Global Gain

When it comes to being deserving of a job title, Duke McCaffrey Consulting’s new director of global business development for the data centre sector has certainly put in the hard miles.

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The Benefits Of Workplace Wellbeing

Rebecca SFA

An “innate culture of support” that came to the fore during the Covid pandemic and has continued to prioritise people over profits saw Duke McCaffrey shortlisted for the Small Firms Association’s ‘Workplace Wellbeing’ Award.

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A Numbers Game

There is a strong sniff of serendipity about Mark Kirwan’s circuitous route to becoming a chartered surveyor and director.

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Duke McCaffrey have had a successful run of project wins throughout the last year across a variety of sectors, significantly strengthening our experience in the Third Level Education and Health sectors.

Recent wins in the Education Sector include projects at IT Carlow, a 1,400m2 refurbishment project at the PJ Carroll’s Facility Building in Dundalk Institute of Technology, the leading higher education institute of the North Leinster South Ulster Region.

We are also currently working on a number of projects for Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology to include the retrofit of their Centre for the Creative Arts & Media Campus on Monivea Road in Galway City. Using a high temperature heating pump, we replaced the existing oil-fired heating system under the EEDPP (Energy Efficient and De-carbonisation Pathfinder Program), in two phases and we are also involved in the conversion project in their Room 509. Two more wins in this sector were for the FOCAS Research Institute at Technological University Dublin, at Grangegorman, and a new 600 pupil Primary School in Kerry.

Mayo General Hospital New Emergency Department Extension and Medical Admissions Unit was a win for us in the Health Sector along with the HSE Decarbonisation Pilot Pathfinder Programme for the Dublin North East Region. We have further extended our hotel sector experience with the 280-bedroom hotel development at Arran Street in the up and coming Fruit Market area of Dublin city. The project involved the construction of the new hotel and basement below ground level which was a challenging project on a relatively restricted site. The construction of this seven-storey building and complex façade treatment, and landscape on the building, will result in a top-class brand hotel.

2021 was a busy year where we were successfully added to Public Sector frameworks such as Carlow County Council, Bus Eireann, An Post, The Office of Government Procurement and the Restoration of Glasshouses and related Built Structures framework for Fingal County Council.

Joe McCaffrey, Managing Director

As the managing director of Dublin-based construction consultants Duke McCaffrey, Joe McCaffrey has much to be grateful for.

The firm he forged alongside business partner Kevin Duke in 2015 has thrived in post-recession Ireland, expanding to a core team of 20 specialists and winning an impressive portfolio of projects that span a broad spectrum of sectors.

However, as important to Joe as the company’s healthy growth has been the part played by Duke McCaffrey in enhancing the physical and economic landscapes of its geographical roots.

“We set the company up because there was a clear gap in the market for firms truly invested in the Irish market,” explained the experienced quantity surveyor. “Many of the bigger corporates at the time were failing to deliver as their attention was focused elsewhere and we wanted to address that.

“Duke McCaffrey has been successful because we care greatly about what happens in Ireland, which quickly saw us earn the trust and confidence of clients. We have always strived to provide a personal service and to be easily contactable and approachable.

“Doing so makes us more agile than others; we take time to find out what makes our clients tick and then tailor our strategy and services accordingly.”

It is an ethos that Joe is determined not to see eroded as his enterprise expands.

“Having your name on the door is a great source of pride but it is also a big burden,” continued the 41-year-old. “People expect your involvement and we have deliberately controlled our growth to ensure that we preserve the level of service that sets us apart.

“While we now number 20, we could easily already boast 40, 50 or 60 employees. We will continue to grow – within Ireland, the UK and America – but at a pace that is not to the detriment of our offering.”

While staying true to the company’s traditions will be a cornerstone of Duke McCaffrey’s expansion, Joe insisted that his team’s knowledge and understanding of emerging trends will enable it to excel in whatever environment awaits over the horizon.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be in the construction industry because of the challenges it faces in Ireland and further afield,” he concluded.

“Housing shortages, net zero targets and a revolution in how people live, work and shop all represent massive problems, but we fully intend to help find and deliver the solutions.”

