THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT AT CABINPAC AS THE COMPANY CELEBRATES 40 YEARS IN BUSINESS AND AN €800,000 INVESTMENT IN A NEW FACILITY
This year, Cabinpac is marking 40 years in business with an €800,000 investment in a 20,000 sq ft factory extension. The new facility, which will increase the company’s capacity by 50%, will be able to produce up to 20 units per week, increasing the total plant capacity to 60 modular units per week.
Cabinpac is enjoying rapid growth; this year’s turnover is expected to double in the current financial year. In order to manage this growth, the company has created 16 new full-time jobs in 2019, increasing its total headcount by more than 30%. As well as supplying pre-assembled modular units to the industrial, pharma and logistics sectors, Cabinpac has also positioned itself as a leading supplier of modular, bespoke solutions to the education and healthcare sectors. Management believes that the increasing costs of construction, occasioned by a lack of skilled labour and likely to be further increased in the case of a hard Brexit and its impact on supply of building materials – while difficult for many – are benefiting Cabinpac’s growth. Here, Tadhg Twomey, Cabinpac Managing Director, outlines the reasons for the company’s impressive growth and why modular construction is the answer to the current skills shortage in the industry.
WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THE COMPANY’S RECENT SUCCESS AND GROWTH TO?
Cabinpac is leading from the front to provide modular/rapid build solutions to a wide portfolio of customers. Pioneering modern methods of construction (MMC) at our Dunshaughlin facility has allowed us to work in a controlled and sustainable environment before transport to site for ‘plug and play’ type installation. The company has invested heavily in the use of BIM and other technology platforms to make the initial design and planning phases of projects more transparent and seamless. Our customers are keenly aware of the importance of sustainability and all our solutions have the environment and sustainability at the heart of design and subsequent installation.
Our solutions reduce on-site installation time, reduce the need for scarce site labour and significantly reduce harmful environmental factors such as neighbour disruption and site traffic emissions. Our customers recognise us as experts in adaptable and innovative design and manufacture of modular solutions. They recognise the skill of our workforce and understand our core values of care, transparency, innovation, trust and respect.
WHEN THE COMPANY STARTED 40 YEARS AGO, WHAT WAS BUSINESS LIKE?
Customer expectations 40 years ago were very much based on the notion of prefabrication and the solution was, for the most part, regarded as temporary in nature. The education sector was very often at the forefront in the use of prefabricated buildings. Cabinpac has always been respected as a provider of quality solutions but the more sophisticated customer requirements allied to more stringent building regulations has meant an upgrading of raw material usage. Better insulation and airtightness requirements have meant that Cabinpac has become an advocate for change around more sustainable and long-term solutions.
THROUGHOUT THOSE 40 YEARS, WHAT HAVE BEEN THE HIGH POINTS AND THE LOW POINTS?
For all of its 40 years, Cabinpac has been a profitable and successful company. It has worked on some of the largest construction sites in the country and has a strong reputation for delivering rapid build solutions to the education and healthcare sectors. The longevity of our company, along with the loyalty and commitment of our staff, is an achievement in itself.
Like all businesses, the recession of the late 2000’s was a difficult time but Cabinpac used the time wisely to rebuild our processes and capabilities and place us at the forefront of the modular business industry.
The benefits of off-site construction have become better known to the end customers and intermediaries including architects and project managers in the recent past. In the UK for example, the Department of Education has become a key driver and influencer of MMC.
Building regulations in Ireland require solutions that are more sophisticated to ensure compliance. The BCAR process is onerous and in that regard, our products and our on-site processes have evolved.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE CABINPAC’S GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS?
We have a strong and deserved reputation for delivering quality solutions. That and our ability to be innovative and forward thinking is our greatest achievement.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MODULAR CONSTRUCTION?
Modular build solutions have many advantages over ‘traditional’ build. Typically, the design phase is very collaborative and team based. Architects, clients, engineers and factory planning staff work through BIM enabling technology to come up with the optimum solution in a cost-effective way. Off-site construction means buildings are manufactured in a controlled environment and are subject to rigorous quality control checks. Up to 80% of construction activity happens away from site, which leads to minimal site disruption. This is particularly important for working sites such as schools and hospitals. It is also becoming difficult to source on site construction staff. Materials tend to be eco–friendly and thus modular contributes to construction sustainability. Materials used for internal walls improve sound insulation and fire proofing. Modular builds are extremely airtight which improves their energy efficiency.
WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS FOR THE FUTURE?
Cabinpac has ambitions to grow its business in a durable and consistent fashion and to be at the forefront of the rapid build industry in Ireland.
Denise Maguire Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine