Interview with Peter Booth, Managing Director of Booth Concrete & Booth Precast Products Ltd in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, one of Ireland’s largest family owned and managed concrete producers.
How do Booth Concrete specialise for the Irish Construction sector?
As a well-established concrete & precast company, operating since 1997, we offer a wide range of products to meet the demands of the Irish Construction Industry.
From readymix concrete to sand, from kerb stones to chimney systems, we can cater for any construction project, whether it be commercial or residential.
What products of yours are you most proud of?
While I am of course proud of all our products, there are two that I am very excited about going forward.
Our fully insulated precast flooring system is going extremely well. It is a fantastic product having many advantages over the traditional timber joists: sound proofing, insulation and perhaps most importantly, fire proofing. Our flooring systems make for a warmer, safer home.
However, it is our chimney system that I am most optimistic about. It really is a great product and we are getting great feedback from our customers. We have provided quite substantial housing developments all over the country with our chimney systems and we have many more ordered for 2017.
The system is designed to speed up construction especially in timber-frame housing. We have worked with companies such as Ballymore Homes, M.A. Ryan and Diamond Homes.
The construction industry is emerging from a sustained period of contraction. Where are the growth areas for your business?
We have seen a steady rise in activity in all areas to be honest. It is true that growth in the midlands has been considerably slower than that inside Dublin but the signs in the last 12 months are promising.
We are providing blocks, concrete and floors for a lot of self-build houses in our locality along with larger developments such as schools and nursing homes. We are currently supplying to Clancy Construction on a new school in Portlaoise. It’s great to see the construction industry flourishing in the midlands once again as I believe it was one of the regions worst hit by the recession.
What are the challenges facing your industry?
Just like everyone else in the country, we are having to cope with rising insurance premiums. While a lot of the public attention is on private car insurance premiums, I feel that commercial motor insurance is something that our government need to act upon before it becomes too expensive for small businesses to operate.
Also, planning laws are making it very difficult to secure natural resources such as sand and gravel. The local authorities don’t appear to appreciate the importance of these resources to the National Development Plan.
What recent projects have you been involved in?
As I mentioned before we are currently supplying the blocks for a large school in Portlaoise. We have also supplied 2 levels of precast flooring to a nursing home in Naas, Co. Kildare and chimney systems to large residential developments in Portmarnock, Waterford, Limerick and Cork.
How optimistic are you going into 2017?
I am very optimistic, especially with our chimney and flooring systems. A lot of interest has been shown and we already have orders for over 100 chimney systems for the first few months of 2017.
I also feel that our reputation as providers of top quality concrete products is growing, not only in our locality, but nationwide, and I feel that puts us in a great position going forward.
You’ve recently subscribed to Building Info – has it been beneficial to date?
It really has. It is great resource for our sales reps. It allows all of us to coordinate with each other, wherever we are in the country. It has great features such as reminders and alerts for commencing projects. It really is a fantastic product. Information is key, and Building Info keeps our sales personnel up to date on what’s going on.