WESTWOOD STUDENT MEWS, COVENTRY
High quality materials
Distinctive design and high quality materials are key features of development, where 38 pitched-roof, brick-built ‘houses’ provide 452 rooms for students from Warwick and Coventry Universities. VELFAC windows are installed throughout the Mews. Dark brown external aluminium frames complement cream and grey brickwork, white-painted inner timber frames provide a bright and practical finish for every room, and every window delivers precisely tailored performance.
‘The VELFAC composite frame offered a cost-effective solution to the design and performance objectives of Westwood Mews, and the complexity of its specification,’ says architect Ewan Proctor-Mason. ‘All-aluminium frames were more expensive and as they scratch easily, they are less well suited to student rooms, while uPVC didn’t deliver the ‘quality feel’ we wanted. The VELFAC system delivers external durability plus a tactile inner pine frame which creates a ‘home from home’ finish in every room. Internally, timber is also easy to repaint as part of an annual maintenance schedule, again contributing to the system’s cost-effectiveness.’
14 variations of window unit
The location of Westwood Mews, the site of a former sports club, also challenged the versatility of the VELFAC system: ‘Across the site we had to specify 14 variations of VELFAC window units, in three different sizes, with every ground floor window also meeting Secured by Design standards,’ explains Ewan. ‘As north facing blocks border a high speed railway line, for example, triple glazing with acoustic trickle vents was required. South-facing facades are quieter but as solar gain can be an issue we installed double glazing with a wider gap between panes, which helps minimise overheating. All this was achieved with very little visible difference, externally, between units because of the VELFAC system’s uniform sightlines.’
Such a complex specification required close co-operation between VELFAC and HAUS: ‘The VELFAC team worked with us at every project stage,’ says Ewan. ‘They advised on our initial concept, and then provided a full DWG pack of typical details to allow us to start designing. As the project progressed, VELFAC provided bespoke drawings for every window and managed the production and fabrication process.’
Westwood Mews is part of a regeneration project designed to add life to what had become a run-down part of Coventry. The end result is a positive addition to the local neighbourhood, one which reflects its suburban setting and provides a sense of community for the students who now live there.
Sector: Student Accomodation
Client: Urban Pulse