Crittall Windows Ltd

Crittall Windows Ltd
Nothing looks better, nothing lasts longer

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Crittall Windows in fashion with Burberry

The new headquarters of the Burberry Group has been purpose designed to house the organisation’s workforce and operations at Horseferry House in Westminster. And to complement the customised individual interior of the 160,000sq ft eight storey building, Crittall Windows have been installed.

The building was originally built in the 1930s and following its transformation, boasts cutting edge showrooms and a modern, contemporary office space which retain some of the original architectural features. The windows were installed as a like for like replacement scheme to fit in with planning schedules for the Westminster area, and Crittall W20 profiles were specified. Additionally, the company also supplied glazed steel screens for the interior in keeping with the aim of the refurbishment to create light and a modern working office environment. This is the first time that all of Burberry’s employees are housed together under the same roof.

The internal steel glazed screens were an integral part of the interior design scheme, with the original lightwells transformed into dynamic day lit circulation spaces, made active by the incorporation of steel framed bridge links connecting the two halves of the building. Says John Pyatt, managing director of Crittall: “The use of the screens opens up the space as intended, allowing natural daylight to be part of the interior lighting scheme .

Externally, the replacement windows, in Burberry Brown match the interior and comply with all planning requirements by the local authority. We matched the small pane detail with the W20 profiles, which offer very narrow sightlines that do not detract from the beauty of the original architecture and style of Horseferry House.”

The building is now complete and with Crittall glazing featuring both inside and out, presents a fitting and contemporary home for the world-renowned Burberry name which makes the most of natural light for an ideal working environment.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Steel Windows - Repair or Replace

Windows are that part of a building's fabric that so often defines the character and aesthetic of the property.

In many early-to-mid 20th Century buildings, across both public and private sectors, those windows are made of ungalvanised steel, and the passage of years may have taken its toll, in terms of corrosion, failing paintwork, broken or bent hardware. The glass and glazing compound may also have suffered.

Faced with ever more stringent Building Regulations, the owners of such properties need to decide how to proceed with improvements. They can be reassured that excellent opportunities exist for either improving the condition of what is already there, or replacing them with modern equivalents.

Crittall is the UK market leader, with 150 years' experience in steel fenestration, and has a long history of involvement in repair and replacement of windows, working closely with local authority planning and conservation officers, with architects, and with conservation bodies, such as English Heritage, to repair or replace windows installed from the early 1900s. Over 70 percent of the company's UK work falls into this category, with Crittall providing a survey, design, manufacture and installation service, acting, in many cases, as main contractor.

The decision to repair or replace depends on many factors, not least, the amount of maintenance that has been undertaken on a property. Before 1947, steel windows were only zinc sprayed, rather than hot-dip galvanised as they are today. So, pre-war fenestration may be deeply corroded.

Successive layers of paintwork, bowed or misaligned sections, missing putty, and broken handles or stays are also likely to be factors.

Repair work can be of a limited nature, performed on-site to tackle light corrosion, remove minor frame distortions, and re-glaze, with perhaps the addition of draught-proof gaskets and secondary glazing. Costs can be relatively modest, but, of course, the improved windows will not conform to modern performance requirements, especially in respect of energy efficiency.

An alternative approach is to remove the units, and return them to the factory for total refurbishment, where the frames are grit-blasted back to the bare metal, damaged units repaired, with new sections welded-in, hot-dip galvanising takes place, and the frame is polyester powder-coated providing 15-20 years' protection before any further painting is required. Draught-proofing and secondary glazing can be added, and new hardware fitted to match the original.

All this can be costly, and the windows will still not meet modern performance standards.

However, both the current, and forthcoming amendments to the Building Regulations Part L on energy efficiency make allowances for buildings of historical or architectural merit, covering a wide range of properties, either as individual structures, or within the context of their neighbourhood. So, this level of repair, may be adequate to satisfy the requirement of Part L.

The aim, however, should be, both to preserve, and to achieve betterment wherever possible.

The answer is replacement steel windows which may be deemed a more economic solution, in view of the findings of a condition survey, and a desire to achieve modern performance standards.

New steel fenestration will allow for double glazing that meets either a 2.2 W/m2 whole window U-value, or a centre-pane U-value of 1.2 W/m2k. This will contribute towards the new requirements for reducing a building's carbon emissions total, as spelled out in the revised Part L. Weatherstripping, trickle ventilation, corrosion protection, and polyester powder coating are also part of the solution, while at the same time, replicating the visual effect of the original windows.

Examples of this abound. Look at the new facade of the Boots Company's D10 Building in Nottingham. This is a Grade I listed building dating from 1932.

Working with the original firm of architects, and, in consulatation with English Heritage, Crittall supplied and installed its Corporate W20 windows to recreate the curtain-walling effect for which this exceptional modern movement structure is famous.

