Managing Director Richard O’Farrell was recently featured in the December edition of the Irish Construction Industry Magazine talking about EDC’s recent expansion into Turkey and future foundations for EDC’s growth.
Earlier this year, engineering consultancy EDC announced the opening of a new office in Istanbul. The move has expanded the firm’s presence in the MENAT region to cater to client demand and leverage opportunities within these areas. EDC also has an office in London, which has expanded in recent years and the recent expansion into Istanbul aligns with EDC’s growth strategy which has seen the opening of an office to service the mid-west, the appointment of two Executive Directors in the company’s Cork and Dublin offices and an increase in headcount to over 97 employees across its five offices over the past 24 months.
Richard O’Farrell, Managing Director at EDC, attributes the company’s steady growth to the dedication and hard work shown by the staff. “We have a very strong team at EDC which has definitely contributed to our growth over the past number of years. We’re also very much focused on delivering effective designs to suit our clients’ budgets. A client-first ethos amongst the whole team has served us well, as has the development of our management team. We’re constantly looking to grow our engineering and consultancy services and the decision to expand into Istanbul strengthens our delivery capabilities. It also increases our ability to service our current and future clients and sectors.”
At the moment, live projects include a range of healthcare, life sciences, residential and mixed-use developments. Business is good across the board, says Richard. “The London market is currently quite strong, as is the Dublin market. In our Munster market, we’ve seen a dip on the commercial side due to the unavailability of some projects with increased costs. Right now, those increased costs aren’t being felt in the Dublin market to the same extent, but we are prepared if that changes in 2023.” Rising costs and inflation are the biggest risks to the market, says Richard, but with a generous spread of projects across various regions and sectors, those risks are somewhat minimised. “What we’ve seen in previous recessions is that if one region is under pressure, the other regions that we operate in will support it. We’re also quite diverse across our sector base; we work on projects in the industrial, life sciences, logistics, residential, commercial, student accommodation, nursing homes and healthcare sectors. We are also working on a number of energy projects such as energy from waste plants and energy sorting plants. So that sector and geographical spread have, in the past, protected us from significant recession. I suspect it will serve us well over the next couple of years.”
Although Covid proved challenging in terms of project delivery, the pandemic did bring some benefits. EDC has adapted to new ways of working and found that client interaction has changed for the better. “We also continued to grow throughout Covid, so we managed to weather that period quite well.” Going forward, ambitions at EDC include continued growth year on year and improving how the business meets clients’ needs and expectations. “Enhancing our design delivery process is top of our list of priorities for 2023. It is an ambitious plan which will lead to increased quality and faster delivery. To achieve a more efficient and effective design process, integration between our different teams and disciplines at EDC is critical.
Our design department will be working in the 3D medium on all projects from inception to completion. It’s a really exciting project and one that will benefit the company hugely.” It’s also a project that’s set to push boundaries, not just for EDC but for the wider industry, says Richard. “This isn’t the type of progressive project that engineering firms generally undertake, so we’re fairly unique in that respect. We’ve head hunted a new team member from Turkey who’s an expert in this type of digital process delivery. He has many years of experience in this field, so we’re very enthusiastic about the role he will play over the next few years at EDC.” The business is also developing a dedicated team to specifically look at reducing carbon on existing buildings as well as new projects. “That is going to be a significant requirement over the next 10 years. Energy reduction across all our projects is key and something we take very seriously. We’re committed to designing best-in-class, sustainable buildings and I think our project portfolio reflects that commitment.” Further expansion plans are also on the horizon.
EDC has just opened a new office in Galway and plans to expand further new offices into the Northwest and West Midland regions of England to support the growing energy and manufacturing sectors. More offices mean more staff but employee well-being is just as important as client satisfaction, says Richard. “One of the benefits of having multiple locations is that when one office gets very busy, we can share resources. This industry is renowned for burnout and overworking people. At EDC, we strive to make sure that does not happen.” Client satisfaction has ensured repeat business and that’s something that’s set to continue, says Richard. “We are proud to be working with a number of top-tier repeat clients and aim to continue to deliver the most innovative and sustainable designs to ensure all projects achieve their net zero carbon and ESG objectives.”