Aras Chill Dara County Kildare, Ireland


Aras Chill Dara is the new civic building for Kildare County Council, consisting of 10,500 sq.m of office accommodation together with the main council chamber. The building is designed over three floors consisting of two blocks side-by-side, each approximately 12.5m wide and connected by a glazed walkway. The outer facades of both blocks are sloped with a garden area in between.

A design approach based on the principles of sustainable development was applied throughout the project, the strong environmental theme being in line with the Council’s wish to pursue carbon dioxide reduction goals and have a showcase building to promote energy efficiency. The design achieved the equivalent of BREEAM Excellent, with natural ventilation, exposed concrete slab soffits and a responsive glazed façade while light shelves and reflectors and dimmable lighting balanced the distribution of natural and artificial light.

The Delmatic lighting management system contributes to the energy-efficiency of the building and ultra-low profile presence detectors and multi-sensors relate lighting to occupancy of individual office areas as well as varying lighting levels through Dali dimming to accord with the extent of daylight with each area. Custom-designed sensors were manufactured to mount within the concrete beams.

Delmatic intranet web-browser control provides individual office users with control of their local lighting via an icon and dimming slider bar on their desk top PC while integration of the lighting management system and the security access system enables lighting to be switched and dimmed related to entry and exit of individual users or categories of users, for example security personnel.

Aras Chill Dara
Architect: Heneghan Peng Architects / Arthur Gibney & Partners
Consultant: Buro Happold
Contractor: Dornan
Size: 10,500 sq.m