Re: Re: Restoring sash windows

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Thanks S.O.S.

Fully agreed about the limited benefits of double-glazing relative to the poor isulation value of old walls, floors and non-draught-proofed windows. But the way I see it, if we want to get real about energy conservation while also restoring historic detail to houses where original windows have long since disappeared, it is essential that double glazing forms part of that process. There is no way the average joe public is going to sacrifice double-glazed PVC or aluminium frames for a single-glazed sash, however well draught-proofed or aesthetically pleasing. This results in a net energy loss to the property (whatever of the manufacturing process which is likely to be a different story).

As such, the sooner we formulate and make viable a well-detailed, historically appropriate double-glazed sash or equivalant – preferably involving a single-glazed pane of double-glazed value – the better. It’s probably fair to say that on a national basis 50 per cent of historic buildings have lost their original windows. To have even a fraction of these reinstated on an energy-conscious basis would be extremely worthwhile, even if limited to Victorian single-pane examples.

Lofty conservation professionals appear to forget the ranks of typical two-up two-down houses that proliferate in every urban area, never mind smaller or slightly larger houses (and all of which suffer the greatest loss of window fabric of our wider building stock). These require and deserve sensitive reinstatement as much as larger flagship properties where authentic detailing is obviously equally desirable. The sooner we get away from the horrendously detailed and manufactured rubbish being thrown at these buildings in the name of energy conservation, towards a more aesthetically pleasing and probably more efficient model, the better it will be for both property owners and our built heritage.

(and to clarify I obviously do not advocate the replacement of original fabric where it survives)

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