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Article Date: 1st November 2018

Selectaglaze - A Charming Grade II* Listed Tudor Building is brought up to 21st Century Standards

Whitehall Museum - Tudor Windows - Secondary Glazing - Historical Windows

Selectaglaze - Whitehall Museum

Whitehall Museum is a 500 year old Grade II* Listed Tudor building which has received a much needed £1.6 million refurbishment and restoration. The building located in Cheam received a grant from the Heritage lottery fund and contributions from the Local Council and the Friends of Whitehall Charity to undergo works .

Whitehall was built c.1482 – 1520, thought to have been for a yeoman farmer, when Cheam would have been a rural community of just 300 people. The construction is timber frame with wattle and daub but has received additions and alterations in each of the following five centuries, so influences from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras can be observed.

The unimposing building, with its white weatherboards and jettied upper story also has Royal connections. It is said that Whitehall was once called “The Council House”, owing to its use by Queen Elizabeth I for holding a spontaneous council meeting for signing papers while on a hunting expedition.

Selectaglaze - Whitehall MuseumCurl La Tourelle Architects had the arduous task of addressing numerous issues including, the installation of a lift to enable disabled access, general structural renovations and thermal improvements to the windows. Initially the fenestration would have comprised of wooden mullions set in a gap between upright timbers and would have been unglazed but may have been covered in beaten leather or oiled paper to keep the weather out. One of the original Tudor windows can still be seen although the glass in it is a modern addition. The windows at the front of the building are improvements dating from more recent changes, still rich in architectural history so Curl La Tourelle Architects specified the installation of secondary glazing to make the improvement required without affecting the architectural features. As a reversible adaptation, it is largely accepted by heritage agencies across the UK and is an unobtrusive and discreet treatment for historical windows.

Secondary glazing traps an insulating layer of air, which can decrease heat loss by more than 50%. With the introduction of low emissivity glass, U-values of around 1.8 can be achieved. The use of high performance twin seals help to virtually eradicate draughts. However, an added benefit of secondary glazing is noise reduction. When there is a gap between the primary and secondary glazing of at least 100mm, a reduction of 45dB is possible.

Selectaglaze - Whitehall MuseumR. Durtnell & Sons Ltd, experts in the sensitive restoration and refurbishment of heritage buildings, was appointed as main contractor, who approached Selectaglaze to carry out the secondary glazing works. A bespoke, seamless treatment was agreed and the window reveal preparations began.

In total, 15 units were installed from the light weight range and 2 fire retardant units. The old Tudor building, with sloping irregular floors, bowed walls, uneven height ceilings and extremely irregular window openings, meant any works carried out there had to be very carefully planned and required high levels of craftsmanship. Tapered and splayed timber grounds were used to take up the irregularities of the building structure. Once these were in place the secondary glazing was installed which was sympathetically designed to complement the original windows.

Back in Tudor times, there were no fire regulations and local oak and elm, dating from c.1500, was used for the construction of the building. The approach had to be wisely planned and approved by building control. Durtnell & Sons created new fire resistant reveals into which the secondary glazing was installed ensuring the integrity of the treatment.

Selectaglaze - Whitehall MuseumNow all the work is complete, all who use the building will experience a comfortable environment, with draughts eliminated and a huge reduction in heat loss. Whitehall Museum reopened in the summer of 2018, allowing visitors to once again step over the threshold of centuries past, providing an insight as to how people lived in a time gone by.

Established in 1966 and granted a Royal Warrant in 2004, Selectaglaze is the leading specialist in the design, manufacture and installation of secondary glazing.

Selectaglaze will be exhibiting on Stand N82 at the International Security Expo at Olympia on the 28th and 29th of November.

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