Billings Design Associates is a façade consultancy with highly skilled staff based in Dublin. Our associates include façade consultants, structural and environmental engineers, architects and material scientists with whom we work on projects depending on the specialist skills or local knowledge required.
Our associates are located in London, Glasgow, Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, New York, Toronto, Johannesburg, Singapore and Sydney.
Smith & Pearson
Sean Billings started working in 1957 at 15 years of age as a steelwork draughtsman in Smith & Pearson, Dublin. He went to Germany in 1960 to do an apprenticeship in a revolutionary aluminium fabrication process being developed at A.W.S. Singen, in Germany, a factory where Zeppelins had previously been manufactured.
In 1965 he set up his own company with John O'Connor, Aluminium Systems Ltd, to design and manufacture shop-fronts and conservatories. Aluminium Systems was commissioned to design and manufacture the components for two private houses for the well known British architects - Michael Hopkins' house at Hampstead and Ian Ritchie's house at Fluy, France.
These high profile projects led to a series of larger commissions and the company moved on to work on bigger projects in the 1970s including buildings such as Trinity College Arts Block, Dublin, with Ahrends Burton Koralek, Allied Irish Bank Headquarters in Dublin and Irish Life Headquarters, Dublin, for Robinson Keefe & Devane Architects. Aluminium Systems also designed the gasket system of The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts for architect Norman Foster at this time.
Billings Design Associates
In 1984 Sean Billings Design Associates Ltd (BDA) was incorporated as a design company specialising in the design and development of modern building façades. Sean Billings sold Aluminium Systems and BDA then became sub-consultants to FEI, an American cladding company with a manufacturing facility in Ireland.
BDA worked on the design of composite 'strong-back' stone cladding systems on a number of skyscrapers in Philadelphia and New York City which included one of the World Trade Centre Buildings in Battery Park located adjacent to the Twin Towers. These contracts made FEI the second largest volume exporter in Ireland during the 1980s.
BDA was started by Sean & Colette Billings, providing an independent design consultancy service to developers, architects, engineers, main contractors and cladding contractors. Colman Billings, an industrial designer, joined in 1992 and became a director of BDA in 1998. Colman has worked on the detailed design, testing and installation of prestigious projects such as Portcullis House in London for Michael Hopkins & Partners and Selfridges Department Store, Birmingham, for Future Systems.