Invest NI helps local off-site construction company innovate for profit

Dungannon company the McAvoy Group today launched two innovative modular building products, the result of a £600,000 investment supported by Invest Northern Ireland.

Invest NI has offered over £200,000 to the company for the development of a range of new modular buildings, or pods. The pods are complete bedroom and living space units. They are constructed off-site and delivered to a construction site fully furnished, decorated and with a cladded weather-proof exterior.

The first two models are aimed at new hotel developments and the student accommodation market. Further models intended for social housing and nursing homes are planned.

Launching the products at the first Northern Ireland Off-Site Construction Conference at the Stormont Hotel, Managing Director of the McAvoy Group, Orla Corr, said: “Having specialised in the construction of modular buildings for over 30 years and achieved considerable success in both local and external markets, we identified a viable opportunity for complete pods which could be adapted for a number of possible uses.

“With the help of Invest NI, we developed the first pods available on the market which feature a fully finished interior and exterior. They can be erected on their own or with other pods, be temporary or permanent, and may also be built in conjunction with bricks and mortar to create ‘hybrid’ buildings.

“In addition, they are fully plumbed and wired, featuring insulation that meets the standard of new conventional buildings and complies with all the latest environmental legislation.”

“As well as the student, hotel and other markets identified so far, we anticipate that the quality and adaptability of the new products will enable us to compete for business arising from the need for athlete accommodation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” she added.

John Thompson, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research and Technology, said: “The McAvoy Group has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to innovation which continues to reap dividends for the company’s export turnover. This latest R&D investment puts the company in a market leading position and I have no doubt that the firm can go on to achieve even more success in what is a highly competitive market.”