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Tower Mill, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire

Triple-glazed VELFAC composite windows and doors are installed at Tower Mill, a prize-winning renovation project in Little Downham. The once-derelict mill is now a stunning eco-house, with the slim-framed VELFAC system specified for impressive energy efficiency, low maintenance construction, and value for money.

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‘We knew about VELFAC from other commercial projects,’ says home owner Henry Martin, ‘but we hadn’t realised that the system could be used so successfully in a domestic project, or that it was so competitively priced. Our architect, Judith Brear, recommended VELFAC for Tower Mill as it could meet the eco-performance standards she was looking for, in terms of thermal insulation and sustainable construction, and could deliver the flat, contemporary exterior finish that she also wanted.’

VELFAC triple-glazed aluminium/timber units are installed across Tower Mill. Punch-hole windows have been inserted into the curving walls of the old tower, with a series of asymmetrical, floor to ceiling VELFAC units combined to create a stunning, 360o viewing area at the top. Larger, fixed units are also installed as double-height glazed facades, both at the rear of the house and in the walls which link the house to the tower: ‘VELFAC was the only system which could supply units large enough to meet the brief,’ says Henry. ‘The window walls bring natural light flooding into the house, while also creating impressive architectural features.’

Henry also wanted a virtually maintenance free exterior – another reason for specifying the VELFAC composite system. ‘The external aluminium VELFAC frame is very durable and won’t need repainting,’ comments Henry, ‘and when it came to frame finish, having a wide range of RAL colours to choose from was an advantage. Externally, Judith specified soft green to complement the grey metal cladding and zinc ironmongery, and as a contrast against the timber walls and black-painted brick tower. Inner timber VELFAC frames were finished in two shades of white, to delineate different areas of the house.’ 

VELFAC has helped transform Tower Mill into a low-energy home which is both technically sophisticated and architecturally stunning – and as a result, the project was awarded the 2017 LABC Regional Award for ‘best change of use of an existing building or conversion in East Anglia’.


Sector: Renovation / conversion

Owner / Architect: Henry Martin / Freeman Brear Architects

Completed: 2017

Specified for:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Design versatility
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Low maintenance construction
  • Large triple glazed panes

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