Thomas A. Garland, the founder of the consultancy, spent his early career in France, India and Borneo. This adventurous perspective was quickly absorbed into the consultancy, and early international projects were completed in the United Kingdom, United States, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
In 1989 a subsidiary company, Garland Ormond International was established to expand the scope of the Garland consultancy into overseas markets. The new company formalised an international character ingrained throughout the consultancy’s history, and it has been a major driving force in the progression of Garland since. Garland Ormond International is now incorporated into the single banner of Garland.
Since the formal creation of Garland’s international wing in 1989, the consultancy has worked on projects all around the globe and in over 27 countries worldwide. The first official Garland Ormond International project, a World Bank funded project in Mauritius was won in 1990. Then, as now, Mauritius was heavily dependent on its tourism industry but had developed a growing textile export business. By then a substantial number of dye houses and stone washing plants had been established throughout the island but unfortunately environmental controls were not as stringently applied as they might have been with resultant damage to the coral reef surrounding most of the island.
Following discussions between the World Bank and the Mauritian Authorities it was decided to carry out a feasibility study and cost benefit analysis to establish if it would be practical to establish an industrial park where all water intensive and water polluting industries could be located with particular emphasis on both the dye houses and stone washing plants. The industrial park would be serviced by a “state of the art” sewage treatment plant and the treated effluent discharged to the deep waters outside the coral reef where it could be safely dispersed.
Two sites one at Bel Air, the other at Beau Vallon were selected by the Authorities as possible locations for the industrial park and tenders were sought from consulting engineering firms to carry out the feasibility study and cost benefit analysis. The project also included a study of the coral reef in the vicinity of both sites together with a requirement to specify measures to protect both the coral reef and the lagoon at the preferred location. Thereafter detailed designs and tender documents were to be prepared for the site infrastructure at the selected site.
Our work in Mauritius was shortly followed by further projects in Albania, Papua New Guinea, Palestine, Guyana, Zambia, Gambia, Uganda, Mauritius and most recently in Qatar, Ghana, Belgium and Saudi Arabia.
In 2010 Garland, through their sister firm Shannon International Development Consultants, were requested by the UNCTAD to assist in the regeneration of Haiti following the 2009 earthquake. The project involved the review of a number of possible locations along the Haiti-Dominican Republic border where industrial zones could be established to take account of the preferential duty free exports which both countries had to the United States. The project also included a review of the regulations relating to the establishment of export orientated firms in both countries together with the provision of technical assistance to the Haitian Industrial Development Authority.
To date Garland has successfully completed international projects funded by the World Bank, The European Union, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The European Investment Bank, UNIDO and UNCTAD.
Since the turn of the decade Garland has moved to further establish the consultancy in the Middle East. A joint venture among three other Irish firms and a local partner has seen the creation of Pivotal International / Al Jazeera Pivotal. This company primarily works in Saudi Arabia and the neighboring region and has completed a number of large scale projects to date including hospitals, shopping centers, apartments, conference centers and apartment units.