An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. launches Bruce Shaw Handbook and Knowledge Centre 2015


An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. and over 300 professionals from the Irish construction industry gathered at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin yesterday for the launch of the Bruce Shaw Ireland Handbook and Knowledge Centre 2015.


The handbook, an annual Bruce Shaw publication, provides a review of the Irish construction market and an outlook for 2015. It forms the Ireland chapter of Knowledge Centre, the company’s online portal of construction data from 12 international markets around the world. Now in its 13th year Knowledge Centre has become a valuable online resource for busy construction professionals in need of up-to-date, easy to access, relevant industry information.

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Topics covered include areas such as levels of economic activity, indices of construction costs, trends in construction output and labour costs.

Opening proceedings, Bruce Shaw Group Chairman, Brendan O’Mara said, “we are delighted to welcome so many of our friends from the construction industry to our book launch and are especially grateful to An Taoiseach for joining us this evening at this important event for Bruce Shaw. We are optimistic about the positive signs we are seeing in the industry with the increase in the number of contracts over the last 12 months and are especially proud to have been appointed cost consultants on the new National Children’s hospital, the ‘single biggest Infrastructure Project in the History of the State’ according to Minister Varadkar. There is no doubt that the recovery is most apparent in the Greater Dublin Area but we are confident that it will gradually move out from there, initially to the other urban areas.”

O’Mara continued, “we cannot ignore the fact that there are also a number of challenges and risks facing the construction industry recovery. These include both global concerns such as instability in the Euro area and local issues, primarily around funding and particularly skills shortages. As the industry contracted so dramatically it has lost large numbers of people in the design professions, site management and skilled craftsmen. These will take a number of years to replace. Construction prices are also recovering and construction inflation levels are running well ahead of general inflation. The weakness of the Euro though is offsetting these increases for investors from Dollar and Sterling areas.”

Addressing the gathering Mr Kenny said, “I’m delighted to launch the Bruce Shaw Ireland Handbook which is a valuable resource for data on the Irish construction market.  The Government is determined to return the construction sector to a sustainable size and get unemployed construction workers back to work.  As the Government works to secure economic recovery, our aim is to triple the number of houses built and create 60,000 construction jobs by 2020.”

Highlights from the 2015 Ireland Handbook include

  1. Construction output in 2014 rose to €11 billion, which is 7.1% of GNP and employment is back to approximately 110,000. This level of output is still well below the recognised norm of 12% of GNP for developed countries.
  2. Construction Output
Year 2013 2014(f) 2015(f)
Value of Output at Current Prices (€m) 9,538 10,990 12,515
Change in Value of Output (%) 5% 15% 14%
Construction Output as % of GNP 6.5% 7.1% 7.6%
  1. On average tender prices rose by 5% during 2014 while despite some variances on individual material costs, construction input costs rose on average by only 1%.
  2. Bruce Shaw expects that construction tender prices will continue to increase during 2015 and are forecasting an increase of 5% per annum for the next couple of years.
  3. The recovery has been led by expenditure on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects and by renewed activity in the commercial offices sector.

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