Irish say no to PVC windows

Home Forums Ireland Irish say no to PVC windows

Viewing 340 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #707243
      Jas
      Participant

      missed this in the news

      Irish say no to PVC windows
      16 July 2004

      The Irish government has put a stop to what it sees as a plague of PVC windows infecting the country’s historic building stock.

      The Irish Planning Board has said that the offending windows may not be used in buildings of “architectural merit”, following a landmark ruling that conservationists hope will lead to PVC windows being ripped out all over the Irish Republic.

      The ruling came after conservationists complained about PVC windows used in the conversion of a Georgian building in Dublin into a pub.

      Dublin City Council agreed and refused permission. The John Hanlon pub, which had already installed the windows, took its case to the Planning Appeals Board but lost.

      An Taisce (the Irish National Trust) claims that PVC windows are a “national disease” and has started to check all privately owned historic buildings around the country. Where it finds any offending PVC it will contact the local authority and urge it to prosecute. An Taisce heritage officer Ian Lumley said the main targets are courthouses and town halls, many of them listed early 19th century classical buildings.

      “Where PVC windows have been installed, we will demand that they be replaced by wooden sash windows,” he said. “In some cases, the local authorities should be prosecuting themselves.”

    • #744720
      GrahamH
      Participant

      What a positive move. I know it is percieved as snobbery to criticise PVC, but in historic buildings it is totally unacceptable.

      But by far the worst use of the material, where it is so damaging, is in the small, unassuming vernacular buildings that line the county’s small town streets. Simple classical architecture is destroyed with bulky profiles, shiny finishes and the lack of depth in the plastic grid designs. And as for when they are opened, hinged from the top, they are just woeful. Windows are the primary feature, not to mention the eyes of these buildings, and sashes are being ripped out by the hundred. And because they’re on streets with shops, where no one supposedly looks above 12 feet, local authorities completely ignore what’s going on – as long as there’s a window box with pretty flowers infront they’re grand.

      And PVC is now used in a whopping 80% of new houses, and comprises some 90% of the replacement market (surprising it’s not higher)
      Someone I know was considering having PVC installed for replacement windows (but wood was still a contender) and so called out the country’s leading PVC company (let’s just say the one with the annoying jingle). I was asked to sit in on the visit apparently ‘being into that sort of thing’, but the ignorance of the rep was truly extraordinary, trying to compose a window unit with opening parts that fitted the standard tall rectangle (sash shape) opening – amongst other things he proposed that the aperture be split in two with a vertical bar, then a crossbar be placed across mid-way, and then one of those feckity 70s picture window openings be popped up in the corner!
      His whole attitude was ‘well that’s what everyone else is doing’, over and over again, with no consideration whatsoever to the house or the individual circumstance. Nor did he propose that matching windows have co-ordinating opening parts – ‘oh I suppose yeah’

      It is no wonder that window design has literally gone out the window in this country, with bulky, standardised, awkward lumps being shoved into every opening concievable.

      Not all PVC is bad, it can work well in offices, or plain white with casements in homes with pebbledashed facades. But the majority looks terrible, esp what can only be described as that diarrhoea coloured stuff that’s supposed to look like beech, or the lastest trick – wood-effect front doors in ‘the shade of your choice’, which ironically cost more than a top-quality hardwood version.
      The sales brochure for the PVC company was the most repulsive yoke I have ever seen – nearly had a nervous breakdown with the pictures of one-off ‘executive’ piles plastered in the stuff, mock-Palladian lumps with conservatories tacked on the side, and as for the sales pitch for their beautiful ‘Regency’ stained glass doors!

      Nonetheless, I don’t accept the usual arguement put forward against PVC by the wood ‘n sash lobby – that the material is toxic to make, damages the environment, and is short lasting. The material is recyclable, emmission controls are enforced, and should continue to lessen with technology (I think the EU PVC lobby has set next year as a date for 40% of windows to be recycled), and considering the amount of paint or varnish, and putty needed to maintain wood for 200 years, not to mention the PVC tubs and metal cans the stuff comes in, as well as the amount of brushes and tools required over the years, the resources and energy consumed soon piles up for wood too.

      Quality, visually appealing windows are desperately needed now, most of our buildings depend on them as their primary feature of interest and deserve better treatment.

    • #744721
      JL
      Participant

      No no no no no – PVC windows are never ever ever acceptable from an environmental point of view, and any architect specifying them is failing in his professional duty of care to the environment.

    • #744722
      JL
      Participant

      For an comparative analysis o fthe window situation look at: http://www.cibse.org/pdfs/Masif.pdf

      The lifespan is especially interesting.

      Or in plainer English have a look at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international_en/extra/?campaign_id=3988&forward_source_anchor=PVC%20free%20solutions&item_id=8646

      The other point about PVC windows is that although they are recyclable, they are never recycled.

      Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing 18th century timber windows being replaced by PVC frames but there is a critical issue of environmental responsiblity which goes beyond conservation and imposes a responsibility on all of us to find out the facts – as opposed to the hearsay or industry propaganda.

      Finally – to end the self-righteous rant – I was once giving some architectural help to friends who had just bought a house. The house was 1960s and they wanted to replace the windows. I lobbied long and hard for timber. A couple of months later I got a call to visit and see how the work had turned out – especially the windows. When I got there they were delighted to show me that my advice had been taken and the best thing had been done with the windows – timber effect PVC.

    • #744723
      Devin
      Participant

      I wouldn’t agree with Kevin Myers on much, but he wrote a very funny ‘Irishman’s Diary’ a while back, saying that PVC window fitters attend special de-sensitivity courses before going on to fit PVC.

      I think the reporter who wrote that piece quoted by Jas (it doesn’t say which paper) was tarting up the quotes from an taisce a bit; after years of lobbying by people like an taisc & the irish georgian soceity there’s already a system in place (the Planning and Development Act 2000) to ensure that, over time, listed buildings with PVC or other replacement windows are refitted with the correct design (usually sliding sash).

      When the owner of a Protected Structure or building in an Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) (Planning Authorities have been dreadfully slow to designate ACAs – as far as I know the O’Connell Street IAP area is still the only one in the republic) with replacement windows applies for planning permission for any work – such as an extension to the rear – the planning permission, if given, should include a condition that ‘prior to commencement of the development, the applicant shall submit a written agreement to the planning authority for the restoration of the original window design’.

      But in the Dublin area, I’ve noticed, people usually want to do that anyway. In places like Ranelagh and Clontarf, they’re removing PVC and reinstating sashes like crazy!

      Hate to say it but outside of Dublin beautiful old overhanging sash windows are still being replaced by flat shiny white PVC on a daily basis. It just kills the character of the building in one fell swoop.

      Some towns, like Kilkenny and Drogheda still have a good half or more of sash windows in their old buildings, but sadly most towns – Kenmare, Longford, Strokestown, Castlebar, Thurles… – have been blitzed with PVC and the wooden sash is almost extinct.

    • #744724
      FIN
      Participant

      not all places thankfully

    • #744725
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A few ‘protected structures’ near me recently replaced their windows with PVC. It is amazing how much it changes the look of the building. What I think looks nearly as bad as replacing sash windows with PVC is the replacement of original windows within our 20th C. buildings which were fitted out with either metal or wooden window frames. The ones I am mainly referring to are the 1940s and 1950s suburban houses which are being destroyed by PVC.

      I am also pretty sure that I noticed the facsimile of Archers Garage has been fitted out with PVC. At least they are trying to keep it as historically accurate as possible by imitating what probably would have happened to the original had it survived!

    • #744726
      JL
      Participant

      Agree on the overlooked modern buildings. One example is Mount Carmel school – a fine 30s building on the corner of Kings Inns St and Bolton Street which replaced all the original steel windows with boxy poxy PVC in the last couple of years.

      Obviously the issue here is cost although surely the public authorities subsidising/funding the school should have some conservation responsibilities or at least a policy. Had the building been a protected structure (I assume it isn’t) then a conservation grant could have been obtained at the time the work was done.

      On the issu of aesthetics and the environment, insensitive use of quite chunky timber window systems – a couple of Scandinavian examples spring to mind – are excellent from an environmetal point of view but can be visually as much a problem as PVC.

    • #744727
      GregF
      Participant

      PVC windows in period buildings with what should be sash windows are a curse.
      However in Corpo houses they can look good as Graham said….providing they’re not too chunky or OTT with panels etc..

    • #744728
      anto
      Participant

      Georgian Limerick is ruined with PVC windows. Oh and the only thing worse than PVC windows is pvc front doors. Most Irish provincial towns are destroyed with pvc. Most people only think that double glazing is progress and go for the PVC windows for this.

      Some of the coloured aluminium windows on new houses apartments looks ok. Not sure that those wood Rationel windows that are fashionable lately are always appropriate either.

    • #744729
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Originally posted by Devin
      I think the reporter who wrote that piece quoted by Jas (it doesn’t say which paper)

      I think that it’s “Building Design”
      http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?storyType=80&sectioncode=426&storyCode=3038313

    • #744730
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Thanks JL for those links – I’m surprised at how durable the aluminium is above all else, then again it always appears to be in good condition, even in 60s houses.

      On PVC, clearly it’s toxic stuff to manufacture, but I think that the wood lobby aren’t telling the full truth when comparing. If you dumped all of the waste products of maintaining your timber windows over the course of the life of PVC into a pile on the floor, not to mention the stain or varnish products themselves, and white spirit, all of which have extremely high VOCs, and presumably are equally toxic to manufacture, and the tins and tubs and bottles (which are rarely recycled), plus brushes, I think the damage begins to add up here too – a point that the paper acknowledges is difficult to quantify. Although yes, if you use simple paint, the impact is reduced.

      Saying that, I wouldn’t touch PVC with a barge-pole, the very idea of having plastic coated fittings is horrible, let alone the environmental impact. It’s a disgrace that so many 30’s schools are having their steel windows replaced with PVC, likewise small 19th & early 20th century schoolhouses having sashes chucked in the skip in favour of the squeaky clean, supposedly child friendly material.
      The Irish Home Builders Accociation took out a big ad in one of the property supplements last week entitled ‘Plastic is Actually Fantastic’ – and amongst other things recommeded that unless your property is listed, there is no reason why you shouldn’t install PVC sashes as replacements, which apparently from a short distance are indistinguishable from their timber equivilants, enabling you to have ‘the period look of classic timber sashes with all the added benefits of low-maintainance PVC’.
      Yeah – I think people noticing PVC on Leinster House from the far side of Kildare St answers that one, let alone the conservation issues. And the horns inevitably attached deteriorate quite fast, with the joins becoming evident as a result of the brittleness of the product.

      I think the best place in the whole of Dublin to see sashes at their best, where uniformity of design and slender profiles truly shine is Dartmouth Square just off the Grand canal. Every single one of the 70 or so Victorian houses surrounding the large green have their original windows, with unusual arched windows on the upper floors. It is an extraordinary sight, marching lines of matching sashes – a remarkable feat of conservation, it has to be unique in the city. Suffice to say, every one of them is protected!
      Mountpleasant Square in Rathmines is another gem – aside from feeling like walking back in time, what is immediately apparent are the sashes, I think there’s but one house on the whole square that has replacements.

    • #744731
      davematt
      Participant

      Recently visited the village of Stepaside in South County Dublin. This area is subject to massive surrounding developments at the moment, which is very unsympathetic to this once charming locality.

      On an existing theme though I want to raise the ugly spectre of windows in this thread;

      To my dismay, the owners of The Step Inn pub / restaurant have recently replaced (since i was last there approx 1 year ago) the traditional timber sash windows on the first floor with very nasty white uPVC ones that have the upper half opening-out! Totally out of character for a historic landmark building like this. They’ve even left the original ground floor windows in situ as a poignant reminder of what proper windows should look like.

      The Step Inn has changed ownership several times over the past 6 / 7 years and unfortunately, the new owners don’t seem to care much for the building’s housekeeping or appearance. It was once quite a pretty and well-maintained ‘coaching-inn’ style property. Now, with uneven paintwork and gaudy commercial signage and yes, PVC windows to boot and this formerly attractive pub is apparently being run according to the lowest cost, highest profit model.

      I think historic building owners/custodians should not be allowed to replace windows and other elements with such cheap-looking, nasty fixtures.

    • #744732
      GrahamH
      Participant

      If a building is protected, does the local authority have an obligation to insist on the removal of old replacement windows, similar to an ACA in the case of the owner applying for pp for other works as Devin mentioned earlier?
      Also, if a building is listed, and original sashes are removed subsequent to its listing, are the local authority obliged to enforce their reinstatement – or is it up to the planners/conservation officer as to whether they’ll allow them?

      I can think of many such cases where I think the buildings are listed, but PVCs are installed. And these would be properties that have applied for pp so the PVCs were part of the job.
      The windows are so inappropriate, on a unique street, and it is disgraceful PVCs were allowed to be put in. And they’re sweeping up the place like a cancer. I’d like to follow it up because it just can’t continue, it’s been said by other people too which surprised me – but I don’t know where I stand if they are listed.
      As far as I know I remember seeing them identified in the Development Plan.

    • #744733
      JL
      Participant

      On the enforcement topic I recently had a bafflin / bizarre conversation with the Corpo enforcement dept.

      I think a development near me was carried out without planning permission (involving the vandalisation of a victorian building, a part of which involved PVC windows). The enforcement officer told me that the development may not have needed planning permission and if I wanted to pursue the matter it would be up to me to make a written complain and it would also be up to me to investigate and prove that the development was unauthorised in order for them to act.

      This sounds absolutely pathetic to me – equivalent to seeing a robbery take place, notifying a garda and being told that it would be up to me to provide evidence of the crime before they can investigate.

      Can anyone clarify the reasoning or statutory background to this? Surely the Corpo is failing in its statutory duties?

    • #744734
      Rhino
      Participant

      JL,

      Check out Section 152 of the Planning and Development Act – in summary once a legitamate representation is made to the Local Authority in writing regarding unauthorised development being or may be carried out…… the authority SHALL issue a warning letter. Purpose of warning letter is to give the authority time to investigate the complaint and then decide whether or not unauthorised dev has actually been carried out and if in their opinion it has – an enforcement notice can be issued within 12 weeks of the serving of the warning letter.

      The local authority do not have to investigate complaints over the phone or in person – only those in writing.

    • #744735
      JL
      Participant

      Yes, but I was told that even when I have made a complaint in writing, they don’t have the resources to investigate, and that it would be up to me to provide eveidence for them that the development was unauthorised.

      Sounded unlikely to me too, but they restated this when I queried it.

    • #744736
      Devin
      Participant

      That’s sad about the Step Inn. PVC window insertion in old buildings is still happening a lot despite the strengthened architectural heritage protection afforded by the Plan. & and Dev. Act 2000 and supposed greater public awareness of heritage etc.

      Is the Step Inn a Protected Structure? I don’t have the Dunlaoghaire/Rathdown Development Plan to hand to check if it is. If it’s not, there’s not much can be done about the window replacement. If it is a Protected Structure, then the PVC window insertion is an unauthorised development and a complaint can be made to DL/R Council’s Enforcement Dept. An inspection will be made by an Enforcement Officer confirming the recent PVC insertion and a notice will be served on the owner instructing him/her to make good the unauthorised development (i. e. reinstate sashes). The owner has the option to apply for retention of the development (this is what happened in the case of Hanlon’s pub, mentioned at the start of the thread). But it won’t be given for PVC windows in a Protected Structure (After being refused retention by DCC, Hanlon’s wasted 600 Euro on a first party appeal to An Bord Pleanala – making subjective arguments as to why they should be allowed to keep the PVC – but were of course refused).

      The only hope for The Step Inn if it’s not a Protected Structure is that, because it’s a landmark old building in the middle of Stepaside, it will become protected sooner or later. The Council can’t then insist on immediate reinstatement of sashes, but next time the Inn applies to do other work, they can be compelled to restore the sashes by planning permission condition. Or they might even want to do it themselves! (though not the current owner by the sound of things)

      The information on protection of listed buildings in most current Development Plans is obsolete now because it’s been superseded by the Protected Structure (and ACA) system of the Planning and Development Act 2000. Though the list of “Listed Buildings” in the back of Dev Plans are the ones that are now Protected Structures (listed buildings automatically became P.S.s at the time of the Act).

    • #744737
      GrahamH
      Participant

      So is the replacement of original windows in protected structures deemed to be a material alteration to the fabric of such buildings in ALL areas of the country? – i.e is it considered as important as the masonry/brick facades of buildings or is it up to the planners or conservation officers as to whether they will allow them?

      There are just so many of them cropping up in the centres of villages and towns across the country in 18th & 19th century structures, that just some of them must be listed, even if it’s just a handful out of the 100s it’s happening to. Is a blind eye turned to replacement windows in favour of concentrating on protecting more ‘worthy’ aspects of buildings or parts that are easier to police?

    • #744738
      Devin
      Participant

      Yes. You always think that any day now it’s going to stop and people are going to realise that the timber sash window is an essential design characteristic in Irish period buildings, but it just goes on.

      The agressive marketing strategies of the PVC companies is a lot to blame. In the Yellow Pages there’s about 30 pages non stop of PVC company ads and maybe one or two pages for wooden window making or repairing. And they bombard old buildings with leaflets for PVC.

      While the enforcement system is there for unauthorised window replacement in protected structures, it is usually ignored cos owners reckon they won’t be taken to court for something as “unimportant” as PVC windows.

      Visual awareness is low in this country and a lot of people have PVC installed in good faith, thinking that by doing so they are improving and restoring the building.

      I’ve made loads of complaints (on behalf of an taisce dublin city) about PVC and other unauthorised alterations to prot. strucs. and only a handful have ever been resolved. Complained about a prot. struc. on Fownes St. last year, told Frank McD. and he kindly put a piece in the Times for me.

      I’d say in country towns there’s no hope at all of getting PVC out once it goes in.

    • #744739
      Devin
      Participant

      I imagine that a lot of PVC insertion in prot. strucs. in towns and villages across the country goes uncomplained-about, cos awareness is low. So the owner has ‘got away with’ putting the PVC in.

      At the time a building was made a listed building or protected structure, the owner should have got a letter from the planning authority, telling them that window replacement (among other things) would need planning permission. But with Ireland being Ireland, people forget about that, or mislay the letter, or don’t agree with being told what they can and can’t do with their building.

    • #744740
      GrahamH
      Participant

      It’s the precendent set that’s possibly the worst aspect of it – within months they creep down streets and roads into neighbouring properties. And sometimes people ask their neighbours if they’d like it done as well at the same time, reducing the cost, whilst increasing the damage to the street and buildings.

      Certainly there are many people who are simply unaware of the damage being done, but so much is carried out by persons only too well in tune with what they’re at, esp developers. Many people as you say simply don’t agree with being told what to do – an issue highlighted fairly recently on the radio, albeit a bit off-topic, with Victorian owners in south Dublin annoyed at being prevented from removing railings and paving over front gardens.

      Nice to see someone cares:

      PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT: The provision of a vehicular entrance and one parking space, replacing section of boundary fence with matching ironwork gates at Palmerston Park, Rathmines, Dublin.

      DECISION

      REFUSE permission for the above proposed development based on the reasons and considerations set out below.

      REASONS AND CONSIDERATIONS

      The existing dwelling at Palmerston Park is included in the Record of Protected Structures, and the site of the proposed development is located in an area designated, in the current Dublin City Development Plan, with zoning objective Z2 – “To protect and/or improve the amenities of Residential Conservation areas”. It is the policy of the planning authority to protect and enhance such areas. It is considered that the proposed development, entailing removal of a section of the original front railings and plinth wall, its replacement by vehicular entrance gates and conversion of part of the front garden area to car parking use, would detract from the streetscape character of the area and from the setting of the protected structure and would set a precedent for further similar development in the area. Accordingly, the proposed development would conflict with the reasonable policy of the planning authority, would materially and adversely affect a protected structure and would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

      Member of An Bord Pleanála duly authorised to authenticatet the seal of the Board.

    • #744741
      Anonymous
      Participant

      This evening I noticed some new additions to the Land Registry within the Four Courts complex.

      Yes you guessed it PVC windows, it once again proves that state bodies are the worst offenders when it comes to flouting the regulations in relation to heritage legislation. The saddest thing is that the windows are a patchwork of original and replaced windows.

      It really annoyed me as I was just cheered up by walking along the new Luas line from Smithfield in towards town. The Luas is really living up to its name along this stretch in terms of extra lighting its great, but without this light I would never have spotted the windows.

      Could someone take a few pics and post them if they are passing they are on the elevation directly opposite the Bridewell.

    • #744742
      GrahamH
      Participant

      The situation isn’t exactly clear cut here but I see your point alright Diaspora. This entire facade’s window stock is made up of a particularly nasty variety of replacement steel window which appear to have been put in in the 50s, and make the building look like a Russian mental asylum.
      What’s happened is that rather than replacing the tens and tens of frames with original sashes, the deteriorated opening parts of a few have been replaced with PVC parts – attached to the steel frames – which makes such a mess it has to be seen to be believed. I didn’t think it was even possible to do that – unfortunately it is.

      Saying that, the PVC appears to be quite a few years old – if it makes it that bit more excusable. But still, especially considering the new Luas stop and regeneration of the immediate area, not to mention the beautiful architecture here, there is no excuse now for wooden sashes not to go back in.
      The neighbouring rear of the Four Courts looks fantastic with its sombre brown sashes and rustic granite. Some of its windows even have some shimmering cylinder sheet glass intact.

    • #744743
      Frank Taylor
      Participant

      I live in a property with 7 year old PVC windows that, for various reasons, I can’t replace.

      Is it possible to paint them- maybe by ‘keying’ them first. I asked one friend who advised me against, saying they would peel and look like a decaying caravan.

      I really hate the front door. it’s made of a huge hunk of white PVC moulded into a mock georgian shape with a mock victorian knocker. It has a lip at the bottom to trip you up. You need a key to lock the door from the inside (no latch is fitted on this door type as standard). So if the house went on fire and I couldn’t find my key, bad luck. So I just started leaving the door open with the handle pushed up. Then the toddler let himself out and had to be returned by a neighbour. I had a latch fitted but the locksmith told me that new lock fittings tend to fall off PVC doors after a few years as the screws just slide out of the plastic. One day a six foot sliver of white plastic just fell off one side of the door. I couldn’t see its purpose or how to reattach it so I chucked it out. The letter box flaps have broken off on the inside. i often see this door type on other houses and I wonder why such a crap product has won market share from one that worked fine before (wooden door).

      Some of the window frames have cracked from kids climbing on them. Others have been spattered with paint or otherwise discoloured. The opening mechanisms are ugly and lumpy and some have broken off.

      Anyhow, can I paint them?

    • #744744
      Anonymous
      Participant

      No Frank,

      It is not a good idea to paint them, unless you want to do it with a spray can, no normal paint for windows would last long.

      The smooth surface of the PVC unlike rough wood doesn’t take the paint at all, it is like trying to paint glass.

      Coloured PVC windows are made from lengths of PVC that are moulded in that colour usually they look like teak or oak and have a grain effect so you have to be on top of them before you think theyre not teak.

      PVC doors are OK for a back door where they aren’t really seen but I wouldn’t recommend them for from doors, the planners usually make problems inside in the main streets of towns with them as well.

      I usually recommend Teak front doors with stained glass if the customers can afford them.

    • #744745
      Frank Taylor
      Participant

      Thanks, Mr King.

    • #744746
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yikes – if that’s not a strong enough an indicator to avoid the stuff by a mile I don’t know what is!
      I was wondering this only recently, if you could paint them – considering the amount of tatty specimens around all ready.
      The link below describes a PVC paint that’s available that goes directly on without a primer – as to whether it works I don’t know. I suspect that cracks will appear at the brittle corner joints of the frames pretty early on, regardless of what you use, whatever about peeling.
      The cracking of window frames and handles as you mention is becoming a big problem now in schools and similar insitutions, where components break off from a lot of use and being battered about, but cannot be replaced. I’ve seen brand new PVCs tied with string to hooks screwed into window cills to keep them closed.
      http://www.uktvstyle.co.uk/HomesAndProperty/Index.cfm?ccs=527&cs=2176

    • #744747
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Thanks for that Graham,

      I never knew that stuff existed, I had always thought that magnolia coloured windows would be great because they would stay that same colour much longer.

    • #744748
      Devin
      Participant

      PVC King, I think you need to take the issue of PVC a bit more seriously. The tongue in cheek approach is not really working and is not contributing to the discussion topic.

    • #744749
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Southwark window outrage
      15 October 2004 Building Design

      Angry residents at a celebrated 1950s housing estate in south London are taking action against Southwark Council for ripping out original timber windows and replacing them with uPVC.

      A group of residents have claimed that the six-tower Brandon Estate in Kennington, hailed as one of the best examples of British post-war social housing, did not require new windows.

      http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=426&storyCode=3042082

    • #744750
      burge_eye
      Participant

      Originally posted by Devin
      PVC King, I think you need to take the issue of PVC a bit more seriously. The tongue in cheek approach is not really working and is not contributing to the discussion topic.

      God I’d hate to get stuck in a lift with some of the people in these threads. Lighten up! I can only assume that your lack of humour and irony means that you’re not practicing architects! God knows you need a sense of humour to work in this country.

    • #744751
      Devin
      Participant

      Yeah but I knew who PVC king was, so its a bit different 😉

    • #744752
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Any news on the Hanlon’s pub windows?

    • #744753
      fergus
      Participant

      happened to be driving behind a van in donegal a few days ago owned by a “joinery Co.” with the slogan “save a tree use PVC”!! -theres one for the enviromentalists !!!

    • #744754
      GrahamH
      Participant

      LOL 😀

      It think the nature of the issue in this country is perfectly summed up by the fact that the Taoiseach’s very own constituency office is fitted out with PVC. The fact that it’s a charming 100 year-old Edwardian suburban house makes it all the more pertinent.

    • #744755
      Devin
      Participant

      NEW ROSS
      I was going to put these pictures on the ‘Beautiful’ (towns) thread, but they may as well go here.
      I was in New Ross in 2002 and thought the Quay was very charming with its stone grain stores and terraced houses, especially this group (first picture above), with their intact 19th century timber shopfronts & sash windows. I thought the Council & townspeople must be aware of their value & are carefully maintaining the buildings’ character. Was back there again last summer (above picture) and the building on the right has had brown PVC windows and has been painted yellow to look like the one next door, upsetting the vertical-sub-division-of-buildings effect. The ‘T. Bradley’ building has also been PVC’d, and the red-painted building in the first picture appears to have been demolished & replaced by some mock-traditional shite with a roof pitch not-in-keeping with the terrace.

      View of the Quay, New Ross, from across the River Barrow.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Then on the Main Street behind the Quay – a cute little shop building in need of repair and restoration in 2002 (left). By ’04 (right) the shop is in use again but its Wyatt sash windows have been replaced by the unmentionable white plastic.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Again on the Main Street – a sweet little former pub with period architectural features intact in ’02 (left). But by last summer (right) the dirty deed has been done….

      [align=center:1kfiq4td]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:1kfiq4td]

      It is just horrible that this is happening all the time. Since the Planning & Development Act 2000, there is better legislative protection for historic buildings and areas, but we’re still in the ‘kick in’ period. Not all of these terraced buildings in our towns (like the ones above) are fit to be ‘Protected Structures’. But, because of its great unity and quality, a town like New Ross (and many others like it) will need to be designated as an ‘Architectural Conservation Area’ in the coming years – and so will begin the slow process of reinstating sash windows and other inappropriately replaced period features….all this PVC-ing will have been a big waste!!! 😮

      In the meantime, heaps of beautiful hand-crafted historic joinery and sparkling old glass has been/will continue to be destroyed. 😡

    • #744756
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Those pictures are literally stomach-churning, not least the Wyatt building. It really just beggars belief!
      There is a beauty in the decrepit old pile of a place depicted in the first picture, yet the happy clappy ‘newly renovated’ building shown next to it not only bears little resemblance to the first image, but is thoroughly ugly too.

