John Sisk & Son is on track to continue its impressive legacy now and into the future. Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer at Sisk, talks to ICIM about opportunities in Europe and leading the way when it comes to digital tools.


What are the current obstacles to growth?
Uncertainty in the market over cost escalation and pricing is like nothing I’ve seen in nearly 30 years in the industry. We cannot put the company at risk, so we are having mature conversations with our customers to make sure we protect the business from unprecedented inflation risk.

Where do you think the most significant growth will occur for the business in the next few years?
Data centres and life sciences in the European market have seen significant growth and this is expected to continue. We see huge opportunity in those sectors and this is part of our strategy to grow. I can see Europe moving closer to a third of our revenue in 18 months or two years.


What key projects best demonstrate Sisk’s capabilities?
Our ‘Whole Project Lifecycle Offering’ is our ‘one-stop’ total solution service for clients leveraging the full strength and capability of our traditional construction business, along with the recent acquisitions of Vision-Built and Sensori FM. To address increasing demand from clients, particularly in relation to driving a Net Zero agenda through the practical use of MMC and digital twin technology, we developed our Whole Project Lifecycle offering over the last two years. It unlocks a multitude of additional benefits for our clients, the building occupants, the community and the overall environment. Another example is our Grangegorman East and Central Quad project, an outstanding example of Building Information Modelling (BIM) excellence.

With this project, the design and construction team have experienced benefits and sustainability gains from the beginning. We saw a significant reduction in the number of technical queries on the project through BIM. 3D BIM visualizations have helped achieve explicit and well-informed decisions from the client and have also improved the quality of the building design.

What are the priorities for Sisk in 2022?
We are working on an updated strategy for the business. Steve Bowcott took over the business in 2015 during difficult times. He stabilised it and modernised some of the ways we go about our business in terms of commercial reporting and governance. Now, we have a real opportunity to modernise the business further. Steven McGee has joined as Chief Operating Officer, Ireland, to lead the ongoing development of the construction business in Ireland and Donal McCarthy was appointed COO, Data Centre, Life Sciences & Technology.


Is there a culture within the firm when it comes to working with clients?
Yes, our relationships with our clients are really important to us, particularly in these challenging times. We believe in mutual respect, professionalism, innovation and creating partnerships and thankfully we have a large number of repeat clients. The world has changed and we need to make sure we stay relevant as an employer.

How’s business at the moment?
Overall, 2021 was a challenging year for the business in tough market conditions. We delivered a turnover of about €1.4 billion, with Ireland accounting for 48% of that, the UK 33% and Europe the remaining 19%. We are working closely with clients to help them make the best decisions on when to go to site with projects against the backdrop of uncertainty, so we can manage our way successfully through this difficult period. There is a maturity of discussion that we are having with our customers to make sure we protect them and us from unprecedented inflation.




Denise Maguire   Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine

Email: denise@mcdmedia.ie      WWW.MCDMEDIA.IE