By Carol Tallon
After a decade of turmoil in the construction and property industries, the market is in a state of undersupply and all eyes are watching to see where the delivery of new housing will come from.
One developer is taking long-term thinking to the next level by introducing secondary-level students to the building process. Accompanied by their teacher, Mr Pat Hegarty, Gorey Community College students were treated to a full tour of Gleann an Ghairdin or ‘Garden Valley’, Gorey’s newest community. The working site, currently being developed by local builders Wexford Low Energy Homes, is situated on the outskirts of Gorey town and is made up of three-bedroom semi-detached and detached A-rated houses.
The group of twenty students were shown around site by estate agent, Michael Kinsella of Kinsella Estates and site foreman, Nicky Morrissey. Throughout the site visit, they were shown houses at different stages of construction. They were given the opportunity to see foundations being poured, before moving on to inspect houses being roofed and to those being prepared for plumbing and electrical fittings. Finally, the students became the first Gorey residents to peek inside the showhouse before it opens to the public on Saturday from 12 noon to 3pm.
As construction was going on while the group visited, safety was paramount so the students were kitted out and got a practical lesson in safe on-site behaviour. Foreman Nicky was on hand to answer the students’ questions on every aspect of the build.
As specialist low-energy home builders, Wexford Low Energy Homes have pioneered and are now using technology that the students would only have read about prior to this. Questions from the students showed their enthusiasm for learning about the practice behind the theory; they understood the basics of insulation from class and then used the opportunity to find out how the different types of insulation are installed and at what stages of the build.
According to estate agent Michael Kinsella: “They were really engaged; many had never seen the inside of a building in progress and the only houses they know are the houses they grow up in. A site visit like this opens their eyes to new technologies and new ways of building for the future.”
This site visit comes at a time when the construction industry is struggling to fill jobs at all skill levels and is actively trying to promote the apprenticeship route for future trades-people and construction-related third level courses for those college and university-bound.
Now that the students have given it the thumbs up, the showhouse will open for viewings on Saturday April 1, from 12pm to 3pm. Contact www.KinsellaEstates.ie or telephone 053 9421718 for further details.