Aspen Student Accommodation Ballymun, Dublin

Installing a complex electrical works package to a 10-storey student accommodation block was all in a day’s work for Alfa Electrical Ltd...

Alfa Electrical Ltd delivered an intricate full electrical installation to a purpose-built student accommodation including 364 bed spaces, communal spaces, games rooms as well as retail/cafe units.

Project Director, Ronan Howard and the rest of the Alfa Electrical team were tasked with the full supply and install of electrical systems into this busy city site, which is iconic within Ballymun. The package of works included: supply and installation of lighting protection system, supply and install of lighting and emergency lighting systems, full data system, supply and installation of back-up generator as well as UPS systems for vital services, full addressable fire alarm system security and access control systems, disabled toilet system plus much more.

Built by main contractor, Walls Construction, this mixed-use scheme, located within a mile of Dublin City University, encompasses a separate Lidl store, customer car park, additional office space as well as the two linked blocks of retail and student accommodation.
This project had many challenges from the very beginning. With a wide range of services running throughout the building and multiple risers, a lot of time was invested in coordination with the design team and mechanical contractor as well as Walls Construction M+E coordinator prior to any work’s commencing on site.
With the safety of its student residents of paramount importance, Alfa Electrical’s installation at Aspen Ballymun features multiple linked systems designed with evacuation in mind in case of fire or other emergency events. Ronan explains, “The 10-storey student accommodation blocks are controlled through a building maintenance system (BMS) which allows the client to easily manage the efficiency of the multiple services throughout the building as well as being notified of any maintenance requirements. The cabling associated with this system was quite detailed as it incorporates all mechanical plant throughout the building.

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“A large part of the design of the electrical services is based around life safety systems. A fully addressable fire alarm system is installed throughout both blocks as well as full smoke shaft systems, smoke dampers and addressable nurse call system. If a fire occurs a back up generator supplies a fire services fuse board which powers multiple safety systems as well as allowing fire services to access the building through a fire service lift. “Potentially there are a lot of people in there at any one time and so the whole building design is based around getting them out safely in case of an emergency.” Co-ordination between the specialist contractors onsite was vital. Dream team Alfa Electrical was delighted to be appointed to this project by Walls Construction. Aspen Ballymun is the second student accommodation they have completed with Walls and have recently been appointed to another project commencing in January 2021. “We’re really looking forward to continuing working with Walls Construction,” says Ronan. Alfa Electrical Ltd has a strong reputation for a diverse range of electrical services on nationwide commercial, industrial, residential and retail projects.

“Our experience has taught us that the key to a good job is based on strong management teams as well as a key supply chain and specialist subcontractors. Aspen Ballymun was project managed by Fergal Hurley who looked after the coordination and large ordering offsite and worked closely with contracts manager Nick Cahill who managed a strong onsite team.”
Alfa Electrical employ multiple specialist contractors for their projects including M+J security, Custom Electronics, Lighting Protection Ireland and FG Wilson. They have a key supply chain within Kellihers Electricial. They we’re delighted to bring Cooke Bros Electrical on board for this project and look forward to working continuously with them and all their subcontractors going forward.

Project team…
Client: Lidl Main
Contractor: Walls Construction
Architect: MCA Architects Electrical
Contractor: Alfa Electrical Ltd Mechanical
Contractor: Gaffney Mechanical Services

Alfa Electrical,
Unit 4E, Avonbeg Industrial Estate,
Longmile Road, Dublin 12
T: +353 (0)1 4600732

Featured Sub-Contractors

Custom Electronics Ltd

Custom Electronics Ltd help keep student residents safe with intricate detection and alarm system…

Custom Electronics Ltd delivered the complex, fully addressable fire detection and alarm system to the Aspen Ballymun student accommodation in north Dublin. The specialist team from Custom Electronics Ltd supplied and commissioned both the disabled refuge system and the Protec 6500 range of high specification, economical, interactive, digital addressable fire detection and alarm system comprising of 1600 devices over nine control and indicating nodes. The secure peer-to-peer network delivers high-speed data transfer, fail safe, fault tolerant communication channel.

The EN54-2 & EN54-4 compliant system allows up to 64 Algo-Tec™ 6500 fire alarm panels to operate as though they are a single distributed fire system. No single network fault can disable the system and in the event of multiple cable faults, each panel will function independently. Established in 1997, Custom Electronics Ltd, are sole agents for two fire products – Protec and Detnov. They also provide disabled refuge, nurse call systems and hold a PSA licence, as well as are a sole agent for AUTA Intercom. Despite the complexity of the system and size of the Aspen project, there were no major challenges for this highly skilled fire detection and fire alarm company, successfully delivering the project prior to the deadline.

Custom Electronics Limited,
Unit C6 Centrepoint, Rosemount Business Park,
Ballycoolin, Dublin 11, Ireland
T: +353 1 885 5537

Argand Switchgear

With over 22 years of experience in the industry, Argand Switchgear were happy to work alongside Alfa Electrical on the Aspen Student Accommodation project. Specialising in low-voltage switchgear and power distribution, Argand supplied all mains and sub distribution boards for the project. With a strong portfolio of successfully completed projects in the student accommodation and mixed-use sector, Argand were able to offer a quality solution for this project leaning on their previous experience.

Working collaboratively with Alfa Electrical and the consultant IN2, Argand Switchgear met key delivery dates to ensure that the construction programme was kept on track and offered reactive project support and customer service from design stage through to post-completion stage.
Commenting on the project, Frank Lord, Managing Director of Argand Switchgear said, “We were delighted to work with Alfa Electrical and their team on another successful project. Alfa Electrical have a great team behind them and we look forward to working with them again on future projects.”

Argand Switchgear
T: +353 (0)45 893 692

Alumina Lighting

Alumina Lighting designed and supplied all lighting for the Aspen Ballymun student accommodation in north Dublin. Working closely with the main electrical contractor Alfa Electrical, the specialist team from Alumina Lighting delivered a wide range of projects including Northcliffe, Prolux and Power Solutions.

Alumina Lighting is no stranger to complex, technically difficult briefs. The firm has completed several complicated lighting installations across the country, including the Titanic in Belfast and the 3Arena, Dublin. The 3Arena project included an iconic ceiling installation created from 3,000 hanging Jameson Whiskey bottles to resemble a giant TV screen. To further complicate the brief, every single bottle had to be controlled individually.

Commenting on the Aspen Ballymun project, Derek Mills Head of Lighting projects said, “It’s been an exciting project for our team to be involved with, and has showcased our ability to deliver complex jobs with the highest level of customer service.”

Alumina Lighting
T: 01-8075044