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Townmore 2024: A Look at the Construction Year Ahead


Ireland is set to have the strongest construction growth among 19 European countries


2023 was an interesting year for construction delivery in Ireland, and it was not without its challenges. In the last month of the year, two significant reports were published which helps us to understand the year that was, in order to prepare for the year ahead, shaping our strategies and recruitment needs for our ongoing and upcoming projects.


Firstly, the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) recently released a comprehensive report titled ‘The Real Cost Of New Housing Delivery 2023’. This report highlights a notable increase in the cost of constructing new homes across Ireland, with a stark contrast between regions. 


The key takeaways include:

  • The average cost of a new 3-bed semi-detached house ranges from €354,000 in the Northwest to €461,000 in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA).
  • A significant increase in costs since 2016, with GDA seeing a 39% rise.
  • The national average cost is €397,000, excluding Dublin, it’s €386,000.
  • Hard costs, like materials and building, account for 53% of the total, while soft costs like land and finance make up 47%.
  • The minimum salary required for purchasing such a house is considerably higher in GDA (€127,000) compared to the Northwest (€85,000).


These figures indicate a particularly challenging environment, primarily driven by increases in hard costs due to factors like energy prices and supply chain disruptions from global events like the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine conflict. The report’s viability and affordability analyses suggest a need for innovative solutions to tackle these challenges – which we wholly support – emphasising the importance of modern construction methods and more targeted government support.


Ireland’s Construction Growth in European Context

Looking ahead, a report by Euroconstruct and EY forecasts a more optimistic year for Ireland’s construction sector. Despite a general decline in construction output across Europe, Ireland stands as an exception with an expected growth of 3.2% in 2023 and 4.4% in 2024. 


Key highlights include:

  • Ireland is set to have the strongest construction growth among 19 European countries.
  • New housing completions in Ireland are projected to rise, reaching 33,450 by 2024.
  • The focus on civil engineering and non-residential sectors contributes to this growth.


Similar to the SCSI insights above, the report from Euroconstruct, presented at EY Ireland, stresses the importance of innovation and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to sustain this growth. Embracing MMC and digital technologies is vital for enhancing productivity and addressing issues like skills shortages and cost of capital, which has been the key priority for the Townmore team in recent years.


Looking Ahead: Forward-Thinking Strategies

These reports collectively inform our approach for the coming year. While acknowledging the rising costs and the need for higher efficiency in house building, we are poised to leverage Ireland’s growing construction sector. Our focus will be on embracing MMC and digital innovations to improve productivity and manage costs, even more robust project management and cost controls, and, most importantly, strategic recruitment.


With a number of large Townmore projects due for handover later this month, we are excited to turn our attention to significant new projects breaking ground in Q1 and Q2, including apartment schemes in Dublin and Louth, another Primary Care centre in the midlands, and a housing development in County Kildare. We also have new hospitality and cleanroom projects due to commence in the first half of the year. 


With such a strong pipeline of work ahead for 2024, we are keen to bring additional talent to our teams to fill the following roles:

  • Senior Quantity Surveyors (nationwide)
  • EHS Advisor (Dublin region)
  • Project Managers (nationwide)
  • Intermediate Quantity Surveyors (nationwide)
  • Site Manager (Dublin) 
  • Site Engineer (Dublin)
  • Design Manager (nationwide)


If you are interested in working with us, or would like to learn more about our projects, please check out and reach out in confidence to Mark at [email protected]



On Site with the Townmore Team: Carrs Lane, Malahide Road, Dublin 17

Project overview: 

Carrs Lane in North Dublin is a private residential development off the Malahide Road, Dublin 17 consisting of 59 apartments together with car and bike parking, a substation and communal green space. Prior to the construction getting underway, preparatory site works included the demolition of two large commercial buildings and a detached residence. Also, mature trees were retained on site and worked into the overall development design to ensure environmental benefits for future occupiers.

The apartments will be a mix of one-bed, two-bed and three-bed homes across two blocks, each four-storeys.

This €16.0 million project is on track for completion within 12 months. 

