COVID-19 Update

 

With construction hopefully re-starting on May 18th AOCA are preparing to put ourselves in a position where we can provide full Engineering Site Services to all of our clients whilst continuing to ensure all of our staff, clients and contractors stay safe. We will be contacting any contractors with whom we are involved in projects to discuss their plans for the re-start. We also hope to be in a position to re-commence structural surveys, Insurance claim inspections, etc. from this date. We are currently awaiting advice from some government agencies and will be in touch with all relevant parties as soon as possible.

In the meantime, continue to #staysafe#stayathome and if you require further updates please do not hesitate to contact our Engineers by e-mail or phone. If your enquiry is new please e-mail info@aoca.ie

IS465 – AOCA Experts in Pyrite/Mica

Pyrite/Mica in block-work has, and is, causing serious damage to numerous properties all over the country, with most of them in the North West.  Due to the extent of the problem, the NSAI set up an expert committee to produce a standard to deal with it.  Aidan O’Connell, a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and Managing Director of AOCA Engineering Consultants, and Colin Scott, a Chartered Engineer, MSc. LLM C.Eng, MIEI, AMI StructE, MICE, MCIArb and Associate Director of AOCA Engineering Consultants, were both asked to sit on an expert committee and were heavily involved in the compilation of the new standard IS465.

The Expert Panel was of the opinion that: “the reason for the widespread pattern cracking in private dwellings in Counties Donegal and Mayo is primarily due to the excessive amount of deleterious materials in the aggregate used to manufacture the concrete blocks.  The deleterious material in County Donegal was primarily muscovite mica, while in County Mayo it was primarily reactive pyrite.”

Concrete blocks manufactured from aggregates containing certain potentially deleterious materials, and subject to substantial ingress of moisture and or freeze thaw conditions, can have reduced strength and durability, resulting in disintegration.  Concrete masonry which remains in a dry state will not suffer from freeze thaw effect.

Click on the Link to view the full standard.

While the primary locations of the problem have been identified as Donegal and Mayo, AOCA has been involved in cases in numerous other counties including ones in the South West and South East. It is clear therefore that the problem is a national one rather than a regional one.

AOCA are perfectly situated in the centre of the country to service the entire island – and we would be more than happy to assist you in any queries that you may have in relation to this issue.

Contact:

Aidan O’Connell        –           057 8663244 or via email at aidan@aoca.ie

Colin Scott                  –           01 4243035 or via email at colin@aoca.ie

WELLSTONE MIDLANDS RENAL CARE CENTRE @ LISMARD PORTLAOISE OPENS ITS DOORS.

TEAM

CLIENT: B. Braun Medical

CIVIL & STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: AOCA Engineering Consultants

ARCHITECTS & INTERIOR ARCHITECTS: McLoughlin Architecture

MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL: T5 PARTNERSHIP

QUANTITY SURVEYORS: LAMBERTS SURVEYORS

MAIN CONTRACTOR: TOC CONSTRUCTION 

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: KFLA

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: TRANSPORT INSIGHTS

This stand alone purpose built satellite Renal Care Centre will greatly improve the lives for many living in the Midlands. It will significantly reduce travel times and costs for those currently travelling to Tullamore and further afield for Dialysis treatment. We are honoured to have worked as the Civil & Structural Engineers on this project and wish all the new staff & patients health and wellness for the future.  A fabulous addition to the area.

Kilcavan GAA Club

Kilcavan GAA have released designs for their new state-of-the-art indoor training facility.

Kilcavan GAA, located in Mountmellick parish, has continued to grow consistently over the past number of years strongly supported by Clonaghadoo National School.

In 2014, in association with Laois GAA, Kilcavan GAA commenced a five-year plan to improve their clubs facilitates in order to support the clubs growing numbers.

To date they have successful added a new illuminated training pitch, ball stops, car park, security fencing, shower rooms, outdoor toilet’s, Kitchen/meeting room and a 600m fully illuminated jogging/walking track.

 

As part of the final stage of their five-year plan, Kilcavan GAA are pleased to announce that works are due to commence in the coming weeks on its new indoor training facility.

The development will more than double the size of the existing building on the site, with a total additional area of almost 200 square metres being constructed.

The Planning Permission, Fire Safety Certificate and Disability Access Certificate for the development was granted by Laois County Council in September 2018, which paved the way for the construction to commence.

A competitive tendering process was carried out by AOCA Engineering Consultants for the construction of the new facility and the appointment of the successful tenderer, JS Dooley Contracting Ltd., was made last month.

 

The central focus of the development will be a new 136 square metre multipurpose fitness room, which looks as though it could rival any inter-county training facility when completed.

Engineer and Kilcavan GAA member David Ryan said, “The development has only been made possible through funding from the Sports Capital Programme through the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and ongoing fundraising carried out by club members over the last number of years.”

Kilcavan GAA have also recently carried out a colouring competition in conjunction with Clonaghadoo National School.

The two winning pupils will complete the turning of the sod for the new facility next week.

The club wished to thank the following people who have helped to make this development possible; Cllr David Goodwin, Laois County Council, AOCA Engineering Consultants, Ger Ryan Architectural Services in Mountmellick, O’Connell Brothers plant hire and JS Dooley Contracting Ltd.

