Waterstones, Hodges Figgis, Dublin

Instruction Synopsis

Propitas Ltd are the retained consultant for Waterstones providing traditional Building Surveying, Technical Due Diligence and Project Management services throughout the UK and Ireland. In 2018, we have undertaken multiple condition surveys as well as Contract Administrator/ Project Manager duties on various refurbishment schemes.

Propitas were appointed as Project Manager for a major refurbishment scheme of this iconic building in conjunction with negotiating the implementation of future works with the landlord as part of the restructure of the lease.

Hodges Figgis was founded in 1768 and is the largest bookshop in Ireland and was famously mentioned in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The project has been long in the making, having originally been cancelled in 2014 for business reasons. Following a careful design review new works packages were introduced including structural waterproofing to retail areas affected by flooding, alterations to the internal layout and overhauling the out-dated HVAC installations.


Project managing a scheme of this nature posed a number of key issues that required careful consideration.

The Protected Structure Status of the building resulted in the City Council not being amenable to all of the proposed works. However, through careful consultation with Dublin City Council and agreed variations to the works, both the City Council and the client’s requirements were successfully implemented.

The Irish construction market posed a procurement challenge due to the shortage of suitable contractors available for this type of project, as well as a significant disparity in tender prices. To overcome this, we negotiated with the client’s preferred contractor who registered to work in Ireland and obtained local cost consultancy advice to verify against robust market tested budget costs.


• Iconic building with Protected Structure status
• Procurement challenges of cost and expertise overcome
• Liaison with the local authority
• Programme management with regards to continued trading / occupation

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