Aspen Student Accommodation Dublin

Delivering a complex mechanical works package to a 10-storey accommodation block was all in a day’s work for Gaffney Mechanical Services…

Installation of mechanical services to the brand new 365 bedroom student accommodation blocks at Lidl’s Ballymun development in north Dublin, was a mammoth task but it delivered great rewards for Gaffney Mechanical Services. Project Manager, Eamon McKeown at Gaffney Mechanical Services and the rest of the team were tasked with a full supply and install of mechanical works into a congested city site.

The package of works consisted of soils and waste, low pressure hot water district heating system, plumbing to communal toilets and kitchens and 365 bedroom pods, Daikin air conditioning units, supply and extract ventilation including fire dampers and fire smoke dampers.

Hevac supplied and installed the flue system for the six Hamworthy Wessex boilers, FG Wilson generator and the Indop 110N CHP unit.  They carried out the site visit and agreed routes with the design team to ensure no detrimental effect to building structure.

A Tridium Building Management System was installed and commissioned by Ashdown Controls to control all the pumps and valves throughout the building to maintain pressure for the district cold water system.

Three plant rooms were installed. One housed six, highly efficient ModuMax gas fired boilers with six circuits feeding the different elements of the building. Heatmerchants supplied all the Grundfos pumps for the distribution of LTHW and DHW circuits to final outlet positions. Grundfos was brought on board and worked in close partnership with the consultant to ensure most efficient and adequately sized pumps selected for the application. A basement plant room was installed for water storage with all tanks supplied by Tricel.

As part of the water services a water softening system and purification plant were also installed and supplied by Environmental Services Ireland. The third plant room consisted of a combined heating and power unit that was installed as the primary energy source with the boiler back up.

Busy site
Project Manager, Eamon, certainly had his hands full on this busy site. “We had a number of sub-contractors employed on the job,” says Eamon. “Heatec Mechanical Services from Wexford installed a lot of the distribution GB pipework and copper systems throughout the corridors. Paul Devlin Mechanical Services from Newcastle, County Down built all the plant rooms and risers for us. They supplied 3D modelling, got it approved and then prefabricated the plant rooms offsite before breaking them down and transporting to site. They then built them up over the course of one week. This reduced a lot of the site works and avoided exclusion zones within the building to facilitate an onsite fabrication.”

Gaffney Mechanical also employed DS Ventilation who looked after the supply and extract ventilation services within the building which required three heat recovery units and nine extract fans. Platinum Air Conditioning worked on the AC system which consisted of 20 AC splits over nine extract condensers that were all linked back in to a central controller provided by Daikin.Specialist Independent Building Services was the commissioning engineer and Environmental Services Ireland fulfilled the flushing and dosing operation.

The complex nature of the project inevitably led to some challenges. There were a lot of services in the main plant room so Gaffney’s own BIM/Co-ordination manager produced a 3D BIM model of this to ensure all the services fitted within the constraints of the structure.

Key co-ordination
In the main build element the distribution of the services throughout the building and up the risers was quite challenging due to the size of the pipework and the small constraints of the risers. According to Eamon, the solution was to double-down on co-ordinating all the disciplines so there was no crossing of services and no clashes with building elements or future building elements. “The thorough co-ordination process that was put in place at the start of the project ensured all these issues were dealt with seamlessly.”

“It was a great project to be involved with, and it is already quite an iconic landmark within the Ballymun area. It is also one of the first projects on this scale that we have completed with Walls Construction and as a result of our successful collaboration on this we are delighted to have secured a number of other high value contracts with them which are currently in progress.”

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

“It was a great project to be involved with, quite an iconic one within the Ballymun area.”

Gaffney Mechanical
Unit F2, Centrepoint
Rosemount Business Park
Ballycoolin, D11
T: +353 (0)1 899 1694


Hevac is a one-stop-shop for mechanical supply and installation at Aspen Student Accommodation project…

Ireland’s leading commercial plumbing and heating specialist, Hevac, supplied and commissioned boilers, pumps, combined heat power units and flue system to the 365-bedroom Aspen Student Accommodation blocks for mechanical contractor, Gaffney Mechanical Services.

The package of works included supplying and installing: Hamworthy Wessex mk3 boilers and pipe kits; a CHP Indop 110 from Hevac’s renewable sister company Origen Energy; Duomo Gas Detection system; Jeremias Flue system; Air Dirt Separators from Fabricated Products and Calpex Pre-Insulated Pipe. For such a landmark accommodation project, it was important that all systems were of quality and maximum efficiency and comfort, which is why Hevac was the perfect supply and flue supply/installation partner.

The long-established plumbing and heating specialists are committed to improving their range of products, level of service, technical and commercial support, which is so essential in any supplier-customer relationship.

Backed up by their sister companies Tube Co, Polytherm and Origen who supply ancillary components such as multilayer pipe, fittings, valves, underfloor heating systems , heatpumps, radiant panels, district heating components, solar, controls and other products Hevac provides a full service for the merchant, developer, M&E contractor and installer. It is the only company in Ireland that can offer this total project capability under one roof including complete flue design, supply and installation.

Cutting edge
Hevac has been at the forefront of new technologies and trends for many years, which is evident in the quality and state-of-the-art systems supplied and installed to the Aspen Student Accommodation project.