From Laois Today

NSAI Concrete Blocks Committee formed

This is a welcome development in the regulation of the concrete industry after many years of heartache for homeowners and business owners affected with substandard blocks.  This new committee will forge the way forward and new standards will ensure that the Pyrite and Mica problem in block work in Ireland never repeats itself.

We are delighted to announce that Aidan O’Connell, Managing Director of AOCA Engineering Consultants, is one of those committee members and will attend the first committee meeting on Monday 11th September.  Aidan became a Fellow of Engineers Ireland in July 2014 and Engineers Ireland are happy for him to represent them on this new Concrete Block Committee.  Aidan has over 30 years of experience in the construction industry and with particular knowledge of the Pyrite problem in Ireland.  Aidan is currently overseeing the process of assessment, design and supervision of the structural remediation, consisting of over 1000 properties affected by Pyrite

AOCA (UK) Limited

Aidan O’Connell & Associates Ltd has entered a new chapter as AOCA rebranding earlier this year and now entered the UK market.  This new venture has taken months to set-up, with a lot of research into the viability of the expansion in the current Brexit climate.  AOCA (UK) Ltd was formed in February 2017 and work has commenced on a book of business across the United Kingdom from London to Manchester to Cornwall to Leeds.  Our head office in the UK is based in Manchester.

Initially we will be dealing with a large book of business involving Latent Defect damage to all property types from single units to Multi Unit residential and commercial developments. Coupled to this is our private client base in the UK which we forecast to grow considerably.

If you have any engineering consultancy requirements in the UK please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 3300539213 or email info@aoca.co.uk You can also visit our new website on www.aoca.co.uk

Shortlisted for Laois Business Awards

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Laois Business Awards.  There were 87 entries for the 9 categories and 28 have been shortlisted and the winners will be announced at a Gala evening at the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise on Friday 28th April 2017.  The 28 Finalists will compete for the prestigious awards and will be selected from the following categories:

  • Tourism & Hospitality Award
  • Retail Excellence Award
  • Agri-Business of the Year Award
  • Innovation in Business Award
  • Export of the Year Award
  • E-Commerce Award
  • Environmental Award
  • SME Business of the Year Award
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award

AOCA has been shortlisted for the SME Business Award Category and is up against stiff competition.  “We would like to congratulate all the companies that entered and wish all the finalists the best of luck on the night” Aidan O’Connell Managing Director

Aoca Engineering Consultants

An acorn which has grown is the metaphor which Aidan O’Connell employs to describe the development of his Engineering and Project Management consultancy business, since its inception in Portlaoise 21 years ago.

Aoca Engineering Portlaoise

The Portlaoise office and staff of AOCA at Lismard House

The company, now re-branded as AOCA and based at Lismard House on the Timahoe Road, has established itself as one of the leading Consulting Engineering practices in the country.
Its growth and success is reflected in the company’s re-branding as AOCA. This followed a four-month consultation period, and an in-house marketing exercise, conducted by Business Manager Lisa Morrissey.

“The rationale behind the re-branding was the creation of a title which would be more inclusive of the people working with us,” explains Aidan.
“Our ethos here is that people do not work for us, but with us.”
“We started out as a regional company, but we have expanded exponentially. We are now national, and this includes Northern Ireland.”

Indicative of this is the fact that AOCA opened a Dublin office in 2014 at the Centrepoint Business Park, Oak Drive.
It has also now secured a major contract in the UK, something which heralds a major coup for the business, and which Aidan is very enthusiastic about. This has led to an adjusted structure with Aidan now the CEO and Director for the UK, while Brian Byrne is Director for Ireland

“We have undertaken consultancy work in the UK before, but this is a major service contract which should last for at least a minimum of ten years, and will also involve some work in Spain.”

Aidan estimates it is worth between €20 and €30 million.

“We won this contract based on the level and quality of the service we provide.”

AOCA’s remit in the UK will include structural defects in buildings, fire, explosions and a whole gamut of other insurance related issues.

AOCA is presently setting up its infrastructure in the UK, and they expect to open six regional offices to deal with the huge volume of business that comes in this market.
It’s an exciting and major new chapter for the business which Aidan established in 1996, with a mere three people. Now there are 15 staff based in Portlaoise and 8 in Dublin.

Domestically, AOCA is performing very well. It has recently undertaken two large primary care centres in Balbriggan & Celbridge for private companies and also an equine facility in Lucan for South Dublin County Council.
It also does the largest volume of pyrite remedial work in the country.
This portfolio complements all the other work that the company undertakes, including a range of one off jobs which can include anything from private houses to hotels and warehouses.
Aidan notes that the demand for them to move into new areas is always present, and recently they have initiated a motor accident investigation section.
Returning to the acorn metaphor, Aidan is justifiably proud that the business has grown two and a half times since 2007.

“We grew through the recession. We have never had to let anyone off. Everyone who works in Portlaoise is from Co. Laois or lives here. We have always been acutely aware of where we started out and our local clients are our most important, despite our growth.”

AOCA undertakes the planning, engineering and construction management of numerous one off houses, extensions and more in the local area.