Some €15.6 billion worth of construction projects are in the pipeline in Ireland for this year, according to a report by Construction Information Services, a specialist provider of data on the sector.
This is up from €11 billion in 2015, and involves 633 projects that will either commence work or be finished this year.
In his report overview, Tom Moloney, CIS's managing director, said the increase in scheme values indicated that the "size and scale of projects are continuing to rise".
Spending on residential housing is expected to rise 13 per cent to €1.6 billion with 123 “major projects”.
Commercial, retail and hospitality is the biggest spending sector at €6 billion. “Within that, Dublin has the lion’s share,” Mr Moloney said.
The projects include a €2.5 billion development of Cherrywood, Co Dublin by its owner Hines; development of the Ballsbridge hotels site formerly owned by Sean Dunne and acquired last year by Chartered Land; the regeneration of Dublin's Docklands by the National Asset Management Agency and other groups; the development of 14 primary care centres under a public-private partnership (valued at €115 million); and a courts bundle scheme, also via a PPP, at €130 million.
In the medical sector there is a 17 per cent increase in project value to €1.6 billion, including the long-awaited National Children’s Hospital, which is to be sited at St James’s Hospital in Dublin and cost €650 million.
In his commentary for the report, Tom Parlon, director general of the Construction Industry Federation, said the industry was looking to 2016 with "some measure of optimism".
However, the current difficulties in the housing sector remained a concern, and Mr Parlon said steps needed to be taken to address the “onerous regulation, the high local authority levies and contributions, and the endless delays in planning”.