The Garden Room, Great Raveley, Cambridgeshire

VELFAC triple glazed windows, and a sliding, bi-parting door, have been used to create a very modern, contemporary, south-west facing sun room which makes the most of countryside views while remaining comfortable all year round. It is also spacious and airy.

Old Manor Farmhouse

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‘Our 18th century farmhouse has wonderful views but the location is very exposed,’ says owner. ‘We wanted to build a room featuring plenty of windows, so we could enjoy the views, but using glazing that could withstand strong winds and sometime extreme weather. Other glazing manufacturers couldn’t fit the larger and higher units we required, or could only supply heavy, clunky double-glazed doors which were very difficult to operate. Graham Handley Architects suggested VELFAC composite glazing, and we were able to use the system to create a screen of triple-glazed units rising from floor level to 10½ feet, just below roof height, and wrapping around the corner of the build. We opted for high level motorised windows, to aid ventilation, and also installed two smaller double-glazed VELFAC units in the rear facade.’ A key feature of the screen is the sliding, bi-parting glazed VELFAC doors; the low threshold design creates step free access into the garden when the door is open, and a small step down to the patio, over a gravel trap, which provides splash protection from driving rain.

In terms of frame finishes, the owner opted for white polyester powder coated external aluminium, with internal timber frames also painted white, to complement the pale stone floor. The low maintenance frame design was another benefit, adds owner, as ‘we won’t need to repaint the external windows framing, making it a highly practical solution.’

Now installed for almost a year, VELFAC has exceeded expectations: ‘We specified a specialist reflective glass coating (VELFAC SUN 25) to help maintain a consistent temperature and as a result, the room remains comfortable even on the hottest day, and with the windows closed,’ says owner. Underfloor heating and a wood burning stove were installed to provide extra warmth but, as the owner points out, hardly any additional heat is needed to maintain a consistent temperature: ‘There is very little temperature differential between the main house and the sun room,’ he says, ‘making it a really positive modern and contemporary addition to our home.’

Sector: New build extension to 18th century farmhouse

Architect: Graham Handley Architects, St Ives, Cambs

Completed: 2017

Specified for:

  • Contemporary Look
  • High curved ceiling and very large high windows to exploit the view
  • Thermal insulation and stable indoor temperature, summer and winter
  • Large, bi-parting doors
  • Design versatility
  • Low maintenance construction