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GMIT hosts International Construction Management Day Conference

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Press Office

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Architects, engineers, surveyors and property professionals from Ireland and the UK are to gather in GMIT on Monday, 11 March, for the 3rd International Construction Management Day Conference, hosted by the GMIT Department of Building & Civil Engineering.

Fifteen industry professionals will give presentations on a wide range of issues facing the industry including its current state and national policy, as well as talks on topics such as Low Energy Construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Its Impact on Training, Prefabrication in the Construction Industry, Central Bank Approaches to Valuations, an Update from the Property Services Regulatory Authority, Dispute Resolution in Construction, Property Tax, Surviving the Recession and much more.

Over 250 delegates from the construction sector are expected to attend the one-day event which is kindly sponsored by the Western Centre of the Chartered Institute of Building in Ireland (CIOB) and the Western Branch of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI). Both organisations represent some seven thousand professional members in Ireland in the construction industry, the professions and the property industry.

The first session is an overview of the construction and development industry presented by John O’Regan, Director of Davis Langdon, part of the worldwide AECOM consultancy group. He will outline the Irish situation and potential opportunities for Irish companies overseas. Celine McHugh of Forfás, Ireland’s policy advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation, will outline a strategy for rebuilding the construction industry.

Mary Rogers, Head of the GMIT Department of Building and Civil Engineering, says: “As an academic department focused on the built environment, we are acutely aware of our responsibility to the construction industry. We continuously engage with industry in Ireland and worldwide and have developed our programmes to produce graduates who meet the changing needs of the construction sector”

“Conferences such as this provide an opportunity for face to face engagement between our staff, students, graduates and industry partners. This year, a series of chaired sessions will facilitate open discussion and contributions for all participants in an open and informal forum. The sessions will focus on three areas, Construction Technical, Surveying Technical and Property/General Practice.”

“Our accrediting body partners of Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) Engineers Ireland (EI) and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) work with us in GMIT to ensure all our programmes deliver quality graduates and meet the changing industry needs. There are indications from these bodies that there is a levelling out of the industry. This will result in a shortage of trained skilled graduates across the construction sector in four or five years’ time. It is therefore an opportune time for school leavers to consider a career in the sector. Many of our recent graduates have entered the marketplace with the correct profile of sustainable construction, technological and IT skills ensuring employability even in these lean times. The use of current technologies allows companies to export a service rather than a graduate or employee to the world-wide market,” added Ms Rogers.

Conference organiser and GMIT lecturer Martin Taggart, says: “By any realistic measure, the output of the construction industry is currently running at around half of its long-term sustainable level. A planned recovery of the sector is an essential ingredient of any national economic recovery and would have a significant impact on unemployment. This one-day event is an opportunity for stakeholders in the industry and members of the public to learn about the latest developments affecting the sector and exchange knowledge and information”.

The conference will have several technical sessions themed around the three areas of Construction, Surveying and Property. Architect Miles Sampson, a specialist in sustainable design, will share his experiences in the design of Passive and Low Energy Housing. John Enyon, a UK-based consultant in Building Information Modelling (BIM), will present his vision for the potential transformation of building design and management using highly accurate 3D computer models - GMIT has already introduced BIM into several of its undergraduate programmes in the Department of Building and Civil Engineering in recognition of its global importance. Shane McEneaney, contracts director of ABM Europe, will focus on the growing demand for off-site prefabrication of buildings, including the recently completed Gaelscoil Dara in Renmore, opposite the GMIT Galway campus.

Other speakers lined up for the one-day event include Michael Kirwan from BSS Software who will give a presentation on Buildsoft On-screen take off (BT2), an advanced software programme that aids the speedy compilation of bills of quantities and costing for construction projects.

Brian O’Driscoll, Director of Regulation at SCSI and Gerard O’Toole, Director of Tuohy O’Toole, a leading practise of Auctioneers, Estate Agents and Registered Chartered Valuation Surveyors, will review current activity at the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PRSA) and outline the approaches being taken by the Central Bank in establishing property valuations. Gerry O’Sullivan, Director of Mulcahy McDonagh & Partners, Chartered Quantity Surveyors, will talk about dispute resolution in the construction industry.

Eddie Tuttle, CIOB Public Affairs Manager, will look at the training needs of industry professionals in terms of Building Information Modelling (BIM). He has been to the forefront of CIOB BIM initiatives in the UK in recent years. BIM training has been given added impetus by the decision of the UK Government to make BIM compulsory on all public works from 2016, which may have implications for the many Irish firms seeking work in the UK and Europe. The BIM system approaches buildings from a ‘whole of life’ perspective and is beneficial for the design and construction phases, but also facilitates large potential cost savings throughout the buildings’ life. It will become an essential tool for any property owner or facilities manager.

The day will conclude with reports from the construction industry front-line: Don O’Sullivan, Director of Tendering and Contracting at the Construction Industry Federation, and Joe McLoughlin, Director of John Sisk & Sons Ltd, will look at the industry at large and consider the position of the contractor. In recent years John Sisk had undertaken a programme to diversify their turnover into overseas markets and are playing a leading role on the Crossrail project in London, currently Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

Peter Stafford, Director of Policy & Public Affairs at the SCSI, will discuss the implications of the introduction of the property tax.

View the full programme at: http://www.gmit.ie/serving-the-region/conferences/index.html For further details, contact Martin Taggart, email: martin.taggart@gmit.ie/Tel. 091-742875