Offsite construction specialist enters Irish residential market

Dungannon-based company has said it can reduce programme times by at least half

Offsite construction specialist McAvoy Group, which says it can reduce building times by half, is to enter the residential property market in the Republic and Northern Ireland.

The Dungannon-based company said on Monday it had devised a new “modular solution” for all housing tenures – affordable homes, market sale, build-to-rent, student accommodation, and emergency housing.

“Following extensive product development and collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast, McAvoy has developed a steel-framed offsite housing solution for multi-storey apartments, detached, semi-detached and terraced family homes,” it said.

“An entire house can be assembled in a single day – and from foundations to occupation in just seven days.


“There is a severe shortage of affordable homes and homelessness continues to increase year on year. There is a lack of skilled labour in construction, compounded by Brexit, and the building industry has a poor delivery record.

“The McAvoy approach to housing will reduce programme times by at least 50 per cent. This will allow earlier occupation for social housing providers and generate a faster return on investment for private developers.”

It said it would use “highly efficient and proven factory processes” to deliver greater certainty of completion “on time, on budget and to higher quality standards”.

Details were announced last week of 40 new homes built by McAvoy for the Clanmil Group in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim. The development represented the company’s first foray into the residential market.

A spokeswoman for McAvoy said it was taking its product to market and was actively seeking clients in both the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Emergency housing

“The clients would be housebuilders who own land, housing associations, private developers, and local authorities that provide emergency housing,” she said.

McAvoy made a profit of more than £3.5 million during the year ended October 31st, 2017, which was up from just under £2.4 million the year before.

It also had net assets of more than £10.3 million for the period, up from just under £7.2 million the year before. Turnover amounted to £59.9 million, which was up from £57.5 million. Almost 200 people are employed by the company.

McAvoy managing director Eugene Lynch said the company was expanding capacity in anticipation of growth in demand.

“We have a proven track record, strong project management expertise and highly transferrable skills in the successful delivery of offsite solutions across a range of other sectors,” he said.

“These factors combined with our financial stability and pioneering work in digital construction technology mean we are well placed to become a significant player in the provision of high quality family housing manufactured offsite.

“We have ambitious plans for growth in the residential sector and have capacity already in place to meet demand using our highly skilled labour and flexible production facilities. We are also advancing plans to further expand capacity to meet the anticipated growth in demand.”

Features of the offsite housing include floor construction using “highly sustainable” recycled material – an alternative to concrete – and which offers “excellent thermal and acoustic properties”. The model also involves roofs that are pre-tiled in the factory.

Earlier this year, McAvoy completed the construction of a new passenger facility at Dublin Airport. The €22 million facility was built offsite and more than 19 metres wide.

The south gates passenger boarding area was developed to meet the huge growth in passenger numbers at Dublin Airport and is used mainly by Aer Lingus for flights to the UK and continental Europe.

It provides seven boarding gates to serve nine aircraft stands and is designed to accommodate approximately 8,000 passengers a day.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter