National Construction Summit

18th April 2024Sport Ireland Campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin

Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, will speak at the 2024 National Construction Summit, which is being held on April 18th at the Sport Ireland Campus, Blanchardstown in Dublin.

Incorporating a comprehensive conference programme, including a wide array of seminars and free workshops, the National Construction Summit will also feature an extensive exhibition area, showcasing the latest products, services and technology for the construction, engineering, sustainable building, maintenance and architectural sectors.

Key Conference themes at the 2024 National Construction Summit include: Jobs, Skills, Training and Education; Infrastructural Investment; Public & Private Housing; Finance; Building Materials & Services Innovation; Foreign Direct Investment (FDI); Project Ireland 2040, the Housing For All Plan; Smart Design for Off-site Construction; Construction 4.0; Green Technology; and Sustainability.

Irish Construction Growth

Construction output in Ireland is forecast to grow by 3.2% in 2023 and 4.4% in 2024, according to Euroconstruct, an independent construction market forecasting network active in 19 European countries. This is in contrast to output declines in construction across Europe.

Euroconstruct expects the level of new housing completions in Ireland to meet or exceed national targets, with completions estimated at 31,000 in 2023 and 33,450 in 2024. Ireland is the only country forecast to see strong growth next year, up 7.9% during this period. The civil engineering sector in Ireland is forecast to grow by 2.4% in 2023 and 5.3% in 2024, while the non-residential sector will grow by 2.9% and 2.6% over the same two-year period.

Housing Supply

Housing for all is the Government’s housing policy to 2030. A multi-annual, multi-billion euro plan, it is designed to improve Ireland’s housing system and deliver more homes of all types for people with different housing needs. It has a built-in annual review mechanism to respond to progress made in implementing the plan, to challenges in implementation, and to changes in the external environment.

However, although housing supply has been increasing, the continuing increase in house prices and rents indicate that demand for housing is still growing at a faster pace than supply.

Darragh O’Brien TD was appointed Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage in June 2020. He is a Fianna Fail TD for the Dublin-Fingal constituency. Prior to his election to the 30th Dáil in 2007, Darragh O’Brien worked mainly in Financial Services and was elected to Fingal County Council in 2004. He was elected to Seanad Éireann in 2011.

Minister O’Brien’s comments on housing will no doubt be eagerly awaited by attendees at the National Construction Summit.

New Housing Guidelines

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage recently published the Sustainable Residential Development and Compact Settlements Guidelines for Planning Authorities which are aimed at creating more attractive, liveable, well-designed, high quality urban places. The guidelines are also intended to provide a broader range of housing options to meet the needs of a growing population.

Welcoming the publication of the Sustainable Residential Development and Compact Settlements Guidelines for Planning Authorities, Darragh O’Brien TD commented: “They are timely particularly in light of the Government’s overall objective to increase housing supply as set out under Housing for All and expand on the higher-level policies of the National Planning Framework (NPF) in relation to the creation of settlements that are compact, attractive, liveable and well designed. While progress continues to be made on housing delivery, the greater flexibility offered by these guidelines will help in achieving our aim of providing a broader range of housing options to meet the needs of a growing and more diverse population.”

Challenges

The construction sector is a vital component of the Irish economy providing the necessary infrastructure required to sustain Ireland’s economic growth and competitiveness and to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). According to a recent EY Economic Advisory report, the value of Irish construction output is projected to reach €35.2 billion in 2024.

Although the Irish construction industry is undergoing a steady recovery following subdued activity in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it faces significant challenges, such as rising materials costs, skills shortages and difficulties in planning and public sector procurement.

Innovation

In order to design and construct the sustainable buildings and infrastructure required by a growing population and to help businesses adapt to the challenges of the unfolding fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), the construction industry throughout Ireland needs to rapidly adopt innovative technologies and techniques. However, there is concern that the industry is not evolving fast enough to meet these changing needs.