Halloween – Trick or Treat! 👻

How much do you know about the festival of Halloween? Test your knowledge this Sunday with Duke McCaffrey’s Trick or Treat fun quiz! 

Halloween’s origins go back to an ancient Celtic festival and is now a tradition for many nations across the world – in fact around 23 countries! But so many things about this festival are yet unknown.

Halloween has been a tradition in Ireland for over 2000 years and we thought it would be fun to get families and friends to take part throughout the day! 

From myths to legends, origins and traditions – this Halloween team up with your friends and family and join in with our spooky Halloween quiz. Tune in at the below times on our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to follow along with our quiz! 

Schedule of Times

Question 18.30amAnswer 12pm
Question 29.30amAnswer 23pm
Question 310.30amAnswer 34pm
Question 411.30amAnswer 45pm
Question 512.30amAnswer 56pm

Answers provided on the afternoon of the 31st November. Respond to the questions in the comments on the post.

Good luck!

#TakeFive – An interview with Tadhg McGuiness, Assistant Cost Manager, Duke McCaffrey

Can you tell us a little bit more about your work and study life?

“I’m at the Technological University Dublin on a five-year part-time course. It’s one day a week at college, then four days a week working with Duke McCaffrey. In between semesters I have been working full-time.

It’s a privilege really because it’s more of an authentic way to study and learn. When you’re in college the conversation is very different with your lecturers, it’s more of a discussion rather than just sitting there being taught. It’s a really great way to learn and I wouldn’t change it for the world, I think the practical and academic approach is the best way to excel in any field.

How has it been with Duke McCaffrey?

The team are excellent to work with, I think Duke McCaffrey are probably one of the best and fastest growing firms at the minute. The support they give me in terms of work, college and on any other level is just fantastic, out of this world, I really enjoy working with them. I’m going into my third year in college now and I’ve been with Duke McCaffrey for just over two years.

Which department do you work in at the moment?

I work in the quantity surveying department and my job title is Assistant Cost Manager. I’ve particularly liked the last couple of months as I had been acting in supporting roles, but lately I’ve taken a bit of a shine to it and I’ve been awarded some lead roles and projects. The team are happy with me and I’m happy with them so it’s going good at the minute, very full on.

Had you been working from home as well?

Yeah, I’ve been working from home for a good part of the pandemic. Over the last two or three months I’ve been in and out of the office so on a face-to-face basis, maintaining social distance and following all the protocols and advice. But, you know, we’re starting to get back into a certain sense of normality. The return is slow, but it is happening and it’s a much better environment in the office because I can bounce questions off people. Back at home everything took a long time, but we got through it.

Were you studying from home as well, or going into classes?

Yes, I was studying from home, it was a completely online academic term. There were no in-person classes, no theory or practical, everything was done remotely. There were exams, which meant that the lectures were pre-recorded, so it was a YouTube video for some lectures, others were just on Teams. It probably wasn’t the best way and I certainly would have preferred to be in college. It’s hard to learn new subjects in a non-educational environment but, that being said, if you put your mind to it you can do anything.

Are you the only one in the team doing this sort of course at the moment?

Yes, I’m the first person Duke McCaffrey hired to do the part-time course. They have had some students in on placement, which is the more common approach when you’re on the full-time course. When you’re in year three or four, you do six-month placements. There have been some students on that basis temporarily, but I’m the first they hired straight out of secondary school with no construction experience. They took a big of a leap of faith with me, but I like to think it paid off.

So will you be there for the full five years?

I will be with Duke McCaffrey for the full five years and then post-graduation I will stay with them as well, they have invested in me, so I feel it is important that I give something back.  But more than that I really like it here!

Would you recommend the path you’ve taken to others like you?

I would, wholeheartedly. It’s full on and some days there are long hours and late nights but it is most definitely worth it. Overall, the experience I’m gaining with the team, particularly at Duke McCaffrey, is phenomenal. When I go to meetings, I get talking to professionals from other companies and they are always a bit taken aback when I tell them I’m 20.

It’s all down to the structure of the course and how you learn at college and then at work. You practice certain tasks in work and then learn about it in college. You learn certain things in college, and when you see it at work and apply it in real life, that’s how you progress and excel, then it’s just copy, paste, repeat.