Shepherd's Well, Surrey
‘Our client’s aim was to achieve the best in terms of quality and sustainability without breaking the bank,’ explains architect Graham Collingridge, ‘so we worked with sustainability engineers to achieve the ideal cost / performance balance between the roof, floor, walls and, of course, the windows.’ VELFAC glazing was specified early on in the planning phase, at Graham’s suggestion: ‘Our client wanted timber windows but was concerned about external maintenance so we suggested the composite approach. This delivers the warmth of wood internally but with a robust external aluminium casement which can cope with the weather without the need to regularly re-paint.’
To help the decision-making process, Graham’s client saw sample frame sections and visited housebuilding shows to ‘play with full size windows’, says Graham. ‘Alternative quotes for timber windows were also comparable in price,’ he adds, ‘so we knew that the VELFAC system was within our budget, and we could achieve the thermal performance we needed with double-glazed units, thanks to the performance of the building fabric as a whole.’
Frame finish was also an important consideration, especially externally as Shepherd’s Well is located in both the green belt and a conservation area, and is next to an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). ‘When planning the windows we studied the size and aspect ratios of nearby buildings,’ explains Graham: ‘As a result, we had to specify slightly smaller windows than we wanted in the front elevation, but to make the windows look bigger we opted for anthracite grey aluminium frames and casements to help disguise the ratio of glass to frame. This dark appearance is also maintained when the window is open, as you can still see the dark frame behind. Internally, deep, natural coloured lacquered timber reveals soften the transition from this dark exterior to a light internal colour scheme,’ he adds.
Having swopped their old bungalow for a beautiful new home, Graham’s client is delighted with the end result and especially with the VELFAC system, which has replaced windows which were ‘draughty, rotting, and difficult to open,’ with glazing which achieves the ideal balance of quality, performance and affordability.
Sector: New build home
Architect: Collingridge and Smith Architects