Social housing refurbishments include the high-rise Avondale Tower for the Corporation of London, and Northwood House for Lambeth LBC. Then there is the neo-gothic Crown Court building at Wood Green in North London, the celebrated Hoover Building alongside the A40 in West London, and the Grade II listed Viceroy Court, a private residential block with curved fenestration overlooking Regents Park.

Crittall's current range of windows provides modern, high-performance replacements for the Universal range first seen in 1909, and the imperial SMW introduced in the 1920s. The original fenestra joint, patented in 1905, is still available. Bespoke solutions can be created as required.

Experience shows that each project must be reviewed on its own merits, and that repair, where possible, is the first option, and is preferred for aesthetic reasons. If, however, replacement is chosen, to meet cost, or performance requirements, then this can be done sympathetically, with modern steel products, that satisfy the regs and aesthetic appeal of a project in equal measure.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

The Old Pump House, London, England

A listed building in Hooper Street, on the fringe of the City of London, has recently been transformed with Crittall Windows supplying a variety of its steel profiles for the project.

Developers, City North plc acquired The Old Pump House, and the company's development division undertook the challenging task of restoring the Victorian structure to its former glory.
The existing steel windows had deteriorated, and the decision was made to replace them with Crittall's Corporate W20 profiles. Because of the location of the building, and its Grade II listed status, meticulous care had to be taken, in the specification and the installation processes. This involved the architects and project manager working closely with the suppliers to ensure minimal disruption to the street below.

"This is a stunning transformation of a building that has lain derelict for over 40 years," comments architect in charge of the project, Andrew Yelland. Crittall's task was to create a range of windows that fitted the character and style of the original, yet provided the performance quality demanded of today's profiles.

"The building style required a number of different shaped windows," continues Yelland. "We specified straight, semi-circular, and arched profiles all with the distinctive slim sections that the Crittall W20 option provided. In addition, we also constructed a 60 minute, fire-rated compartmentalisation between the 1st and 2nd floors. Crittall was able to supply speciality steel and glass windows cills to complete the detailing."

The Old Pump House is now completed, and its architectural merit restored. Crittall Windows not only contributed to the external aesthetic appearance, but also met the criteria for the thermal energy efficient performance of the building as a whole.

Crittall steel windows not only provide exceptional strength and durability, but also offer an aesthetically pleasing, minimalist appearance. Because of the material's strength, sightlines can be narrowed, ensuring that the windows do not dominate the appearance of the architecture. Crittall's extensive range of steel profiles are suitable for any building, either traditional or contemporary modern, providing protection and appeal for any sized project.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

New York Botanical Gardens

Crittall Windows has been involved in a multi-million dollar project at the New York Botanical Garden. The Garden occupies 250 acres of land in the heart of New York, and a major expansion of the facilities is underway. The new Leon Levy Visitor Center is one of the most dramatic additions. It comprises four separate structures forming an elegant and functional transition from the urban sophistication of the cityscape to the pastoral environment of the Garden.

Designed by the architect, Hugh Hardy, founding principal of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, with Gabriel Hernandez, project architect and project designer, the Center was opened in May 2004, and occupies a three-and-a-half acre site at the main Conservatory Gate entrances. Steel stone and glass enhance the architectural style of the building, which consolidates the Garden’s existing visitor service, whilst expanding its amenities. The Center includes a Shop in the Garden, with both indoor and outdoor components, a new cafĂ©, an outdoor plaza and a visitor orientation area.

The Center is surrounded by a U-shaped formation of hills and trees.

The buildings are constructed of dark Hamilton bluestone, supplemented with wood, steel and glass. Crittall supplied its Corporate 2000 profiles to meet the architect’s specification, as well as cold-formed doors. The Corporate 2000 range offers the dual benefits of strength and aesthetic appeal, with the appearance of the profiles minimizing the intrusion of mullions and transoms without detracting from the original, traditional; appearance of the surrounding architecture. This emphasis on transparency is a key and prominent feature in the building’s external appearance, with large sections of the buildings enclosed in glass, framing views of the surrounding landscape, and its canopy of conifers.
“The crisp profiles and simple joinery of the Botanical Garden’s steel windows add immeasurably to the pavilions’ generous views of the rolling landscape,” says Hugh Hardy of the architectural practice.

The Leon Levy Visitor Center is part of a $200 million master plan for capital improvements to the 112 year old garden, which began in 1997 with the opening of the Enid A Haupt Conservatory, the country’s largest Victorian-style glasshouse. Subsequent phases include the Nolen Glasshouse for Living Collections, which will be the largest behind-the-scenes glasshouse for growing plants at any botanical garden in the USA.