DIT Launches ‘Construction Innovation Lab’

dit_crest_2010Launch: October 16th 2013

A new initiative aimed at promoting construction innovation is to be established in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Bolton Street. The ‘Construction Innovation Lab’ (CIL) is a student led initiative that has been set up in response to the need for relevant research and development for the Irish built environment. The primary function of the lab is to align postgraduate research students with industry to solve the problems identified by their commercial partners.

The CIL has been founded by DIT postgraduate research students Paul Ebbs & Vincent Gibson, under the auspices of DIT Head of School of Surveying & Construction Management, Mr. Tom Dunne and Assistant Head of School, Mr Garrett Keenaghan. Other researchers in ‘the Lab’ include Conor Dore, Brendan Towey and Conor McManus.

The official launch of the ‘Lab’ is being held in DIT’s Bolton Street campus on October 16th 2013. The event is in partnership with CIOB Ireland in conjunction with an information day on the CIOB membership. Presentations from CIOB staff, CIOB members, Novus representatives and the recent winner of the Construction Manager of the Year award together with the presentation of CIOB student awards will take place. Tom Parlon, Director General at the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) will open the evening session.

Additionally, there will be presentations from research students in CIL and their fellow researchers in the TU (Technical University) Delft’s BIMlab, Netherlands, regarding their objectives and the ways in which their research has assisted industry with innovation. Funding opportunities that are available to companies looking to engage in research will also be highlighted. This is a free event taking place between 4 and 8pm, all are welcome to attend.

Current commercial partners of CIL include MDY Construction Ltd & PM Group who will be presenting on the day. Both companies have highlighted how this can be of benefit to the wider industry.

According to Mel O’Reilly, Managing Director of MDY Construction and former President of the Master Builders and Contractors Association (MBCA), “We see an urgent need to follow the example of other industry sectors to innovate, to develop better and more efficient systems of work, to meet changing demands, and to dramatically improve productivity. This is an important step in that process.”

John Hamilton, Director of Construction with PM Group also welcomed the initiative. “PM Group is delighted to be associated with the ‘Lab’ and indeed get more involved in some of the research being undertaken.”

Speaking about the ideals behind the lab, CIL co-founder Paul Ebbs said, “Our industry experience combined with our education in DIT has identified the need for innovation in the Irish construction and facilities management industry and we have now established links with European partners in the Netherlands. We hope this lab will grow and help provide further innovation in the Irish construction industry while also benefiting the growth of the sector in the years to come.”