      That window is the building – without it it’s reduced almost to nothing. And not only has the fenestration been marred, the quoins have disappeared into the morass of pukey banana ice-cream, the shopfront has virtually no distinction from the upper floors, and the upper facade has been adorned with delightful feature ventilation grids!

      As for the view across the quay – one dreads to think what it looks like now with that yoke thrown in in place of what was the most charming of all buildings in that terrace. And the neighbouring sashes we not only visually pleasing – they were living indicators of the history of glass-making, with the first floor windows being the only ones afforded the luxury of early cylinder glass: the Georgians having survived up till recent times.

      And as for that last building – serendipity indeed… And look what they’ve done to the corbels – they’re like two dead parrots! 🙁

      These photos are testimony to what you have been saying over the past while Devin about this practice being as rampant as ever – it is a crying shame.
      Yes ACAs seem to be the only way forward in protecting streetscapes, and their rolling out cannot happen quickly enough based on this and anecdotal evidence from around the country.

    • #744757
      Devin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      As for the view across the quay – one dreads to think what it looks like now with that yoke thrown in in place of what was the most charming of all buildings in that terrace.

      As you probably noticed Graham, it had a central chimney stack, which is unusual. That and the small window proportions indicate a very early building, possibly of the late-17th or early-18th century. And quayfront buildings like this have a vital townscape role. I just don’t know what Town Councils are doing in granting demolitions for stuff like this…

      And yes, the hierarchy of importance of the 1st floor windows over the floors above as reflected in the selective 19th century replacement of sashes in the building on the right, just like the in Sick & Indigent Roomkeeper’s Society building in Dublin – it makes their destruction and replacement with PVC even more savage….

      The ACAs really do need to happen as a matter of urgency….

    • #744758
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes the chimney was just charming – so distinctive and unusual. And the staggered nature of the terrace has been ruined now with the latest addition/replacement.

      Also note the chimney between the two tallest Georgians on the extreme right has been removed and the roof patched with a handful of synthetic slates :rolleyes:
      At least none of the buildings have lost their slates as some consolation…

    • #744759
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      I noticed a lot of use of interior PVC glazing behind old sash windows in London. It seemed to work quite nicely and doesn’t look very obtrusive if it’s done with the right stuff.

      uPVC could be a very useful material if the manufacturers came up with some more tasteful products. People are simply installing the wrong windows into the wrong buildings. There’s nothing fundementally wrong with uPVC products and they do provide quite a lot of advantages in terms of insulation and maintenence they just need to be used appropriately. Most manufactures simply make over-standardised mass-produced ugly products.

    • #744760
      Devin
      Participant

      I’ve seen those inner glazing windows behind sashes you refer to MrX here and there in Dublin too – The Irish Times have them in their Georgian buildings on D’Olier Street. Needless to say, this is what should have been promoted and used on a large scale in Ireland years ago if people wanted the ‘airlock’ insulation effect, before the horrific PVC replacement blitz began.

      Perhaps PVC does have its place – though its manufacture is an intensive chemical (and thus environmentally unfriendly) process.

      Well spotted on the removed chimney stack on ‘The Wood Shop’ (above right), Graham – hadn’t noticed that myself. Chimneys are so important for punctuating roofscapes and giving visual demarcation between individual buildings – they should be maintained even if disused. Shame on New Ross Town Council for letting such unsympathetic alterations be carried out to these quayfront buildings, which are the ‘face’ of the town.

      Interestingly, before it was PVC’d, the T. Bradley building (above left) had original sashes on the first floor and later, larger-paned sashes on the top floor.

      New Ross has one of the highest survival rates of traditional shopfronts in any town in Ireland – there must be upwards of 50 in basically intact condition in the central streets of the town. The Wood Shop front is a beautiful fluted, Ionic-columned design – but looks pretty poor now that it’s been sanitised by the building next door. The curtain in the window display when a shop ceases to trade is a charming country town feature – but it’s seen less and less now.

      Also, the old timber-boarded vehicle underpass doors in the earlier pictures of this building have been replaced by a sheet metal gate by ‘04 – not exactly traditional :rolleyes: . Ok, this is a minor enough change, but the loss of historic sash windows is grievous.
      (Did my best to crop the PVC out of this picture 🙂 )

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Anyway, enough about New Ross. It’s happening all over the country all the time. This is an old pub in Portarlington in 2003 (top) and 2004 (above). A recent change of ownership meant the removal of the nice ‘P. Finlay’ lettering across the top – which harmonised with the pubfront and 1st floor window architrave detailing – and, more seriously, the replacement of the painted sash windows with open-out stained timber windows – almost just as visually damaging as PVC (sounds like the same situation as the Step Inn in Stepaside, mentioned earlier in the thread).

    • #744761
      GrahamH
      Participant

      ‘The Wood Shop’ – you gotta love it 🙂
      Lovely facade – a design classic to be seen all over the country.

      That’s certainly strange about the original sashes on T Bradley – perhaps the first floor was used as storage while the top foor was the living accommodation? You see it all over Dublin where new plates were put in from 1900+ in the attic storeys of Georgians, as many were presumably converted into an apartments or small offices to bring in some extra cash.

      That’s a shame about the pub – those windows are even worse than PVC (never thought I’d say that :)).

      I wouldn’t approve of PVC used inside windows either – just think it is a disgusting material full stop in the from currently manufactured. Trinity uses it for many of the windows on the West Front, presumably elsewhere too.
      Likewise the College of Surgeons has them fitted inside and they look awful – God only know what they look like from inside and how they relate to shutters and architraving etc…

    • #744762
      Lotts
      Participant

      PVC used internally is not not just the devils work aesthetically but can suffocate a building just as quickly as it’s externally mounted relatives.

    • #744763
      GrahamH
      Participant

      True – older buildings not having the adequate ventilation that modern builds have, and even then they’re probably not ideal in all cases.

      Some examples of PVCed buildings here, including a charming 1922 church, and a standard red brick terraced house.
      Can PVC still not mould itself into rounded shapes, or is it just expensive so people don’t bother?

      There’s a wider view of a couple of houses below – particularly like the first one 🙂 – how anyone could think that as being……..you’d wonder with some people….

      Also another delightful Ionic-pillared shopfront in Dundalk, maybe 1830-40ish, very successfully reinvented into a fashionable eatery place of late. Used to be the Democrat newspaper offices. Great use of colour:

    • #744764
      Devin
      Participant

      Lovely stuff! :rolleyes:

      Collins Barracks Musuem also have PVC-coated inner windows facing into the square. Tut, tut. And it’s not like the traffic is roaring by outside…..I suppose they need them to help control temperature for the artefacts on show.
      The inner windows I’m thinking of that should have been promoted here before would not be of PVC. Granted there would always be the problem of the relationship with the internal window lining….

      The Dundalk shopfront is lovely. Is it mostly original?
      I don’t know Dundalk as well as I should….

      I’ve got a very-difficult-to-look-at before & after PVC-ing from Dublin coming up. I’ll post it in the next day or so.

      Prepare your stomachs!! 🙂

    • #744765
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Heh heh

      Oh the smugness of it all…
      Have to laugh at the title of this thread – the content just totally contradicts it 🙂

      Yes all but the panes of glass and the door of ‘Vertigo’ appears to be original.
      There’s another nearly across the road that is almost identical to ‘The Wood Shop’, just a little larger. Must post it soon.

    • #744766
      Lotts
      Participant

      Looking forward to the Dublin report Devin.
      This thread’s become like a wonderful spot the difference competition.

    • #744767
      Devin
      Participant

      So here’s the Dublin PVC-ing. Eh, enjoy, if that’s the word. The buildings are a pair of (unlisted) Georgian mill houses of circa 1820, situated at the entrance to the former Hibernian Mill on Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, which was recently converted to apartments, retaining the shell of the mill. The houses are not connected to the mill anymore (The Hibernian Mill is not to be confused with the more well known Kilmainham Mill on Kilmainham Lane, which also has an approved scheme for apartments). Anyway, this wretched job to the larger of the two houses resulted in the loss of a complete set of original Wyatt windows 😡 . An T (me, actually) had written to DCC shortly before this happened asking them to add the houses to the record of Protected Structures (they didn’t), so needless to say I was really 😡 when I saw this. The other house retains its sashes, but the Wyatts are not original – they’re modern replacements.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Rear view: That’s the gothic-arch entrance to the Royal Hospital at the end of the road in the 1st pictuire. Original 8-over-8 sashes were replaced at the rear. And you can see from here that the slate roof has been replaced by those flat shiny tegral fake slates – complements the PVC anyway!

      The most pathetic thing about the window replacement is the way the PVC has copied the pane-patterns of the sashes of various periods on the house; the Georgian sashes at the front and back; the Victorian margined sash in the front basement; and the 1-over-1 sash in the side (had security bars over it) – which anyway they got wrong & turned into a ‘2-over-2’ 😀 .

    • #744768
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Stop it! Just stop it! Haven’t we suffered enough?!

      God – what can you say….the main facade of the mill house is an abomination, those windows would make you vomit.
      What a loss, not least with Wyatts being so rare. There is now no character at all to the house, save the doorcase that might as well have been salvaged from elsewhere.
      How can the owners not see that the windows were by far the primary architectural features of the house?! Without them it is nothing – it relied on them more so than most period buildings.

      And is it just me or have they rendered over the front steps? Maybe it’s just the work of the old pressure washer.

      House owners are really gonna love you Devin, going round snapping their houses before and after 🙂 – though admittedly I’ve had a tendancy to be doing the same over the past couple of years 😮

      Yes the Wyatt replacements on the other house aren’t great either – I’ve seen smaller horns on bulls 🙂

    • #744769
      Lotts
      Participant

      Anyone know how much those windows have devalued the house?

      I mean in real estate price terms rather than any personal perception. I know I’d now be unwilling to buy that house (if I had the money) and I guess many on this forum would also be effectively removed from the pool of potential buyers – but I’m also sure that we are not the market forces in this matter.

      Does anyone work as a property surveyor and might know? I see so many advertised properties that have diametrically opposed features listed – “period features”, “double glazed”.

      The most effective way of preserving these may be to build on peoples preference for “period charm” and with a little education the market could be steered away from this kind of practice. Surely the tendancy is towards people paying a premium for a non-vandalised house?

    • #744770
      GregF
      Participant

      Ah jaypers what are the councils or whoever is responsible up to, to allow this to happen. My jasus…the ”mullioned” type church window above is a laugh. This has to stop. The dopey ignorant thick local councils and councillors have to be blamed. Whats left of our old architectural stock is still continuously being ruined.

    • #744771
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I am not sure if these questions have been raised on this thread before, so if they have I apologise. Firstly, why is this happening? Do window companies advise that PVC windows are the best option? Is it a cost thing? Is it a trend? Most people using this discussion forum can spot the difference between these windows and the sashes that they are replacing a mile off, but do people installing them really think that because they have a piece of plastic dividing a window into 12 sections that they are in keeping with the buildings historical character?

      How can councils approach this issue. Is it up to people who care to complain when it happens. If people living in a listed building suddenly change their windows to PVC, is it up to a neighbor to write an objection? In many cases this could cause more trouble than it is worth, so people might be less likely to object. Is it up to a designated person in each council to approach these issues?

      For example, last year Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown Co Co had a public exhibition about the various window styles of the borough. It was a good exhibition and detailed some of the problems of PVC and aluminium windows in the context of older houses. Meanwhile, two houses on a listed terrace (Charlemont Terrace), two minutes walk from the Council offices, ripped out their sashes and replaced them with PVC. Nothing was said, nothing was done and they are still there now.

    • #744772
      GrahamH
      Participant

      As you say Phil, whatever about the legislation, I’d love to hear what the PVC companies are saying – their spin on things. What I’d give to be a fly on the wall in a ‘non-obligation consultation’. Perhaps people here have had first-hand experience of them…

      But as for the owners themselves, there’s numerous reasons why windows are taken out.
      A lot, if not most people, don’t view their house in an architectural way – they just percieve it as home and don’t look at it objectively, certainly not architecturally.
      Maybe the ‘rotton old windows’ have been there since they moved in, drafty, bottom rail rotting, difficult to maintain, the sashes stick or are jammed, and they rattle in the wind.
      All of these problems that they may have, combined with a complete ignorance of their architectural merits, just results in people not giving a second throught to their disposal.

      A lot of people like the fact that their house is ‘old’ but that’s about it – they don’t mind if there’s no period features at all – or at least they look for interior features but utterly ignore the windows – indeed most people probably go into standard red brick terraced houses when house-hunting and think – “oh great, the windows have been ‘done’ ‘”.
      At this stage in Ireland, ‘having the windows done’ is just as common a topic of conversation now as house prices and traffic all the rest of it.

      PVC ompanies are the real ones to blame in this – every single one knows exactly what they are doing when ripping out sashes – every one of them, yet couldn’t give two hoots.
      I’d love to see them imbue their mission statements with the ethics of conservation as much as they wave about their ISO9000s in your face :rolleyes:

    • #744773
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      PVC ompanies are the real ones to blame in this – every single one knows exactly what they are doing when ripping out sashes – every one of them, yet couldn’t give two hoots.
      I’d love to see them imbue their mission statements with the ethics of conservation as much as they wave about their ISO9000s in your face :rolleyes:

      I totally disagree,

      These guys are selling the cheapest product to people who want a weather proofing solution, the comparison i would draw is asbestos roofs which were widely used in industrial buildings up to the mid 1980’s. It is up to the Department of the Environment to regulate these products out of existence.

      The vendors of uPVC windows have no interest in period architecture whatsoever, they see a market driven by price and beyond the initial site visit they probably never see the properties again.

    • #744774
      GrahamH
      Participant

      But of course it is, it goes without saying – but on the ground, in practice, if all companies refused to install replcement windows into period or listed buildings there wouldn’t be a problem. That’s naturally in an ideal world, but the fact that they’re out promoting and encouraging the practice to gullible consumers makes them the primary culprits on the ground.

      I’m sure if homeowners were aware of how well sash windows work when fully operational – how if anything they’re more flexible than modern-day equivalents, can last longer, can be double-glazed if necessary, and perform as well if not better in some instances than the product being promoted to them, not to mention the now-widespread availablity of window restoration/replacement – that they would make the informed decision to avoid these companies, this practice and this material by a mile.
      It is frustrating to see them taking people in like this, and wrecking the built environment for the rest of us in the process.

    • #744775
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      But as for the owners themselves, there’s numerous reasons why windows are taken out.
      A lot, if not most people, don’t view their house in an architectural way – they just percieve it as home and don’t look at it objectively, certainly not architecturally.

      I don’t agree with that at all Graham. I think most people care about the architecture of their house. That is why I was wondering about the role of taste and choice in the selection of PVC. I think, as Thomond P says, that it is related to price, but I also think that taste comes into it as well.

    • #744776
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes it does – admittedly it is difficult to work out exactly what shows a lack of interest in the architecture of one’s home, and what just shows poor taste 🙂
      But in general I do think that most people do not stand back, quite literally, from their home and view it objectively, as a newcomer to their street or area would, also taking onto account their surroundings etc.
      The decorative order of their properties generally seems to be the primary concern, rather than the architecture or structure of the building.

      I mean a classic is the arched window – why do people insist on botching up a natural curve with a rectangular opening. What is the point of even having a curve?

      Okay these are replacement windows – but even in brand new homes where curved windows are installed, they’re fitted out with rectagular opening lights. This is an architectural issue, not just an insignificant decorative matter.
      Window design is so important in most of our buildings, and whether it should be the case or not, they are generally the primary architectural feature of interest, yet only too often scant attention is paid to their design, in new builds even more so than period properties: at least with them there is a template to follow.

      Look at this trash in Dundalk, inserted into a terrace of late 19th century houses – have the people no eyes in their head? Really, this type of blatent ignorance just beggars belief. Even the cheapest of the cheap hinged softwood windows would have looked a million times better than this rubbish.
      There is poor taste, and there’s ugly.

    • #744777
      lauracon
      Participant

      While admittedly it is offensive when something like a PVC window is placed in a 19th century terrace, surely the opposite is even worse when people put up georgian pillars and mock tudor beams on their semi-detached houses People who install these PVC windows are not guilty of deliberate bad taste but maybe its a question of one’ priorities , valueing what they think is the more practical option over a purely objective architectural view of their homes.

    • #744778
      Keenbo
      Participant

      PVC doors are equally ugly. Especially when people cant be bothered to remove the transparent plastic covering and leave it to the elements to gradually wear it away.

      I think its true that many people just don’t think about the impact choosing PVC will have on the building when renovating and this is a pity. Plus the design of most of these windows and doors is horrible and doesnt even attempt to emulate the old style.

      People just dont care about keeping the character of their old property. Its a Celtic Tiger Post Colonial Morderist thing I suppose.

      As regards new houses with fake classical bits – I love them. They also represent the tackiness of Irish society today. We must embrace the tack.

    • #744779
      GrahamH
      Participant

      😀
      There’d be nothing to whinge about otherwise…

      Well from tacking the old onto the new to sticking the new onto the old – here’s a wide view of that lovely terrace in Dundalk.
      Look at the ghastly ‘restoration’ job just being finished off on the last house. Fair enough if the render needed redoing (is it lime-based?) but the windows??

      And they’ve put in Georgian panelled doors instead of Victorian!
      This whole terrace has been wrecked by replacement windows, and look at that painted house. The utter ignorance of the owners. This is what I mean about people not looking at their house as an architectural entity. They rarely consider it part of a collective whole – rather ‘this is my patch’ and I can do what I like with it. The roof’s had the builders on it too…

      You see this sort of inconsiderate practice everywhere. Look at the mess of the terrace now.

      I note that the very last house in the terrace with original windows has put in an application for works, which obviously include the windows given the absent one upstairs.

      What’s the likelihood of them being restored? Much of Dundalk is now ACA designated, but nothing is mentioned at all on the application, including a supposed lack of protected status…

    • #744780
      Devin
      Participant

      ….A typical scene from an Irish town.

      We always had visual awareness, right up to the 1950s/’60s, when we began to lose it in a massive way. And when I say ‘we’ I mean the common man/woman. There was always quality and aptness applied to buildings, no matter how humble. I just don’t know what happened to lead to the point where we think it’s ok to do things like to the details of the terrace above….

      @phil wrote:

      How can councils approach this issue. Is it up to people who care to complain when it happens. If people living in a listed building suddenly change their windows to PVC, is it up to a neighbor to write an objection? In many cases this could cause more trouble than it is worth, so people might be less likely to object. Is it up to a designated person in each council to approach these issues?

      There is a bit about this on the first page, Phil. Essentially, changing windows in a Protected Structure requires planning permission. So if a Prot. Struc. has replaced old windows with PVC (or even aluminium windows with PVC / early PVC with new PVC), you can make a complaint to the Planning Enforcement section of the relevant council. There begins the enforcement process of inspection / report / warning letter(s) / final letter.

      Unlike a 3rd party letter regarding a planning application, an enforcement complaint is anonymous, so there shouldn’t be any problem with neighbours knowing.

      In some cases, the council might know about the unauthorised window replacement and begin enforcement action themselves – e.g. if it is a prominent building – but mostly it’s up to individuals / local groups / heritage bodies to make the complaint. It’s ridiculous, but sometimes a Prot. Struc. has PVC fitted and no one spots it or bothers to make a complaint, so they get away with it.

      Thousands of buildings in this country should be Prot. Strucs. (or should be in ACAs) but are not, like the Mill Houses on the previous page, so that’s another problem: – they can be freely PVC’d.

      Another situation where you might make a complaint is where an owner of a Prot. Struc. agreed to re-instate sash windows under the terms of a wider planning permission, but didn’t do it. I’ve just made a complaint on behalf of An Taisce for a Prot. Struc. at 9 Lower Liffey Street (The Lotts pub): – As part of their of planning permission for refurbishment & new building adjoining, they were to reinstate sashes, but the development is now complete for more than 6 months and the ’70s aluminium windows are still there. They’re trying to slither out of the extra couple of grand expenditure for new windows. That’s Ireland for you! :rolleyes:

    • #744781
      GrahamH
      Participant

      And they’ve only a handful of them in that building anyway!

      I never thought I’d say this, but well done to the PVC supplier in the case pictured below – these are the ‘best’ PVC replicas I’ve ever seen – located in a landmark Georgian building on Dundalk’s main street – but only from a distance. And even then the large shiny single panes are blatently evident.
      Up close all is truly revealed.

      I could not believe it when I saw the original sashes had been removed, having not been around this area for a while.
      These PVCs look brand spanking new, indeed the paintwork around the frames hasn’t even been redone since. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were put in in the past few weeks or couple of months – though wouldn’t bank on it…

      This is an absolute disgrace – this building simply must be currently protected, and probably in an ACA. I’m very suspicious that they were installed well after these legislative safeguards were introduced.
      These would have been one of the finest examples of large Georgian sashes in the whole town 😡

    • #744782
      anto
      Participant

      surely the main problem is that douuble glazing is seen as progress and not to have it is seen as backward.

      A lady doing a survey came to my house a few years ago and asked me if I had a tv/PC, phone, dishwasher AND double glazing. I’m sure I got a point for each one. I wonder if I lived in Georgian house with original sashes would I have lost a mark for this.

      A lot of 1950’/60s primary schools had big tall sash windows and a lot of them have been pvcd recenmtly. They were draughty though an usually poorly maintained.

    • #744783
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      Some very entertaining opinions there folks.

      As somebody ‘in the window industry’ I’m not quite sure where to start. It would be tempting to elaborate on the cutting edge strategies for replacement window companies in the UK – that is positioning windows as home décor and encouraging an 8-9 year lifespan – but I think that would cause even further grinding of teeth.

      Looking on the bright side though, after viewing the pictures that have been posted – and what a gallery of shame it is – I would be of the opinion that many of the replacement windows illustrated are likely to be illegal.

      The 2002 revision of TGD L specifically brought replacement windows under the auspices of the Building Regulations. In the documents guidance for technical risks and precautions it is stated that “the guidance in relation to fire safety in TGD B should be taken fully into account. In particular, it is important to ensure that windows, which are required as secondary means of escape in accordance with Section 1.5 of TGD B, comply with the dimensional and other requirements for such windows as set out in paragraph 1.5.6. of TGD B.”

      Turning to TGD B para. 1.5.6b – “The bottom of the window opening should be not more than 1100mm and not less than 800mm (600 mm in the case of a rooflight) above the floor of the room in which it is situated.”

      The bottom of the top-hung casements in the photographs look to my eye to be more than 1100mm above floor level and would struggle to provide an acceptable egress opening even if they were at a usable level . The windows with the opening vent in the position of the lower sash would appear to struggle to have a net clear opening of 450mm in height which I would take as the absolute minimum height for an egress opening.

      Given that each habitable room has to have an alternative means of escape and this is more often then not the window then you can appreciate the issue at stake.

      Anything installed prior to 2002, or in commercial premises, would fall under general consumer protection legislation or Workplace (health and safety) Regulations 1992-Regulation 14. The following references here are to specific UK legislation but I believe we have something very similar;
      Section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 provides (amongst other things) that it is an offence to supply goods which fail to comply with the general safety requirement. In determining whether goods fail to comply with the general safety requirement, courts can have regard to various references, including British Standards, and can do so irrespective of whether those standards have been incorporated in safety regulations.
      General Product Safety Regulations 1994 (GPSR). Where products are supplied for domestic use they must comply with the ‘general Safety Requirement’ of the above Regulations, which require consumer products to be reasonably safe. Again this may be achieved by conforming with BS6262: Part 4 with reference to the approved Document N of the Building Regulations 1991.
      In the light of these two pieces of consumer legislation, for all practical purposes BS6262: Part 4, although nominally a code for recommended good practice, can be regarded as a legal requirement for any glass sold directly to the general public for use in critical locations.

      Although the example refers to safety glass the principle applies equally to fire-safety. No glazier in his right mind would install non-safety glass to a critical location. Likewise nobody in their right mind should be installing a window at variance with the requirements set out in TGD B.

      If such installations are brought to the attention of the local building control office then they would be extremely foolish to ignore the situation.

      I saw mention of ACA’s being a partial solution. If the O’Connell St ACA is anything to go by I’d have me doubts. I have been observing one prominent façade having the original (post 1916) sash-windows replaced over the course of the last year and double-glazed windows installed. I’d be very surprised if anybody in Wood Quay new anything about it.
      As to the suggestion of making the reinstatement of windows a planning condition I think the fenestration debacle of the ‘renovated’ St Columba’s hospital in Sligo is an example of how seriously this is taken. To the best of my knowledge it was Freddie O’Dwyer of all people who provided the Duchas input on this project. (I would commend Westport and its activist planning dept as a notable example of how successful this strategy can be).

      I would be in favour of zero VAT to encourage the take up of energy efficient windows in general – there are ratings schemes available. Furthermore I would also recommend tax credits for suitable replacement windows in designated locations. The stick of enforcement should also come with a few carrots.

      Is mise le meas,

      Monty

    • #744784
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Monty, surely all replacement windows do not have to conform to such regulations, especially considering such a huge, allbeit minority amount, of existing windows do not conform simply by virtue of the size of the wall openings, or the position of the window.
      Surely in such cases, i.e. with the majority of older buildings protected or not, these regs do not apply, as some if not all window openings would have to be changed in every single case.
      Likewise how the current requirement of double-glazing in new-builds as far as I know does not apply in the restoration or re-insertion of sash windows….?

      Agreed that energy efficency ought to be encouraged via tax incentives, indeed on a much broader scale than just windows!

      From what I have seen thus far ACAs are simply not being enforced, or properly at least.
      They are completely and utterly useless if people do not know about them, they are literally not worth the paper they’re written on.
      At the moment it seems not only is the awarness aspect amongst owners not being promoted, but the owners are also likely to get away with their alterations as nobody notices – nobody brings them to the attention of the CC, not least the neighbours where it’s probably in their interests to keep quet so they can get away with more of the same themselves.

      A property’s status ought to be stamped onto the deeds or similar permanent measure undertaken, and owners informed of the status upon change of ownership via one of the state agencies.
      The main aim of ACAs is to protect areas of architectural merit, and in historic areas a related aim of preserving original exterior fabric. What is the point of taking proceedings subsequent to the damage being done, when the fabric has already been lost?!
      The problem needs to be tacked at source via informing owners – as cumbersome a process as it may be – or at least until a sufficent culture has built up in this country which is going to take a long time…

      Monty what building on O’Connell St do you refer to with PVC. There is a myriad of buildings with shiny PVC that are not but a few years old, much of which is borderline in terms of ACA and protected building legislation introduction, a lot of which more than likely tips well over into the post-intro period but it’s difficult to prove just by looking…

    • #744785
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      Monty, surely all replacement windows do not have to conform to such regulations, especially considering such a huge, allbeit minority amount, of existing windows do not conform simply by virtue of the size of the wall openings, or the position of the window.
      Surely in such cases, i.e. with the majority of older buildings protected or not, these regs do not apply, as some if not all window openings would have to be changed in every single case.
      Likewise how the current requirement of double-glazing in new-builds as far as I know does not apply in the restoration or re-insertion of sash windows….?

      Monty what building on O’Connell St do you refer to with PVC. There is a myriad of buildings with shiny PVC that are not but a few years old, much of which is borderline in terms of ACA and protected building legislation introduction, a lot of which more than likely tips well over into the post-intro period but it’s difficult to prove just by looking…

      I would contend that all replacement windows in dwellings have to be cognisant of the requirements of TGD B. Even if the building was constructed prior to the enactment of the Building Regulations the windows originally would have served an escape function even though this had not been codified. Now that the escape function has been codified there is an explicit recognition that escape routes are required for all buildings.

      A defensible case could be made for replacing like with like, in terms of a vertical slider for vertical slider – the escape function has not been diminished. What can not be defended is diminishing the escape function to the point where escape is impractical. This I would contend is the case with most of the windows in the photos. Either the unobstructed opening is too small or the opening section is too high above the floor level. I would also note that there is wide spread misunderstanding about the dimensions necessary for safe-escape. TGD B 1.5.6 currently provides ‘guidance’ of 500 x 850mm. England & Wales and Scotland allow for a minimum area of 0.33m2 with a minimum of 450mm in both height and width. The draft – now 2 years old – revisions to TGD B propose a similar area approach (0.35m2) but ludicrously only for vertical sliders and only then when they are in the vicinity of existing ‘period’ buildings!

