgement of how vital good infrastructure is to economic and societal prosperity.

To further conversations on developing infrastructure to suit future needs, we have been fortunate to collaborate with several industry leaders in producing the content of our publication.

Helen Hughes from Transport Infrastructure Ireland joins us to discuss how we move the industry towards a circular approach to waste, while Paul Harper from Northern Ireland Water gives us his insights on how we can all benefit from using assets more efficiently. 

Discussing the impacts of transformative projects across the region, we hear from Dublin Airport’s Vincent Harrison and Niall Gleeson of Irish Water, while Trevor Anderson from Belfast Harbour shares the benefits gained from becoming more digitally-enabled.

And finally, in looking at foreign direct investment across the region we interviewed LinkedIn’s Katie Ferrick and James Morgensen on setting up their EMEA headquarters in Dublin, and the importance infrastructure plays in growing their business.

As always, in our industry spotlight commentary, we take stock of both Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland’s (RoI) economic and construction performance in 2019, predicting that in 2020, tender price inflation in NI will increase by 3.5% and just over 4% across RoI as a whole.

We hope you enjoy this year’s read, and we look forward to working with you to build these foundations for a connected and sustainable future

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

FOUNDATIONS OF FUTURE GROWTH

Across the island of Ireland, AECOM has surveyed 250 construction industry professionals and spoken to industry leading experts about the issues facing them today. Our research findings help build a picture about the current state of infrastructure on the island.

With a rapidly growing and productive workforce across the island of Ireland, a side-effect has been capacity constraints arising from the current infrastructure. Building a resilient infrastructure network requires wide stakeholder buy-in from both the private and public sectors simultaneously. New modern office spaces will only succeed if they are tied in alongside affordable housing and public transport to link communities to workplaces, whilst linking the region to the global economy. 

Whilst current infrastructure provision is under pressure to deliver future growth and prosperity, this provides significant opportunity for the construction industry to consider how it will deliver infrastructure today that will be fit for future demand too. By considering the legacy of infrastructure from the outset, we believe it builds an inclusive culture ensuring a more holistic approach in how we design and build infrastructure. This involves thinking about the social impact infrastructure projects will deliver and how they will connect in with the pre-existing infrastructure in place.

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Furthermore, as the island looks to develop its regions and spread the economic growth outside of the major city centres of Dublin and Belfast, it means considering how to build self-sustaining regional hubs and what all their infrastructure requirements are to facilitate population growth– be that property, water, power, road, rail and increasingly broadband internet connectivity.

We believe that building the foundations for future growth will be an iterative approach that incorporates making smart improvements and upgrades to current legacy infrastructure alongside investing in transformative infrastructure fit for the future. For tomorrow’s infrastructure to leave behind a legacy of success, its design must not only be functional but also be inclusive, sustainable and connected to meet people’s needs. 

 

What do you think are the main challenges facing companies that are trying to deliver large scale projects?

Industry Spotlight

We take stock of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland’s economic and construction performance in 2019, and what we can expect to see into 2020 and beyond.
READ THE FULL SPOTLIGHT HERE