It is easy to understand how JJ Rhatigan & Company has established itself as a leading construction company across Ireland, and particularly in the West of Ireland, when you consider the range and scale of projects they have completed over the last 60 years from Commercial, Medical Technology, Biotechnology and Food Processing facilities to Healthcare, Education and Research & Development centres across major University campuses.
The West of Ireland is fast becoming a commercial hub for many indigenous and multinational companies and JJ Rhatigan & Company is at the forefront in the construction of innovative and sustainable building solutions to meets these companies’ needs.
“In the West, we have access to a highly educated and skilled workforce. Combine this with excellent and ever-improving infrastructure links and an enviable quality of life, it is easy to see why a growing number of companies such as HP and Apple are setting up or expanding their facilities here” says Ger Ronayne, Regional Director at JJ Rhatigan & Company. Headquartered in Galway, with over 250 employees, JJ Rhatigan & Company is one of Ireland’s leading construction companies with offices throughout Ireland. “With continued growth we are expanding our presence, working from Kerry and Cork up to Sligo and Donegal, and from Galway across to Dublin and Wexford and everywhere in between!”
“We have the experience, capabilities and skillset to deliver best in class buildings” with the company’s expertise spanning from Traditional, Design & Build and PPP projects as well as Refurbishment and Fit-out projects. “We have built up a reputation for delivering construction projects to the highest Quality and Health & Safety standards.”
To this end, the company has recently been awarded Sustainable Building Project of the Year 2014 for the construction of the Medtronic Customer Innovation Centre. The project involved the construction of a new two storey extension over a partial basement for Medtronic Ireland. The ground floor comprises of a central atrium with a reception area, luggage store, kitchenette and interactive communication hub, surrounded by a Customer Innovation Centre containing meeting rooms, a research and development suite and ancillary facilities. The first floor comprises of further meeting rooms, cellular and open plan offices and support facilities, with plant in the partial basement. A two storey link corridor connecting the new centre to the old building was also completed.
This project received a LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council, which was successfully implemented by JJ Rhatigan & Company together with stringent environmental parameters and controls. “Overall, it is estimated that all energy efficient features within the building will result in a 20% energy saving when compared to a standard (non LEED Gold) building design. Water efficiency measures, including a rain water harvesting system, will lead to a 40% reduction in energy use within Medtronic Customer Innovation Centre. While overall the lighting system is 20% to 30% more efficient than a standard building which would include such features.” Large buildings such as the Medtronic Customer Innovation Centre require Air Handling Units (AHUs) to supply fresh air into the building in order to maintain indoor air quality. These systems often consume a lot of electrical energy. “In Medtronic, the speed of the fans is automatically controlled by the Building Management System. A series of carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors were installed in the building which measure the indoor air quality and depending on the CO2 concentrations, the speed of the fans is varied to provide the minimum amount of fresh air required thereby reducing the energy used by the fans. By reducing the air volume supplied by 50% will lead to a reduction in fan energy of almost 90%.”
JJ Rhatigan & Company has also completed projects for other medical devices companies including Creganna, as well as biotechnology companies such as Ovagen Limited. Ovagen is a biotechnology company that has developed a process of producing germ free chicken eggs and germ free birds in commercial quantities for use primarily in the pharmaceutical industry. “The construction of a new industrial facility for Ovagen was an interesting challenge for the company due to the nature of the product. This project comprised of a 2,500m² building which contains Germ Free Suites, Isolators, Incubators Laboratories, Egg Processing Units, Research & Development Units, office space, a canteen and associated works. A key requirement of the build was the development of a number of large Clean Rooms which were supplied with high quality air at positive pressure. These rooms were fitted with HEPA filters and temperature controlled. Extensive ventilation ducting & AHU’s were installed throughout the building with all controls being linked by BMS. All the SPF areas, showers, changing areas, feed store and incubation rooms were tested for airtightness and received 5cu.m/m²/hr.”
In an effort to further develop the western region and attract large multinational companies to set up here, JJ Rhatigan & Company has worked in collaboration with the IDA in the development of facilities for the Medtech and Pharma sectors in Athlone.
The company has led the construction of six Research and Technology units, ranging in size from 5,000 ft² – 25,000 ft². The units were built of concrete pad foundations, steel frame, Kingspan cladding and integrated windows, with the provision of a reception area, office space and toilet accommodation to the front of the buildings and production space at the rear. “Dependant on the client specification, each unit was fitted out to the highest Quality and Health & Safety standards. We have vast expertise in the construction and fit out of industrial units for companies such as Conormed, Georgiatech, KCI and PPD. Our knowledge and experience of working within a live production environment, particularly in the Medtech and Pharma sectors where hygiene standards, cleanliness, and air tightness levels is of utmost importance, gives our clients peace of mind that their project will be successfully delivered to the highest quality standard, on time and within budget.”
One such project completed by JJ Rhatigan & Company was for Johnson and Johnson. The project entailed the provision of three new cleanrooms, laboratories, offices and a warehouse together with linking two buildings together to enable them to operate as one. The mechanical and electrical installations were designed and installed to enable the cleanrooms to operate independently of each other in terms of the air quality and humidity. Two separate gowning and sanitation areas were constructed as cleansing facilities and cross over benches to the clean side. The flooring consisted of vinyl sheet membrane with welded joints and coved skirting for ease of cleaning. “Before being handed over to the client, we ensured that the commissioning and validation process was carried out by an independent consultant and adhered to our strict QA system.”
The company’s expertise however spans wider than the medical technology and pharmaceutical sectors. The company has vast experience working with clients in the Food and Drink sector, including Ballina Beverages (Coca Cola), Galmere Foods and Kepak. “We have also completed projects for Valeo Vision Systems, which involved the construction of a factory extension at the rear and front including new loading bays, a recycling area and the fit out of the reception area, canteen, office space etc. More recently we have completed an office fit out and carpark upgrade at Cameron Ireland head office. We are seeing a real turnaround in the market in the last year with companies upgrading and planning for growth, which is great.”
“We need to invest to build for the future.” In the last three years, the company has completed four large scale projects on the NUI Galway campus, including The Life Course Science Building, The Arts Millennium, The Science Research Building and The Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Building. The construction of such facilities is imperative to the West in attracting more and more multinational companies, including Coca Cola, who collaborate with these colleges on Research & Development. In terms of their staff, the company continues to upskill with regular training programmes being implemented.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been further integrated as part of the company’s drive for Sustainable Design, Innovation and Construction Excellence. “BIM enables us to provide certainty of Cost, Programme & Design. Our exacting Design Development process coupled with the use of BIM has resulted in projects being delivered ahead of programme and under budget. The level of repeat business we continue to get is testament to the relationships and trust we have built with our clients and something we hope will continue in the future.” www.jjrhatigan.com