Ground-breaking eco-homes get Total Glass aluminium façades
Published by Kathy Wilkinson for Total Glass in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Environment, Local Government
New aluminium facade supplied by Total Glass at Acorn Close solar bungalows
Hailed as one of the UK’s earliest experimental low-energy housing developments, Acorn Close in Merseyside has undergone a major refurbishment using aluminium façades and window wall manufactured and installed by Total Glass.
Built in 1978 and now managed by Riverside ECHG, the pioneering nine solar-heated bungalows at Higher Bebington were the Wirral’s second major ‘heat-free’ scheme. For the first two years, their energy usage was continuously monitored and compared to five neighbouring traditionally-heated and insulated dwellings.
Acorn Close was built by Merseyside Improved Houses, a forward-thinking housing association, with backing from the Department of the Environment. The scheme was officially opened by Lord Pilkington in November 1978.
After more than 35 years, the properties’ distinctive timber front façades and supports were in a poor state of repair, requiring full replacement to match the function and aesthetics of the originals. Behind this double-glazed outer skin is a south-facing, high-density brick wall, which absorbs solar energy and warmed air is distributed throughout the property via a ducted system.
Liverpool-based Total Glass, one of the North West’s largest PVC-U and aluminium window and door fabricators worked with construction and property consultants Arcus Consulting to re-create the best thermally-efficient, low-maintenance and durable solution based on life-cycle cost analysis.
The Sapa Dualframe window wall system was specified in a RAL 8017 satin brown finish to complement the unique appearance of the one-bedroomed single-storey homes. Following a successful pilot installation, the whole project was completed within five weeks to the delight of both the client and residents.
Geoff Stott, a Partner in Paterson Macaulay & Owens Architects, who were involved in the scheme’s concept and design, commented: “Looking back through the archives of the Practice it is satisfying to note that the original concept of the bungalows still functions well today. Likewise it is aesthetically pleasing to note that the essence of the façade design has been so successfully and excellently renewed by Total Glass.”
Thanking the Total Glass team, Peter Denny, Riverside’s Senior Project Manager, said: “The residents at Acorn Close have been waiting many a year to have something done with the frontage and the commitment to customer satisfaction should quite rightly be applauded.”
Speaking on behalf of Acorn Close residents, Joan Barnett praised the hard-working professionalism of Total’s installation team, adding: “I am very pleased with the work done by Total Glass. Their team worked hard and cleaned up any mess from the job. I have truly never met such good workmen and they are to be recommended. It is well worth the time we waited!”
For more information, contact Total Glass on 0151 549 2339 or visit the website at www.totalglass.com.