Site Update

Work on site is progressing well, under Townmore Site Manager Adam Collins. His team has just completed the pour for the main slab of the third floor in Block A, with the third floor pour in Block B to follow shortly. 

After these floors, it will be only the roof slabs and bridging of the walkways that remain for the concrete frame. The blocklayers have the internal walls in Block A nearing completion on the ground floor and the brickwork is now complete on Block A up to first floor level. 

12 bathroom pods have been delivered to the site todate and, significantly, the M&E installs have now commenced on site. 

Project Delivery Partners

~ Main contractors: Townmore Construction 

~ Architects Opperman and Associates

~Structural Engineer: PHM Consulting 

~ Planning Consultant: Tom Phillips and Associates 

~ CGI consultants: 3D Design Bureau 

~ Landscape Consultant: CMK Horticulture Arboriculture

You can follow regular site updates from the Townmore team at:  


How the COVID-19 Pandemic Will Change the Built Environment

Earlier this week ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST published a thought-provoking article by Alyssa Giacobbe entitled ‘How the COVID-19 Pandemic Will Change the Built Environment’ – you can read the full article here:

The piece starts by quoting Boston-based architect and adjunct professor at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning Rami el Samahy: 

This won’t be the first time in history that cities and buildings will be reimagined in response to an increased understanding of disease” ~ Rami el Samahy

This is a particularly good time to reflect on what kind of buildings we are designing and delivering, but also to reflect on how we are designing these spaces. Not only do we have a little more time on our hands to step back from the everyday design and build work, most of us are somewhat contained to our home offices (or any quiet space) and frustrated at the design inadequacies. These inadequacies are not simply around use of space but rather its flexibility, or soundproofing, or potential to be cut off and isolated, when needed. Apparently there is a collective urge to change this.

Many people living in Ireland might have seen footage of a political exchange in the Dail yesterday whereby Green Party leader Eamon Ryan urged hardware stores to remain open for as long as possible so that people confined to their homes can engage in some homes and garden DIY. We are finding out that our homes are not designed for peace and quiet to work when all family members are home. And we are finding out that our office buildings and retail units are not designed for social distancing with ease.

There has been much rhetoric this week about the world changing. While this might sound dramatic, it is true, particularly from a design perspective. In the same way that weather events prompted us to alter designs and innovate better materials and methods of building, the unfolding Covid-19 situation and examining the documented spread of the virus will almost certainly prompt the industry to design future solutions. One likely example of this is the trend of open offices; practically, uniform open workplaces will almost certainly need to be re-imagined. 

For many in the design community, however, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has caused them to reevaluate their life’s work, and what it might mean to design for a world that will never be quite the same, especially when it comes to how we gather in and use large public spaces, like airports, hotels, hospitals, gyms, and offices.” ~ Alyssa Giacobb           

These design measures will range from the seemingly small or insignificant, to the audacious; from simply incorporating more hand-washing and sanitizing stations, to moving from open place workplaces towards so-called “deep-work chambers”, as championed by David Dewane of Chicago-based practice Barker/Nestor, who hopes businesses will take the learnings of team members working remotely this month and use these to create more balanced work spaces that facilitate both individual concentration task space and areas for productive collaboration.

If virtual working is successful, if we are in fact more productive, it’s going to fundamentally change the value proposition of shared workspace. Not everyone wants to be in a big social playground.” ~ David Dewane of Barker/Nestor

The article discusses the likelihood of public spaces moving towards more automation to mitigate the risk of contagion. This will likely incorporate more touch-less technology, for example, automatic doors, voice-activated elevators and light switches, keyless entry through doors. Other possible solutions include self-cleaning bathrooms,enhanced use of pods and modular units that can be sealed off, disinfected or quickly torn down, if necessary.

According to Craig Scully, chief engineer at Indiana-based firm Design Collaborative, designers will incorporate more antibacterial fabrics and materials, for example copper. He goes on to say: “If five years ago I had a conversation with a convention center about implementing those materials, they might not want to spend the money, but today that’s likely to be a totally different story”. 

Plenty of food for thought here.