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Doors & Windows

Walk Barn Farm showcases steel windows


An architectural practice renowned for the design of bespoke residential properties has employed W40 steel screens and doors for a project in Suffolk that makes the maximum connection between interior and exterior space, as well as optimising energy performance.

Walk Barn Farm has been designed by Charles Barclay Architects on behalf of a private client and takes the form of three converging wings, built from SIP panels with timber cladding. The steel framed screens, all in their bare galvanized finish, look out across the agricultural landscape to the trees and countryside beyond.

Commenting on the choice of the W40 system sections for the fenestration solutions, Charles Barclay comments: “The house is a reinterpretation of the solar houses of the 1930s, with a lot of south-facing glazing which helps the place stay warm in winter through solar gain; while roof overhangs prevent it overheating in summer.

“We like steel windows because of the slim framing details we can achieve and, in their bare galvanized state for this property, they offered the slightly raw look we were seeking. There was also the fact that the client used to holiday in this area as a child, in a place which featured the original 1930s steel-framed windows, so there was a nostalgia element to the choice as well.”

Despite the large area of glazing, W40 steel frames are able to comply with the latest amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations, and with Charles Barclay’s design incorporating a ground source heat pump as well as solar panels, the practice had no trouble in balancing the SAP calculation.

West Leigh, a member of the Steel Window Association, fabricated a total of five separate screens up to 3330 mm in height: each one comprising a series of separate units which were produced at the company’s London premises, and then coupled together on site.

In order to achieve the required thermal performance the double glazed units feature both argon gas filling and soft coat low-E glass for the inner leaf, while the outer pane is clear float toughened. From outside to in the IG units had a make up of either 6-14-6 or 10-10-8. There were both single and double side hung doors and top hung vents.

Charles Barclay concludes saying: “We very much like the flexibility of steel windows with the large screens being able to take a combination of fixed screens, top-hung vents, French Doors and full height windows which can be used as doors, while the windows can be locked in the double latch, ‘night vent’ position which helps cool the property but ensures security.”

Walk Barn Farm has been short-listed for a RIBA award.

For more information on steel windows call the SWA on 0844 249 1355, e-mail info@steel-window-association.co.uk or look at website www.steel-window-association.co.uk.