Period properties pose several challenges to architects. The goals are to bring the old and new together in an aesthetically pleasing way, make the property work for modern life, and find ways to incorporate – or even celebrate – period features. Architects also need to meet today’s sustainability standards. And, with listed buildings or those in conservation areas, they will need to do all of this in a way that ticks planning boxes.
Any one of these goals would be relatively easy to accomplish in isolation, the difficulty is in finding solutions that allow you to succeed in all areas. There will be times when you are forced to choose whether you want to incorporate and celebrate a key feature, or meet modern sustainability standards, because the answers will be mutually exclusive. This is often the case with lead windows, characterful though they are, sustainable they are not. The same is true for old external doors and Victorian era rooflights.
In other cases, you might be adding something totally new, perhaps an extension or outbuilding, and you want it to fit in with the existing building. The challenge is that the existing building was constructed 100 years ago with tools and materials that are no longer in use. Or it might be that you want to convert an underused space, like a basement or an attic, and need to alter the shell of the existing building to let in light and make the area liveable – without falling foul of planning rules.
Obviously, finding ways to update or add to a period property while retaining its character and complementing its aesthetic are all part of the fun of being an architect. But there are some areas where it doesn’t have to be a fresh challenge every time. There are a few trusty tools that you can always rely on, no matter the situation. One such tool is the Conservation Rooflight.
Whether you are replacing existing rooflights because you want to improve the sustainability of the property, or you’re cutting in new ones to transform a previously unused space, or you’re looking for the right window solutions for new-build areas of your project, the Conservation Rooflight is the go-to option for natural light. Available in 15 standard sizes and with a made to measure service, there will always be the right size unit for your project. This will ensure the integrity of any historic building and avoid cutting existing rafters.
Designed by architect Peter King, the Conservation Rooflight looks like a classic Victorian era wrought iron rooflight, while performing thermally like a modern window should. It fits in with all period styles and clients, and because it meets Conservation, English Heritage and the National Trust building standards, Conservation Officers love them.
Working with period properties certainly is a challenge, but with the Conservation Rooflight, it’s that much easier.
For more information please visit The Rooflight Company website.