      The overriding requirement from a safety perspective is that any works do not make the situation worse then already exists. If the building is a protected structure or in a conservation area, I would still maintain the safety requirement takes primacy. Apart from fire safety the other issue here is generally one of guarding – many vertical sliders may have the bottom of the opening section below 800mm above floor level. This can be dealt with by thoughtfully designed barriers inside the window.

      Low E glass is required in all new windows. If you repair or re-glaze a window it is not required. If the window – sash and frame – is replaced then Low E glass is required – even for a vertical slider. If the building is important enough to have been a listed building then an exemption to TGD L is understandable. I don’t support a blanket exemption for ACA’s either. I’ve come across situations in Dublin where DCC has been using this specious argument to obstruct double-glazing in areas of Ranelagh that are merely zoned Z2. There are modern double-glazed windows on the market that are suitable for both ACA’s and D6. Energy conservation is to important to give an exemption to vast swathes of red-brick Dublin.

      I said the building was in the ACA and I didn’t say it was PVC. Wynns Hotel. I’ll try and attach a photo. The windows are timber and to my eye look pretty good. Meeting rail is slightly heavy and those of them with horns have the wrong profile. Minor details when one considers the history of the façade. Unless this building was protected specifically for the windows, which I doubt, I don’t have a problem with this kind of sympathetic substitution – assuming it was approved. I would actually hold the installation up as an example of how modern windows can work in such a situation. The benefits of energy savings, greater comfort & increased property value will be more persuasive then a legislative stick.

      Is mise le meas,

      Monty

    • #744786
      Devin
      Participant

      Indeed……the conflict between keeping the character of an older structure and complying with the modern regulations is a minefield…….

      Just about ACAs:

      The Gresham like all the buildings in the O’Connell St. Architectural Conservation Area would have received correspondence from the Council explaining exactly what the designation entails. I’d be very surprised if new windows were put in the Gresham without approval.

      As far as I know O’Connell St. is the only ACA in the state so far. ACAs are not to be confused with the pre-Planning & Development Act 2000 ‘Conservation Areas’ that most Development Plans still include. These are crap – they have no leglislative teeth – they are just objectives for the protection of an area, to be quoted in planning decisions etc….there is no recourse when a building has had inappropriate alterations. ACAs on the other hand carry the same weight as the Protected Structure system, but pertaining to exteriors rather than the whole envelope of the building.

    • #744787
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Well much of Dundalk is ACA designated now – i.e post 2000, ACA ‘proper’. There was at least four areas proposed in the draft Dev Plan for the town; at least some if not all are now enacted, I think all are.

      Agreed Monty about not disimproving the situation with regard to safety and replacement windows. With those new windows pictured above, there is simply no way any adult could fit through those openings without severe amputation…
      With the others with higher opening lights, it is an impossibility full stop.
      Sash windows have so many advantages over hinged windows on virtually every front, perhaps with the exception of security – if not properly secured they’re just as easy to get in through as to escape out…

      Double glazing in old sashes is a thorny issue alright – I’d say a complete no no in the case of Georgian sashes unless the appearance of double glazing improves, but with Victorian plates it can look equally bad with the shiny metal strips between the panes brazenly evident. If this issue can be resolved (perhaps it has already) it would be a major step forward aesthetically – (this all based on the assumption that there’s no original glass left)Must have a look at Wynns tomorrow and see their double glazed panes – perhaps it can be done well.

      You say Monty that “a defensible case could be made for replacing like with like” – is this your opinion or is it the actual legislation? Thanks

    • #744788
      Devin
      Participant

      Really? Well that’s good. I’m glad that Town Councils are getting on and designating ACAs. I’m dissapointed in Dublin City Council’s efforts so far with only O’C St. designated…There are so many city-centre streets that are prime candidates for ACA – like Capel Street, Thomas Street, Grafton Street – which have have large concentrations of older buildings which though not outstanding work well as an overall group. Also dissapointed that DCC are persisting with the old, toothless Conservation Areas in their new Development Plan 2005-11 🙁

      There are some clanger examples of double-glazed Georgian sashes around town! Because 2 sheets of glass are involved, strips of wood have to run across the outside & inside of the window in a Georgian pattern…there’s no putty involved. I’ll post an example if I can.

      The ‘Diamond Buildings’ windows in Dundalk are a reasonable imitation of a Georgian sash from a distance but are vile up close, with their selotape Georgian strips :rolleyes:

    • #744789
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes – it pains me to have to say it but they really are quite excellent from a distance! Up close though is not pleasant.
      But the major flaw in their design as always is the single pane of glass in each sash – as flat as a pancake in spite of the grid.

      And to think the ground floor occupier is the swankiest, most contrived, most expensive home interior shop in the North East, priding itself on ‘quality’…

      Yes DCC’s lack of action on the spreading of ACAs is extraordinary – maybe because they’re a major headache administratively? Protection of streetscapes can be nearly more important than individual strutures in many cases.

      I love these houses below.
      Isn’t it ironic that in spite of the half-century effort of the Victorians to rid themselves of cluttered Georgian grids, and their triumphant attainment of plate/sheet glass, the owner of the left-hand house here has decided to chuck this achievement out the window, preferring instead to reinsert an antiquated and incongruous feature – the Georgian grid.

      It really says it all about window treatment in this country:

    • #744790
      Devin
      Participant

      And those windows must be an unqualified breach of fire regulations…how would anything bigger than a cat escape?

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      This building is a fine mid-19th century double-gabled stone warehouse (a Protected Structure) on Anglesea Row, a mews lane behind Capel Street. In a recent refurbishment, its original slender-barred sashes (which should have been repaired & draughtproofed) were replaced with these double-glazed models. They don’t look too bad at a glance, but the detail of the originals has not been copied – the glazing bars are crude & fat and the horns are the Victorian type suited to single-pane sashes. The same shitty sashes have been put into the whole of the corresponding 4-bay Georgian building fronting Capel Street (formerly Forseye & Forseye furniture, now Centra). They look even worse in this location!

    • #744791
      GrahamH
      Participant

      What a pity – esp regarding the glazing bars which were very fine and delicate.
      And they appear to be in an excellent state of repair (glass aside) in the first image 🙁
      What a shame that they slipped through the system.

      The new ones are quite bizarre as they go backwards with the thickness of the glazing bars, indeed they almost look Queen Anne, yet go forward to the late Victorians with the horns!

      Have you seen the glazing bars on the pink houses on St. Stephen’s Green? They are without doubt the thinnest bars known to mankind :). You’d wonder how the glass is even holding in the windows – really the very peak of Georgian refinement.

      Here’s Wynns’ windows – they look very well, although no doubt they originally featured lots of shimmering early 20th century glass similar to Eason’s 🙁
      But the dead glazing aside, the double-glazed units are simply indistinguishable from single glazed from street level – really good, and without compromise on the slenderness of the bars.
      Perhaps the peripheral frames of the arched windows are a teeny bit too wide?…but that could just be down to an unfair comparison with the Georgains, and their obsession with concealing the frame.

      These windows look magnificent – and are painted a soft not-in-your-face shade of white.

    • #744792
      Devin
      Participant

      I checked out the Wynn’s windows myself too since Monty mentioned them….was reasonably impressed, although as with all double-glazed multi-pane sashes, the glazing bars skim over the surface of the glass, resulting in a slightly fake look. But at least they have copied the V-shaped sectional profile on the outside, formed by the putty in a traditional sash.

      Better if older sashes can be repaired where possible, but when an old lady like Wynn’s needs to maintain its profile in an age of international hotel, leisure & conference complexes, I suppose you can’t complain. In contrast, the sashes in the stone warehouse above could and should have been repaired, or if they really were beyond repair should have had accurate replicas made. There was definitely a slip up there! 🙁

      The glazing bars in the pink houses seem to be over-thin. Not even in the 1790s peak of slenderness have I seen such thin bars!

    • #744793
      Sarachryan
      Participant

      I’ve parted with a lot of cash for a house where the dope of a vendor saw fit to install the most offensive bright white sash windows in a red brick Victorian, two up two down, just before selling. The house has beautiful grantite insets over each of the three front windows, which thankfully he hasn’t touched.
      Any help as to what my options are in terms of replacement with original sash? Reconditioned salvaged? Replica?

      I know I’m contributing nothing to the intellectual value of this discussion but I’d really appreciate any advice, which would be put to good use.

      Thank you

    • #744794
      GrahamH
      Participant

      intellectual

      That’s certainly one way of putting a good whinge 😀

      Are they PVC sashes Sarachryan?
      Salvaged sashes are highly unlikely to fit, or properly at least. Replicas are usually the best course of action when it comes to such cases – though salvaged glass may be available which could be cut to size – for the front facade at least perhaps.

      Isn’t it extraordinary how so many people ‘do the windows’ before selling up?
      Often laughed at the idea of contacting the agent with €8000 knocked off the asking price, and the scene with them trying to translate to the incredulous vendors that it’s necessary as the brand new windows ‘have to be done’ :D.
      DePVCed 🙂

      In some areas, mostly in south Dublin, replacement windows undoubtedly devalue property.

    • #744795
      Frank Taylor
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      salvaged glass may be available which could be cut to size

      Is it possible to get replica antique glass?

    • #744796
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes – the OPW used it in the restoration of the glasshouses in the Botanic Gardens. It is laser treated, generating wavy patterns. Presumably you can get it to mimic a variety of effects, from crown to cylinder, to early 20th century artifacts.
      Presumably it is also very expensive 🙂

      There’s a few companies that still make glass using the old, or at least similar methods to produce the same results. You should be able to find some internet sites with more.

    • #744797
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Sorry, just to clarify, the glass used by the OPW was specifically chosen to look as authentic as possible, but is unlikely that it was laser treated – I’ve no idea as to where that concept came from 😮

      However it is possible that they used an in-between ‘period style’ glass that features waves, but no imperfections (such as bubbles) as described in the link below.
      Either method used, one may be sure that it was pretty pricey – on this site alone there’s nothing genuine below £100 sterling per square metre, or £55 psm for ‘period style’ 😮

      http://www.londoncrownglass.co.uk/Types.html

    • #744798
      Frank Taylor
      Participant

      Thanks for that Graham, I had looked for replica antique glass in the past and failed to find anything.

    • #744799
      kefu
      Participant

      It says on that website that they used replica antique glass in Castletown House

    • #744800
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      And the view from Canada…

      New windows: A pane in the glass
      The Globe and Mail

      If eyes are windows into a person’s soul, then the opposite must be true for architecture: Windows are a building’s eyes, and its soul can be lost forever if the wrong kind are installed during a renovation.

      That fact was driven home recently while brunching with my wife and a few friends on Front Street East. During a lull in the conversation, my gaze drifted to a couple of converted brick warehouses across the street: one built in 1877 at No. 69 and its corner neighbour, No. 65, constructed a few years earlier.

      Strangely, although both were well preserved, only one seemed to have any personality. Although the glazing on No. 69 had been replaced in 1987, the original carved “rope” sashes were retained; slim, elegant and splitting into a lovely ‘Y’ shape at the top, they seem to cradle the keystone above the window while echoing the pattern etched within it.

      Next door, what were once arched windows have been bricked in and smaller, single-pane rectangular windows now stare void and expressionless in their place, which brought to mind the hollow disks-for-eyes of Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie. Spooky.

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050429/ARCHICOL29/TPEntertainment/

    • #744801
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      You say Monty that “a defensible case could be made for replacing like with like” – is this your opinion or is it the actual legislation? Thanks

      Its my opinion and I would like to make clear that I was talking about a specific type of window – the vertical slider. A like for like replacement of the top-hung casements in the photos would not be defensible.
      The only legislation is Part B1 of the second schedule to the Building Regulations 1997;
      “A building shall be so designed and constructed that there are adequate means of escape in case of fire from the building to a place of safety outside the building, capable of being safely and effectively used.” Everything else in the Technical Guidance Document is what is says on the label, guidance.

      In the case of existing buildings TGD B states; “In the case of material alterations or changes of use of existing buildings, the adoption of the guidance in this document without modification may not, in all circumstances, be appropriate. In particular, the adherence to guidance including codes, standards or technical specifications, intended for application to new work may be unduly restrictive or impracticable. Buildings of architectural or historical interest are especially likely to give rise to such circumstances. In these situations, alternative approaches based on the principles contained in the document may be more relevant and should be considered.”

      In addition to the previously mentioned general safety requirement there is also the precautionary principle to consider, “Where there is uncertainty as to the existence or extent of risks of serious or irreversible damage to the environment, or injury to human health, adequate protective measures must be taken without having to wait until the reality and seriousness of those risks become fully apparent.”

      Although the guidance provides for alternative approaches it is obvious that these should be based on fundamental fire engineering principles. Anything less then that then the person responsible for installing the window would have problems in the event of a fire related fatality.

      I’ll make some enquiries and see what I can come up with. There was certainly one case going through the courts here last year that would have been pertinent.

      Is mise le meas,
      Monty

    • #744802
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      Here’s Wynns’ windows
      Perhaps the peripheral frames of the arched windows are a teeny bit too wide?…but that could just be down to an unfair comparison with the Georgains, and their obsession with concealing the frame.

      These windows look magnificent – and are painted a soft not-in-your-face shade of white.

      You’re quite right but I’d put it down to one of three probabilities; inaccurate survey or making them all the same size in order to reduce costs or not wanting to disturb interior works and inserting the new frame without fully removing the old frame again to reduce costs. Either way its inexcusable and mars an otherwise commendable job.

      Is mise le meas,
      Monty

    • #744803
      GrahamH
      Participant

      So is it just up to the opinions of the building inspector signing off works or planner inspecting planning permissions for both new and existing buildings – i.e. their interpretations of the guidelines?
      It’s up to them to decide if they’ll allow something or not as there is little laid down in stone in regulations?

    • #744804
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      @Devin wrote:

      I checked out the Wynn’s windows myself too since Monty mentioned them….was reasonably impressed, although as with all double-glazed multi-pane sashes, the glazing bars skim over the surface of the glass, resulting in a slightly fake look. But at least they have copied the V-shaped sectional profile on the outside, formed by the putty in a traditional sash.

      Its certainly possible to get double-glazed multi-pane sashes with individual insulated glass units but its not recommended. The problem is that such units require very ‘heavy’ glazing bars to support the weight of glass and to meet modern performance standards for wind-loading – the frame is not allowed to deflect more then 1/175 of its length. Generally the resultant glazing bar is so wide it looks shite. Anything that doesn’t look shite almost certainly hasn’t been performance tested. Single glazing has less stringent requirements and so facilitates thinner glazing bars. A minefield indeed.

      At least the Wynns windows have dispensed with the superfluous spacer bar between the glazing bars. This is only noticeable when viewed at a very acute angle.

      Is mise le meas,
      Monty

    • #744805
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      @Sarachryan wrote:

      I know I’m contributing nothing to the intellectual value of this discussion but I’d really appreciate any advice, which would be put to good use.

      Thank you

      W & J Bolger for a replica window. Marvin for a contemporary window that should look the part.

      I haven’t seen a plastic or aluminium window that work in a Victorian red-brick. Funnily enough todays Sunday Times featured such windows in a puff piece for Patricia McKenna who is selling her house in Drumcondra with the sub-heading “….restored her home to reflect her principles”. Indeed.
      Almost as funny as another puff piece in the same supplement about Tom de Paors new townhouses in Christchurch which despite being self-styled masterpieces have what looks like concrete leachate running down the window frames!

      Monty

    • #744806
      GrahamH
      Participant

      🙂

      Are the glazing bars on the likes of Wynns even attached to the glass towards the centre of the window?
      And are bars usually placed on the inside too, or just the external elevation?

    • #744807
      Anonymous
      Participant

      PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000 SECTION 84

      Area of special planning control. 84.—(1) A planning authority may, if it considers that all or part of an architectural conservation area is of special importance to, or as respects, the civic life or the architectural, historical, cultural or social character of a city or town in which it is situated, prepare a scheme setting out development objectives for the preservation and enhancement of that area, or part of that area, and providing for matters connected therewith.

      (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a scheme prepared under that subsection may include objectives (and provisions for the furtherance or attainment of those objectives) for—

      (a) the promotion of a high standard of civic amenity and civic design;

      (b) the preservation and protection of the environment, including the architectural, archaeological and natural heritage;

      (c) the renewal, preservation, conservation, restoration, development or redevelopment of the streetscape, layout and building pattern, including the co-ordination and upgrading of shop frontages;

      (d) the control of the layout of areas, density, building lines and height of structures and the treatment of spaces around and between structures;

      (e) the control of the design, colour and materials of structures, in particular the type or quality of building materials used in structures;

      (f) the promotion of the maintenance, repair or cleaning of structures;

      (g) the promotion of an appropriate mix of uses of structures or other land;

      (h) the control of any new or existing uses of structures or other land;

      (i) the promotion of the development or redevelopment of derelict sites or vacant sites; or

      (j) the regulation, restriction or control of the erection of advertisement structures and the exhibition of advertisements.

      (3) A scheme prepared under subsection (1) shall be in writing and shall be consistent with the objectives of the relevant development plan and any local area plan or integrated area plan (within the meaning of the Urban Renewal Act, 1998) in force relating to the area to which the scheme relates.

      (4) (a) A scheme prepared under subsection (1) shall indicate the period for which the scheme is to remain in force.

      (b) A scheme may indicate the order in which it is proposed that the objectives of the scheme or provisions for their furtherance or attainment will be implemented.

      (5) A scheme shall contain information, including information of such class or classes as may be prescribed by the Minister, on the likely significant effects on the environment of implementing the scheme.

      (6) In this section, and sections 85 and 86—

      “city” means a county borough;

      “town” means a borough (other than a county borough), an urban district or a town having town commissioners that has a population in excess of 2,000.

    • #744808
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @P & D ACT 2000 wrote:

      PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000 SECTION 57

      Works affecting character of protected structures or proposed protected structures. 57.&#8212] (b) any element of the structure which contributes to its special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest.
      [/B]
      (2) An owner or occupier of a protected structure may make a written request to the planning authority, within whose functional area that structure is situated, to issue a declaration as to the type of works which it considers would or would not materially affect the character of the structure or of any element, referred to in subsection (1)(b), of that structure.

      (3) Within 12 weeks after receiving a request under subsection (2), or within such other period as may be prescribed, a planning authority shall issue a declaration under this section to the person who made the request.

      (4) Before issuing a declaration under this section, a planning authority shall have regard to—

      (a) any guidelines issued under section 52, and

      (b) any recommendations made to the authority under section 53.

      (5) If the declaration relates to a protected structure that is regularly used as a place of public worship, the planning authority

      (a) in addition to having regard to the guidelines and recommendations referred to in subsection (4), shall respect liturgical requirements, and

      (b) for the purpose of ascertaining those requirements shall—

      (i) comply with any guidelines concerning consultation which may be issued by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, or
      (ii) if no such guidelines are issued, consult with such person or body as the planning authority considers appropriate.
      (6) When considering an application for permission for the development of land under section 34 which—

      (a) relates to the interior of a protected structure, and

      (b) is regularly used as a place of public worship,

      the planning authority, and the Board on appeal, shall, in addition to any other requirements of the Act, respect liturgical requirements.

      (7) A planning authority may at any time review a declaration issued under this section but the review shall not affect any works carried out in reliance on the declaration prior to the review.

      (8) A planning authority shall cause—

      (a) the details of any declaration issued by that authority under this section to be entered on the register kept by the authority under section 7, and

      (b) a copy of the declaration to be made available for inspection by members of the public during office hours, at the office of the authority, following the issue of the declaration.

      (9) A declaration under this section shall not prejudice the application of section 5 to any question that arises as to what, in a particular case, is or is not exempted development.

      (10) (a) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that a planning authority or the Board on appeal—

      (i) in considering any application for permission in relation to a protected structure, shall have regard to the protected status of the structure, or
      (ii) in considering any application for permission in relation to a proposed protected structure, shall have regard to the fact that it is proposed to add the structure to a record of protected structures.
      (b) A planning authority, or the Board on appeal, shall not grant permission for the demolition of a protected structure or proposed protected structure, save in exceptional circumstances.

      The use of the word any is very clear and its intention could not be clearer

    • #744809
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      So is it just up to the opinions of the building inspector signing off works or planner inspecting planning permissions for both new and existing buildings – i.e. their interpretations of the guidelines?
      It’s up to them to decide if they’ll allow something or not as there is little laid down in stone in regulations?

      I wouldn’t expect a planning officer to provide an opinion on this. The architect or other competent person who sign-off on the building being compliant should bear that responsibility.
      The guidance is open to interpretation but the intent is absolutely clear. If you are not going to err on the side of caution then you had better have a very good reason why not. Aesthetic considerations wouldn’t impress in a coroners court.

      Is mise le meas,
      Monty

    • #744810
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      🙂

      Are the glazing bars on the likes of Wynns even attached to the glass towards the centre of the window?
      And are bars usually placed on the inside too, or just the external elevation?

      The glazing bars at Wynns are attached with a double-sided tape running the length of the bar. If they are attached properly they are almost impossible to remove without the glass braking. The glazing bars would normally be attached to both the exterior and interior of the double-glazed unit.

      Is mise le meas,
      Monty

    • #744811
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      @Thomond Park wrote:

      The use of the word any is very clear and its intention could not be clearer

      Therein lies the nub of the problem.
      This thread has had three considered opinions that the windows in Wynns look rather good. If you mention double-glazing to the conservation office at DCC they would have a shit-haemorrhage yet section 84 para. 2a calls for “ the promotion of a high standard of civic amenity and civic design” and para 2c “renewal ….upgrading of shop frontages” .

      FWIW I think the plastic parting bead beads on the windows at Farmleigh are far more visually obtrusive then the windows at Wynns.

      Is mise le meas,
      Monty

    • #744812
      GrahamH
      Participant

      You’re having a laugh?!

      Saying that, the OPW have had practice with the PVCs in Leinster House & National Museum. It is a disgrace that they are using PVC, firstly in historic buildings, and secondly as a mere temporary measure. Are these going to be recycled afterwards? And what of the costs involved?
      Why can’t simple wooden boards be erected in place of the windows being restored like in any normal restoration project?
      If necessary they could be painted black with the sash outline painted on to maintain continuity.

      Here’s a no doubt well worn example of appalling PVC frames inserted into a key historic building – the pub on the corner of Amiens St and Talbot St in Dublin. It is but the third building to greet visitors to the city from Connolly Station, and the most notable from being positioned directly in front of the pedestrian lights.

      The windows out of view in this pic on the apex of the building are truly ghastly. They’re the same as the ones facing Amiens St there, but as the primary feature of the apex they are an abomination, not least because they’re the older variety of PVC and have become very tatty, and also have never been cleaned it seems.

      Interestingly though, from this first floor vantage point across the road you can see a single original timber sash still extant to the rear of the building. Wouldn’t be surprised if this was retained just to appease the fire officer as none of the other windows can be escaped through :rolleyes:

    • #744813
      Devin
      Participant

      It’a fine corner building…but yes, the PVCs are ruining it. You can’t see it in this photo, but the corner bay is slightly curved (check prev. post), but the PVC windows on this bay are flat :rolleyes: . DCC have been asked to add it to the Record of Prot. Strucs. – no joy yet…

      Here’s a picture of part of the front of it when it still had sash windows (below), from Dublin – A Grand Tour (by Guinness & O’Brien).
      Remember the good old / bad old days when you entered grimy old Connolly from an escalator off the Amiens St. footpath (or stairs if you wanted)?
      .

    • #744814
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I only vaguely remember these in real life, though often looked with interest at that exact image you posted Devin by O’Brien with the lamp standards etc.

      Here’s a close-up of the entrance 🙂

      Were they original Victorian railings to the right?
      As for the lampposts, it’s a great pity they were removed; they created a grand entrance for the station, now sadly nothing but a crudely gouged gaping hole in the facade, leading in turn to a manky dungeon of a foyer 🙁
      Often wondered what happened to the posts – saw a couple of similar ones a few years ago lying down the back at Pearse Station, maybe it was them…

      As for the windows of Connolly, thank goodness they weren’t replaced down through the years, though as said before larger facades tended not to be touched as it was simply too expensive :rolleyes:
      Connolly has transitional sashes that are very unusual in Ireland, though common as anything in the UK. As the station dates from c1845, the windows marginally pre-date the mass introduction of larger sheet glass but it’s possible it uses it as the odd house out in Dun Laoghaire from this time seem to feature it.

      Pic here of one of them newly restored from a while back:

      Also often wondered if they are iron windows in use at the top of the terminating towers of the building?

    • #744815
      bitasean
      Participant

      this is a great thread, I’ve learned more about windows here than I did during my five years at college. What’s most impressive is the before and after pics., these should be broadcast every day with the angelus, I’m sure there’d be enough examples to keep going for a good few years. Actually come to think of it, has there been any exhibitions like that in Ireland showcasing bad developments?

      Wouldnt it be great if every town council had an image database showing the changing facades of its streets, at least then public opinion might be roused against the destruction being carried out on their built environment. Surely this wouldnt be too much to ask in the age of the digital camera. Also, why is it that Ireland in particular is so subject to the tyranny of PVC? having lived in Paris and Oslo I find it confusing as to why I never remember seeing it anywhere there.

      In relation to non-timber alternatives, I was amazed to find out how energy efficient aluminium was when used as a recycled material compared to other materials, but how does one go about doing this in Ireland, and is there a whopping great fee for one’s efforts to be environmentally friendly?

    • #744816
      Kevin 123
      Participant

      As a new person in the ‘Pvc trade’I would just like to share some of my opinions. I agree that pvc windows are not well suited to many older buildings, however in many cases it’s the style of the window which is wrong not the window system. I think that you are offering a very biased view on the situation. Pvc has many advantages over wood, in todays busy society where we are hearing more and more about ‘time poverty’ wooden windows are Idealistic but not practical in many new houses. In the areas of security, insulation and mantainance the advantages are clear, with shootbolt locking systems, 28mm glazing, five chamber profiles etc. pvc has a lot to offer. In twenty years of varnishing, treating and mantaining timber windows all a quality pvc window will need is an occasional cleaning. I was recently called out to do a service in a house which has replacement pvc windows fitted since 1986. All that was needed was a new profile cylinder as the keys had worn and would not turn in the lock. This was the first service and it looks like they’ll last as many more years.
      Many suppliers of wooden windows are selling them simply because they are wooden, they are often the same style as pvc windows but less secure, have higher U-values and will need to be replaced much sooner.

    • #744817
      Devin
      Participant

      Ok, but the thread is primarily about the visual effects of PVC in older buildings, and I think we have a right to bang on about that here, given the easy ride PVC has had here for 2 decades now. By contrast, you can walk for for miles through the historic areas of Edinburgh or London without passing a PVC window.

      Anyway, regarding windows generally, PVC still has a massive share of the market, so I don’t think you’ll be short of work.

    • #744818
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Hi Kevin, agreed there is a certain biased view, but that tends to arise out of a lack of supporters on ‘the other side’ rather than a deliberate attempt to misrepresent things.

      There is no doubting the low maintenance appeal of PVC – it can’t be denied how convenient it is. Likewise the 5-point locking systems are impressive security devices, I’ve seen quite a few in operation and there’s no doubting their effectiveness.
      And as was pointed out the material is improving in aesthethic profile and finish, albeit slowly.

      But PVC is simply not appropriate in older buildings, not just ‘some’ but all older structures. It looks and feels wrong.
      You make a good point about many of the issues being design problems, rather than PVC-specific problems, but PVC is by and large the main problem, accounting for the vast vast majority of the replacement market.

