Sycamore Hall, Sheffield

Architect Paul Testa has turned a typical 1960s stone-clad bungalow into a beautiful, stylish low energy home, one which uses VELFAC glazing to make the most of beautiful valley views while also meeting stringent air tightness and energy performance targets.

Sycamore Hall in Sheffield with VELFAC windows

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‘As a practice, our philosophy is to build homes which are enjoyable to live in, while also being sustainable, and good value,’ explains Paul. ‘The new owners of Sycamore Hall – located just outside Sheffield – fully embraced this approach; they wanted to turn the property into a comfortable, modern, low energy home, one which embraced the surrounding countryside, and so we embarked on an ambitious retro-fit which included both extending the building and installing VELFAC windows.’

The composite VELFAC aluminium / timber system was the ideal glazing choice, explains Paul. ‘We often specify all timber windows, but we like the slim, sleek VELFAC frame – it delivers uniform sightlines, increases interior daylight, and (very importantly) maximises the view.’ Paul replaced existing, thick framed uPVC windows with large VELFAC units and also constructed new bay windows, facing the surrounding valley, which feature deep dropped sills, window seats and side lights. Internal pine framing is finished in white, matching the predominantly white and light wood interior, while external aluminium frames, finished in pale gray, complement Yorkshire stone clad walls, dark roofing and silver rainwater goods.

A good view often means a more exposed location, and this was certainly the case at Sycamore Hall – and another reason for specifying VELFAC. ‘Almost all the units are triple glazed,’ says Paul. ‘This allowed us to install large windows designed to ‘blur’ the boundary between inside and out without compromising thermal insulation or air tightness. Triple glazing also means a significant drop in energy consumption, resulting in a home which is cheaper to run while allowing the owners to fully enjoy – rather than just be protected from – the surrounding hills and changing weather.’

Sector: Private house / retro-fit

Architect: Paul Testa Architecture

Specified for:

  • Composite frame / internal timber
  • Slim frames / maximum view
  • Low energy performance
  • Contemporary style
  • Air tightness