February 29, 2024

Two SWA members join forces at County Hall, London

Steel Window Association members, Associated Steel Window Services (ASWS) and Steel Window Fittings (SWF) brought their individual expertise together while working on the County Hall project. 

Building on its 30-year long association with the former GLC headquarters on the south bank of the Thames, ASWS has provided its unique skillset to a company carrying out an equally unusual style of redevelopment within the property’s long neglected top floor level. ASWS carried out a comprehensive, yet carefully considered repair and replacement contract at County Hall.

Level 5 of County Hall had actually been empty since 1994, with little maintenance carried out and a number of the dormer window structures having been boarded up or infilled with brickwork for the past two decades.  Following its completion of a detailed condition survey on behalf of the project consultants, ASWS was duly tasked with repairing and easing a total of 134 faceted bay windows, many of which had suffered heavy corrosion. 

Director of ASWS, Kris Bennell, recounted, “The original windows featured Medium Universal suite steel frames, so for the 11 which had to be reinstated we produced close replicas using W20 sections; though across the job as a whole we were asked to provide a ‘light touch’ restoration.  This is very much the ethos of the client which is committed to providing sustainable workspaces; as well as offering help with issues such as funding and recruitment.”

“Rather than gutting out the 5th floor, the old parquet floor was cleaned and preserved while many wall areas were left bare.  For the fenestration, new handles were fixed to the original back-plates, while we designed new blocks which were fitted to the heads, for the spring catches to engage with.  Any broken panes were replaced and all of the hinges reset to ensure ease of operation.”

Kris Bennell concluded, “This is one of the very first contracts of its type in the country, where interventions have been kept to an absolute minimum – based on sustainability and environmental impact rather than cost – and we have been very proud to be involved.” 

James Barrett, from Steel Window Fittings, said, “It was fantastic to see our hardware in-situ on such a prestigious building. The B205N09F is a unique window handle with a sleek, curving lever that complements the Edwardian baroque architecture.”

Steel Window Fittings’ duplex system was selected to stay true to the building’s heritage appearance whilst providing functionality to the large, multilight windows. Adding a duplex system produces a tight seal between the frame and sash, reducing weathering and promoting longevity.

Along with the handle fittings, the B59KN OG – a classic slide stay with a fitted round knob – was also installed onto the bottom section of the window to allow for fixing of the window position for safety within the building.

All hardware was supplied in a matching oil rubbed bronze finish to blend with the traditional window frames throughout level 5 in County Hall.

The SWA offers UK wide coverage with member companies able to carry out the full range of contracts from the repair and restoration of heritage windows through to the installation of major fenestration packages in contemporary commercial, residential and other types of developments.

For further information on the Steel Window Association or if you’re interested in becoming a member, please visit www.steel-window-association.co.uk