Townmore is one of Ireland’s fastest growing construction companies. The dynamic, multidisciplinary team behind this industry brand works as main contractor, design and build, and specialist contractor (including cleanroom construction) across the residential, commercial, hospitality, healthcare and education sectors. Headquartered in Tullamore, County Offaly, the company recently built and opened a new regional office in Santry, North Dublin. This follows the opening of offices in Cork and London in recent years. With the help of its dynamic team and diverse clients, Townmore has the capacity to deliver projects ranging from €500,000 to €50 million and has grown from a small enterprise over a decade ago, to having a group turnover of €74 million in 2019, with a staff of more than 100 direct employees.
Over the past decade, Townmore has earned a strong reputation in the industry as an emerging leader, delivering quality projects in a safe, efficient and ethical manner. The rapid growth and expansion has been attributed to the team’s relationship-driven approach, which is evidenced by the number of repeat clients on the building company’s books.
“We do not consider these to be ‘repeat clients’, rather, they are project delivery partners who we work with on an almost ongoing basis, supporting their objectives on a series of different projects. By adopting such a partnership and relationship-driven approach to add value, Townmore grows alongside them and this is the most sustainable and preferred model of growth for us” explains Associate Director Mark Cronin.
Construction has always been a client-centric service. While it is arguably one of the most multifaceted and complex of services, this does not diminish in any way the importance of the client/contractor relationship; if anything, it reinforces it. Trust is key and this is a two-way process, established through relationship building, professionalism and consistent, reliable, excellent quality delivery. The Irish marketplace is a relatively small one and building, maintaining and honouring reputations is the only route to longevity. One of the key features of this kind of marketplace is developing new business through referrals. Townmore has benefitted from referrals and emphasises just how important these can be for organisations of all sizes.
As Associate Director Mark Cronin puts it “Many of our current projects came to us as a result of ongoing relationships or they have been referred to us by previous clients and/or industry peers. This is generally a good indication that we will work well together. One of the most important factors for our team at Townmore to consider when taking on a new project is ‘Will this client or project benefit from our work?’. Once we are satisfied that we can add value, our team will work closely with the project owner in order to facilitate open collaboration. We want clients to come away knowing that they have gotten outstanding service”.
Speaking about the team, Managing Director James Godley remarked “Townmore is about the people who run our sites and administer the works we do. Our team is the largest and most important asset we have and there is a vibrancy and dynamism powering the Townmore team that is unrivalled. Great clients and challenging projects play a part in this but there’s something more, a shared hunger and ambition to drive Townmore into the top tier of Ireland’s main contractors, and everyday excellence is the only way we know to achieve this”.
Obviously, with such growth comes opportunity. Over the past decade, Townmore has attracted some of the top talent in the industry, justifying the company’s reputation for being a great place to work. The business invests heavily in its people through selected training initiatives to upskill and an in-house graduate programme, which is seen as essential for the future of the company and to combat the current skills shortage. It is also an effective way to harness and share the extensive expertise available within the company.
Characteristically, as a company born out of recession, lean is part of the DNA make up of the business, more specifically, lean processes and strict adherence to programme. This ethos was maintained through the rapid growth stages and now provides a solid platform to enable growth at scale for the future. Technology has been a great enabler and Townmore has leveraged this from the inception of the business. The use of Procure became mandatory, or building information modelling, became mandatory on all Townmore projects from Q3 2019. This required heavy investment in hardware, software and training for all staff and subcontractors on site.
Townmore embraces offsite construction and other modern methods of construction, as evidenced in the recent construction of the seven-storey Windsor Hotel in Cork through precast, with the superstructure erected within eight weeks. Also, the contractor recently incorporated bathroom pods on a large residential project at Carr’s Lane, North Dublin, driving a lean approach in the use of offsite construction.
Townmore Hosts VIP Visitors to Site
The Townmore site team working on the delivery of 59 new homes at Carr’s Lane recently hosted a number of VIP guests.
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, accompanied by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien TD, Mayor of Fingal County Council David Healy and Chief Executive of Fingal County Council Ann Marie Farrelly, joined representatives from Respond Housing for a construction site tour of Carr’s Lane, Malahide Road, Dublin 17.
This North Dublin scheme, when complete, will consist of 59 new homes together with car and bike parking, a substation and communal green space. The apartments will be a mix of one-bed, two-bed and three-bed homes across two blocks, each four-storeys. This critical site is located within close proximity to the neighbourhood centre with shops, schools, sports venues and health services. Given the high and immediate demand for housing within the local area, this development was acquired through the Capital Advance Leasing Facility from the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government and finance from the Housing Finance Agency in partnership with Fingal County Council under Rebuilding Ireland.
Speaking at the site, which is situated within his own constituency, the Housing Minister pointed out that: “It is a significant investment by the State in public housing. We obviously want to see more of this and that’s my job, to make sure that happens. The Taoiseach has been very impressed here this morning to see the level of work and by Q2/Q3 next year we’re going to have 59 families living here…”
This €16.0 million project is on track for completion within the next nine months.
Project Delivery Partners – Carr’s Lane scheme
This critical social housing is being delivered by Respond Housing and Fingal County Council, with funding support from the Department of Housing, through Ireland-based development company Bluemont.
Main contractors: Townmore Construction
Architects Opperman and Associates
Structural Engineer: PHM Consulting
Services Engineer: Homan O’Brien
Planning Consultant: Tom Phillips and Associates
CGI consultants: 3D Design Bureau