Avondale Square is a seven-storey block of 18 affordable homes, built above a community centre and office, located within an established estate owned by the City of London.

Share this page:

reForm Architects have used VELFAC glazing to deliver an innovative response to local housing needs,with a building which meets demanding daylight and energy targets while also guaranteeing low lifetime costs.        

Specified for a range of reasons                                                       

‘We specified VELFAC for a number of reasons,’ says reForm Director Andrew Dawes. ‘The composite frame is very popular with tenants as they like the warm inner wood frame and the security of external aluminium. By installing VELFAC triple glazing we could also meet the ambitious low energy targets set by the City of London Plan, of CO2 emissions at 19% lower than current building regulations. Triple glazing also provides excellent acoustic insulation – ideal, given the busy inner city location – and the windows also meet Secured by Design standards, again very relevant to the location.’

Avoiding cost-catch up from cheaper products

The low maintenance VELFAC system – which needs no repainting for the lifetime of the unit - is also a real benefit for affordable housing, adds Andrew, who notes a growing awareness of the ‘whole life costs’ associated with cheaper building products. ‘Our clients are increasingly specifying higher quality, more durable building products to avoid the inevitable cost-catch up that comes with cheaper alternatives, and this was certainly the case when specifying VELFAC.’

Maximising daylight with fewer windows

Natural light was also a design imperative: ‘Mayor of London standards ask for dual aspect windows in order to increase daylight, which we could further enhance by installing slim framed VELFAC units, and meant we could maximise daylight with fewer windows further improving the system’s cost effectiveness.’ Installed as punch hole units and large patio doors, VELFAC units ensure plentiful natural light reaches both communal and private areas. External aluminium frames are finished in mid-gray to deliberately ‘push the windows back’ into a façade featuring colourful tiles and textured brickwork, while clear varnish on internal frames gives tenants the wood finish they so admire. On the ground floor, full height VELFAC units front the community centre and office, adding further visual interest at street level.



Sector:       Affordable housing

Architect:   reForm Architects

Client:        City of London

Specified for:

  • Slim frames / maximum daylight
  • Low maintenance design
  • Energy efficiency
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Internal pine frame