Thursday, 20 January 2022
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
37. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the progress made on the Programme for Government commitment to enhance productivity in the construction sector, including using modern methods of construction, work which was to be guided by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2680/22]
The Construction Sector Group (CSG) was established by my Department in 2018. The CSG ensures regular and open dialogue between government and industry on how best to achieve and maintain a sustainable and innovative construction sector positioned to successfully deliver on the commitments in Project Ireland 2040.
Among the cross-cutting issues which the CSG has focused on in recent years, are the areas of productivity, sustainability, construction costs, skills, and supporting innovation and digital adoption.
In November 2021, I announced that a consortium led by TU Dublin was the winner of a €2.5 million grant to deliver the build digital project. After 5 years the project will have delivered increased digital adoption across the entire Irish construction and built environment sector. This project is one of seven priority action points arising from the building innovation report, which drew upon an extensive consultation and international benchmarking process and an economic analysis of the causes of productivity trends in the construction sector. The benefits of Build Digital should support a range of construction sub-sectors under Project Ireland 2040 including the delivery of Housing for All, by assisting the speed of delivery, reducing the cost of delivery, and improving the quality of output and the maintenance of structures once built.
The CSG's Innovation and Digital Adoption Subgroup drives the delivery of the seven actions under its remit, including the Build Digital Project, and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).
Under Action 3 (Modern Methods of Construction), the CIF recently published a report examining the current issues with MMC and what the key market requirements are to drive further adoption and implementation. The report contains one-to-one MMC/OSM (Offsite Manufacturing) stakeholder interviews which captured views on the key elements required to deliver a successful MMC demonstration park. The report highlights other key market requirements which the CSG will consider.
Collaboration and continued engagement with industry representatives through the CSG is resulting in positive developments in terms of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the construction sector, which will in turn enable the delivery of the Government's ambitions under the National Development Plan in the years ahead.