Ireland, NHBC Awards

Paddy Hughes makes a fantastic first impression

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NHBC - Lisburn Road, BelfastAlthough he has a wealth of experience in a wide range of different construction projects, the residential development on Lisburn Road, Belfast, is the first NHBC site that Paddy has worked on. But that didn’t stop him from walking away with a Pride in The Job award for his work on the site.

The development on Lisburn Road comprises a block of one-bedroom apartments, built by contractors Mascott Construction for private developers Deramore. The construction is built on a steel frame, with an outer facing of brickwork, wooden cladding and rendering, with aluminium-framed windows and doors.

“The apartments are quite different for the city centre,” Paddy told us. All the ground to fourth-floor units have their own balconies, whilst the top two floors have some shared roof gardens, and are impressively finished.

Paddy’s career began in 2004, when he graduated with a BSc in Engineering Construction Management and went to work on a variety of different projects throughout the UK, ranging from libraries to hospitals. After only a short spell in residential construction that unfortunately coincided with the recession hitting the industry, Paddy was made redundant. “Being made redundant in Northern Ireland is hard for anybody,” Paddy told us.

However, he made a strong comeback, finding work with Mascott and going straight onto the Lisburn Road project, for which he was very grateful. “I could have gone over to Scotland or England to find work, “he said, “but it was great to get this job and be able to stay at home.”

Now, he is “over the moon” to have received this accolade for his work.

With fronts onto three main roads in the city, the Lisburn Road site was not an easy one to build on, due to the rather restricted access.  “Bringing all the contractors onto the site was challenging, especially with it being such a tight spot,” Paddy reported. Lots of liaising was required to control traffic and cordon off roads for certain periods of the build, particularly sectioning off an area to allow a crane onto the site for four months. “I had to make sure I kept local residents informed,” the Site Manager told us, “knocking on doors and explaining what was going on.”

Despite the small inconveniences that the construction work necessitated, there has been interest in the apartments throughout the project. Several of the units have already been sold – another positive reflection on the work by Paddy and his team. “People were coming onto the site during the project, asking me to recommend the best property for them,” Paddy said. “The site’s really convenient for Queen’s University and the Royal Victoria Hospital, so there were lots of parents of medical students asking about the properties.”

Paddy is looking forward to celebrating with his site team later in the year. He is now back on-site on a different project with Mascott and hoping to continue his success in the future.

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