      I passed yet another delightful Victorian red brick only yesterday, in an Architectural Conservation Area or soon-to-be such, that has newly fitted PVC sashes that look utterly awful – not a design issue here, but a material one – PVC.
      Even if it can be moulded to perfection, it is still not acceptable in any older building as a replacement material.
      Timber is the established, traditional, vernacular material of these buildings in this country and ought to be respected and maintained as such.

    • #744819
      Devin
      Participant

      Accidental double posting

    • #744820
      Devin
      Participant

      Re: This thread

      Bitasean, glad you like the stuff that’s being posted; – there’s more where that came from.

      Re: Connolly Entrance

      Graham, although I remember going up that escalator entrance off the street many times, I don’t remember noting the lamps or stair railings.
      Have to say I always found that entrance to Connolly a bit depressing, and overall I find the new arrangement better, esp. the way it interconnects the areas east and west of the Station. Though, true, the underpass walkway is a bit bleak.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      This is not a ‘Before & After’ but an ‘In Progress’ – The building is a well known pub at Leonard’s Corner (from which the pub takes its name), at Clanbrassil Street Upr. / SCR. Some of you may remember, about 4 or 5 years ago, the pub had a makeover as a ‘Café Bar’. It was quite a tasteful job, with a simple interior and pubfront. The sash windows, quoins and parapet were painted cream, and I think the brickwork was carefully repointed too. All in all a nice job, maintaining the architectural character of the building (doesn’t happen too often with pub makeovers!).
      But suddenly, about a year ago, this happened. The original sashes were replaced by double-glazed timber swing-open mock-sashes. The remaining real sashes you can see here had about another hour to go in the building 🙁 . I think the upstairs was being fitted out as apartments at the time. Again, an inner, insulating window, or the draghtproofing of the originals should have been the option.

      And, as before, the building was not listed, so nothing could be done.

    • #744821
      GrahamH
      Participant

      What a shame – especially as two-over-twos are quite rare in such quantities and are more elegant (I think) than one-over-ones. Look how awful those upper hinged-out parts are 🙁

      Also a pity in light of the earlier repointing – what an excellent job.

      A landmark Victorian building in Dundalk here – underwent a decent restoration in recent times, including brick conservation and the removal of a billboard to the side (shadow still evident), but these PVCs went in:

    • #744822
      Devin
      Participant

      Nice building – the hood mouldings over the windows are cute. They should have done the decent thing and reinstated correct windows along with the other work.

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      What a shame – especially as two-over-twos are quite rare in such quantities and are more elegant (I think) than one-over-ones.

      Yes, they were lovely. The (Leonard’s Cnr) pub seems to date to about 1870. Like the Connolly Station windows, these two-over-twos seem to be in the transition between multi-pane Georgian sashes and later single-pane sashes. While major buildings like Connolly availed of larger panes as soon as they were available (mid-19th cen.), it seems the change to larger panes was more gradual in less important buildings (like the pub); – apparently it was still cheaper to make the small panes of glass & use ‘Georgian’ sashes (I imagine the opposite is true today).

      The attractive handcut brickwork of the pub soon gave way to the sharp machine cut orange brick ( 🙁 ) which was so ubiquitous right up to the start of the Second World War.

      Speaking of the Connolly area, another glaring example of PVC in a prominent building is the fine stucco front of the North Star Hotel directly facing the station. It’s a Protected Structure, so sashes will have to go back sooner or later 🙂 (& a few survive in the ground floor).

    • #744823
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Ah the North Star – probably the most damaged-by-replacement facade in the city, they are ghastly!

      Here it is before they went in, with more lovely two-over-twos 🙁

    • #744824
      Anonymous
      Participant

      That building has been ruined alright between the windows and the Centra shopfront which the pre gunthered picture displays very clearly that the original facade had a lot of character.

    • #744825
      Monty Gerhardy
      Participant

      @Kevin 123 wrote:

      In twenty years…. all a quality pvc window will need is an occasional cleaning.

      Some of my postings may have been slightly tongue in cheek but this makes a Shinner pontificating on Irish neutrality sound persuasive.
      Wooden windows are “idealistic”? Stained softwood six stories up may be optimistic but idealistic?
      Firstly security: I know of at least two timber window systems readily available in Ireland that have a Secure by Design licence requiring testing to BS7950. Timber doors with PAS 23 & 24 ratings. Likewise timber AOV’s tested to BS 476-22.
      Most modern timber windows have a ‘flush joint’ sash rather then the ‘covered joint’ sash of prevalent in plastic windows. The flush joint is inherently harder to pry open.
      Insulation: The best plastic windows have poorer U-values then the best timber windows. (Admittedly 28mm glazing – and associated convection heat transfer – isn’t going to help your case either but then again the traditional upvc marketing spiel was “don’t worry about the mechanical joints, just feel my cavity width….”). Timber windows with a U value of 1.0 are available!
      Maintenance: Go back to the beginning of the thread and see the link to the LCA from Mohammad Asif et al at Napier for interesting data on the useful service life of plastic windows. Likewise similar data published by Islington Council last year (https://www.islington.gov.uk/democracy/reports/reportdetail.asp?ReportID=2345)
      also gives a circa 25 year useful service life for plastic windows. The report goes on to state; “based on the experience of maintenance needs with existing housing stock, Camden Council estimate a life expectancy of 60 years” for timber windows.

      One of the few times I would regard timber windows as impractical is when windows can’t be reached from a cherry picker – in these situations give serious consideration to alu-clad timber. None of those stained finishes has a warranty worth the name and opaque finishes will most likely need refinishing after 7/8 years.

      If you want to take this discussion into embodied energy content, end of life disposal and environmental impact etc, be my guest. I would contend this aspect of fenestration is even more important given future energy usage and associated factors. That’s when the idealism comes into it and increasingly, realism.

      Is mise le meas,

      Monty

    • #744826
      GrahamH
      Participant

      An excellent report – though it doesn’t take into account that the newer PVC product coming on the market now seems to be much more durable than that of even five years ago – seemingly having a life far beyond the average of 20 years stated.
      And didn’t you youself Monty say that 60 years is now not an unrealistic lifespan for PVC – the very same life as stated for timber in the report?!

      One shiver-inducing point made though is particularly pertinent to Ireland – one can only imagine the waste mountain of PVC we’re going to be facing in 20 years+. Literally every single one of the 80% of homes being fitted with PVC in the past goodness knows how many years, and at present, plus 90% all the tens of thousands of houses ‘getting the windows done’ as we speak are going to need their windows replacing at roughly the same time…:eek:
      What the heck are we going to do with it all?!

      Will regulations have come into effect by then?

    • #744827
      Maria
      Participant

      [font=Times New Roman:1v2hseb6]Dear All,

      I was googling for information on Sash windows in Ireland and came upon this thread and thought perhaps some of you may be able to offer some advice.

      I am the proud owner of a 100 year old house in North Inner City Dublin. Its a tiny red brick terrace house with many of the original features still intact. As is mentioned in this discussion in relation to similar properties many of our neighbours bought the houses recently and tore out everything old and replaced it with new features. I have no architectural expertise but I do love the original features in our house and it was one of the reason I was attracted to the house in the first place. Our Sash windows are now in very bad shape and need repair. I have not set a budget yet for this as I have no idea where to start looking for information on the repair or who to go to. I really do not want PVC but fear that repairing them to their original state will be very expensive. Do I go to a joinery or where do I start in trying to keep this beautiful feature in my house? [/font:1v2hseb6]

      Any information anyone has on this would be most welcome (particularly any ball park figures) on the replacement of Sash windows including a beautiful but small Bay window at the front.

      Many thanks.

    • #744828
      ConK
      Participant

      The real problem about PVC windows is the price. Nobody prefers them, but the price is so attractive . . . they are really cheap. I was pricing windows for my georgian house they are approx 1.7 metres tall * 1 metre wide. 1 over 1.

      For PVC they were EUR 200 each.
      For hardwood sash replacements they were EUR 950 each. 😮
      Also to get the old windows renovated and fixed up was around EUR 900 each also.

      So for my house it was 8k vrs. 1.6k (double glazed)

      I’m afraid I sold out – I’m not happy about it. It was a financial decision. Don’t hate us PVC people. 😉

    • #744829
      anto
      Participant

      but you might have devalued your house in the mean time, esp. if it is a period house. Not sure if sash windows are/were usually hardwood either. I suppose they last longer.

    • #744830
      ConK
      Participant

      At the time the original windows were installed the timber was slow grown pine. the fast grown pine available today would be too soft. . . . which is why you have to use a hardwood.

      I agree that I devalued the house. But only one of the houses on the street has sash windows, so I was just matching the rest of the street. – also I couldn’t afford the sash ones – as mentioned.

    • #744831
      Lotts
      Participant

      This is why these buildings need to be on the protected list. The decision should not have been your’s to make.

      Fast grown pine is of course common today. However an important factor is that where pine is used, it is essential to specify the use of heartwood. This has different properties altogether. (If your joiner uses this term interchangably with hardwood look elsewhere).

    • #744832
      GrahamH
      Participant

      😀

      Yes, an important distinction to make. Hard deal is still expensive though from what I can make out, well on its way to being as expensive as the hardwoods.

      It is the unfortunate reality of timber window-making today Maria (and indeed other timber goods), and it’s only getting worse because of the dominance of PVC: the more people that want plastic, the more timber becomes a pricey niche product.

      Personally I’d live with rotting, shaky original sashes any day over PVC, but obviously most people have rather different priorities :).
      The fact that you still have your sashes intact Maria is at least some consolation in the replacement dilemma – to restore windows is generally less expensive than total timber replacement, and secondly you have all the original details in situ, from pane arrangements to timber widths to horn design etc – all of which could be a pain to replicate if the sashes were removed some years ago.

      At the end of the day it is up to you as to what you want to go for (as to whether this should be the case is another debate :)), and how much you value the architectural merit of the sashes, and their heritage value.
      I’ve never had experience of having to restore sashes so can’t quote you – though saying that, PVC and/or aluminium can prove very expensive also, PVC in particular is by no means a cheap option with all suppliers, particularly that wood-grain effect product.

      The value of the original glass in the sashes is also something to consider, as is the undoubted appeal of timber as a natural material. I am ever so slightly deeply deeply biased against PVC so really should shut up – but just to say, people, even with all the money in the world, practice such double standards when it comes to windows it just beggars belief – they swoon over cornicing and fire surrounds, but swing pickaxes at original windows.
      A serious redressing of the balance is in order in this country.

    • #744833
      JPD
      Participant

      What is hard deal?

    • #744834
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Deal being a generic term for pine/fir, or rather the actual planks of these woods.
      Tons of this was imported into Ireland in the 18th century – in Dublin there used to be a lot of deal yards around the south quays especially, Sir John Rogersons Quay etc, that can be seen on various contemporary maps.

      Really though, PVC in this country has got completely out of hand as I experienced first hand over the past week – apologies for the 😡RANT😡 that follows.

      Having heard rumours of there being some form of life outside the capital called ‘the rest of the country’ or some such :), I spent 8 days or so travelling around Cork, Kerry and down through the Midlands to get there from Dublin.

      At this stage I am not easily shocked when it comes to PVC given what we have on the east coast, and what has been posted here by everyone – but I was genuinely astounded from an ‘outsider’ position at seeing the level of damage PVC is doing in this country – both as a replacement material for original windows in vernacular buildings, and as a modern-day design feature in contemporary structures.

      Perhaps what amazed me most of all is the sheer amount of the stuff outside of the Dublin region. In the east a much greater selection is on offer both in design and materials, even if that includes varieties of PVC itself, but in the south and west white PVC is completely dominant to an extraordinary degree. To try and give an idea, counting every single building, new, old and everything in between, I’d say PVC accounts for about 75-80% of all windows in the southwest, with about 10% aluminium and 10%ish 1970s/80s timber and original sash. Modern-day timber is practically non-existent outside of the McDowell-like multi-gabled ranches one sees on occasion. What little is about is usually of very poor quality and design and was chosen as a cheaper option to PVC.

      There are some pics to follow, but in terms of older buildings there are 3 main types one most often comes across: 1. tall classical buildings lining country town’s main streets, 2. small higgledy-piggledy vernacular houses and shops making up villages and 3. one-off farmhouses dotted about rural roads and mountains.
      My impression of the window make-up of these buildings was:

      Tall classical – about 10% have original windows.
      Village buildings have about 20-30% depending on the conservation ethos of the community which can be strong in places.
      Farmhouses: oh dear, the poor old farmhouses :(… Original windows in the standard classical two-storey, three bay over three bay house are on the verge of being completely wiped out! Out of possibly 100 or more I saw, about three had their sashes in situ!
      Indeed the only place where sashes proliferate now in detached houses is in ruined cottages on the sides of mountains – there are plenty of them there! :rolleyes:
      Admittedly a lot of the damage was done in the 70s as a lot of these houses have exposed aluminium windows (as per Sinéad’s house on the Edwardian Farmhouse thread), but there’s also a heck of a lot with modern PVC.

      There’s some pictures below. Obviously presenting an array of PVCed buildings isn’t an accurate representation of what’s out there (though frankly these don’t even remotely reflect the amount of PVC in the average residential street or estate), so there are also some lovely surviving windows pics to be posted soon too.

      The most damaged major town I came across was probably Bandon – PVC and white aluminium literally lines the majority of its grand main street :(. At least some originals survive here:

      Mitchelstown is also very bad.

      Bantry has been severely hit too – here’s the most prominent building in the town, the Bantry Bay Hotel exposed for the world to see forming a large side of Bantry Square.
      It is scandalous that PVC is allowed dominate here:

      A distinctive Cork bay window, destroyed with plastic:

    • #744835
      GrahamH
      Participant

      A typical sight in Irish country towns below, living heritage destroyed and a new idealised version generated with happy clappy paint and window boxes:

      Heritageism gone mad in what is Mitchelstown I think – the render stripped from the façade to reveal a never meant-to-be-exposed crude rubble wall, and sashes removed 😡

      A lovely Picturesque-gothic building wrecked with PVC frames in Bantry – I saw much worse in other gothic houses where priceless 1830s gothic timber frames have been removed in favour of plastic.

      A fine distinguished building possibly in Kenmare has also got the treatment:

      The (otherwise) delightful tiny little village of Durrus in west Cork:

      …is there anything worse than top-hung casements in older buildings?

      The lovely little town of Dunmanway has a fairly decent amount of sashes surviving, but a heck of a lot of this too:

      But much of this pales into insignificance when one sees the state of the so-called heritage town of Cobh. Its distinctive Victorian charm has been ravaged by replacement frames, here’s its landmark hotel:

      And a lovely round-ended terrace showing a before/after-like scenario:

      Didn’t have the time or will to capture half of the devastating damage done to this important town.

    • #744836
      GrahamH
      Participant

      An important corner building in Bantry:

      A lovely house in Abbeyleix, damaged most of all by a ghastly plastic door:

      A lovely landmark curved building in what’s probably Kenmare. The windows are what make this façade, or rather what once made it :(:

      And as for this key building in Kinsale – I don’t want to know what is going on with those window openings, one can only image the type of window that once was, not least in the window Aladdin’s Cave that is Kinsale 🙁

      It is simply not possible to exaggerate the level of window destruction across the country – it is mind-numbing to see the damage done thus far. There is very simply very little left of our window heritage in the southeast at least, a sad statement of fact.
      For an area that is renowned for its wonderful collection of original shopfronts, it is most frustrating to see the conservation ethos end at the ground floor cornice line.

      Also in more rural areas I noted quite a few farmhouses seem to be replacing their modernising 70s aluminium frames with PVC – have they not learned from last time round?!

      Without doubt the PVC capital of Ireland, if not Western Europe, is Killarney. Hadn’t visited there in about ten years (though even then you could make out what direction it was going). But now I can say that it is officially the naffest, crassest, cheapest, most vulgar place one can imagine.
      The amount of sprawling development around the perimeter of the town is as astounding as the monstrousness of the architecture. There is PVC everywhere!
      Every last façade, facia and window aperture is clad, supported or stuffed with the muck. It is unbelievable.

      I think Killarney really encapsulates the PVC ‘issue’ in Ireland, i.e. just how impressive the PVC marketing machine has been in managing to move into a market and in the space of 15 years completely dominate it, to the point of pushing the alternative to the brink of extinction. It is amazing how ‘a window’ in Ireland is now essentially a PVC frame, rather than timber as once was, or indeed alu-timber, aluminium or steel.

      How the market has changed – to the extent that when one goes out to buy windows for a new-build, in 95% of cases it seems nothing else is even considered. How has this extraordinary turnaround happened?
      From what I’ve seen, the new-build house market is utterly dominated by PVC in the south and west – easily 95% would be of PVC from what I saw, with a small smattering of white aluminium included in that.

      And this has another major consequence too – variety has disappeared. Now the vast majority of all modern windows are not only plastic, but also white.
      And the design of windows (ignoring the woeful nature of it by and large) is equally homogeneous – the same plastic grids, the same apertures, the same vertical casement topped with a smaller top-hinged one, the same chunky proportions, the same lack of depth and relief…
      Variety has been killed off.

      But really, PVC windows in older buildings – very simply they are sketches, outlines, imitations of what used to be there – not real-life frames that contribute to the architecture, but mere drawings, simulations of what once was.
      The PVC window frame, and especially the plastic grid, is not just an affront to the dignity of period buildings, but an insult to architecture on a much broader level.

      I take some consolation from the fact that PVC hasn’t quite conquered yet as the building on the country’s most south-westerly point on Mizen Head, essentially ‘Ireland’s last building’, has managed to hold onto its lovely sashes :).
      Long may they live.

      (I’ll give em six months) 🙂

    • #744837
      Devin
      Participant

      Looking at and reading all that is bringing back feelings from similar trips around the country.…you are literally in disbelief at what has happened; – arriving in a town, thinking ‘What’s it going to be like? How well have they preserved the place?’, then the inevitable ‘Oh God, it’s been destroyed…there are PVC windows in almost every building’.

      And after a while travelling around you stop being angry and just become numb, there is so much white plastic.…in new buildings, old buildings, all buildings. The whole country is just swimming in a sea of white plastic…

    • #744838
      anto
      Participant

      it’s an education issue and Irish people’s lack of visual awareness. The tidytowns never seems to reward conservation, original windows as something to give points to; they just reward hanging baskets. Awareness of pvc and its inappropriateness in historic buildings is high in Dublin but in provincial ireland, pvc is your only man, then again bungalows galore are the order of the day aswell!

    • #744839
      GrahamH
      Participant

      That really is the case though. In the more developed east you’re used to seeing the mistakes made in the 70s and 80s with aluminium, cheap timber and early PVC – you gloss over it as you do with much of the inappropriate development from these times.

      But when you see tons, literally tons of plastic being installed post 1995, i.e. in the past ten years across the western side of the country, the mind boggles as to the ignorance of local authorities, property owners and the planning system as a whole.
      Other European countries like Sweden seem to have put legislative safeguards in place in the 1970s, while even today in this country we still can’t control what’s happening to older stock.

      I’ve said it before, but what is the Dept of Education doing about the hundreds of schools around the country replacing sash windows with PVC? They have a direct role to play here in safeguarding architecturally worthy school buildings, and in being environmentally pro-active. The scourge of PVC in 1890s-1940s school buildings is one of the worst aspects of the plastic invasion. Suppose you really cannot blame schools for wanting comparitively maintenance-free frames considering their often shoe-string budgets, but PVC’s use in schools is particularly inappropriate given the wear and tear they recieve and the difficultly in repair.

      Regarding the Tidy Towns, they do have this to say in their information pack:

      “The major threat to the overall architectural character of a town or village isn’t necessarily from large one-off developments, but through the day-to-day activities of property owners and occupiers. Try and avoid these potential causes for damage:
      . The replacement of timber windows by P.V.C, particularly in historic buildings
      . The use of varnished timber instead of paint
      . Removal of the traditional plaster finish and pointing-up the stone or brickwork behind – this destroys local traditions and can cause long term damage to the fabric of the building
      . Installing “pseudo traditional type shopfronts” which ignore local context and characteristics
      . Removal of old boundary walls and outbuildings.”

      I think a little stronger language is in order than ‘try to avoid’ :rolleyes:
      The Tidy Towns has a mahor role to play also in protecting older buildings from PVC – conservation is a heck of a lot more than window boxes, heritage lanterns and parish pumps surrounded by geraniums.

      I think their concern for the problem is summed up perfectly by their current billboard campaign – think it’s the one with a guy with paint all over his face and a whitewashed cottage in the background. And what’s that inserted into the window aperture?……

    • #744840
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      I wonder sometimes when I read this PVC window thread: It seems to me that there are other far more damaging, permanent interventions in the Irish Landscape: at a Planning Scale: one off housing, awful tract semi-d housing, lack of bike paths etc and in terms of “architecture” (in the loosest sense): PVC fascias and soffits, concrete footpaths all round houses, destruction of hedgerows, bungalows and suburban housing in the countryside etc. etc. Sometimes it seems to me that PVC windows seem the least of our worries – they aren’t going to last very long anyway ( say 20 years?) and if legislation were put in place, it would be possible to force their reinstatement at some stage in the future.

      Though I have to admit the PVC windows in that neo-gothic are as difficult to look at as Sly Stallone’s mother.

      What does anyone else think? Is this PVC thing simply a small scale “winnable” battle, so people don’t focus on the horror of Irish “architecture”?

    • #744841
      Devin
      Participant

      Bob, there are plenty of other threads about those subjects you mentioned. This one is about PVC.

    • #744842
      Maria
      Participant

      Dear Graham,

      Just logging back in now ,thanks for your notes on sash windows. I will never go PVC but may have to replace the timber in my windows one at a time! I had wondered if we could reuse the glass. There is a joiner on the North Strand road who I think I’ll try first and get a few quotes.

      I’m not sure why people can’t see the value in original features including sash windows I’d take my character full house over a new semi d any day but my mother in law refrs to my house as ‘That kip’ it may be a kip but its my kip and its a kip with most of its orignal features including fireplaces and sash windows.

      I would put a photo of my terrace on here to show the awful things people have done to these beautiful houses but I think it would upset too many people. 🙁

      Thanks again for your thoughts.

      Maria

    • #744843
      GrahamH
      Participant

      @Maria wrote:

      I would put a photo of my terrace on here to show the awful things people have done to these beautiful houses but I think it would upset too many people. 🙁

      Your neighbours or people here? I wonder… 😉

      As for keeping the glass, there’s little reason why you shouldn’t be able to. Indeed the restoration of windows often only needs the years of paint stripped back and the odd timber or two replaced, especially the bottom rails of sashes which can be dodgy due to water accumulation.
      But by and large you should be able to retain the majority of the original sashes themselves, let alone just the glass!

    • #744844
      Anonymous
      Participant

      That door must be the most de-valuing act I’ve ever seen the occupier saved 500 and cost themeselves 50,000.

      Those images are too depressing to comment on

    • #744845
      Maria
      Participant

      Will get quotes over the next week or so and let you know how I get on. Since reading this thread I now look up at every building and see the white plastic! I honestly didn’t notice how common the ugly pvc windows had got. The North Circular Road is awash with dodgy windows!

      Thanks again for the tips and comments I’ll let you know how I get on and maybe post a picture of the completed job (in possibly 5 yrs time depending on cost) and show up my neighbours for the pvc vandals that they are!

      Cheers
      Maria

    • #744846
      Andrew Duffy
      Participant

      My apologies if this has been linked to before:

      http://www.westmeathcoco.ie/services/conservation/sashWindows.asp

    • #744847
      GrahamH
      Participant

      A very good page Andrew thanks, though a bit more balance would be welcome in favour of PVC dare I say – accuracy is everything with such comparisons.
      There is no doubting the low-maintenance appeal of the product – this is at the end of the day what the vast majority of its market wants it for.

      The site makes a very good point when stating ‘the average house changes hands every 7-10 years’ – at present this is why the negative aspects of PVC are remaining hidden for the moment, simply because very few people have yet to live in a house long enough to experience the plastic’s twilight years!
      You move into a shiny new first-time development with new PVCs, then move on to a second hand house that’s just ‘had the windows done’, and third time round move to a house with 70s timber or something that needs replacing and so more new PVC goes in. The nasty hidden side of the product will only hit home in 10/20 years time.

      Some of the truly astounding misinformation that’s on the internet here from a page entitled:

      “What are the advantages of Vinyl Windows?”

      “One of the well-known advantages of vinyl windows is their superb degree of insulation. When compared with aluminum window frames, vinyl keeps in heat during winter but seals your rooms from heat during summer.”
      (Fails to mention timber is equally effective)

      “Even if you spend money to replace your existing windows with vinyl, you can likely make up this cost in energy bills in a few years. When paired with double-paned glass, the costs could be significant. The windows are even recyclable for those who are concerned about the environmental impact of construction waste.”
      (Oh please – and who exactly recycles these yokes? The majority go straight to landfill)

      (I love this one below)
      “They are inexpensive to manufacture and install, since they fit into the existing spaces for your windows without changing your walls.” (!!!)
      (But of course – you have to demolish half your house to install timber :rolleyes: )

      (And this)
      “You can choose how many panes your windows have, how they open, the width of the sill or trim, and their locking mechanism.”
      (All impossible with other products I’m sure)

      (This below is just unbelievable)
      “Vinyl windows resist dirt, stains, mold, scratches, and dents. The exterior casing won’t fade or wear under ultraviolet sunlight. This means vinyl windows will last far longer than aluminum or wood.”
      (Very simply patently untrue)

      Good luck with your windows Maria 🙂

    • #744848
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      “What are the advantages of Vinyl Windows?”

      That description is almost as good as Dick Roche’s ‘Heat treatment’ description of incineration which vinyl is unfortunately not suited to.

      That is an excellent link 😉

    • #744849
      Andrew Duffy
      Participant
    • #744850
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Indeed, very comprehensive – ought to be sitting on the counter of every PVC supplier! By law 🙂

      Makes a very good point via diagram about how many modern frames, and not just PVC, can wreck the balance of windows by the opening part being larger and bulkier than the fixed parts:

      This is by far one of the greatest drawbacks of PVC, softwood windows from the 60s & 70s, and to a lesser extent aluminium.
      It also goes to show the level of effort that once went into window construction to ensure the opening parts were concealed – esp evident in Edwardian casements similar to those those above.

      Some pics here of surviving sashes – a delightful terrace of buildings in the village of Durrus, or rather these buildings are the village of Durrus 🙂

      Very unusual for windows to survive in shop/supermarket buildings due to Super Valu Syndrome, so great to see them here.
      Just a pity the signage etc could not be more sensitive:

      And a wonderful dormer in Kinsale, with curved sashes no less. What a priceless feature!

      Can you imagine anything remotely near the same level of attention to detail being paid today, especially in such a secondary location? :rolleyes:

    • #744851
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Probably not although the cost of such detailed work in Ireland is prohibitive to all but a few domestic projects, that is why it is such a pity to see special windows replaced or any windows replaced on a building with special windows, once in the UK I spotted a magnificent set of windows not unlike those on Tailor’s Hall on the front of an otherwise quite plain Queen Anne period building, to my horror someone had replaced the less impressive side gable windows with PVc. To make matters worse the building was in an old colliary town on quite an elevated site from which the PVc proportions were evident from 100m. On closer examination it was possible to see deposits of run off from the cleaning had accumulated in the mitred joints and while the PVc was quite white the joints were dark grey and very noticeable. This can be another potential problem that a lick of paint would solve on timber windows but with PVc there is no solution.

    • #744852
      Devin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey (on ‘Westmoreland / D’Olier Streets’) wrote:

      Graham, since you took/posted the first photo in February the top floor of Cara Travel has been PVC’d!! Can you believe it?? The sashes were the last originals in the façade as well. What a mess the building is in now: the fine Victorian oriel on the 1st floor, PVCs on the 2nd & 3rd (which are possibly imitations of timber casements fitted at the same time as the oriel), and now mock-Georgian PVCs on the top floor! The ground floor signage is fairly dire as well.

      I’m making a complaint about this latest PVCing to Planning Enforcement]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align]

      Andrew, thanks for linking that Westmeath page. Didn’t realise stuff like that exist on local authority websites!

