Monthly crane survey shows huge increase on last year

Construction activity likely to be further ramped up over coming months

The number of cranes visible from the roof of The Irish Times was 66 on May 1st. Photograph: Alan Betson

The number of cranes visible from the roof of The Irish Times was 66 on May 1st. Photograph: Alan Betson


There were 66 construction cranes visible over the centre of Dublin on May 1st from the seventh floor of The Irish Times building on Tara Street. This is a decrease of four – or 6 per cent – on April’s total of 70, though still 32 ahead (or 94 per cent) of the 34 cranes recorded on February 1st, 2016, when the newspaper’s crane survey was launched.

Construction is centred on the south side, where there were 56 cranes – a drop of four (or 7 per cent) on the April total. Ten cranes were visible north of the Liffey, which is unchanged on a month ago.

However, construction activity is likely to be ramped up on both sides of the Liffey over the coming months. Clearance work, for example, is well under way at the National Children’s Hospital site beside the St James’s campus in Dublin 8.

The hospital will be one of the biggest building projects ever undertaken in the capital and will reputedly involve excavating one of the largest holes ever dug in Ireland.

The 473-bed hospital, for example, will rise to seven storeys (about 35m) over a triple basement and extend to a whopping 118,113sq m (1.271 million sq ft).

In comparison, the redevelopment of the ESB’s headquarters on Fitzwilliam Street – one of the largest building projects under way in Dublin – will extend to 45,770sq m (492,663sq ft), while the Capital Dock scheme, where the Dodder meets the Liffey, will amount to 61,316sq m (660,000sq ft).

The children’s hospital project will also involve a 53-bed family accommodation unit of 4,353sq m (46,855sq ft) and a children’s research and innovation centre of 2,971sq m (40,000sq ft). This means that the quantum of space to be produced in the hospital project is more than double the size of Capital Dock.

Meanwhile, Johnny Ronan is looking to build an even larger development than previously planned on part of his 6-acre site beside the new Central Bank on North Wall Quay, to be known as Spencer Place. Permission has just been sought for a mixed-used scheme extending to 66,599sq m (717,000sq ft).

With the Irish economy expected to continue its recovery and a number of significant developments due to enter the construction phase shortly, it is likely the number of cranes on Dublin’s skyline will increase.

The Irish Times will continue to conduct a crane survey once a month to track construction levels in the city centre.