28 Jul 2016

10 Things You Didn’t Know About What It Takes to Build a Maxol Service Station

Ever wondered what goes into building a Maxol station? Read this, and the next time you pull in for a coffee or a refuel, you’ll look at us with new eyes!

We know how it goes – you pull into a Maxol service station, you refuel, maybe go for a car wash, pop inside to Mace for a freshly-made sandwich and hot coffee. And then you leave. But have you ever looked around and wondered what goes into building one of these places? Read our list of top 10 things you didn’t know about building a Maxol service station, and you might look at it – and us - a bit differently the next time!

1. A soft spoken Northern Irish man called Alan Pollock is in charge of all builds for Maxol. Originally from Belfast, he has a great sense of humour and a knack for keeping calm under pressure. Alan has a Bachelor in Engineering from Abertay University, Dundee in Scotland, and loves rugby. This is Alan below. Say hello!

2.   Alan Pollock is one of Ireland’s busiest men. At any given time, he is supervising:

•       12 construction sites at varying stages of construction
•       1-3 major developments such as the recent Mulhuddart super-site
•       5-6 refurbishments of existing service stations

Here is a cool time release video of the Mulhuddart super site going up. 


3. Alan has overseen a total of 30 new builds and major developments, as well as 80 refurbishments for Maxol since 2004.

4.   Alan hires local consultants, builders, architects, and planners whenever he can, because Maxol is an Irish-owned, family-run business that believes in supporting local employment.

5.   On average, between 80 and 100 people work on each new Maxol service station. These people are: architects, planning liaison consultants, engineering consultants, engineers, builders, site demolition and clearance workers, site supervisor, quantity surveyors, project managers, shop fitters, refrigeration installers, pump installers, electricians, plumbers, and technicians.  

From left to right: Peter Ryan (Structural Engineer), John Bolger (Contractor Extraordinaire!), Peter Sheekey (Architect), John Paul Dillon (QS), and Keith Walsh (Electrical Contractor)

6.   There is no “identikit” Maxol building plan – each building is a completely new design that takes into account local planning requirements and landscape. This is in contrast to international (non-Irish) companies such as Esso, which uses three building templates, and will leave a site undeveloped if it doesn’t get planning permission for one of those templates.

7.   Maxol service stations look different depending on the part of the country you’re in. For example, in Westport, Mayo, local authorities require new Maxol service stations to have stone cladding, traditional windows, and no elaborate signage, whereas in urban areas such as Dublin, a sleek, modern building is preferred.

8.   It takes a LONG time to build just one Maxol service station! Planning permission alone takes between 4 and 10 months depending on the complexity of the build or the specific concerns of the local planning authorities.


Neville Irwin (Tokheim - Pipework Contractor)

9.   After the council indicates approval of planning permission, any citizen who has a question or issue regarding the application has 5 weeks in which to make what is called a public observation. The appeals process, during which the local Appeals Board investigates the observations or objections of citizens, can last between 3 to 10 months.

10. At any time in the planning process, local planning authorities can ask Maxol to make a change, even if it costs a lot of money. For example, because the Donabate station backs onto the Newbridge Demesne, when Maxol commissioned a €2 million refurbishment, local authorities requested that the back of the building be clad in a special type of stone that matched the buildings on the demesne. Maxol of course honored this request, despite the fact that the cladding is not visible to anyone except for Maxol employees.

From left to right: Colin McKee (Contractor – crying about money), Martin McWilliams (QS – not caring if the contractor is crying or not!  Good Lad!)

Every square inch of a Maxol service station is working for YOU, whether it’s the car wash, or the public toilets, or the newspaper stands between the pumps and the till. Because Maxol doesn’t believe you pull in just for fuel. It believes that it can and should meet ALL your other needs while you’re here. So Maxol partners up with other Irish companies to make sure you have everything  you need - from fresh food from Mace, cooking lessons to keep the kids occupied from Kater4Kids, super-healthy food from Chopped, to a hot cup of joe from Insomnia.

Maxol - building service stations to YOUR specifications and YOUR needs!

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