    • #744853
      GrahamH
      Participant

      That’s unbelieveable!
      On D’Olier St!
      In 2005!
      On a Wide Streets Commisssion streetscape!?!

      The audacity of the owner or tenant, and the cheek of the PVC company who one can be guaranteed knew exactly what they were at! 😡

      On closer inspection you can see why they did it – the lower sash on the right was as good as detached from the frame:

      Pity the image couldn’t be better – was taken on a banjaxed 1m camera.
      Yes the image was taken on the 1st or 2nd (probably 2nd) of February 2005 – if you need anything else I’ll be happy to oblige.

      This is a practice that still seems to be commonplace – the insertion of PVCs into the uppermost floors of Georgians where they supposedly won’t be seen – there’s even quite a few on Merrion Square that seem comparitively recent!

      It’s the loss of original fabric that gets me – you’d think original stock in the city centre would be immune from this sort of thing in this day and age 😡

    • #744854
      cobalt
      Participant

      Great thread – really informative.

      I’ve just bought a property with sash windows which are in pretty poor shape. (2 over 2, with a slightly arched top.) I’d like to get them restored/conserved as well as possible. At the same time, they obviously need to be burglar proof, and ideally as energy-efficient as possible (at the moment, most of them are stuck open, and held together with masking tape!), while fitting in with conservation practice.

      Would it be the consensus that double glazing just can’t be done well enough (narrow enough gap) to be suitable for old sash windows?
      What about the Ventrolla system?
      Or are there any other suitable techniques to be considered?

      Also, can anyone recommend a joiner to do the restoration? I’ve looked up the building skills register on the Irish Georgian Society’s website, and there are several joiners listed for Dublin (below). Has anyone worked with any of them or can you recommend one?

      Thanks for all advice.

      Joiners
      Mr. John Bolger *
      W. & J. BOLGER (Conservation) Ltd.
      18 Ardee Street Dublin 8. 01 4530377. Fax 01 4540005.

      Mr. Jonathan Guy Breen
      J.G.B. Carpentry
      20 Avoca Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. 01 2875858. 086 8697433. jgbcarpentry@msn.com

      Mr. Declan Connaughton
      Confor Joinery
      rere 5 Williams Park Rathmines Dublin 6. 01 4964396. 088 2739196. Fax 01 4967286

      Mr. Eric Conroy*
      The Wooden Window Company
      142, Alpine Heights Clondalkin Dublin 24. 01 4570656/8728622. 087 440229

      Mr. Karl Crowe*
      Advance Joinery Services Ltd.
      8A Henrietta Lane Dublin 1. 01 8722026. Fax 01 8722110. advancejoinery@oceanfree.net

      Mr. Ruary Kavanagh
      Kavanagh Carpentry/Joinery
      16, Dargle Valley Marley Grange Rathfarnham Dublin 16. 01 – 4935 140

      Mr. Philip Kennedy*
      Unit 4., K.C.R. Industrial Estate, Ravensdale park Kimmage Dublin 12. 087 6816900. philipkennedy@eircom.net

      Mr. Paul King*
      142, Alpine Heights Clondalkin Dublin 22. 01 4570656

      Mr. Paul Lawrence*
      No. 2 May Cottages, (off Nelson Street), Dublin 7. 087 2458303. woodenwork@hotmail.com

      Mr. John Malone
      911 Sarto Lawn, Sutton Co. Dublin. 085 7291939

      Mr. Joe McNally*
      Joe McNally Joinery Ltd.
      Walshestown Lusk Co. Dublin. 01 8433022/259. Fax 01 8433367. jmacnallyjoinery@eircom.net

      Mr. Joseph Moore
      The Original Box Sash Window Company http://www.boxsash.com
      139 Mount Merrion Avenue Blackrock Co. Dublin. 01 2888670. Fax 01 2836943. admin@boxsash.com

      Mr. Dermot O’Rourke*
      D.B.O.R. Ltd.
      Unit 38a Baldoyle Industrial Estate Baldoyle Dublin 13. 01 8393274. Fax 01 8323466

      Mr. Kevin Smith*
      7 Manor Road Palmerstown Dublin 20. 01 6260538. Fax 01 6260538. 087 2431888

    • #744855
      Devin
      Participant

      I know that Paul Lawrence and Karl Crowe are reputable. In terms of the whole list, I imagine that, by virtue of being listed in a register of conservation practicioners, there won’t be many chancers there.

      Bolgers fit the Ventrolla system; strips of draught/noise proofing inserted between the sash and its case – It has a good name.

      Re: Double glazed sashes. I’ve seen it done quite well and I’ve seen it done very badly. But it always tends to look a bit ‘clunky’.

    • #744856
      cobalt
      Participant

      Thanks Devin.
      Can you name any examples where it’s been done well, or better still, the practitioners that did it?
      I don’t want it to look ‘clunky’, but since the windows are just 2 big panes over 2 rather than lots of little panes, it should have less tendency that way,,,, what do you think?
      Will also follow up Bolgers for Ventrolla.

    • #744857
      anto
      Participant

      get some heavy curtains!!!

    • #744858
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes one-over-ones can be made very well with double-glazed panes, though the windows I’ve seen could have been reproductions. The dividing metal strip between the panes does tend to stand out a bit – though by no means in a major way.
      Monty here before I think said this strip is unnecessary….

      Would you not want to conserve the original glass cobalt? Frankly heavy curtains can be as good a solution as any in some cases, not least south facing rooms!
      If you don’t have individual room thermostat-controlled heating, there’ll be no benefits whatever in the energy consevation department if you have your heating going regardless of the room’s temperature as most people do.
      So having double-glazing saves you no energy at all if you still keep the heating going for the same amount of time.

      Of course that’s not a reason to leave things as is. Indeed I’d like to know too what is recommended by experts for energy conservation with older windows – aside from the clumsy internal secondary glazing option…

    • #744859
      cobalt
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      Would you not want to conserve the original glass cobalt?

      Yes I would, if that’s what it is, and it’s possible. But many of the panes are cracked or broken. The house has been horribly neglected. I’m not sure whether some of the intact panes are original… they look very uniform (to my untutored eye, and through all the dirt and masking tape!). If I got somebody like Bolger’s out, would they be able to tell me what’s original glass & what’s not? Or is there any easy way of telling?

      Don’t worry – heavy curtains are on the way as an initial measure! But I won’t be sitting in a darkened room like Miss Havisham during the day! And unfortunately I’ve no south facing windows – house is East (front) – West (back).

      As regards individually thermostat controlled rooms, that would be ideal, and a long term plan. But my budget won’t stretch that far at the moment. One step at a time…

    • #744860
      Devin
      Participant

      WINDOW REPLACEMENT – SOMETIMES THINGS JUST GO FROM BAD TO WORSE:

      Nos. 46 and 47 Harrington Street in 2003, both with ’70s-type aluminium windows.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Both of these buildings are Protected Structures. A planning application was lodged in ’03 for No. 46 (Ref. 2867/03) for various changes including reinstatement of sash windows. Good. Except the new windows are clumsy double-glazed copies of Georgian sashes (see below). Bad quality copies of sash windows really annoy me, because, at least if there are clearly innapropriate windows in a building, there is a impetus to replace them, but bad sashes are not likely to be with replaced with ‘historically correct’ ones easily, are they?

      Then, in summer of last year, a load of work was carried out on No. 47 without planning permission, including the replacement of the aluminium windows with PVC Georgian windows. They must have known it was a good time to do unauthorised work, because I made a complaint at the time, but the enforcement officer who normally deals with the area was away and there was nobody else available to make an inspection! And a year later, the PVC is still there…

      The unauthorised work also included a quite well-executed rusticated blockwork effect in render on the ground floor, to match the building next door. But why would you go and do that and then put plastic Georgian windows in the building? :confused:

      Nos. 46 and 47 Harrington Street in 2005, with bad quality sash windows to 46, and PVC Georgian windows to 47.

      General view (the two buildings are semi-obscured behind the tree on the left).

      Look at these awful glazing bars – they bear no resemblance to a Georgian glazing bar – putty on the outside; slender moulding on the inside (Cobalt, although your windows are Victorian, this in the kind of thing to watch out for if you are having new windows made – be sure whoever is making them makes an accurate copy of the existing ones, if they are too far gone). And the common mistake of using an ogee (Victorian) sash horn on a Georgian window.

    • #744861
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Indeed – though worse I think is the chunky modern mouldings, especially if they stand proud of the glazing bar itself as in this case.

      I can vouch for how horrible those PVCs look in number 47 having looked on in horror seeing them for the first time a few months ago not having been in the area for a while. What made it so bad until right now was that it wasn’t clear if they replaced original sashes as I couldn’t remember! I’ve been searching for an older photo since!
      So at least your pictures Devin are something of a ‘relief’, though clearly not in relation to the clumsy repros, nor the PVCs that have gone in, regardless of what was there before.

      Glad to hear an official complaint has been made.

      Just on the idea of the reinsertion of sashes in the No 47 yellow house, even if done correctly which design would you go for? Given the pane formation of the aluminiums, it is highly likely this house had two-over-twos installed in the early 1860s. So which would you put back in upon replacement: c1820s Georgians, or Victorian two-over-twos?

    • #744862
      Devin
      Participant

      The ’03 photos are from the planning file mentioned above (being a prescribed body has its perks!).

      Good to know somebody else is noticing these things (I’m not the psychopath I thought I was!!!).

      It wouldn’t bother me greatly whether it was 2-over-2s or another pane-pattern that was reinserted in No. 47, as the terrace has no great unity any more; – the existing ‘proper’ windows and the ground floor treatments of the buildings vary. But I wouldn’t complain if accurate copies of the original 6-over-6s were put in, which survive next door at 48 and also in Brady’s Pharmacy on the corner (but with glazing bars removed).

    • #744863
      GrahamH
      Participant

      How can you tell a window has only had its glazing bars removed? I’ve always just gone on the lack of horns on what are otherwise modern Victorian sheet windows. Is there any other way of knowing – unusually slender sash frames holding sheet windows can give a clue at times…

    • #744864
      Devin
      Participant

      Yeah, that’s it – you just get to know the general appearance of them (after lookin’ at so many feckin windows!). Another way of telling is if you’re inside the building, you can usually see the scars of where the glazing bars were removed (filled with the Victorian eqivalent of polyfilla!), or you might be able to see from the outside if it’s a ground floor window.
      The light is crap in these photos (below) of the 1st floor windows of No. 49 (left) and Brady’s on the corner (right, slightly blurry), but you can see that it’s the same window with the glazing bars removed on the right.
      Only removing the glazing bars to get the new larger panes of glass rather than replacing the whole window was a very ‘make and do’ thing to do, wasn’t it? 🙂

      [align=center:2ktlozcj]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:2ktlozcj]

      Here’s another example of bad Georgian sash window replacement; I was passing Windsor Terrace on the Grand Canal a while ago and took a picture of this beautiful early 19th century sash window with old glass rippling in the light (top). Lo and behold, next time I passed the old windows had been replaced with these copies (above) making all the usual mistakes: crude fat glazing bars, pieces of wood used to hold the glass in instead of putty (which you can see are coming off at the bottom of the top sash), and non-Georgian ogee sash horns.
      So you have the double whammy of loss of irreplaceable original fabric, and bad quality replacement 🙁 .

      The building is on the corner on the right, below.

    • #744865
      Devin
      Participant

      This is a small courtyard housing scheme off Marrowbone Lane, Dublin 8 (above & below). It appears to be architect-designed and built in the mid or late ’90s. The houses had painted timber windows and doors originally, with a circular window in the door. But most of them have now been replaced in PVC. You can see the last one or two remaining examples in the pictures.

      Should there be any planning control in situations like these over window and door replacement?

    • #744866
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      At the risk of inviting ill-informed opinion from the anti-conservation brigade, I think there’s an argument for ‘protecting’ new builds, whether in the form of a ‘closure’ rule whereby no changes can be made for, say, 10 or 20 years, or in the form of providing a selection of options (designed by the original architect) from which owners can choose their replacements. In the latter case, personalisation – an critical right for the image-conscious society in which we live, where many now see their exteriors as reflective of their interiors (both architecturally and personally- jeez, I’m sounding awfully like Richard Sennett now!) – would be facilitated within design parameters, while an element of overall design cohesion would be retained.
      I’ve always had a hard time understanding why people buy houses they don’t like and then spend big sums remaking them in their own image, even when choice was more of a feature than it now is in today’s ‘wherever I can afford’ culture. Is it location and, by extension, status? The price of former local authority houses in Dalkey would tell you as much, as would the existence of Dublin 6W, as would the recent argument about the apartments in Swords/Malahide. But I digress…
      Ultimately, this argument comes down to a) aesthetics, as there is no environmental reason on earth why someone would use pvc over timber, and b) a discussion on where we draw the line between the right of an owner to private property and the right of the general public to an inoffensive public realm (i.e. the duty of an owner towards their neighbours). But this is Ireland, and me feinism will usually win the day.

    • #744867
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Indeed. It is so frustrating to see this happen in too many places. In the Sunday Times recently there was a letter published with someone looking for advice on the purpose of a 99 year lease a developer was utilising as part of the sale of houses in his estate – I was bowled over that any developer in Ireland even considered using such a device anymore!

      It’s a tool that really ought to be used as standard; too often developers are just throwing up estates, flogging the houses for a quick buck and legging it. To hell with how the place will look in 10 or 20 years time – windows, doors, boundary walls, gate piers and extensions can be added or altered at will, with no consideration for a cohesive whole.
      Indeed I’ve been watching a housing estate near me going up over the past three years, and even as it is being constructed people are choosing to install white PVC in what is an otherwise exclusively brown windowed and ‘faciaed’ development.

      Also the most farcical, most ridiculously overscaled, most cumbersome porch extensions and roofs are being added onto the 3yr old houses in the first phase – again with much of the estate not even finished! And as horrible as it is, the standard developer sunny yellow is already being replaced on some houses (all semi-ds) with magnolia or cream! The most pointless slightest varitation in colour, but just enough to upset the whole cart, and of course just enough to stamp clearly ‘this is my patch’ :rolleyes:

      If we cannot even design our residential buildings properly in this country, the very least we can do is insist that a coherent and ordered look be maintained.

    • #744868
      Devin
      Participant

      I remember when the ‘Balgaddy A’ architect-designed residential scheme in Clondalkin was completed there was a feature on it in the paper – http://www.irish-architecture.com/news/2004/000066.html – and its architect, Sean Harrington, said it would “break his heart” if people started putting PVC windows in the houses. I wonder if this has happened yet?

    • #744869
      Devin
      Participant

      Now for some more window replacement depression – suburban house steel windows replaced by PVC (all Dublin) :

      Harold’s Cross Road.

      Larkfield Gardens, KCR.

      Vergemount Park, Milltown.

    • #744870
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      ooohhh the Miltown one is a sin – definitely a mortal one – so crude

    • #744871
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Steel is a big problem – does anyone know of a single average domestic case where steel windows have been restored?
      Even well-meaning owners probably cannot find steel restorers/manufacturers. White PVC is as good as gauranteed to replace 99% of steels. It’s the logical option for most people – move from the hell that is decaying steel frames to maintenance free PVC.

      Right now one of my relatives has a house with the last steels on the road, but PVC or aluminium are being considered as the only options. It’s not so much that these materials are being considered that’s unfortunate, rather that steel is not.
      It isn’t even in the radar – the arguments of ‘why would you want more sticking and jamming and draughts and rusting and repainting’ are coming up.
      It’s the material itself that is being criticised rather than the lack of maintenance of the windows. You might as well talk to a brick wall such is the anti-steel sentiment out there, which is understandable to a degree.

      Steels are also not the best advertisements for themeselves either – franky there might as well not be anything in the window apertures at all in many cases such is the frames’ uselessness in the heat and sound insulation departments. The fact that new, double glazed sealed models are available is of little consequence to most people unfortunately.

    • #744872
      jimg
      Participant

      Ya Graham. Steel windows look great in a modernist way but they are not great functionally. I lived in a house with some steels and some sashes (which must have been 50 years older than the steels at least) and the old wooden sashes were in far better shape. The steel windows had no tolerance for rust or overly generous coats of paint (both of which seem to be inevitable after a couple of decades); either they jam shut or they’re impossible to close properly.

    • #744873
      anto
      Participant

      There are some better aluminiums around these days. What about the craze in the better neighbourhoods for these timber rationel windows. Ok they’re not as god awful as pvc but they stil smack of “me feinism” when doen to a terrace where everbody else has white (hopefully timber) windows. I don’t think they look great in older red brick houses either.

    • #744874
      BTH
      Participant

      Some of the timber/aluminium composites are fantastic – Dansk in particular make extremely elegant profiles in both timber and alu-clad. Rationel windows are terrible – both the alu-clad and plain timber versions – with very poor weathering and detailing. Somehow they have managed to become the most well known and popular timber window providers though…

    • #744875
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      BTH – I second you on Dansk, I’ve used them (aluminium clad timber casement) and am very pleased with them. They are very expensive but were cheaper than Marvin.
      KB2

    • #744876
      Devin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      Steel is a big problem – does anyone know of a single average domestic case where steel windows have been restored?

      Yes it’s very rare, but I did come across a case last summer at Orwell Gardens in Churchtown (above) – the windows appear be in the process of being sanded down/primed. But then these people obviously have taste judging by the vintage cars in the drive! 🙂

      But yes, an aunt of mine had steel windows in her house – I’m aware of the problems with expansion and contraction. Whatever arguments can be made for the repairability of wooden windows, it’s more difficult to make an argument for steel windows, elegant as they are.

      I think the vast majority of steel windows remaining in suburban houses are ‘freak’ survivors – i.e. there’s a stubborn old man or woman living in the house who doesn’t want to make any modern concessions, or else it’s one of those houses that stand out like a sore thumb in an estate – it’s been unocuppied for 15 years due to a family dispute or something!

    • #744877
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes unfortunately this is the case everywhere – it’s only the house that has fallen into disrepair that still has its original features, notably steel windows. Any house that retains them is ripe for ‘renovation’, i.e. the binning of steels.

      Anyone see the repeat of Grand Designs tonight? A couple building a modernist-inspired home by the sea; they used PVC much to the initial disgust of McCloud, but they didn’t look too bad when installed as they were very geometric in design, with no evident opening parts:

      Inside though they looked appalling with those ghastly big childishly chunky plastic handles – one of the worst aspects of PVC.
      Overall it would have looked so much more elegant with steel though.

      Similarly an original Art Deco home was on the night before – and they ripped out the original steels! 😡 The PVC installed in its place was disgusting in this case.
      One other time an enlighteded couple decided to replace all of the existing shot steel windows with new steel in a 1930s house. It was modest in size, similar to ones about south Dublin, and it cost them £20,000 sterling…..

    • #744878
      Devin
      Participant

      Yes it is astronomically expensive to have them made – I suppose because the market for them is so tiny. I wonder how much the new steel windows cost in the former Dunlop building facade within the Dunnes development on Stephen Street/George’s Street?

      The PVC used in that modernist-style new house doesn’t look too bad on the strength of those photos (never thought I’d say that!).

    • #744879
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Well as some concession he did describe it as ‘a ghastly material’ 🙂

      You’d wonder in big developments like Stephen St if these windows are made industrially by big structural engineering companies, as there’s probably no one left that makes them on a small-scale/domestic basis.
      Even if you search on the internet there’s seemingly nothing in Ireland at all, and pretty much the same in the UK too.

      One of the last remaining steels in Crumlin village – had to snap it as there’s renovations going on that may result in its disappearance 🙁

      There’s a great 1940s corner building on Sundrive Road built of that glowing orangey red brick with rustic concrete tiles on the roof. All fhe render detail and original steel windows which are more modernist that most in design are painted in black and it looks fantastic – almost hints of Tudor design in there such is the strange effect of the thin black glazing bars and imposing chimneys on the roof Must get a pic..

    • #744880
      Devin
      Participant

      I remember hearing a few years ago that the Gas Company building on D’Olier Street were considering some refurbishment work and they got a quote for reinstatement the original steel windows at something like €15, 000 – per window. But those windows had been a sophisticated design with curved elements.

      This is very rare (below) – a group of three houses in a row with steels surviving. Shandid Road, Harold’s Cross (taken this summer).

    • #744881
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Wow – drool or what! 😀
      That green is fantastic, a classic colour of the period. So refreshing to see a deviation from conventional white.
      That casement detail is most unusual. Lovely gates too.

      Steel window manufacturing clearly was a huge industry from the early 30s on to cater for the huge demand of the growing suburbs. Found this great ad on the internet – the text is a bit difficult to make out, so an attempt at reproduction is made at the bottom:

      A little twist and push – it’s open! Casement windows won’t stick in our weather. They always open easily. Casement windows are less work.
      Steel windows are available in many designs. They are good-looking, durable, and inexpensive too. And because the steel bars and centre-pieces are slimmer than wood windows the light comes through; they are incredibly strong. Steel windows are used in schools, factories and all types of buildings…..

      😀

    • #744882
      Devin
      Participant

      Great stuff. The text sounds uneasily similar to a PVC sales pitch though!! 🙁 😀

      Since all the suburban house examples I’ve posted so far have been southside, here’s a northside one – Oakley Park in Clontarf, taken summer ’05 (Doors, front boundary walls and gates are original as well as windows 🙂 ):

    • #744883
      Devin
      Participant

      Four momo houses opposite the Submarine Bar in Crumlin – not one of them is in original condition with steel windows & no add-ons.

    • #744884
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      That one with the ‘Georgian’ glazing and balustraded parapet is almost funny. Almost.

      Does the one second from the left still have its steels in the side elevation? Hard to tell…

    • #744885
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Know them well – alas the heritage balustrading says it all about the interest in these buildings. Yes it does look like steel windows at the side there.
      Some lovely post-war bungalows on this road too.

      The Ashleaf Centre across the road from the modernist houses is an example of ‘traditionalism’ done reasonably well I think, if it can be done as such – nice atmosphere inside.

    • #744886
      Devin
      Participant

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      Does the one second from the left still have its steels in the side elevation? Hard to tell…

      Yes, I think it does. It’s about two years since that photo was taken, but I recall thinking ‘God, all four fronts have been messed up’ but that there was some early window material surviving somewhere.

      The horrible thing is, if these houses come to be valued (as they should be) in the future, there may be no record of their original architectural finish.

    • #744887
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      As a BTW have any of you seen what they have done in Rome? Just back and it is heartbreaking – it looks like the entire centre has been zapped by PVC. I didn’t have a camera, so no photos, but it would be too depressing anyway.:(

    • #744888
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster
    • #744889
      Devin
      Participant

      That’s nice. I’d say most of what you can see there (but not the towerhouse) was rebuilt in 1925 – it has that Lambay Castle look about it.

      Gianlorenzo, that sounds a bit depressing about Rome. – There was a surprising amount of PVC in Paris last time I was there – but not so much as to get really worried about.

      [align=center:1gk2wtfw]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:1gk2wtfw]

      Some will know Cherry House on Sussex Terrace, just off Leeson Street Bridge, which is built in an international style of ’40s/’50s apartment building. It’s the centrepiece of a complex of apartment blocks built on the grounds of demolished Georgian house, Mespil House. All of the other blocks have been modernised with aluminium or PVC windows, but that’s no great tragedy because they are of relatively no architectural merit.

      Cherry House though has been deservedly and beautifully preserved with all of its original architectural features intact … UNTIL RECENTLY 😡 . When the above picture was taken two years ago, every single steel window in the building was still in situ. But in the past year, the rot has begun 😡 …

      … the VILE WHITE PLASTIC has crept into two 4th floor windows in the facade 😡 (above). The utter thoughtlessness and selfishness of the person who did this; ‘Screw the integrity of the building, with its beautiful wine brick and painted steel windows – I want my glarey white PVC windows!’ :rolleyes:
      It is not a Protected Structure.

      If extra heat/sound proofing was required, this is what should have been done (below); the use of an inner window, as seen here on the Credit Union in Harold’s Cross.

      Cherry House has amazing full-height stair landing windows at the rear (below right). If the Council don’t get the finger out and add it to the Protected Structures list, more damage and loss will be incurred.

    • #744890
      GrahamH
      Participant

      What a fantastic building! Can’t say I’ve come across it before – was it built as a private development or Corporation built?
      The stairwell block in particular is great; if there’s any consolation to be had it’s the fact that windows in communal areas are those that tend to last the longest as they’re just neglected, so these may well have some life in them yet.
      Indeed overall it’s most surprising all of the flat windows have survived for as long as they have.

      Doesn’t granite and especially grey limestone work so well with wine brick? The perfect combination.
      The brickwork in the pics there would suggest an even earlier date than 40s/50s – looks like late 1930s, which’d be interesting if built as a private development…

    • #744891
      Devin
      Participant

      Yeah, it was a private development – one of the very few of its kind in the city. Although it doesn’t look it from the photo, the 4th floor PVC is very noticeable – it just jumps out when you look up at the building … hugely damaging. If more goes in this winter, it will be disastrous.

      This is the former Fairview Grande Cinema (below) in Fairview, a fine example of a ’30s cinema with ‘stripped classical’ feature in the centre. It’s not a Protected Structure, so in theory the steel windows could be removed or other unsympathetic alterations could occur tomorrow and it would be perfectly lawful.

      An Taisce Dublin City have asked the Council to add this and Cherry House to the Protected Structures list – but they will avoid adding any more buildings at any cost. They plead lack of resources, and that they can only barely manage the ones they have. But in the meantime architecturally significant buildings are being thrashed…

    • #744892
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Is this not the old rental complex that was owned by Irish Life and sold quietly (and quickly) to various people about ten years ago? It was said at the time that many RTE staff bought flats there, waiting for the sitting tennants to die off.
      KB2

    • #744893
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Yeah I think it is, they eased out the sitting longterm tenants so they could sell if off.

    • #744894
      Devin
      Participant

      On the subject of old glass (which just came up on the Pearse Street thread), Trinity College are refurbishing all of the sash windows in the Front Square of the college at the moment. That’s fine, but a lot of old glass is being lost during the work. And, worse, I believe they’re using fake-old glass in place of destroyed actual-old glass. The whole of the northern block of the square has been completed so far.

      Almost all of the windows in Front Square are the original 1760s ones (apart from a few in the centre of the College Green block, which had been replaced with plate-glass sashes 100 years or more ago, then replaced back to multi-pane sashes again in the 1960s) and they contain a lot of old glass.

      Here are a couple of panes of incredibly old crown glass (in the top left of the sash) in Front Square. The circular pattern indicates that they were cut from a disc. This type of glass stopped being made in the middle of the 19th century, so these panes are at least 150 years old.

      Then this is the more commonly-seen old glass, called cylinder glass, made from the mid-19th up to roughly the mid-20th century (when it became possible to make perfect, blemish-less glass). It is ripple-y and often contains pock-marks.

      This is one of the sash windows that has already been refurbished in the north block of the square. There are no panes of old glass left except for the one on the left in the middle, which I believe to be fake-old, as it has a different appearance; it’s really just a normal pane of glass with deliberate ripples.

      I’m going to try and speak to the Conservation Officer about this, because it is not really acceptable that irreplaceable historic hand-made glass is being destroyed and possibly replaced with pretend-old glass in a key historic institution of the city like this. Trinity’s original sash windows & old glass are famous – they appear on the front of a book on the history of Irish windows and glass by Nessa Roche.

    • #744895
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Indeed they do, and of course Craig makes reference to the Library windows also, however I wouldn’t be quite as quick to jump on Trinity. Roche’s book, as fine a publication as it is, doesn’t quite explain enough the variety of methods used, nor the popularity of certain types of glass, especially in Ireland – many references are made to UK glass or their methods that were imported, but with little expansion on their extent of use here.

      The broad characteristics of crown glass and later glass such as cylinder and plate are very well explained, however the precise methods used in manufacture and more importantly the quality of output is not fully entered into. I’m no expert, but have come across countless examples of glass that cannot be neatly slotted into the categories as set out in the book, glass that looks like poor quality crown or high quality cylinder, glass that has both swirls and dimples, glass that has a highly dimpled surface, and glass that is much less blemished – all in a host of 19th century buildings of many ages.

