Kildare County Council offices lean towards natural ventilation

A key to the environmental-control strategy of the new offices of Kildare County Council is a natural-ventilation system devised by SE Controls.
Occupants of a dramatic office building that has won a RIBA award can control the temperature of their surrounding office environment from their PCs — thanks to an innovative natural-ventilation system from SE Controls. The new offices of Kildare County Council at Aras Chill Dara have been designed to create a bold architectural statement whilst embracing sustainability. They comprise a pair of tilting glazed buildings linked by a transparent 4-storey bridge which encloses suspended ramps and were designed by architects Heneghan Peng, which worked with AGP Architects. The buildings are only 12 m wide to allow for natural ventilation and optimum daylight. SE Controls helped develop the natural-ventilation and smoke-ventilation systems. As a key member of the project team from day one, SE Controls worked with façade consultants RFR architects to develop a feasibility study before progressing to specification with the architects. SE Controls then liaised with services engineers Buro Happold, structural engineers Michael Punch & Partners and contractor Pierse Contracting to devise, install and commission the s natural-ventilation system. The system is based on a series of actuators fitted to windows around the two buildings and the bridge. They are linked to SE’s OSO controllers, which communicate with the building-management system using the LonWorks interface. There are some 380 actuators and 200 OSO controllers. The BMS can open and close windows in response to carbon-dioxide levels and temperature. To provide occupants with individual control, the system is interfaced with the PC network, with control from an icon on the screens. This approach does not require individual switches on the walls by the windows. The building has been described as what will be ‘recognised as one of the best buildings in Europe in the first decade of the 21st century.
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