Secondary glazing for heritage windows

Keeping historic buildings in active use can be a massive undertaking and one of the biggest headaches is often caused by the most defining feature and character of a property - its windows – which can be cold, draughty; provide little protection against noise and minimal resistance to burglary.

Proposals by Government advisors to financially penalise homeowners who do not fully insulate their property have been put before Ministers ahead of the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, the Government’s white paper setting out its plans to cut carbon emissions by 34% by 2020. This, together with research undertaken by the Halifax Building Society indicating that fuel efficiency and energy saving measures are considered to be the home improvements which add most value, serves to demonstrate how important it is to raise the thermal efficiency of windows.

Owners of heritage buildings will be aware that English Heritage is clear that traditional windows should not be replaced with double gazed units and other solutions must be found. These include Secondary Glazing, a reversible adaptation that can provide thermal insulation in line with Building Regulation Part L standards together with the added benefits of high levels of acoustic insulation and improved security - and one that is included within guidelines produced by English Heritage, Historic Scotland, SPAB, The Victorian Society and The Georgian Group.

With this in mind Selectaglaze offers a wide range of sympathetic designs including units that slide horizontally, vertically or hinge as well as fixed panels. A welcome new development is a minimalist “Heritage” hinged casement unit which is ultra slim, shutter friendly and offers very discreet lines. It will fit into the staff bead and blend imperceptibly with the original window, providing easy access for cleaning and ventilation and allows shutters to remain fully operational.

Horizontal sliding systems are ideal for treating timber and steel casements and Yorkshire sashes. Panels run on glide pads or rollers to provide easy access to the external windows. Vertical sliding systems suit sash windows of all sizes and pre-tensioned balances allow widows to be opened to any position. Heavier duty hinged units are particularly suited to French windows and sash and case windows where full access is required and can also be glazed with sealed units to achieve triple glazing. And finally most styles can be sympathetically shaped to accommodate designs from Gothic to Art Deco.

The systems are made from aluminium which is an ideal material to use in traditional buildings as it is strong, lightweight and can be extruded to form the slender, complex shapes needed to accommodate seals, fixings and specialist hardware. A permanent finish, normally paint, is easily maintained and available in a multitude of colours to blend with the interior décor. Aluminium sections can also be factory curved to follow the existing window design.

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