Highlights of 2015

2015 was another successful year for Dowds Group, not only did we celebrate receiving the Electrical Contractor of the Year at the NI Electrical Awards, but our work in Craigavon Area Hospital was recognised in the Project of the Year Category.

Work progressed well on key site in Northern Ireland including Omagh Hospital, Altnagelvin Hospital and at Finnebrogue Artisan Food Factory in County Down.  We have expanded our presence in London and the South East with works underway on a further two major schools projects and initial work is underway on Aberdeen Art Gallery.

In addition, we were singled out for our on-going Apprenticeship programme run in conjunction with ETT.

See below for press clippings for some of our 2015 good news stories

Electrical Contractor of the Year

Highly Commended – Craigavon Area Hospital

Highlighting the Benefits of Apprenticeships

Building the Future through BIM

While DRiser 4 3dowds Group have for many years embraced the concepts of partnering and collaborative working, we have recently taken further steps to ensure we stay at the forefront of modern building services in the UK.

Having recognised the shift from traditional design, procurement and delivery of M&E projects towards Building Information Modelling (BIM), we have made substantial developments to meet future demands – more specifically, we have, over the last 12 months:

  • Expanded our CAD/Coordination department by 4 persons, including a BIM Manager, Rory O’Hara
  • Significantly invested in 3D modelling Revit software & associated hardware; and
  • Established a Belfast office to give us a more central base for attracting the best talent and to act as a hub for their CAD/Co-ordination and BIM team activities.

We are actively implementing this cutting edge design software on a number of on-going key projects.  Adopting this strategy going forward allows us to take a holistic approach to the design, coordination and installation of M&E projects.

pumpsetplantroom high level

However, as Rory O’Hara, Dowds Group BIM Manager explains, merely utilising BIM software is not enough.

“To truly adopt a BIM based approach to project delivery it is vital that we encourage collaborative working – key to this process are early engagement of the entire design team, and the establishment of agreed working practices.

 We see ourselves as an integral part of the overall team; early involvement by all team members into design development and value engineering workshops will maximise the build quality of the project.  We use BIM to facilitate our M&E co-ordination workshops to determine how the services should work within the structure of the building, highlighting any problems or pinch points and allowing for the realignment or re-engineering of workable solutions.

We feel the resources we have put in place will facilitate both the increased demand for Design & Build projects, and the governments drive for BIM implementation by 2016.”BIM

M&E services are all critical to the effective operation of buildings, as such we focus not only on ‘buildability’ but the long term life cycle of the buildings.  Through our adoption of BIM, we can ensure high-quality design and installation, informed programming, effective coordination and thorough commissioning resulting in long-term, efficient operation of our completed building services.

Please download our BIM Flyer flyer here – and see our Youtube video below:


Dowds Group continue their partnership with Farrans in London.

Following the success of our partnership with Farran’s on the recent refurbishment of Harris Westminster 6th Form Academy, we have been appointed as Farran’s preferred M&E contractor on a further 5 education projects in London.

We are currently on site at Northwood School in Greater London. The project involves the construction of a new school and demolition of the existing school, with the former school site being converted into playing fields.  The new school will accommodate 1080 pupils and the anticipated completion is September 2016.

We are also about to commence M&E works on Harris Primary Academy, in Chafford London.  A temporary building has been completed on the site to house the school while construction of the new facility takes place.  Again it is anticipated that the new 5 form primary School will be complete in September 2016.

Three further projects are in the pipeline:

  • The East London Arts & Music school, which will see the construction of a 3150m2 teaching space for 300 trainees and will include live recording studios and digital arts studios;
  • Harris Primary Academy in Shortlands, Bromley, the £4.5 million new build primary school will help ease the lack of school places in the area.
  • Harris Primary School, East Dulwich, will involve the redevelopment of a former police station to provide a new two form entry primary school which will cater for 420 pupils.

To facilitate these projects and to continue growing our quality workforce we have recently employed a number of Junior Contracts Managers and initiated a recruitment scheme for mechanical and electrical apprentices in the London area.


Dowds Group win ‘Contractor of the Year’ at NI Electrical Awards

Dowds Group Awards WinDowds Group are delighted to have received the top honour at the NI Electrical Awards gala on 10th September 2015.