The Hamworthy Wessex ModuMax is a compact, floor standing, high efficiency condensing boiler range with up to 95% gross seasonal efficiency. The mk3 upgrade has been developed in direct response to the increased use of wider delta T design methodologies in commercial buildings and district heating systems. Each module is designed to operate continuously at up to 40 °C delta T differential temperature rise across the module, maximising condensing operation.

The Origen CPH unit (combined heat and power) is an independent power and heat generation unit. It allows the user to generate power for their building on site rather than purchasing power from the grid. The thermal energy generated in the process can be used for heating and/or domestic hot water (DHW) preparation. In power generation, Origen can achieve primary energy savings of over 25% compared to separate generation.

The main element of a CHP unit is a fuel-fired four-stroke engine, which converts the combustion energy of the fuel to thermal and mechanical energy; the latter is then converted to electricity by a generator. The exhaust gases are not discharged directly into the environment; they flow through a flue gas/heat exchanger where heat is extracted from them.

The gas detection system by Duomo is recognised within the industry for providing a comprehensive range of low cost, high reliability gas detection for many applications. The GS300M model installed by Hevac is a wall or panel mounted microprocessor based gas detector control unit that can be configured to meet customer requirements.

Exclusively available in Ireland from Hevac the Jeremias DW-ECO flue system is a twin-walled factory made stainless steel chimney system with inner liner in 304 (gas and oil in dry conditions) or inner liner in 316 (solid fuel, biomass and condensing applications) a 25mm rigid rock wool insulation and a 304 outer liner. Due to its superior design there are no hot spots or thermal bridges between inner and outer liner allowing the lengths to be cut on site (specially useful when facing difficult installations).

Commenting on the successful delivery of the project, Karl Carrick, Director at Hevac says, “Throughout this project Hevac and our renewable sister company, Origen Energy, have worked closely and have strengthened our links with Gaffney Mechanical both with their onsite team and their internal procurement team. We are delighted to have contributed to Gaffney’s successful completion of this prestigious project.

“While Gaffney Mechanical demands the highest of standards from us as their Mechanical supplier, both in our service and supply offering, Hevac and Origen, continually strive to offer Gaffney Mechanical the highest level of support available in Ireland from our group companies. We look forward to our continued collaborative ventures between our companies in this difficult year and throughout 2021.”

“Hevac and Origen, continually strive to offer Gaffney Mechanical the highest level of support available in Ireland.”

T: +353 (0)1 4191919

DS Ventilation

HVAC contractor DS Ventilation provides the key to a successful ventilation installation…

DS Ventilation Ltd supplied and installed galvanised ductwork, fire dampers, volume control dampers, supply air and return air diffusers for Gaffney Mechanical Services to the Communal Areas at the Aspen Student Accommodation project.

Standard installation practices were used – ductwork was manufactured and installed as per DW144. Fire dampers were installed as per DW145.

DS Ventilation offers efficient solutions across a wide variety of projects in the construction sector including new installations, restorations, renovations and alterations. Many of their employees have 20 year’s experience in the construction industries throughout Ireland and the UK.

Commenting on the project, Damian Barry, Managing Director at DS Ventilation said, “The organisation and planning by the team at Gaffney Mechanical made this project straightforward so it was completed without any delays.

“We are pleased to say that we have worked on a number of ventilation installation projects with Gaffney Mechanical, and we have always found them to be well organised and very easy to work with.

“DS Ventilation offers efficient solutions across a wide variety of projects in the construction sector.”

M: +353 (0)87 250 4725
T/F: +353 (0)1405 7682

Paul Devlin Mechanical Services

Paul Devlin Mechanical Services prefabricated and installed two plant rooms and distribution centre to the Aspen Student Accommodation site for Gaffney Mechanical Services.

The County Down firm collaborated with NI Mechanical to create the 3D modelling and setting out of the distribution centre. Once the drawings were approved Paul Devlin Mechanical Services prefabricated the structures in their own warehouse facility before transporting and installing onsite.

Prefabricating plant rooms offsite has many advantages, says Paul Devlin, Managing Director at Paul Devlin Mechanical Services. “Our warehouse is properly set up for the prefabrication process so there is better materials organisation and work is completed to a higher manufactured finish. More than 70% of these types of projects can be done offsite in a more organised environment. Having the right facilities and proper equipment in place creates a much safer prefabrication process for my team.”

Paul Devlin Mechanical Services have worked with Gaffney Mechanical Services on a number of previous large-scale projects, including Citywest.

T: +44 (0)7540 767889

Heatec Mechanical Services

Heatec Mechanical Services installed the low-pressure hot water district heating system and domestic water services to the 362-bed student accommodation at the landmark Aspen Student Accommodation development.

The mixed-use scheme, located just off Ballymun main street, within a mile of Dublin City University, encompasses a separate Lidl store, customer car park, with additional office space as well as two linked blocks of retail and student accommodation.

Heatec Mechanical Services’ installation included water services in the clusters to the bedroom ensuites and the heating systems to all bedrooms. Joe Whelan, Owner at Heatec Mechnical Services says, “We completed all the final connections to the pods, kitchen sinks and the heat interface units – all the installation and testing work.

Joe spoke highly of the mechanical contractor. “We’ve worked with Gaffneys for a number of years now, and as always they were extremely well-organised and very productive on-site. The bulk of our work is large-scale apartment developments and commercial jobs, mostly in the Leinster region.”

T: +353 (0)86 391 7669