Winning ways continue for Dowds Group

National, multi-disciplinary building services contractor, Dowds Group, have been crowned ‘Specialist Contractor of the Year’ at a glittering ceremony recognizing excellence within the UK construction industry.

The Building Awards 2021 took place on 2nd November 2021 in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, where the biggest and best industry players assembled to have their achievements recognised at national level.

Dowds Group were awarded the coveted ‘Specialist Contractor of the Year’ in recognition of their out-standing performance in 2020/21, where, despite the challenges of the global pandemic the company increased their turnover by 50%, expanded their team and grew their Facilities Management and Construction Services to provide, along with their already well-established MEP services, an all-round service to support their client’s needs.

Managing Director, James Dowds, said: “We are thrilled to have received this award and to have Dowds Group recognised as a winner alongside giants of our industry. We are particularly delighted to represent Northern Ireland, showcasing our wealth of home-grown talent and highlighting the important contribution and specialist knowledge that NI companies bring to UK construction.”

Not only did the judging panel consider companies response to the current market conditions when selecting the winner, but they looked at sustainability initiatives, CSR activities and good employment practices all of which have been key drivers for Dowds Group over the past two years.

Gemma O’Kane, HR & Comms Manager at Dowds commented, “It is no coincidence that the development of our Corporate Responsibility has progressed significantly since we became members of Business in the Community. The support, learning opportunities and partnership they provide have really helped us to make huge strides in this area and we aim to keep growing our business is a positive and responsible way.”

The award comes on the back of a ‘winning streak’ for Dowds Group having already secured several prestigious business and industry accolades in 2021. In September, Dowds Group were named as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies as part of the awards programme led by Deloitte Ireland. This was closely followed by receiving the ‘One To Watch’ title at the NI Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards. Dowds were also recognised within the NI construction industry being capped ‘Large Mechanical Contractor of the Year’ at the NI Plumbing & Heating Awards and taking home the top honours at the NI Electrical Awards with the ‘Overall Achievement Award’, celebrating the company’s contribution and dedication to the NI Electrical industry.

Dowds Group have recently been involved in several landmark projects including the fast-track completion of NI’s second Nightingale Hospital in Whiteabbey. The project was delivered in a live hospital environment to an exceptionally challenging programme and without any formal design. Despite this, Dowd’s in-house construction, mechanical and electrical divisions, worked collaboratively with the de-sign team to deliver the £3m project in just 10 weeks. In addition, Dowds completed an £11.5m M&E package for the North Wing Extension at Altnagelvin Hospital which involved a fully coordinated BIM package including drawings to facilitate offsite prefabrication for the entire plantroom. When the pan-demic struck, the Dowds team were tasked with delivering the last beds to an accelerated programme and achieved handover 2 months early.

Outside of healthcare and their contribution to the Covid frontline, the company were Lead MEP on the state-of-the-art Southlakes Leisure Centre, one of the largest public sector projects recently com-missioned in Northern Ireland. Dowds delivered the entire M&E package from design to completion and Dowds Facilities Management service are continuing to offer building maintenance for the com-plex. Also in 2021, Dowds Construction team handed over the latest £25million expansion for Finnebrogue Artisan, marking the fourth factory extension completed for the company in five years.

James concluded “The past two years have been extraordinarily challenging for all UK businesses, yet we’ve managed to turn it into a phenomenal period for us as a company, and it’s a true reflection of our strong leadership and the resilience of our amazing team. We will have to go a long way to better the achievements of this year, but we love a challenge and have set out an ambitious 5-year strategy to drive us forward and continue to grow our enterprise.”