The overall Contractor of the Year award is presented to the company that best demonstrates their solutions to overcoming challenging projects throughout 2014/15.

We were awarded for our investment in new technology, enhancement of in-house design and build capabilities and establishment of our Integrated Services division, all of which have led to our involvement on significant local projects such as Omagh Hospital and the Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital, as well as, work outside NI including a complete refurbishment of the prestigious Aberdeen Art Gallery and the London Schools Framework, which will see the concurrent completion of five schools in Central London.

In addition to ‘Contractor of the Year’, our work on the Craigavon Area Hospital Framework was highly commended in the ‘Commercial Installation of the Year’ for the high standards of finish and the complexity of the electrical contract carried out within a live hospital environment.

Four other Dowds Group projects were shortlisted in the commercial installation category, namely, Old See House Belfast, Mersey Care TIME, Liverpool, Finnebrogue Factory Refurbishment and Extension and Harris Westminster 6th Form College.

£30m Aberdeen Art Gallery Redevelopment gets underway

Dowds Group have been appointed as M&E Contractor on the £30 million redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Initial works began in July 2015, when main contractor McLaughlin & Harvey commenced on-site.  The extensive refurbishment and development contract will involve the construction of new educational facilities, the upgrade of performance and reflection spaces and the creation of 21 new galleries from previously unused space.

The building officially closed in Spring 2015 to prepare for the up-coming works and it will remain closed until project completion in Winter 2017.

For more information, please see: http://www.aagm.co.uk/home/home.aspx


Dowds Group have been shortlisted for the NI Electrical Awards 2015

LogoDowds Group are pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted in both the ‘Contractor of the Year’ and ‘Electrical Installation of the Year’ categories of the 2015 NI Electrical Awards.

The awards were established to recognise and reward the achievements of those working in the province’s diverse electrical sector.

The ‘Contractor of the Year’ award is presented to the company that best demonstrates their solutions to overcoming challenging projects throughout 2014/15.

The Electrical Installation of the Year category is judged on how the contractor worked positively throughout a project to deliver high standards and meet strict deadlines – our shortlisted entries include:

  • Phases 1 & 2 of the Finnebrogue Factory Extension & Refurbishment – Dowds Group were employed to complete the design and build of M&E services for Lynn Country Foods new state of the art food manufacturing facility at their plant in Finnebrogue, Down Business Park Downpatrick.
  • Craigavon Area Hospital Framework – The latest phase in the framework involved an extensive refurbishment of existing theatres, the construction of 2 new theatres, as well as a new 22 bed recovery unit with isolation facility, new changing rooms and canteen facilities and a refurbishment of the Intensive Care Unit.
  • Merseycare TIME – This complex design and build project involved the replacement of an existing site deemed old and unfit. The new modern, mental health in-patient facilities, offers 85 ensuite bedroom accommodation over Psychological ICU, Older Adult and Dementia wards, with 24hr access to safe outside space and activity/ therapy areas.
  • Old See House – This project involved electrical services installation of a refurbished building to provide a mental health facility which brings together a consulting facility for outpatients, a day centre where patients are encouraged to engage in various forms of therapy and an eight bedroom short-stay residential section.
  • Harris Sixth Form, Westminster – An internal refurbishment over three storeys of an existing building to provide accommodation for up to 600 pupils. The facilities include state of-the-art science labs, a library and study areas in addition to classrooms, music rooms, an art studio and seventh floor refectory

The final shortlist will be announced in August 2015.

For further details of the awards – please see: http://www.nielecmag.com/awards-info/awards2015

Old See House wins 2015 RIBA National Award

We are pleased to announce that one of our recently completed projects, Old See House, a mental health facility in Belfast, has picked up a prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) National Award for 2015.  RIBA awards are presented to projects that have been judged to make a significant contribution towards architecture.

Working with main contractor, Felix O’Hare, we completed the electrical installations at the residence including a concept lead lighting package, which was an integral part of the architectural and client vision for the building.


This project has already received a 2014 Building Better Healthcare Awards and a 2015 RIBA Award (Regional – Northern Ireland).

For more information on all the RIBA 2015 winners please follow the link below: