The perfect acoustic and thermal solution for a Listed watermill

The Grade II* Listed Sacrewell Watermill near Wansford, Peterborough dates back to around c.1730, although there are suggestions that the Romans were utilising water at Sacrewell hundreds of years earlier. The present watermill remained in full working order until 1965. 

Sacrewell Mill reopened in July 2015 after a £1.8 million restoration and conservation project that was backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the William Scott Abbott Trust. Cambridge architecture firm Purcell oversaw the restoration of the watermill, also adding a learning centre to the site, to make it a local attraction.

Commenting on the restoration, project officer Jane Harrison of the William Scott Abbott Trust said, “The project is a great opportunity to work together to ensure this nationally significant building remains operational for future generations.”

The existing windows suffered from significant heat loss due to their age. Messenger construction chose Selectaglaze, to deliver a bespoke solution which retained the existing primary windows, yet upgraded their thermal and acoustic performance.  Selectaglaze worked closely with Purcell to design solutions that would work with the existing architecture of Sacrewell.

Selectaglaze installed a total of 8 units in the kitchen, dining room, living room, corridor and bathroom of the watermill, bringing the spaces up to modern standards.  The windows were treated with a combination of Series 10 2-pane horizontal sliders and Series 10 3-pane horizontal centre sliders, set to match the original window’s sightlines.  The original plaster reveals were full of character; some were splayed and most were neither plumb nor true. Purpose made joinery grounds were produced and carefully installed to ensure the closest of fits was achieved.

Toughened safety glass with a low emissivity coating was used throughout all the rooms, which in combination with the existing primary window achieved a U-value of 1.8, thus reducing heat loss by around 60%. In addition, the installation of secondary glazing provided a significant reduction in noise egress and ingress as the windows were individually measured and manufactured to ensure the closest installation possible.

The restoration of this historically important building has been a great success, with Sacrewell Watermill winning RICS East of England Project of the Year in 2016. The mill, which was formerly on Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register, also won awards in Building Conservation and Tourism and Leisure.

With fifty years’ experience working on all types of buildings, Selectaglaze works closely with clients to guarantee their needs are met, to make buildings warmer, quieter and safer.

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