      Even comparing two images, look at the difference in quality between this and this – both supposedly cylinder glass:

      Presumably Trinity is early cylinder or ‘broad’ glass, while Pearse St is a later improved version (?)

      Admittedly your other pic does look dodgy Devin, but that could just be a dodgy pane of crown – it’s hard to know. I find it hard to think that Trinity would replace what even it recognises as one of the great treasures in the city with poor reproductions. The conservation project thus far looks like a job well done, even if the giant Venetians look a bit chunkier than usual now. You can certainly see the acres of priceless crown in the College Street window anyway!

    • #744896
      Devin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      The broad characteristics of crown glass and later glass such as cylinder and plate are very well explained, however the precise methods used in manufacture and more importantly the quality of output is not fully entered into. I’m no expert, but have come across countless examples of glass that cannot be neatly slotted into the categories as set out in the book, glass that looks like poor quality crown or high quality cylinder, glass that has both swirls and dimples, glass that has a highly dimpled surface, and glass that is much less blemished – all in a host of 19th century buildings of many ages.

      Yes, I was being quite blunt in my categories – there is of course a lot of variation in all types of glass. I don’t read much on it. I really just pick up what I know from observation.

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      I find it hard to think that Trinity would replace what even it recognises as one of the great treasures in the city with poor reproductions.

      Shocking as it is, that seems to be exactly what’s happening. I was just looking at that magnificent Venetian facing College Street earlier today, and there isn’t, I believe, a single pane of actual old glass left in it. Most of it now is modern glass, with a few panes of, I’m sure, fake-old glass.

      It’s quite incredible how this could have happened. The refurbishment of the windows is about one-third complete now, possibly a bit more. All of the College Street fa

    • #744897
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Were these windows like this before the restoration though?

    • #744898
      Devin
      Participant

      No, most definitely not. Have a look tomorrow if you can. Even if you didn’t know there had been old glass there before, you can see the thumb marks on the ground floor windows where new glass has been pressed in.

    • #744899
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Some of the Trinity windows below. The majority of the West Front’s old panes, certainly in the non-restored windows, seem to be an early form of cylinder glass, with that typical wrinkled and warped texture like the skin that forms on hot milk:

      The only pane of 1750s crown glass above is that in the very top right corner with the very apparent swirls.

      The crown glass featured in ‘The Legacy of Light’ seems to be the exception rather than the rule right across the entire 1750s Parliament Square complex incl the West Front. Many non-restored windows also appear to feature quite an amount of modern glass too, though it’s difficult to say how much such was the light at the time. This un-restored W F window seems to feature nearly all modern glass, with only two single panes of cylinder in opposing corners:

      Otherwise though, un-restored windows with lots of modern glass do not seem to be that common.

      This restored window on the W F features entirely modern glass which is very wavy in appearance, with the exception of a single surviving cylinder pane in the lower sash.

      All of the other few windows that have been restored here so far also seem to feature lots of this strange glass. I don’t know if it was here before the restoration. Here’s another example, though this time a lot more cylinder:

      Moving inside to the Front Square and the northern block, and again a mixture of cylinder and modern wavy stuff in this restored window:

      Pretty much all of these windows in the northern wing feature exactly the same mixture of modern wavy and old cyclinder. No evidence of crown at all. Many of the upper windows in the northern block also feature 1830s horns which might explain the early cylinder in the older sashes below such as that pictured.

      So all in all, a difficult one to call without examining all the glass exceptionally closely. There appears to be a difference between very flat modern glass in some windows and more wavy modern glass in others as pictured. If this difference could be confirmed, and the wavy glass distinguished as being only in restored sashes, then there could well be something fishy going on. Either way that wavy modern stuff isn’t very attractive – gives the impression of bendy plastic sheeting. Still, it does seem all of this was there before the restoration, and in the windows I looked at I didn’t come across any really dodgy stuff like that you pictured Devin.

      Admittedly crown can look like plastic too in certain light – here’s some lovely stuff surviving high up in the side elevation of the Chapel. Note the blatently modern pane in the top left and the cylinder pane in the bottom left:

      Also some stunning cylinder above the central doorway of the northern block:

    • #744900
      urbanisto
      Participant

      You guys amaze me sometimes with your knowledge of something as obscure (pardon the pun) as glass. I would never have imagined that the subject could be so complex. I think its would certainly be worth while contacting the Heritage Officer at DCC regarding this. It certainly woldnt be the average planners highest priority when assessing works such as these but I accept that the glass should be retained as much as is possible. Well done for opening a window onto the subject :rolleyes:

    • #744901
      Devin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      Some of the Trinity windows below. The majority of the West Front’s old panes, certainly in the non-restored windows, seem to be an early form of cylinder glass, with that typical wrinkled and warped texture like the skin that forms on hot milk:

      Yes, most of the remaining old glass in the not-yet-restored windows of the West Front (and its rear, and the east block) is cylinder, with a lesser amount of crown – not surprising as it is a much older method than cylinder.
      It would be tragic to lose all of this, but, imo on the evidence of the restored northern block, that’s exactly what’s going to happen unless the situation is intervened upon.

      (As you say some windows don’t have that much old glass – just a couple of panes – but overall there is a fair bit left, especially in the upper floors.)

      Moving inside to the Front Square and the northern block, and again a mixture of cylinder and modern wavy stuff in this restored window:

      I can’t agree with you here Graham. As far as I would be concerned the ‘cylinder’ you refer to is ‘fake old’ glass. It’s some type of agricultural glass, used perhaps for greenhouses and the like. It is used because it looks a bit like cylinder glass. It is just rippley]very odd [/I]pane of genuine cylinder seems to be surviving the restoration (there is one in the middle right of the above pic), but certainly none of the rare and more valuable crown.

      I’m pretty sure the ‘wavy modern’ or ‘bendy plastic sheeting’ (good description!) glass – which makes up the majority of glass in the restored windows – is also new; it looks new and it doesn’t seem to exist in any of the not-yet-restored windows. As you hint, perhaps it is intended as a (crap) imitation of crown glass?

      This also, as far as I would be concerned, is the ‘fake old’ glass.

      [align=center:172goc4d]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:172goc4d]

      So, in short (I think), all of the former very-flat-modern / cylinder / crown glass of Trinity’s windows is being replaced with a combination of wavy-modern and fake-old glass, with maybe a very small amount of genuine old being saved and reinstated.

      The reason for this I reckon is – just like so many things in Dublin at the moment – a need for speed … the number of windows to do versus the contract deadline; when they’re dipping the windows, removing the paint, splicing in new wood etc. it would just take too long to remove the old glass without breaking it … easier to just knock it all out and put new glass in when the work on the sash frame is complete …

      The job is proceeding apace. As I said earlier, having completed the northern block, they’ve now moved onto the southern block, and in the last couple of days, a load of sashes have come out of the 2nd floor of the square facade to be taken away for ‘restoration’.

      I’ve spoken to the DCC Conservation Officer and also a DoE conservation official and the situation is going to be investigated on Tuesday. Will update.

    • #744902
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Good news – thanks.

      So all in all there’s five types of glass in question here:

      . Swirly crown – easily distinguished 1750s glass
      . Highly dimpled cylinder – appears to be original, but later
      . Modestly dimpled cylinder – questionable provenance, may be mock-historic, may be later again cylinder
      . Flat modern glass – probably from the 1960s
      . Wavy modern glass – questionable when it was installed

      Regarding the cylinder, as you see it Devin the more modest stuff is replacement mock-historic glass installed post-restoration. I’m not so sure – as we have seen, the quality of cylinder glass varies greatly. When making a higher quality product more attention was paid to the flattening-out process to ensuring it was as flawless as could be achieved. Similarly earlier cylinder glass pre-1830s/40s was also of a lower grade to later cylinder, so this could also account for the variety of type in the Trinity windows – very evident as you say in the upper sash of this window:

      I’d also have to question the notion of the wavy modern stuff being post-restoration – it is after all in this non-restored West Front window, in abundance in fact:

      I do see where you’re coming from though regarding the allegedly mock-histoic cylinder – there is a very clear difference between it and the more intensely dimpled glass. But it does beg the question – if some of the original cylinder is being kept, then why destroy other original panes? It’s either hampering efficiency or it isn’t. Above all though, I just cannot believe for a second that Trinity would even think about attempting to do this, in spite of their record elsewhere on campus. These windows are its most prized asset outside of the Library building – it’s akin to cutting the pages of the Book of Kells down to size beacause they won’t fit in the display case.
      Hence I remain fairly optimistic that nothing untoward is going on, and that all the glass dates from a variety of periods – however naive it may be…

      Yes the southern block is underway now – which means they’ll spread back out onto the southern West Front before long where there seems to be a good amount of crown remaining. Here’s the southern Square block now with removed windows as mentioned:

      Also the giant southern Venetian on Colleg Green being restored back in January:

      (thought I’d better airbrush out the contractor’s name ;))
      Work was only getting started above, so there’d be no evidence of glass replacement here either way.

    • #744903
      Devin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      Above all though, I just cannot believe for a second that Trinity would even think about attempting to do this, in spite of their record elsewhere on campus. These windows are its most prized asset outside of the Library building – it’s akin to cutting the pages of the Book of Kells down to size beacause they won’t fit in the display case.
      Hence I remain fairly optimistic that nothing untoward is going on, and that all the glass dates from a variety of periods – however naive it may be…

      A hi-profile instance of replacement of Georgian sashes/old glass with new sashes and fake-old glass would not be unknown, for e.g. in the rear bows of the National Gallery Georgian house:

      (Re Trinity work: an inspection has been made by DCC Conservation Office – that’s all the info I have at the moment)
      .

    • #744904
      Anonymous
      Participant

      The TV ad for this is surely the most annoying peice of TV ever made

      It’s Safestyle UK’s famous BOGOF deal – for every window or door you buy, you get another one… Absolutely FREE!

      http://www.safestyle-windows.co.uk/offers/offers.htm

      http://www.safestyle-windows.co.uk/home/media.htm

      Who doesn’t remember a Safestyle TV advertisement?

      and the infamous Window Man, together with our own distinctive style, you’ll either love ’em or hate ’em! Either way, everybody remembers a Safestyle TV ad

      It is clear the pvc has a price advantage however so had asbestos for industrial roofing

    • #744905
      GrahamH
      Participant

      An interesting and current case of reproduction Georgian sashes being used to replace later Victorian frames is Dundalk Garda Station – an imposing Italianate pile sited prominently at the top of a small hill in the town (below). Built c.1852-54, it was still too early to have plate glass windows, especially in the regions, and so Georgian sashes were installed with typical small horns.

      Over the course of the late 19th and probably early 20th century, some of the Georgian sashes were replaced with plate as can be seen below, with the grids simply cut out in a make-do-and-mend fashion :), though nearly all of the side elevation windows remained intact.

      This picture was taken a few months ago, literally the day after the completion of what I thought was a conservation job on the windows, they having been cleaned up and painted over the previous few weeks as part of wider restoration including a magnificent reroofing job.

      But after all that effort and expense was put in, bizarrely, as soon as the job was done – literally within a week or two if not mere days – the plate sashes were then all taken out, to be replaced with repro Georgian grids! It’s almost as if someone just came back from Dublin and discovered what was all the rage in ‘conservation’ jobs down south, and decided they’d like a bit of that too thanks very much! It’s nice to know at least that the Garda

    • #744906
      Jean
      Participant

      I am in a 1940’s house that unfortunately has pvc windows – I am clueless about this sort of thing and have had Marvin in to quote – I am still waiting on their estimate but I know they are pretty expensive – he mentioned a figure of 20k!. I see from posts above Dansk is mentioned as a cheaper but as good alternative to Marvin – has anyone anymore info on this company? ? I am hoping to get aluminium clad cream windows (don’t shoot me – most of the road have these and they look great) Can anyone else recommend agood window company that do these or any window company at all? I am so desperate I am just googling everything and flicking thru the yellow pages………..whilst googling I found this site and registered in order to ask your learned opinions! Any info at all would be appreciated – save me from my pvc windows!

    • #744907
      Devin
      Participant
    • #744908
      Jean
      Participant

      Thank you for your response – I spent my afternoon reading the entire forum and noticed that people asking for freebie advice don’t get many replies so I appreciate it!

    • #744909
      GrahamH
      Participant

      How strange – only today I was passing through Mount Merrion Avenue and adjacent roads, surprised at the amount of cream aluminum that has cropped up in 1930s and 1940s housing there. Must be the latest D4 fad. It looks decent enough, certainly better than PVC.

      However there was an interesting case of two houses right next to each other – one had cream aluminum frames while the other had timber frames painted exactly the same colour. There was little contest in my view as which looked better: the timber looked so much more substantial, architectural and simply more pleasing to the eye than the aluminum. Whatever the undoubted benefits of the latest versions of PVC and aluminium, they still cannot help looking like mere flat inserts in buildings. The lack of depth or relief in their frames can rarely match the more structural, sturdy appeal of timber that makes windows look like a part of a building rather than thin sheets stuck in to cover over the window holes.

      @Devin wrote:

      perverts

      Ah now Devin, don’t be too hard on yourself 😀

    • #744910
      Devin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      hard on

      Eh?

    • #744911
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Jean,
      Finished our house last year and used Danske windows. Found that Marvin are fine if you want a basic sash (sliding up/down) window but any different style increases the price considerably.
      The Danske windows have a very dense grain in their timber and the powder-coated aluminium on the outside is very well finished. The glazing bars are an integral part of the window structure, rather than that horrid “ornamental” strip. They can be ordered pre-painted on the inside if required. A feature I like is the lack of a mullion (centre bar) for the side-hung windows – the ones we have. In Ireland Danske are primarily a source of industrial windows but I believe they are branching out into residential. They have a showroom off the M50 in Dublin. I’ve no links with either Danske or Marvin.
      Their English language web-site is rather poor and a new one is under construction. In the meantime look at
      http://www.idealcombi.dk/Default.aspx?ID=777
      Kerrybog
      PS. I disagree with GH above that all modern windows look like flat inserts

    • #744912
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      First attempt at posting a pic. ……

    • #744913
      Jean
      Participant

      That is great info – thanks a million! My windows aren’t sash and there are two huge bays so probably why the price is so high, Will definitely get Danske out to quote pronto –

      Jean

    • #744914
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Thanks for the link KerryBog2 – they appear a very professional company.
      So are these the windows in your new(ish) house you mentioned before? A pity about the rather obvious double-glazing strips, they are of course regulation now anyway, but overall I agree they look very well. Would it be possible to get a picture of the all-important aluminium to the exterior?
      (glad to see you’re not a pearl candle-bulber :))

      Agreed not all modern windows look flat, nor did I say this was the case. Rather it is the standard aluminium and PVC replacement frames that look like bland inserts – they contribute little to the appearance of buildings. The same can be said even of steel windows too, only in their case the multitude of glazing bars often employed generated their own decorative effect that helped overcome this.
      But modern timber and alu-clad timber windows are generally highly flexible and can be adapted to many building forms and architectural contexts in a way that conventional market-driven muck cannot.

      Thank you Devin for your as-ever refined contribution re the horn. You can be quite a pane sometimes, pulleying people’s legs – everything just has to hinge on smut when you’re around, yet everyone else can keep it at bay, so just shutter it would you. You’ll be getting a box the next time, and feel the full weight of it let me tell you. Keep your acts of fenestration to yourself in future.

    • #744915
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Mine eyes glazed over with those puns GH but I do agree with the comments on the metal strips; however, usually they are not that obvious, either the cameraflash or the evening sun accentuated them. Incidentally, the ceiling rose and cornice are from the Old Mould Co. in Dun Laoghaire, they have losts of plaster goodies. (yeah, I can hear mutters of “pastiche” already.)
      Outside photos – colour is an off-white on the aluminium, we did not want the full glare.

    • #744916
      Jean
      Participant

      nice house!

    • #744917
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Lovely windows KerryBog2 – esp being a big fan of that continental casement format :). What makes them of course is the feature that is also mentioned on their site: the all-important sight-lines of the functioning parts being maintained with the rest of the frame, so there’s no bulky or otherwise different opening parts evident. Makes the world of difference.
      Also shallow casements like these generally don’t alter the appearance of a building when opened like top-hinged windows do, as the angle created is hidden at the top and bottom of the open window maintaining the straight lines of the surrounding facade, whilst top-hinged ones crudely break them by their angles blatently protruding from the wall.

      You’d still know yours are alu-clad, but not in a bad way though :). Nice use of tan paint there on the skirting – adds something different to what is usually a rather predictable yellow.

    • #744918
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks Graham, they were expensive but worth it. Fell in love with that type when we lived in France. (Best flat I ever had, ground floor of what once was a convent, parquet, cloisters, parterre, the lot! ) Anyone who has had to paint small frame windows on a regular basis would chose the alu-clad and put up with the textural difference. The tan tone on the skirting (pediment?) is the same as the gutter; my idea was to paint the entire cornice the same colour (to visually integrete the gutter) but herself did not agree, said it would be too heavy and the mid-course/stringer would be like a belt. As she held her views rather strongly, peace reigned. Next time round I will paint the vertical face of the cornice and live with it for a while before a decision is made.
      KB
      PS the vent covers have since been fitted

    • #744919
      Devin
      Participant

      Meanwhile, the PVC machine ploughs on:

      Athy 1.
      The PVC-ing of the nearest building in this picture and part of the second one seems to have tipped the balance against authenticity in this group of three former shop-houses on Offaly Street, a side-street which leads eastwards out of Athy.

      You can see the scene here about 30 years ago, with the shops open – maybe one was a creamery … and another a sweetshop … the town going about its business.
      The traffic on this street now is unbearable – you walk quickly along it. Most of the cars are no doubt going to and from one-off houses – of which the Kildare countryside is covered in – while the streets of the town itself are almost dead as a living area. Same old story everywhere in Ireland today I suppose.

      Athy 2.
      We really know how to treat our vernacular buildings, don’t we? Offaly Street also (it can be seen in the distance in the previous pics).

      Athy 3.
      Sooner or later, every innocent little building cops it!

      Church Gardens, Rathmines.
      I lived in the area when I was a student in the ’90s and this pre-war house was always kept nicely with original steel windows while all the others on the street had been changed. It was something of a landmark at the top of the street with the streetname attached. I never thought this would happen …

      Leixlip. And there’s now a massive superpub spawling behind this building.

    • #744920
      Devin
      Participant

      Sometimes just part of a building gets PVC’d for some reason, as here on the first floor on Aungier Street, Dublin.

      Or here, on the top two floors on Upper Ormond Quay, facing the council’s planning department across the river. It’s likely that this one was inspired by the Ormond Hotel’s huge wall of PVC a couple of doors down.

      The Aungier Street and Ormond Quay buildings are both protected structures, so these window alterations were illegal. It’s still important to make a complaint even if only part of a building has been PVC’d, as it is then easier for the rest of it to be done at a later date.

    • #744921
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Enough! Enough! 🙁

      Yes that Aungier St building is particularly horrible – pass it regularly mourning the loss of early divided plate windows: relatively rare in commercial buildings.
      The Athy ones are even worse as the thing about small towns and villages is that the damage is so much more apparent; PVC has an appalling impact on such intimate streets and small unassuming buildings that rely almost entirely on their fenestration for architectural coherence.

      Some more muck in Dundalk.

      Before on Park Street:

      …and after next door:

      A lovely little Dundalk Georgian ravaged by plastic:

      And a few meteres up the road, a typical picture in many Irish towns – render stripped, iron rainwater goods replaced with plastic, PVC windows of course, synthetic slates on the roof, and twee country kitchen protective steel window guards, again probably in place of iron originals:

      And this type of thing is by no means confined to small domestic structures – some of Dublin’s most prestigious heritage buildings are affected by nasty plastic secondary glazing, including Trinity’s West Front and the Royal College of Surgeons below:

    • #744922
      Devin
      Participant

      I’m for the concept of secondary glazing behind historic sash windows in principle. It would have been something worthy of mass promotion here 25 years ago – before the plague! But it’s too late now.

      It just looks terribly conspicuous in those two examples you’ve given. If it can be done discreetly, the internal – and to a lesser extent external – visual damage to the window and its casing is a small enough price to pay relative to complete loss of historc window fabric with PVC or poorly-detailed double-glazed sash replacement.

    • #744923
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes, secondary glazing certainly can work quite well. A goodexample would be the former ICS building at the junction of Westmoreland and D’Olier Streets.

      Inside it has impressive timber frames independent of the main windows that aren’t that visible from outside.
      Also they’re not plastic :rolleyes:
      Indeed they’re well carved as I remember, with attractive metal catches and little handles, all of which open inwards in casement style. They look so sensitive they might even be original.
      I imagine their purpose is as much to do with blocking out the traffic noise as it is for insulation.

    • #744924
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Devin has showed no mercy! Posting those images to be seen first thing this morning was enough top make me want to puke my porridge. Came through Adare this afternoon, the damned stuff is even in the twee cottages there. Any hope that a GM company could mutate a terredo worm to do a job nationwide?

    • #744925
      Devin
      Participant

      I often find that the Bord Failte-designated ‘Heritage Towns’ – such as Adare – have more plastic, more flower baskets and more mutilated period buildings than the non-‘Heritage’ ones.

      This is funny (below), from the Midland Times. Sort of the opposite of what we’ve been illustrating here; the guy is showing buildings he worked on after insertion of plastic windows, replacement of natural slate with synthetic, removal of chimney stacks and stripping of protective render to “gehha back to the old stone”.

      Says it all about Ireland, doesn’t it? – There are people advertising the wrecking of period buildings for a living.
      .

    • #744926
      Devin
      Participant

      ATHLONE
      Some comparison pictures of Athlone from a couple of years ago, and then today. In terms of the older building stock in Irish towns, things are never better when you go back to a place after a few years. There’s always been demolition, deterioration, PVC-ing and bad new buildings.

      Macken’s on Dublingate Street (on the Westmeath side of the town) has deteriorated and also has a demolition application pinned to it. This is a pattern: The few remaining ‘untouched’ traditional buildings in our towns or villages often have demolition notices pinned to them.

      Across the road from Macken’s, a couple of gentle old buildings have had the nasty PVC and render-stripping makeover, complete with SUV passing by!

      Over on the other (Roscommon) side of the town, things are even worse: Sean’s Bar – which claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland – has had historic sash windows replaced with PVC. Well they’re really doing all they can to maintain their sense of antiquity!

      Nearby, a curious old building with a four-sided roof has been replaced by …….…… I don’t know what really.

    • #744927
      Devin
      Participant

      .

      On Connaught Street, another fine building (left), forming part of a classic Irish-town streetscape (right), also has a demolition application.

      Two doors down from it, a chemists has been PVC’d since last time I was there.

      A former Connaught Street gem, the Shamrock Bar, has fallen into dereliction.

      While these buildings (top left & right) at the corner of Connaught Street and Patrick Street have been completely demolished.

      I suppose the town council are too preoccupied with their grand Civic Centre and Town Centre plan on the more prosperous Westmeath side of the town to worry about what’s going on on the other side of the Shannon, hence a valuable surviving historic urban area like Connaught Street is going to the dogs.

    • #744928
      Devin
      Participant

      Meanwhile, the bungalows on the outskirts of Athlone are hideous.

      And don’t forget the mock stone-clad wall and piers for the front.

      On a positive note, the new Athlone IT buildings add interest to the road in from Dublin.

      [align=center:3vioy819]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:3vioy819]

      I was really uplifted by that piece on the Irish Times’ architecture page last week, about how a housing scheme – in Tipperary Town – could be designed to attract ‘middle earners’. I hope initiatives like this can be pushed forward promptly by local authorities, to stem this awful direction that all Irish towns are headed in, with deterioration of historic fabric in the core and a rush of bungalow building on the outskirts. Well done to all involved in that project – Carew Kelly architects, James Pike etc.

    • #744929
      Anonymous
      Participant

      The situation with the Shamrock bar is a disgrace such intact joinery destroyed it even has its original paint colour in the first image and beyond clamping a couple of the panels appears to be as authentic as one could expect; shame on those involved they have stuck two fingers up to the heritage of their own town.

      Is this a protected structure?

      I would be of the opinion that the CPO provisions in the 2000 act were designed to ensure that site assembly could not involve the wilful destruction of buildings such as this. Athlone UDC should serve a derelict sites notice on this property immediately.

    • #744930
      GrahamH
      Participant

      That advertisment you posted above Devin is truly unbelievable – before and after indeed! :rolleyes: 😮
      That single little square from a newspaper captures in a nutshell what is contained in nearly ten pages of material here, and what is happening across the country to our older building stock.
      Living breathing heritage replaced with an idealised, synthetic version of what is deemed to be ‘traditional’.
      This in particular is the sickest example yet come across:

      I noted this exact phenomenon you mention of derelict buildings in towns and villages in Ballymore Eustace recently. The townland surrounding the village of course coming down with new development (though seemingly more controlled than other parts of the country), while there’s about six derelict 19th century houses and buildings coming into the village and in the village itself. The largest of which, a two storey house with extensive frontage near the village centre (about the size of the two buildings above), is proposed to be demolished and replaced with a humdrum two storey development, to include a medical/doctor’s surgery.
      No doubt ‘what about the children’ tactics are being thrown about as we speak.

      There is way too much focus in the media on getting people back into Dublin city to live. Getting developers to build family units in the capital is bad enough, but in regional towns and villages it’s almost non-existant – especially villages. This should be the real focus of environmental and planning journalism. It’s a massive problem. Dublin is just constantly used as a token example, which in itself is damaging as it reinforces the widespread perception that Dublin is the only urban area in Ireland – everywhere else is just ‘the countryside’, even with major regional towns and villages.

      And so these places are left to crumble as the estates and one-offs capture new territory elsewhere. The doughnut effect could not be more apt a description for what is happen in regional urban Ireland, only the part that is most often forgotton about, the hole, is particularly relevant to many Irish urban centres. There’s nothing in the middle.

    • #744931
      kite
      Participant
      Thomond Park wrote:
      The situation with the Shamrock bar is a disgrace such intact joinery destroyed it even has its original paint colour in the first image and beyond clamping a couple of the panels appears to be as authentic as one could expect]

      😡
      The building is a disgrace as are the Local Authority who are flouting the Derelict Site Act.1990

      3—In this section “derelict site” means any land (in this section derelict site. referred to as “the land in question”) which detracts, or is likely to detract, to a material degree from the amenity, character or appearance of land in the neighbourhood of the land in question because of— ……….

      10.—It shall be the duty of a local authority to take all reasonable steps (including the exercise of any appropriate statutory powers) to ensure that any land situate in their functional area does not become or continue to be a derelict site.

    • #744932
      A Palladio
      Participant

      [ATTACH]2382[/ATTACH]There’s nothing wrong with PVC windows in they’re in a nice house like this one.

    • #744933
      Anonymous
      Participant

      A Palladian that image is a poor advert for PVC and design in general

      you should compare it with this http://www.knightfrank.co.uk/propertyassets/WS1021135/Digi-flash/index.html

      if you want a dolls house that is.

    • #744934
      anto
      Participant

      The local authority should be policing this!

      @Devin wrote:

      ATHLONE
      Some comparison pictures of Athlone from a couple of years ago, and then today. In terms of the older building stock in Irish towns, things are never better when you go back to a place after a few years. There’s always been demolition, deterioration, PVC-ing and bad new buildings.

      Macken’s on Dublingate Street (on the Westmeath side of the town) has deteriorated and also has a demolition application pinned to it. This is a pattern: The few remaining ‘untouched’ traditional buildings in our towns or villages often have demolition notices pinned to them.

      Across the road from Macken’s, a couple of gentle old buildings have had the nasty PVC and render-stripping makeover, complete with SUV passing by!

      Over on the other (Roscommon) side of the town, things are even worse: Sean’s Bar – which claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland – has had historic sash windows replaced with PVC. Well they’re really doing all they can to maintain their sense of antiquity!

