Belfast Telegraph

Mobile firm building for the future with buyout

By Margaret Canning

A Co Tyrone building firm operating in one of the industry's few growth areas has announced it paid a substantial sum to complete the acquisition of a business in the Republic.

Modular construction firm McAvoy in Dungannon has fully bought out Maccom in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, after it was formed from a joint venture between the two companies in 1996. Customers of the joint venture in the Republic include its Department of Education, Dublin Bus and Dublin Port.

McAvoy said the Balbriggan business will trade in the Republic under the McAvoy Think Smart: Build Smart identity. It employs around 150 people in designing, manufacturing and installing mobile and modular buildings for schools, colleges, hospitals, hotels and offices.

Orla Corr, McAvoy business development director, said: "The acquisition of Maccom is an immensely important initiative which will bring extensive benefits to existing and potential customers throughout the Republic. We will be offering customers our design-based solution to their building requirements.

"McAvoy has developed an extremely strong brand and reputation as a developer of smart building solutions that meet the specific accommodation requirements of individual customers using the latest off-site manufacturing technologies.

"The acquisition is designed to eliminate any possible market confusion and means customers are dealing directly with McAvoy Think Smart: Build Smart."

George Heaney, a professor of construction at the University of Ulster, said modular building had been growing as an industry for around 10 years.

"The idea behind modular construction is to take away the risks to construction work which are posed by the weather. Buildings can be constructed in factory conditions with control over your environment.

"They lend themselves to buildings like hotels, prison cells and schools where you have lots of repetitive-type accommodation. It is very much seen as a way of being able to reduce costs and have higher quality."

Modular building methods have become prevalent in the budget hotel sector with Spanish hotelier Lookotels the latest to explore its potential.

McAvoy designs and makes so-called 'smart buildings' to order. It was established in 1973 and has manufacturing plants at Dungannon and Lisburn.