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Smart refurbishment for listed Art Deco building

Smart Architectural Aluminium supply windows and doors for the refurbishment of Lanchester Community Free School

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 07, 2015 | Facilities & buildings

Originally built in 1938, the Lanchester Building in Watford has been completely transformed by Martindales Architects into a two-form entry primary school and nursery for West Herts Community Free School Trust, and is now home to the Lanchester Community Free School. The building is listed due both to its historical and architectural significance. 

With a design requirement to retain the slim lines of the building’s original steel windows so closely associated with Art Deco buildings, while at the same time achieving thermal performance and energy efficiency gains from  modern materials, new windows and commercial doors from Smart’s Alitherm Heritage ranges were specified. 

Over 70 window assemblies (covering approximately 650m² in total) and 15 door entrance assemblies were installed from Smart’s Alitherm Heritage range. The window and door profiles were all finished in white polyester powder coating at Smart’s state-of-the-art paint facility, to match the materials being replaced and to provide a robust, durable and low-maintenance finish. 

Despite a particularly tight build programme to meet the school’s opening date, the windows and doors were installed on time by Dotcom Glazing who worked closely throughout the project with Smart’s technical support team, Martindales and the main contractor, Borras Construction. 

Designed specifically to meet the requirements of heritage projects and listed buildings, all Alitherm Heritage windows feature a polyamide thermal break to deliver enhanced thermal performance. The system’s doors are ideally suited to school projects, which typically have a high footfall and heavy usage. Certified to PAS24 for security and BS6375 for weather testing, rebated doors were specified for this particular project, which provide an effective ‘anti-finger trap’ solution. 

Commenting on the project, Smart’s Managing Director, Eddie Robinson, said: “This is exactly the sort of scheme that we had in mind when our team developed the Alitherm Heritage range – an Art Deco building with traditional steel windows. The final refurbished building looks fantastic and retains the authenticity of the period in which it was built, but the staff, pupils and building managers can now enjoy the thermal and cost benefits that modern aluminium materials deliver.”    

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