      Nearby, a curious old building with a four-sided roof has been replaced by …….…… I don’t know what really.

    • #744935
      publicrealm
      Participant

      Elegant AND practical. 53 Upper Richmond Street, Dublin. AFAIK both a Protected Structure and in a Conservation Area.

      Bate that?

      [ATTACH]2406[/ATTACH]

    • #744936
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Oh God – you know when it’s time to get out more (or should that be stay in?) when you recognise a terrace by a single window 😮
      Though this house’s replacement fenestration is amongst the very worst in the city, truly appalling – pass it regularly in horror.
      Saying that, it’s still better than the terrible repro sashes elsewhere on this street; at least with this house there is the potential for change. These frames are Hawkins House, while clunky repros are the Ellis Quays of the window world.

    • #744937
      urbanisto
      Participant

      Amazingly here in Germany there seem to be no such scruples about installing uPVC windows in all building regardless of their age or conservation value. The few exceptions are prestige buildings such as the Rathus. PVC windows are the norm, although they never get to the ridiculous stage as in the pic above.

    • #744938
      Devin
      Participant

      You do see it alright in some parts of the continent. I’ve never been anywhere where it’s been ‘the norm’ though.

      I was aghast to come across this in La Rochelle in France: the photo is a bit muddy, but the window on the left, below has white PVC external shutters! All I could think was: just as well we don’t have external shutters on our old buildings in Ireland!!!

      Apart from that though, La Rochelle is a gorgeous historic town with everything as it should be.

    • #744939
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Perversely I’m glad to see we’re not alone in this phenomenon, though I doubt the Continent has anything near the levels of disaster experienced in Ireland. Not even the UK is as bad (albeit not by much!).

      Interesting you mention prestige buildings there Stephen – those notorious PVC sashes are still creeping around the main facade of Leinster House, after how many years now? Similarly the massive white PVC frame inserted into the Venetian window of the National Museum is also still there with no sign of movement – it looks horrendous, and recently on display to the nation for an hour on a recent news bulletin broadcast from the location.
      One would have thought it a top priority of the OPW to get rid as soon as possible. Given they went all out with PVC instead of a temporary boarding up suggests it’s here for the long haul…

    • #744940
      Devin
      Participant

      Similarly the massive white PVC frame inserted into the Venetian window of the National Museum is also still there with no sign of movement – it looks horrendous

      i don’t know that one – sounds awful. Would be worth sticling a pic up here ………..

      [align=center:stu2ht7n]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:stu2ht7n]

      Do most people know Athenry? I was only there for the first time (in memory) recently. It’s a ‘Heritage Town’, as you are unambiguously reminded on the way in. But from Athenry it can be deduced that the word ‘Heritage’ in Ireland means castles, churches, friaries and other stone-ruiny bits & bobs (as there is lots of that there), but does not extend to the predominantly 18th & 19th century buildings that form the streets of our towns, because almost every building in this town has been mucked up – PVC and all the usual – to a really shocking extent. A shame, because it has an attractive narrow medieval street-plan in the centre.

      There’s a maniac at large in Athenry, as this type of pointing is on a few different buildings.
      (Love the ‘native’ shutters too)

      Finally, I came across a group of buildings in the centre which, though vacant, hadn’t been messed around with, still having slate roofs, sash windows, old panelled doors etc.

      Then looking a little closer, there’s a planning application for demolition of the whole group …. sooo unsurprising.

    • #744941
      corkdood
      Participant

      Without going off the subject too much I am looking at a property at present which has old sash windows that are in a bad state of repair. If I were to replace these with new sash windows would planning permission be required?
      Also if I were to replace these with pvc (and I know a lot of people won’t lik that idea) is planning permission required to do that?
      The house is a semi in an old estate. As far as I can see most of the other houses still have their original sash windows.

    • #744942
      Anonymous
      Participant

      There are two implications in this

      Firstly what the planning situation is and if the property is not either listed or situated in an architectural conservation area then planning consent would not be required at all.

      the general consideration of is regulated by

      57.—(1) Notwithstanding section 4(1)(h), the carrying out of works to a protected structure, or a proposed protected structure, shall be exempted development only if those works would not materially affect the character of—

      (a) the structure, or

      (b) any element of the structure which contributes to its special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest.

      (2) An owner or occupier of a protected structure may make a written request to the planning authority, within whose functional area that structure is situated, to issue a declaration as to the type of works which it considers would or would not materially affect the character of the structure or of any element, referred to in subsection (1)(b), of that structure.

      (3) Within 12 weeks after receiving a request under subsection (2), or within such other period as may be prescribed, a planning authority shall issue a declaration under this section to the person who made the request.

      (4) Before issuing a declaration under this section, a planning authority shall have regard to—

      (a) any guidelines issued under section 52, and

      (b) any recommendations made to the authority under section 53.

      (5) If the declaration relates to a protected structure that is regularly used as a place of public worship, the planning authority

      (a) in addition to having regard to the guidelines and recommendations referred to in subsection (4), shall respect liturgical requirements, and

      (b) for the purpose of ascertaining those requirements shall—

      (i) comply with any guidelines concerning consultation which may be issued by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, or
      (ii) if no such guidelines are issued, consult with such person or body as the planning authority considers appropriate.
      (6) When considering an application for permission for the development of land under section 34 which—

      (a) relates to the interior of a protected structure, and

      (b) is regularly used as a place of public worship,

      the planning authority, and the Board on appeal, shall, in addition to any other requirements of the Act, respect liturgical requirements.

      (7) A planning authority may at any time review a declaration issued under this section but the review shall not affect any works carried out in reliance on the declaration prior to the review.

      (8) A planning authority shall cause—

      (a) the details of any declaration issued by that authority under this section to be entered on the register kept by the authority under section 7, and

      (b) a copy of the declaration to be made available for inspection by members of the public during office hours, at the office of the authority, following the issue of the declaration.

      (9) A declaration under this section shall not prejudice the application of section 5 to any question that arises as to what, in a particular case, is or is not exempted development.

      (10) (a) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that a planning authority or the Board on appeal—

      (i) in considering any application for permission in relation to a protected structure, shall have regard to the protected status of the structure, or
      (ii) in considering any application for permission in relation to a proposed protected structure, shall have regard to the fact that it is proposed to add the structure to a record of protected structures.
      (b) A planning authority, or the Board on appeal, shall not grant permission for the demolition of a protected structure or proposed protected structure, save in exceptional circumstances.

      Secondly you should consider the value added or subtracted by which windows you fit and my feeling on this is that if you think you will be in the house for 10 – 12 years you should consider how PVC will look at that time.

      Ventrolla and many others supply no obligation quotes on restoration but I would weigh up all options.

    • #744943
      GrahamH
      Participant

      To be honest, modern PVC will probably be in fine condition in 10, 20, even 30 years time corkdood – nobody really knows at this point how long the newer, sturdier stuff lasts that is now available. Certainly the PVC of the 1980s and early 90s barely had a life of more than ten years in terms of decorative and even build condition, but the newer forms available now certainly have a longer life.

      However, whatever about structural integrity, at the end of the day PVC is for the most part (not always) a ghastly material, and should never in a million years be used in older buildings in particular.

      I imagine you live in one of Cork’s nice 1940s housing estates, built at a time when metal was in short supply and timber sashes were reintroduced as a window format. The fact that the majority of the estate still has their original windows is truly remarkable in dump-it ditch-it modern Ireland – this speaks volumes not only about how long timber as a material lasts, but also informs as to the course of action you should take, which is to restore them.

      Without getting heavy about it, you do have a certain responsibility corkdood in what you do with these windows from the perspective of setting a trend for your estate! Be under no illusions: your installation of PVC or similar will help contribute to a disastrous ripple effect that happens on every residential road in Ireland, and especially in housing estates where window formats are uniform. Everyone copies each other in what they do when their windows need refurbishment – so you could either help foster a culture of conservation on your road with a decent restoration job, or simply encourage everyone to ditch their nice original sashes in favour of flat, lifeless, cheap rubbish that’ll last for half as long as what the timber has done thus far. Not only that, the uniformity of your estate will equally be destroyed, with a mish-mash of window materials, styles and colours being introduced across the board. All it takes is a couple of properties to go in a certain direction, and plastic spreads like wildfire from house to house.

      Of course it’s entirely up to you what you want to do – just opinions being offered ;). PVC sashes are often touted as a good compromise – again I’d argue they’re not. They still stand out like a sore thumb, have terrible detailing up close (even from a distance with most), and can never replicate exactly the former windows and/or the surviving windows of neighbouring houses. Their life is equally poor if not worse than conventional PVC frames due to the amount of wear and tear they endure with substantial, heavy moving parts.

      PVC has also no exclusive hold over double-glazing either as is often touted – your timber sashes can easily be double glazed, can be draught-proofed, can have additional security features added, and can be fully restored to perfect condition by any able joiner, no problem whatsoever.

      I see you have also posted on another forum (linked on another thread here). It is suggested there that you have to constantly maintain timber – not so. Every four years or so is average for painting – you can even leave it longer on sheltered elevations. It is also suggested that PVC should be coated every 4-5 years after its initial lifespan – admittedly not really true for better quality PVC, but if you do get cheap ones well then painting them is the same as painting timber, only now you’re maintaining cheap poorly designed muck instead of a natural tailor-made product! Hmmmm – I wonder….

      The planning issues are largely as outlined above, generally no need for permission if not protected or in an ACA – though your noting of most houses still having their original windows perhaps suggests a lease stipulation if the estate is managed by the Corporation (assuming it’s Cork!). Is your house a Corpo or former Corpo house?

      That ‘pointing’ is so bad it’s funny Devin, though certainly not the proposed demolitions. One doesn’t know whether to be more exercised over the demolition of such stock or the erection of the inevitable dross that’ll replace them.

    • #744944
      corkdood
      Participant

      Thanks Graham and all for your opinions.

      I think I wil look into the restoration route as suggested.

    • #744945
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Above all corkdood, just about everyone who gets their windows restored are delighted with the outcome. If you do get them done, and stand watching as the newly restored heavy sashes are put back in as they were 60 or 70 years ago, and you see and feel the quality and how smoothly they operate, you’ll kick yourself for even of thinking going any other route 🙂
      They will make for a great investment.

    • #744946
      magicbastarder
      Participant

      apols if this has been posted before, but it seems to have happened recently, but here’s a building i pass on blessington street – looks horrendous, and the asymmetric top floor windows make it look unbalanced.

    • #744947
      corcaighboy
      Participant

      I took this snap back in August in Cork and it is somewhat depressing. The building in question is the VEC building on Paul Street, across from St. Peter & Paul’s Chuch. The building obviously is quite beautiful but this awful PVC replacement job does it no favours. Looks both ugly and cheap.

      Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    • #744948
      Devin
      Participant

      Ohh, that’s a bad one! From a public body too …

    • #744949
      galwayrush
      Participant

      i’m involved in the Joinery business and in the past 18 months, i have noticed a strong return to wood.of course i have put wood windows into the house i’m building at the moment, but i have got comments from some neighbours along the lines of ” wood? but what about the maintenance?”
      I try to explain the virtues of wood regarding maintenance, charachter and it being enviromentally friendly compared to plastics, but a lot of the time, i’m wasting my breath.they just don’t get it.

    • #744950
      GrahamH
      Participant

      🙂

      I’m surprised these people don’t line their interior walls with PVC panels to save themselves the hassle of ‘maintenance’ or redecorating every few years.

      Different windows on the same Paul St VEC building, from last year:

    • #744951
      shelly81
      Participant

      Interesting & informative post. What do you guys think of sliding sash in new builds? We’ve nearly decided on a 2 over 2 timber sash. Having no particular historical knowledge are there any particular design features we should be careful not to mix?
      Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    • #744952
      galwayrush
      Participant

      @shelly81 wrote:

      Interesting & informative post. What do you guys think of sliding sash in new builds? We’ve nearly decided on a 2 over 2 timber sash. Having no particular historical knowledge are there any particular design features we should be careful not to mix?
      Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

      The modern Sash Window can now have the thermal qualities of gas filled “k” double glazing and look exactly like the original windows from yester years. Georgian or curved / gothic designs can be stuck onto the glass, achieving the ” narrow” bar traditional look, Weights are not normally used any more, we now use a special weight balanced spring mechanism that is competely hidden from view, and all parting beads are draughtproofed using special seals.

    • #744953
      Rusty Cogs
      Participant

      @galwayrush wrote:

      The modern Sash Window can now have the thermal qualities of gas filled “k” double glazing and look exactly like the original windows from yester years. Georgian or curved / gothic designs can be stuck onto the glass, achieving the ” narrow” bar traditional look, Weights are not normally used any more, we now use a special weight balanced spring mechanism that is competely hidden from view, and all parting beads are draughtproofed using special seals.

      I don’t think bits of framing ‘stuck onto the glass’ is going to look like anything other than reproduction muck, IMHO.

    • #744954
      galwayrush
      Participant

      @Rusty Cogs wrote:

      I don’t think bits of framing ‘stuck onto the glass’ is going to look like anything other than reproduction muck, IMHO.

      If done properly, it looks very like the traditional sash window, The timber is moulded to a traditional profile, and is used on both sides of the glass, with a flat parting bead between the two panes of glass on the double glazed unit. otherwise it would be impossible to include double glazing without having the bars a minimum of 40MM

    • #744955
      cobalt
      Participant

      @galwayrush wrote:

      it would be impossible to include double glazing without having the bars a minimum of 40MM

      Is this really the minimum? I was going to explore the possibility of double glazing in my windows but bars 40mm wide just wouldn’t be on – nor would sticking on a framework that makes it look like the window has separate panes. Guess I’ll just have to do without.

    • #744956
      galwayrush
      Participant

      @cobalt wrote:

      Is this really the minimum? I was going to explore the possibility of double glazing in my windows but bars 40mm wide just wouldn’t be on – nor would sticking on a framework that makes it look like the window has separate panes. Guess I’ll just have to do without.

      I’m afraid so, double glazing requires a 5 MM air circulation gap around the edges of the unit, so add a min. 10 MM extra coverage for the glazing slip makes it 15MM each side and 10 MM in the middle is the bare minimum required to attach the slips each side.

    • #744957
      GrahamH
      Participant

      How do you mean it ‘wouldn’t be on’, cobalt, to have glazing bars applied to the surface of the glass? Granted, the notion sounds preposterous and truly hideous in concept, but in execution it’s quite a good compromise.
      As featured earlier on the thread, here are Wynns Hotel’s in Dublin doubled glazed sash windows as newly installed about two years ago:

      https://archiseek.com/content/attachment.php?attachmentid=692&stc=1&d=1114559190

      https://archiseek.com/content/attachment.php?attachmentid=691&stc=1&d=1114559161

      Installed in a fine c.1920 neoclassical granite building, they make an admirable attempt at timber sash reproduction using modern double glazing and bar application. The glazing bars are applied to the surface of the glass internally and externally using industrial adhesive tape. Fair enough, the bars look ever so slightly fake, but that’s as much down to their lack of depth as their surface mounting. This could probably improved on. The frame detailing is also a bit clunky, but at least the dodgy horns of the top floors are nothing to do with double glazing!

      As for going with timber sash windows on a new build shelly81, why go traditional at all? A crisp modern sash is as good as anything, as used across Europe and the US. The sash shouldn’t be deemed as being olde worlde.

      I’ve seen this modern spring system in use galwayrush – springs incased in small plastic (though painted) tubes, and used in this instance for hauling incredibly heavy, large hardwood double glazed one-over-ones. Franky a lot are jammed, in spite of being only ten years old and with minimal use. I wonder as to the effectiveness of this method. Also, could you describe in more detail how it works?

    • #744958
      cobalt
      Participant

      @GrahamH wrote:

      How do you mean it ‘wouldn’t be on’, cobalt, to have glazing bars applied to the surface of the glass? Granted, the notion sounds preposterous and truly hideous in concept, but in execution it’s quite a good compromise.
      As featured earlier on the thread, here are Wynns Hotel’s in Dublin doubled glazed sash windows as newly installed about two years ago

      The building’s listed. The windows are in a terrible state (cracked glass and rotten frames) – I got a guy out to look at them and he was of the opinion that they’d have to be replaced, not repaired. If I’m getting new windows, I’d like to them to be as energy efficient as possible, but at the same time as close to the originals as possible. If I could just put 2 layers of glass in rather than one, and have them otherwise identical to the originals, that would be great. But I wouldn’t want to change the dimensions of the glazing bars (which are quite narrow). And having a stuck-on frame would just annoy me with its falseness every time I looked at it. Besides, I doubt the planning authorities would permit it… although surely Wynn’s is listed? How did they manage that?
      I know Ventrolla is permitted – I need to look into it more. Also, I presume I could (single) glaze with high efficiency glass – how effective/costly would the best quality single glazing be in comparison with conventional glass double-glazed?

    • #744959
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I’d agree with you regarding the stuck-on panes getting irritating the more you look at them 🙂 – effective perhaps for an hotel or similar, but in an intimate domestic setting they’re perhaps overly obvious. This is possibly how Wynns as a protected building got away with it – a city centre hotel with all the attendant urban noise intruding on guest bedrooms could have been looked at with an element of sympathy by planners. And the sashes were ‘only’ 80 years old, and probably had modern glass.

      Given how relatively new this product is to the market, I’ve no idea how planners view its use in protected structures, cobalt – others would be better placed to answer. If I was in your position, I’d probably go out of my way to retain as much of the original frames and glass as possible, but failing that, reproduction sashes with high performance single glazing is definitely the best option in fulfilling both aesthetic and most insulation requirements. No idea as to cost for such glass.

      But again the old chestnut raises its head – what exactly is ‘energy efficient’? That is, if you don’t have room-by-rrom themostatically controlled heating, having doubling glazing isn’t going to make the slightest bit of difference either to your consumption of energy or your fuel bills. If your heating is turned on and left on as it is in most people’s homes without constantly sampling room temperature and turning off accordingly, double glazing, and indeed arguably any insultation, is as good as redundant insofar as fuel consumption is concerned.

      Not that this should in any way be used as an excuse in older buildings – as every building should have room thermostats – but it’s also a simple reality that most properties do not. And even if you do, well heating is generally put on in the evening, when shutters are closed and curtains are drawn. The generally modest sash window is by no means the elephant in the room as far as insulation is concerned, unlike walls and ceilings, and they even feature shutters unlike expansive 70s picture windows.
      Just some points to consider…

      Secondary internal glazing is also an option, and can work well in some cases. But generally I’ve yet to see a good example for Georgian or Victorian sashes (casements adopt it much better). With the former, it also tends to ruin the architecture of the internal sash and shutter ensemble 🙁

    • #744960
      joyce
      Participant

      I work for Bolgers/Ventrolla and there are alot of options instead of double glazing. Also if it’s for draughtproofing, our Ventrolla System is as efficient as double glazing.

    • #744961
      Devin
      Participant

      Some good news on the PVC, er, front for a change. Hanlon’s pub on NCR, from the very start of the thread, has had its awful brown woodgrain PVC windows replaced back to wooden sliding sashes 🙂 .

    • #744962
      Conserve A Sash
      Participant

      Hi Guys,

      This is my first time posting here. I have read discussion with interest and am agreement with many points. We restore and manufacture sash windows in Co. Kerry servicing all over Munster.

      We are being asked to quote for a lot of new build and have noticed a definite increase in business from pretty savvy customers. Like the member from Galway, to achieve the double glazing for Georgian 6/6 our glazing bar needs to be 35 mm for a 20mm Double Glazed unit. Since the turn of the year we are constantly being asked for 1.1 U Value Glass which is 20mm. There is no way to achieve the tradiontal and correct Georgian look with this spec. You have to use the stick on system with inserts. I agree it will suffice for large scale developments.

      We try to keep our customers to 14mm double glazed units allowing us to achieve the georgian look and are currently reducting our 35mm bar down below 30mm still not 100% tradional.

      I think sash windows and timber windows are full of character and are far more environmentally friendly. Our business allows us to keep old skills alive. Show me a 100 year old PVC window! They are unproven over the long term. We recently refurbished sash windows that were well over 100 years. They turned out exceptionally well. While I have self interest at heart regards sash windows I also believe our surroundings are enhanced by them. PVC is not what we need in this country any more and we have completed two jobs this month where the old pvc was ripped out and traditional sash put back in. The pity with PVC when it is fitted is the old boxes are damaged in the process. That is my two cents.

    • #744963
      Devin
      Participant

      Thanks for that. Good to hear you’re concerned to get an accurate glazing-bar look when making Georgian windows within the constraints of double glazing.

      PVC is wretched, to be sure! A product of the petro-chemicl industry.

    • #744964
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I’m surprised to hear that you can use any double glazing and still retain an authentic look, Conserve A Sash – do 14mm units really allow this? What is the thickness of the glazing bar in that case? Do you have any pictures of your units like this in action? Many thanks.

    • #744965
      Conserve A Sash
      Participant

      Hi Graham,

      I will post pics when we complete our next job on this. As discussed it is difficult. In the last month glass and UV spec have been the number 1 request from customers. Consequently we have responded by starting to use 20mm units and the glazing bar will not be tradional. The only way is to keep it single. The majority of our business is conservation so the issue doesn’t arise to often. We would love to keep the look on new windows. We rocommend that if you want an authentic Georgian look you go single glazed. No other way around it. With 14 mm unit we are trying to get the glazing bar as thin as possible but the result will never be traditional.

    • #744966
      Conserve A Sash
      Participant

      PS Graham if you read my post it states

      “We try to keep our customers to 14mm double glazed units allowing us to achieve the georgian look and are currently reducting our 35mm bar down below 30mm still not 100% tradional.”

      The 100% traditional look cannot be achieved with Double Glazing on Georgian windows – we would never state that we could! We try and get as close as possible. We have found recently most customers understand it cannot be achieved.

    • #744967
      Devin
      Participant

      ‘Conserve A Sash’, I want to give this example of a glazing bar type that is beginning to be seen a lot and ask you what you think:

      No. 6 Capel Street (seen at the end of the block, above) had some funny windows on the first floor until recently. But they’ve now been replaced with 2-over-2 sashes as on the upper floors, a welcome measure to improve the design unity of the façade and the terrace as a whole.

      But unfortunately the new windows (above) have the thick, clumsy glazing bar you associate with sub-divided, double-glazed sashes, and it jars with the slender bars of the existing old windows on the upper floors imo. A small thing perhaps, but they’re becoming quite common. Can this glazing bar in double-glazing be improved upon in your opinion, or, as joyce from Bolgers/Ventrolla maintains, it would be better to stick with single glazing; there are options which are just as efficient as double-glazing?

    • #744968
      Conserve A Sash
      Participant

      They are pretty ugly. I think those windows are not timber, I may stand corrected on that one. Joyce is pretty on the ball to be honest. To get the narrow glazing bar it has to be single glazed or you can go the stick on route which in this setting would suffice. I know the street well and has come on lot in recent years still a way to go though. They look like pvc sash or some type of import I haven’t come across. I would be interested to find out though if anyone knows.

    • #744969
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Oh they’re without question timber. Just bad ones.

      Of course this whole problem could be solved completely in new builds if people accepted early Georgian glazing bars rather than later ones 😉

    • #744970
      galwayrush
      Participant

      Perhaps the best compromise would be to use Traditional single glazing on the windows for the astetics, and have a secondary double glazed inner window / shutters to provide the thermal requirments.

    • #744971
      Devin
      Participant

      I’m pretty sure the Capel Street windows were timber, but they do have a plastic moulding-ey look alright.

      [align=center:3p05fceo]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:3p05fceo]

      Buildings recorded by the NIAH in the early ‘00s have since been PVC’d. Here are just four examples I’ve noticed – three of them because I worked on the survey in question (Kildare) and remember the buildings. God knows how many others there are from all around the country:

      NIAH page

      Newbridge, Co. Kildare, 2003

      And the same building now.

      [align=center:3p05fceo]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:3p05fceo]

      NIAH page

      Leixlip, Co. Kildare, 2003. The pictures of the NIAH’s buildings have been published at such a miniscule size that it’s sometimes hard to even see what kind of windows are in the building, and there aren’t always additional detail shots. But I remember that this building had fine early-19th century sashes.

      And now with PVC.

      [align=center:3p05fceo]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:3p05fceo]

      NIAH page

      Kilcock, Co. Kildare, 2003. Same problem here. If it wasn’t for the window close-up in ‘Additional Images’ you would scarcely be able to tell that the building had had sashes when it was recorded, and the picture is not quite sharp either.

      In any event it’s been all plastic-ed up now. Yum, yum.

      PVC-ing of old buildings in Irish towns seems to indicate that the building is going to be used rather than let rot, or even – shock horror – lived in by natives!

    • #744972
      Devin
      Participant

      NIAH page

      Old building in the Market Square in Blessington, Co. Wicklow, 2004. Again, miserably sized picture and you can just about see the sashes – and no additional photos.

      But it’s really had a bollocking now.

      Prior to work (my pic)

      And look at the numbskull 1970s-style rear extension that’s been added along with the PVC, destroying the vernacular form of the building ….. and this just last year to a prominently-sited building in the market square of a town!

      It’s wild out there. In the regions, there seems to be a special planning rule that doesn’t appear in any development plan or planning act : if the local building owner wants to invest in his/her building, you bloody well let them do so, in whatever way they see fit …

      At the other end of the Square in Blessington, there is a similar vernacular-Georgian building, marked over on the left.

      Here it is in a 1960s picture.

      NIAH page

      And here it is as recorded by the NIAH in 2004, with PVC Georgian windows.

      The building has just been refurbished. Great – an opportunity then to remove the plastic windows and reinstate accurate replicas of the original painted timber sash windows, thus restoring the integrity of the building, right?

      Unfortunately not. Cheap flap stained-timber mock-sashes have just been put in.

      What’s the problem Wicklow County Council? You’ve had 7 years now to write Protected Structures and Archit. Conservation Areas in your Development Plan, yet these two significant vernacular buildings in the middle of Blessington have been fouled up within the past year – at least I’m assuming that a lack of P&D Act 2000 protection is why this has happened.

      But even if they are not protected, the civilised thing to do now when these type of older buildings come up for repair is to ensure that features and character is appropriately restored – and god knows we can afford to do that these days – and that new extensions are sympathetic, yet all the wrong things have just happened …. It is shameful. What is your policy on older buildings, Wicklow?

    • #744973
      Conserve A Sash
      Participant

      Interesting contrast between old and new. Some shocking work…..very short term goals being met.

    • #744974
      Dublin47
      Participant

      Hi,

      Can anyone please give me an idea of how much sash windows cost to buy and install? Specifically the sliding single sash window and I would need 3 of them for a typical period red brick house in the Liberties area of Dublin 8.

      Also what is the cost difference between buying proper wooden sash windows as described above versus the PVC sash windows? We really want to get authentic wooden ones (the PVC idea repulses me) but we aren’t paying for this (help from relatives) and are being pushed toward the PVC version.

      Here is a shot of the house as it is now with the current windows…

      Thanks

    • #744975
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Above replied to in other thread.

      More terrible stuff there Devin – the latter house in particular is truly shocking. It’s barely even recognisable as the same building, especially with those hideous synthetic slates. What a disgrace.

      And that’s before it’s painted yellow.

      It’s so sad to see all of these buildings being wrecked before protective measures beinf belatedly introduced. And even then let’s face, they don’t prevent original fabric from being lost in this country – rather protected structure or ACA leg often simply plays catch-up in forcing reinstatement after the damage is done :mad:. That’s what ‘protection’ regularly amounts to in Oirland.

      A heart-warming scene in Drumcondra in Dublin at the minute.

      If nothing else, the PVC door represents a knocking of surely at least €5000 off the value of that property.
      Then again Drumcondra is no stranger to plastic, with Bertie’s own Edwardian constituency office stuffed to the gills with the stuff.

