When the longstanding timber windows at a local Gateshead primary school began to come to end of their life, an effectively planned window replacement project was required. Alongside working with REHAU uPVC frames to provide fitting aesthetics for the historic building, the installers and fabricators involved needed to conduct this work with minimal disruption to the live school environment.
Heritage Vertical Sliding Sash
Located in Low Fell, Gateshead, and built in 1896, Kells Lane is a mixed-sex primary school with 429 pupils. When the school needed new windows, Gateshead Council wanted to replicate the old timber windows with solutions that were energy-efficient, secure and low maintenance while fitting with the appearance of the surrounding conservation area.
Following a competitive tender process, Hadrian Window Systems (Hadrian) were awarded the contract for the supply and installation of the replacement vertical sliding sash windows. Hadrian Window Systems tasked the fabricator Roseview with making these windows, which were manufactured using REHAU uPVC profile. Due to the age of the building, the windows needed to be sympathetic to the original timber window design while also improving performance. Specifically, Heritage Rose double-glazed vertical sliding sash windows were provided to deliver a highly efficient solution. As these systems use 28mm glazing, compared to others which use 24mm, they offer better energy efficiency and good acoustic performance ratings compared to other uPVC products.
The project also required additional non-standard, vertical sliding sash windows to be specially manufactured to match the existing windows that they were set to replace. As some of the frames specified contained tall window arches with triple astragal bars that create a sunburst effect for the building’s occupants, the fabrication requirements became increasingly complex.
Mike Bygrave, Sales & Marketing Director at Roseview said:
"We make recommendations and produce windows based on the specific project details, and Kells Lane was no exception. In this case, the specification needed to consider the school’s close proximity to a conservation area, and the fact large, more intricate window designs were also included. Consequently, any solution we provided needed to take these concerns into account, which is why we recommended our Heritage Rose model. As our close partnership with REHAU spans decades, we trust in the quality of their profile so were very confident any frames we provided would fit this project’s specific requirements."
“We find that uPVC from REHAU offers a number of benefits, including that they are easy-to-maintain, are long-lasting and provide excellent energy efficiency and acoustic performance, which is why they remain an attractive solution. Additionally, because we test all of our fully-fabricated windows independently, on top of REHAU’s market-leading profile testing, we can further improve upon these key assets to offer the best possible window.”
A solution that delivers
A total of 189 REHAU vertical sliding sash windows needed to be fitted by project installer Hadrian throughout the school. In addition to this, 40 replacement casement windows were required to the toilet blocks and external wellways, which the installer manufactured inhouse, with REHAU profiles.
As this project was to be carried out during term-time, ongoing works needed to cause minimal disruption for pupils, teachers and other on-site staff. Indeed, due to size of the windows – measuring 1200 x 3300mm and weighing in excess of 150kg – they had to be split into separate frames and coupled together on site. In order to ensure school activities during the day remained undisturbed, these product deliveries and joining activities occurred outside teaching hours.
The whole project was carried out over five phases, running from July 2020 to January 2021 in order to limit the impact on the school. Each phase was linked to the building elevations and was planned so that one classroom was released at a time, enabling the school to relocate pupils to different classrooms without impinging on teaching.
The five-phase approach was praised by Chris Martindale, Project Development Officer at Gateshead Council: “We were extremely impressed with how smoothly this project ran from the beginning to completion, especially given the complex circumstances involved.
He concludes: “As a client, I was able to leave everyone involved in this to carry out the works required – the fact I could do this, and still have the project delivered on time, was something I really appreciated. We would happily engage Hadrian again because their communication was excellent. Since the project was completed, everyone has been commenting on how good the windows look and the quality is top class, so we’re all really pleased.”