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Irish modular build firm enters GCC housing market

Hawthorn Brook building material claims 70% energy-saving potential

Hawthorn Brook Group have adapted their product for modular housing which they are offering to the GCC market
Hawthorn Brook Group have adapted their product for modular housing which they are offering to the GCC market

Hawthorn Brook Group, an Irish company originally specialising in the design and manufacture of energy-saving horse stables, has adapted its product for the GCC housing, healthcare and education construction markets, and has secured its first project in the region.

The company’s Equine arm, Hawthorn Brook Group, has assembled its first unit in Bahrain, sold by the company's equine agent Mohamed Al-Hashili of Horse Pride Equestrian.

Brian Fox, the company’s operations manager and designer of the product, said the building material and design systems the company has developed have the potential for significant energy-savings and offer an array of benefits.

“Our products have a potential energy saving of up to 70% on running costs, regulate humidity levels better, have an extremely fast site erection time estimated about a quarter that of traditional methods, build cost in line with current construction and don’t compromise on quality. We also offer an in-house design service and consultancy,” said Fox.

“Where our production costs are on a level with current construction costs, massive savings can be gained by the reduced site work that has to be done. We can build 90 to 95% of the building in the factory and then all it involves is assembling the structures onsite.

“As the buildings require less electricity, the infrastructure required to get them up and running is reduced, while they are also very suitable for remote locations where power supply isn't readily available,” he added.

The company is in the process of establishing business links in the GCC to further its reach, and has plans to shift production to the region to decrease costs and make pricing more competitive.

“Our plan over the next several months is to establish a joint venture with a company – possibly one in Saudi and one in Qatar – or maybe one that covered both,” said Fox.

“Hopefully within the next few months we’ll also start manufacturing the panels in the Middle East. This will cut down on our shipping times because it takes four weeks to ship from our production facility in Ireland. It will also mean we’re not then limited to the width constraints of the ship – we can then build wider panels for projects which require them,” he added.

Hawthorn Brook Homes’ bid to conquer the GCC housing market has received backing from local politicians, including Arlene Foster, the Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister, who applauded the company’s ambition and business acumen.

“Hawthorn Brook Group is a forward thinking company, which is to be commended for its focus on the export market. A sound focus on entrepreneurship and R&D means the company is well placed to maximise opportunities created by its innovative product offering,” the Minister said.

In addition, Barry McElduff, the Legislative MLA for the Northern Ireland Assembly and member of the statutory committee for employment and learning, said:

"I have taken a close interest in the work of Hawthorn Brook Group for some time now and I have known Mr Brian Fox, the company's operations manager for many years.

"I am very impressed by the innovative nature of the modular building and stables work which the company is developing and taking forward.

"I am particularly impressed at the commitment of the company to environmental sustainability and the increasing use of green technology. I have every confidence that the modular building and stables project will be a huge success and I am very pleased to observe progressive work practices being developed as part of the overall projects," he added.

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Construction Week - Issue 758
Feb 08, 2020