    • #744976
      Devin
      Participant

      And, as with the politics, the other crowd aren’t any better. Check out the backdrop in Chez Enda here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhR2KsrB5GQ

      [align=center:9e7bl04p]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:9e7bl04p]

      No building, it seems, is safe from PVC. O’Braoinan’s shop in Castlecomer in Killkenny was cited in Nessa Roche’s 1999 book on the history of Irish windows (‘The Legacy of Light’) as a rare example of a traditional pub-grocer with original features intact.

      NIAH page

      But by the time it came to be recorded by the NIAH in 2003, it’d been PVC’d.

      [align=center:9e7bl04p]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:9e7bl04p]

      .

      Not even semi-demolished buildings are safe from PVC! Both pictures above show the remains of the stucco-embellished facade of No. 62 Thomas Street, Dublin, with sash windows still in the 1st floor.

      And, a short time later, after PVC-ing.

      [align=center:9e7bl04p]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:9e7bl04p]

      It’s not like all this PVCing has continued for want of nothing being done about it. These are from a 1998 report called ‘The Plasticisation of Ireland’:

    • #744977
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Ah for crying our loud – O’Braoinan’s just beggars belief! This is just insane! One of the most endearing buildings in that entire book, especially with the setting of the right-hand bay to one side in making the public/private distinction. What a crying shame. And hear was me stupidly thinking at least these buildings would be safe.

      And as for the others pictured…
      You’d despair. There really is nothing more to be said. Unbelievable 😡

    • #744978
      GrahamH
      Participant


      © Devin

      As we’ve seen through this thread, the steel window is a part of our built heritage that is not being given the attention deserving of it, and is disappearing at a worrying rate from our urban and suburban streetscapes. Within the next decade it’s most likely that the steel frame will be all but extinct in Ireland, with nothing other than incidental fragments surviving to the odd rear elevation, in modern movement houses with considerate owners on the south side of Dublin, or retained in flagship commercial conservation projects in the occasional urban centre. Although steel is making a comeback in a chunkier form for office developments, the vast majority of our dwindling period stock is surviving purely through neglect – indeed not dissimilar to the timber sash in rural areas – where owners simply don’t have the will or the money, or have lived all their lives with the same windows, to have them replaced with something else.

      Period steel windows are of course not without their faults, especially ones made pre-1955 or thereabouts when galvanising was finally introduced to protect from rust. They suffer from various problems including frame distortion, jamming, rusting, and poor sound and heat insulation. Up until recently they also needed to be painted, with decades of once-fashionable thick, gloopy gloss paint contributing to snagging, and detracting from the frames’ smooth, slim line profiles. It’s no wonder people want rid of these windows.

      But it is also because of these now-resolvable latter-day faults that the beauty and quality of steel frames are so overlooked. As a result, they now carry the same baggage with the public as even the gems of modern architecture – there’s an impenetrable barricade that just flatly refuses to allow people view them in any other way than ‘ugly and modern’. Without question some were better designed than others, but the majority have an unabashed appeal in being slender and elegant, crisp and modern, and with an underlying hint of an admirable desire to open up their host buildings to the world, in a new light-filled, transparent era. How grand, bright and optimistic the great wine-bricked complexes of 1930’s Dublin must have been in their original forms, before being short-sightedly bastardised with cheap plastic frames, merely contributing to perceptions of the second-rate, and down-at-heel environments.

      Of course, whatever of their heritage value, there is little question that steel was the PVC of its age: a cheap, mass-produced, quick-fix solution that could be churned out at lightning speed, and be adapted for use in everything from industrial to commercial to residential applications, the latter also encompassing both public and private housing in urban and suburban locations. It was the wonder material of the inter and post-war years, arriving just in time for the explosion in housing building and the wider construction industry in the UK of the early and mid-twentieth century. It also arrived in Ireland in time for the great slum clearances of the 1920s and 1930s, and their replacement with social housing along modernist lines. It was even advertised in a disconcertingly similar way similar to PVC as we saw earlier.

      However, unlike PVC, steel is both aesthetically pleasing and relatively environmentally friendly – it is most compatible with the dominant architecture of its age (including today), and is easily recycled and repaired. Like early forms of PVC, period steel was not up to standard in terms of heat and sound insulation, nor longevity or rate of recycling. However it has moved on in leaps and bounds since then, whilst PVC remains as the aesthetically stodgy, environmentally disastrous and historically insensitive product it always has been, from production, through its life cycle, to disposal, in spite of improvements in insulation and security.

      Steel, relative to timber is still environmentally damaging to produce – albeit not as much as PVC – due to pollutants emitted and the enormous amounts of energy consumed during production. However once steel has been created, it can be easily recycled over and over again, using only a quarter of the initial energy (this time electricity) consumed to produce it, and with minimal discharges. The steel industry now relies on scrap/recycled steel for a third of all steel in circulation, and increasingly so. Steel windows can be easily recycled, and in theory recycling old units could actually help contribute to the cost of replacement frames were proper procedures in place, such is their value as scrap metal. Construction scrap like steel window frames is also one of the easiest metal products to recycle as there’s little to separate: for example, over 95% of certain types of structural steel like I-beams and plates are recycled in the UK. Hence when period steel frames come to the end of their life, it could be argued that recycling them returns steel back into the lifecycle, to be replaced – in theory – with the same volume of recycled steel. Unfortunately global demand for the metal at the moment is such that twice as much raw steel is created as is recycled annually, so in spite of the principle, a small gesture like replacing domestic window frames with recycled steel makes little difference in the current market.

      Steel windows gradually replaced iron window frames, used mainly in industrial buildings and churches, in the early 20th century, but really arrived in Ireland following the destruction of Dublin’s north inner city in 1916 and 1922, and Cork’s city centre in 1920. Their subsequent reconstructions offered the ideal opportunity to put this new material to the test in modern commercial architecture.

      One of its first uses was in the rebuilding of what is now the Supermacs building on Lower O’Connell Street in Dublin, completed c.1918.

      On initial impression, the traditional leaded lights belies the nature of the modern material. Curiously, it would appear that the bay decorative swags are also of cast metal, probably iron.

      Across the road, the current Ulster Bank building made minimal use of the material c.1921-23.

      While further down, the Grand Central building also features highly elegant steel frames, complemented with timber sashes.

      A lovely tilting specimen.

      The same can be said of the Garda station on the Upper street from the mid-20s, relegating the (probably still cheaper) timber sash to the attic storey.

    • #744979
      GrahamH
      Participant

      In Cork, Grants on Patrick’s Street was also built with slim line steel windows in the 1920s.

      While one of the most elegant uses of that period was surely Manfield Chambers on Lower O’Connell Street in Dublin, with its gracious pivoting casements still surviving on some of the floors from c.1917-18, now also featuring secondary timber-framed glazing.

      Alas the uppermost steels, in a similar style to those below, were removed around the 1970s.

      More survive across the road from 1920.

      The largest use of them, possibly in the country at that time for a commercial application, was in the rebuilding the Gresham Hotel c.1926-29. Alas none but the magnificent ground floor frames survive today, the upper floors having been replaced with aluminium about thirty years ago.

      What grand survivors – thankfully they simply would have been too expensive to replace, and with little practical gain being in a public area.

      The top-opening lights are barely noticable, while they also feature beautiful hot-rolled latches.

      Unbelieveably they seem to have been painted blue at one stage!

      Charming diminutive rectangles also survive to either end of the main façade.

    • #744980
      GrahamH
      Participant

      In their most recent planning application, the Grssham proposed the reinstatement of all original steel frames to the O’Connell Street elevation – what a dramatic lift it would make for. Here it is in all its original steel-windowed glory in the 1940s, with balcony still intact.

      It looks stunning with the windows painted black too.

      In the mid-1930s, the Pearl Insurance building that’s now part of the Westin Hotel on Westmoreland Street also made use of steel frames in its elegant neoclassical elevations, probably the starkest contrast in architecture and window design yet used in the capital.

      It appears these were restored in the c.2000 conversion with weather-stripping and new handles, while secondary white aluminum glazing was inserted to the interior.

      A contemporaneous use of the material would also be the Dr. Quirkey’s building on Upper O’Connell Street.

      A typical light industrial use would be this building on Great Strand Street, near the Lotts, with a highly curious timber shingle façade.

      The steel frames add an elegant lightness of touch even to a surly building such as this.

    • #744981
      GrahamH
      Participant

      But of course it is not the grand neoclassical buildings of the 1920s that are at risk of losing their steel windows, now being so prized as icons of their age – rather it is the average residential street that is being left bereft of one of their most striking features thanks to a merciless obsession with thoughtless window replacement in this country. ‘Getting the windows done’ is as hot a topic of conversation as the market for their host properties is. It’s a pity so much hot air couldn’t be diverted into the sensitive appraisal of the various options available.

      As we’ve seen, steel emerged as a major alternative to timber in the 1920s and 1930s, but it didn’t really catch on for typical developer-driven residential applications in the suburbs until around 1950, when metal supplies returned to normal after the war. Previously its residential use in Ireland was largely confined to one-off modernist houses of the 1930s, unlike in the UK where developers were already widely using the material. It was only in the late 1930s that it began to take off here, by which stage the war had kicked in and supplies quickly dried up. It is these average suburban houses that are so at risk from losing their most interesting features to vastly inferior and insensitive replacements.

      As pictured at the start, this is now a highly unusual scene in an Irish suburb – one would be very hard-pressed to see this replicated anywhere else.

      @Devin wrote:

      Indeed even by modern window standards, on uniformity alone, it is highly unusual to experience such a pleasing coherent streetscape.

      I have been able to take some images up-close of some typical steel frames in an average suburban house built in 1951, and in spite of their poor (and fixable) condition, their beauty still shines through. One of the greatest ‘image’ problems that steel windows have is their tendency to be associated with old-fashioned homes, décor and net curtains. Stripping these aside reveals a wonderful clarity of design and proportion.

      And for once you can now appreciate their slim and elegant profiles, and indeed the original imperfections of the drawn glass.

      A typical 1950’s toilet/washroom division, with stippled glass.

      No doubt many a football has gone through the panes, hence the patchwork appearance.

      Inside the silhouette is striking – what a beautiful feature for any room. How could anyone even contemplate five inch plastic bars, and patronisingly toy-like moulded handles?

      And of course, the handles: elegantly crafted and a joy to look at and use. Almost icons in themselves.

      Also attractively moulded support arms.

      And of course typical casement armatures]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Dublin1/Dublin%20Archiseek/Steel%20Windows/SuburbanHouseSteel6.jpg[/IMG]

    • #744982
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Indeed here is one of Hope’s advertisements from 1958, extolling their experience through their fit-out of a major state office building outside Birmingham.

      Presumably most steel frames were imported to Ireland.

      The casements extend outwards so beautifully – strong but light, they allow almost uninterrupted views and a flood of light into the room.

      They are supported on trademark external hinges that protrude to the sides of the frame, here seen on a bay window.

      Top-opening lights also feature external hinges, however all opening parts are remarkably discreet as a result.

      A charming feature of these windows is the consideration of the 1950’s housewife and her net curtains – you can see these studs have been provided to support the lines 🙂

      Of course steel windows are not without their problems – indeed these frames suffer from various structural problems that essentially make them unusable anymore. As one might imagine, the armatures have seized up in places, while the casements and top lights are now so tight as to make opening or closing them a near impossibility. It took two hands and half my body weight to open the above casement, and about five minutes to close it again! Ironically they offer fantastic security as they ‘mature’! There’s also substantial degrading paintwork, and extensive rusting to the interior due to condensation. These windows were not galvanized. The joys of period steel frames.

    • #744983
      GrahamH
      Participant

      It’s no wonder people want the quick-fix solution, as Devin has shown us.

      @Devin wrote:

      Steel doors were also unusual in Ireland, and yet these are also being replaced with horrendous PVC in a piecemeal fashion in the Mespil House complex in Dublin.

      @Devin wrote:

      Here a c.1960 house in Whitehall has retained its elegant steel frames, while the house next door has replaced them with, it has to be said, relatively unoffensive aluminium, as the grid pattern has been maintained.

      This was the most favoured replacement material for steel until the 1980s – not having to paint anymore was viewed as its greatest incentive, even though thermal efficiency was equally poor.

      Unfortunately the biggest problem in Ireland is that there doesn’t seem to be anybody who produces or restores steel windows anymore, or even that specialises in them as part of wider metalworking. And because that type of service isn’t in the public consciousness (goodness knows even timber’s having a hard time of it), these frames simply get dumped, deemed to be old-fashioned, inefficient, and irreparable. Which is not the case.

      There are a number of large firms operating in a nationwide basis in the UK that design, produce, install and restore steel windows; indeed some are the same firms that operated in the early 20th century, notably Crittall and Clement, which are still going strong today. There is an enormous steel window restoration industry in the UK, catering for the vast ageing stock of the 20th century housing boom – by contrast it’s as good as non-existent in Ireland. Indeed such is the level of restoration taking place in the UK, coupled with the renewed demand for steel windows in commercial structures and new-build residential today, business is as good as ever.

      Restoration of steel frames like those pictured above entails removing them to the workshop, the stripping back of old putty and paint, brushing or pickling off of rust which usually appears much worse than it is, the welding of replacement parts if necessary, hot-dip galvanizing to protect from rust, and then coating with a polyester powder which comes in a variety of colours and finishes, and usually lasts 15-20 years. The windows can be painted as normal thereafter. This whole process is much cheaper and obviously more environmentally sound than replacement with new steels, or even PVC. Some period steel frames can also be double-glazed, and of course all can be weather-stripped. All newly made steel reproductions can be double-glazed to a minimum of 14mm, with impressive U-values provided gas-filled cavities and low-E glass is used.

    • #744984
      GrahamH
      Participant

      An example of a double-glaze retrofit in Ireland is the former Dunlop factory on Upper Stephen Street in Dublin, recently refurbished as Dunnes Stores’ new headquarters.

      It has a magnificent array of industrial steel frames from when the building was built around 1930.

      As can be seen, its elegant glazing bars have been fitted with double-glazed panels to make them more efficient.

      They appear to be 14-16mm units.

      And not notable from even a moderate distance.

      A job exceptionally well done. One would wonder if these were refurbished in this country at all…
      Even the Department of Environment’s Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines make but a passing reference to steel windows in a small paragraph, and with a single clichéd photograph of the former Department of Industry and Commerce building on Kildare Street as an example, out of the hundreds of timber window pictures in the document.

      So it is possible to restore and/or cast replicas of steel windows, as well as update many to modern-day requirements. The two biggest UK firms, Crittall and Clements still make and restore them, and have excellent websites, amonst others.

      http://www.clementwg.co.uk/home/
      http://www.crittall-windows.co.uk/menu.html
      http://www.re-view.biz/restoration-steel.html

      Crittall sent over their brochure to me, and they make some really beautiful stuff. A pity they’ve no distributer in Ireland. It would appear they have since absorbed Hope’s too.

      If there are restorers in Ireland, it’s a pity they wouldn’t make themselves a little more known. Our steel window heritage doesn’t have that much time left.

    • #744985
      mackers
      Participant

      @GrahamH wrote:

      Great stuff as always, Graham.

      I clearly haven’t appreciated the impact of ‘the winders’ to even modest suburbia – how a well-proportioned, even handsome semi-d like this can be transformed so dramatically into something so ugly! 😮

      Surely this is a case for mandatory planning permission for window frame changes?

    • #744986
      niamhy0101
      Participant

      hi my family are doing up our grandparents house and are trying to get me to agree on aluminium sash windows because apparently “there’s nobody around anymore with the skill to restore or make new decent timber ones”. if anyone can give me a name or number of a decent company around leinster who can do the job it would be greatly appreciated. thanks

    • #744987
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Hi Niamh – from the sound of things, you already know that it’s very possible to get timber windows restored or replaced, and possibly cheaper than total replacement, so no need to persuade you there.

      The Irish Georgian Society has a list of experienced joiners on their site. It may seem terribly posh and conservation-focused, but these are all ordinary joiners, many of which do standard carpentry as well as more specialised work. I’d imagine most would be versed in the restoration of windows. If you rang the IGS, they may be able to guide you more specifically.

      http://www.igs.ie/register/index.html

      Sash Windows Ireland seem to be the biggest restorers nationally, though they don’t endear themselves to me with their promotion of PVC use in old buildings.

      http://www.sashwindows.ie/restoration.html

      Marvin Architectural are another – don’t know as to their quality.

      http://www.marvin-architectural.com/owner/home.html

      This post by cobalt is very helpful – it lists many.

      https://archiseek.com/content/showpost.php?p=40015&postcount=136

      There’s also the Yellow Pages – you’d be surprised…

    • #744988
      Conserve A Sash
      Participant

      Hi Niamh,

      We replace and renovate sash windows across Munster. We have an excellent reputation and have a website for you to check out. http://www.conserveasash.com – it is being updated soon with a bigger gallery and detailed out line of our renovation service. Our range of work includes domestic to protected structures. Drop me an email if you have any questions.

    • #744989
      GrahamH
      Participant

      6/8/2007

      I’m not sure if this is more suited to the Dundalk thread, but this thread seems to be increasingly covering vernacular stock as well as windows, so is perhaps more apt.

      Up until recently, this delightful relic of times past stood picturesquely derelict on Church Street in Dundalk, leading into the main street of the town. A late 18th century merchant’s townhouse, it was clearly modifed around 1900 to accommodate a retail premises, with elegant timber shopfront added and its Georgian sash windows replaced with more fashionable plate.

      The fast-disappearing soft pink paint also a distinctive remnant of 1930’s vernacular decorative treatment.

      It suffered a small fire recently – all round a great opportunity for sensitive restoration.

      Only, this is what it looked like during the works.

      And completed as of a few weeks ago.

      The late Victorian plate replaced with mock-Georgian sashes, and a hideous boxy plywood concoction tacked onto the ground floor.

      What a monstrous contrivance. On a protected structure, in an ACA!
      Similarly, the delightful Edwardian shopfront has received equally ridiculous ‘heritage’ treatment, with B&Q mouldings Pritt Sticked about its facade. They look even more incongruous in real life.

      There were three sensitive options for this development: 1) Leave the ground floor residential window as it was, 2) Install a matching timber shopfront to that of the 1900 model on the other side, or 3) Install a decent contemporary interpretation. Instead we got the worst of all worlds – a typical developer piece of rubbish that compromises the entire building.

      Similarly, why were the Victorian plates just dumped? Why ditch one aspect of the building’s history and retain another (shopfront)? Indeed if nothing else, the plate would at least have offered the opportunity for efficient double glazing. Instead, we have historically inaccurate, single-glazed, rubbishy mock-Georgian sashes in their place.

      While decent enough from afar, if a tad chunky for the 1780s…

      …up close they’re cheaply and clunkily beaded.

    • #744990
      GrahamH
      Participant

      And already falling apart.

      What pray tell, is the logic of these yokes?

      What was once an intriguing, readable, well-proportioned vernacualar building is now just another piece of developer tat, smothered in yet more ubiqutous slurry of yellow paint. And how crass is the colour of the shopfronts.

      As if to confirm the superficiality of the whole restoration, the chimney stack and degenerating roof have received no attention – the first on the list of any decent job.

      It’s a shame to have to be negative on this, but really – there are so few elements to get right with a classical vernaular, and they’ve failed on all fronts. Even when protected and ACA listed.
      I see An Taisce submitted on the application – can’t see what it says online.

      Just around the corner in a separate development we have this plastic delight installed in a rubble stone warehouse conversion :rolleyes:

      Nonetheless Dundalk, like many towns, is a treasure trove of vernacular design – it has street upon street of the most amazing period housing stock with original features. They’re so exciting to explore, and many are impressively ACA-protected, even if this means little on the ground.

      Just look at this wee fella round the corner from the above development 🙂

      It’s like a wendy house, with the most fantastic fenestration! There’s so much of this type of domestic architecture in the town. Alas I’d no choice to photograph it given it’s up for sale – those sashes are quite likely for the chop 🙁

      And located in a delightful pair of cottages, the neighbouring one featuring once uber-cool early plate.

      Lovely roofscape too.

    • #744991
      GrahamH
      Participant

      The neighbouring house has beautifully maintained sashes, sadly such a rarity in Irish towns.

      Around the side it has a classic Edwardian ‘seaside sash’ on the staircase – these are quite common in this area, as it’s near a river.

      They tend to be more popular near water for some reason; maybe it’s just the Edwardian tendency to build near water lol. Nice bit of cylinder in there for the nerds amongst us. *whistles*

      A grand late-Victorian streetscape nearby – lots of original features.

      Magnificent windows in a delighful corner building on Chapel Street – what survivors! The ‘grand’ public facade to the street has later plate installed in the original sashes 🙂

      Across the road, another amazing step back to the early 20th century. A lovely Victorian in the classic ‘Dublin style’.

      And for what its worth, nearby, an incredibly enormous chinmey atop a miniscule vernacular terrace. What on earth?!

      Surely a bakery orginally.

      It’s sights like these that make Irish towns a joy to visit 🙂

    • #744992
      Devin
      Participant

      The sooner we get to the end of this page the better! There are so many images on it now that it even hops around for several minutes with broadband!

      [align=center:atm03jkz]~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align:atm03jkz]

      @GrahamH wrote:

      The late Victorian plate replaced with mock-Georgian sashes, and a hideous boxy plywood concoction tacked onto the ground floor.

      This is a big problem &#8211]http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/131/deanstterraceqb5.jpg[/IMG]

      Circa 2003 photo of No. 4 Dean Street (on the left), one of a group of three unlisted late Georgians opposite St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the last one with original sash windows remaining.

      During a recent refurbishment, the remains of an older shopfront was uncovered.

      But sadly neither the old shopfront nor sashes with old glass were repaired and here is the finished job, with new, badly-detailed ‘traditional’ shopfront and sash windows, both in gic brown 🙁

      Just as an example of the inconsistency of the Dublin Record of Protected Structures, there is another group of 3 houses – occupied by our friend Spar – adjacent to the Dean Street ones on Patrick Street (on the left, above), probably dating to the same time (the yellowey brickwork is due to a recent over-zealous cleaning). These groups of houses would’ve been built in the early 19th century to improve the setting of the cathedral.

      But the Patrick Street ones are Protected Structures yet the Dean Street ones are not!

    • #744993
      Devin
      Participant

      …………… Filling up the last post to avoid yet more images on this page ………

    • #744994
      Devin
      Participant

      Could Ireland be finally getting sick of the white glare of PVC? A building on John’s Bridge in Kilkenny was seen recently either painting its white PVC windows brown, or replacing them with the same windows (of equally awful design) in brown:

    • #744995
      djasmith
      Participant

      Ah what a fantastic thread!!!! Im sorry to say Ive only discovered it now! I was reading through the first couple of pages when I thought Id have to have a rant in defence of Dublins council houses – but Devin has saved me the trouble and taken some fabulous photos of them – almost all within 5 minutes walking distance of my house too!

      As Ive said in previous threads, my fascination is with the Council houses of Dublin. Ive done a lot of ‘noticing’ of both windows and chimneys (for another day) lately and Im delighted to see this thread! I know of almost every house in my side of South Dublin with original windows and front doors (also for another day because some of them are amazing).

      Theres also a beautiful house up on myhome.ie at the moment in perrystown with all original windows etc. Its a house Id love to buy its got all its iron windows, and its completely original inside, all except for an aluminium front porch door. Its the type of house that should be preserved – tis like stepping back into a scene from a 60’s movie. Unfortunately this house will be gutted and redesigned to modern standards by whoever buys it which is an awful pity. But thats the celtic tiger for ya!

      here’s the link:

      http://www.myhome.ie/search/property.asp?id=DIIXN336231&np=&rt=search&searchlist=

      I must start taking pictures of houses around now before they’re all gone! There’s been a couple of awful changes one in particular on whitehall road just last week. Beautiful painted red wooden windows in a lovely bungaloe ripped out and replaced with modern PVC’s.

      Also on the note of PVC’s – there’s been a lot of attempts at replicas of the original wooden windows around Crumlin and they just dont work… Bring in a grant to restore the originals please please please!!!!

      Dave.
      (strange 17 year old who looks at houses)

    • #744996
      Devin
      Participant

      Tis depressing, dja!

      On a good note, I see the NIAH have recently added some more counties to their database – NIAH County Survey Index . It’s looking good now, with a sizeable chunk of the country covered. So well done boys & girls at the NIAH!

      [align=center:1a9fxxwg]~~~~~[/align:1a9fxxwg]

      NIAH page

      Pictures (above) from the NIAH’s site of the Clarence Hotel in Sligo in all its Irish-town-white-flapping-plastic-windows-in-Georgian-stone-façade glory. (More Images)

      But the building has just been refurbished (below), as part of which they had to remove the plastic and restore timber sashes – yayyyy!! It makes me so happy 🙂 Such an improvement, and a little victory over the plastic window, hoh!!!

    • #744997
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Oh I didn’t see this – great news!
      I suppose they were Victorian plate before being replaced, so it’s apt that it goes back in. Just a shame modern glass is so very reflective – you end up with mirrored expanses of grey sky rather than deep black voids, but hey, can’t have everything. Good to see progress being made.

      Alas a rare surviving semi-d composition bites the dust on St. Mary’s Road opposite the Crumlin Hospital 🙁

      Before

      After

      You can’t really appreciate it here, but the replacement frame is particularly horrific to the ground floor.

      While around the corner near the village, this wonderful house is the second last steel-windowed property on a road of over 80 houses, representing a surviving stock of around 5%.

      It has just gone up for sale…

      Great typically solid Dublin house out Castleknock way. The garage must have been an early conversion!

      Beautifully maintained example in Rathgar.

      And a pair of others nearby.

      Finally a Corpo house with original joinery. Shock!

    • #744998
      Ro1027
      Participant

      STEEL WINDOWS are my motivation for joining this discussion group! I’ve been ‘lurking’ on this thread for over a year, totally agreeing with the horror expressed about inappropriate PVC windows, but mostly looking for info on restoring/maintaining 1960s steel windows. I’ve inherited a 60s semi in Dublin and I want to keep the facade as it was when built, which means keeping the extremely chilly steel windows [ice on the inside of the window of my bedroom is my ‘Angela’s Ashes/We were so poor..’ trump card:o], and installing secondary glazing.
      I was hoping someone in this thread had come across a company or tradesperson who could do a good job of restoring and painting steel windowframes. I haven’t seen any such recommendation, and so I’m putting a request out there.
      Also, not many window companies seem to do secondary glazing, and the one quote I had was very expensive.
      Any leads on either of these problems would be much appreciated, and you can bask in the knowledge that you may have helped save an endangered species: the suburban steel window!

    • #744999
      Ro1027
      Participant

      STEEL WINDOWS are my motivation for joining this discussion group! I’ve been ‘lurking’ on this thread for over a year, totally agreeing with the horror expressed about inappropriate PVC windows, but mostly looking for info on restoring/maintaining 1960s steel windows. I’ve inherited a 60s semi in Dublin and I want to keep the facade as it was when built, which means keeping the extremely chilly steel windows [ice on the inside of the window of my bedroom when I was a child is my ‘You young folk don’t know how lucky you are/Ni beidh ar leitheid aris ann’ trump card:o], and installing secondary glazing.
      I was hoping someone in this thread had come across a company or tradesperson who could do a good job of restoring and painting steel windowframes. I haven’t seen any such recommendation, and so I’m putting a request out there.
      Also, not many window companies seem to do secondary glazing, and the one quote I had was very expensive.
      Any leads on either of these problems would be much appreciated, and you can bask in the knowledge that you may have helped save an endangered species: the suburban steel window!

    • #745000
      Ro1027
      Participant

      oops the first version of this managed to post itself – I had self-centered the Angela’s Ashes reference as we were very cold, but not really that poor!!

    • #745001
      djasmith
      Participant

      Once again some fantastic pictures from Graham! Yes the steel windows are dying out unfortunately, there’s only 2 houses on my road of 24 houses with them left – a whole 8%!!!!!! wow! I’m forever saying ill take pictures of these houses – there are so so many of them scattered and I could point out almost all of them. There was a fantastic double fronted house with steel windows on Wainsfort Road up until about 5 weeks ago when they were replaced – and me being as slow as I am didn’t take