PVCU windows and Grade II listed buildings have historically been strangers. For planners and conservation officers, these buildings (and all too often, conservation areas too) have meant one thing only when it comes to windows: timber.
Yet, in many cases, a modern timber window is inferior to its PVCU counterpart in terms of durability and thermal efficiency, not to mention more expensive. We wanted to develop a product that would give homeowners in listed and period buildings a genuine choice when they upgraded their windows. After much development and design work, the Genesis vertical slider was born.
The Genesis VS takes advantage of the rapid development of PVCU technology in recent years to create a window that’s a stunning reproduction of a traditional timber vertical slider. It uses traditional timber jointing methods on all joints and has a low sheen finish. Period look high security cam locks and sash buttons, run through sash horns and a deep bottom sash rail s standard complete the authentic appearance.
Perhaps the greatest sign that the Genesis VS authentically replicates the traditional timber alternative is the fact that it was recently accepted for use in a conservation area rich in heritage in Pontcanna, Cardiff.
The homeowner wanted to replace the windows in his turn-of-the-century property, and not only did he want to make the most of his home’s original heritage, he was bound by the regulations to do so.
The property originally had timber sash windows, but these had been replaced 40 or 50 years ago by timber casements. The homeowner wanted to replace these ageing and out-of keeping casements to bring back the original period looks and approached local family-owned fabricator and installer The Welsh Glasshouse for advice. The company introduced him to the Genesis vertical slider, and he was impressed with its authentic detailing of a traditional sliding sash with all the added thermal efficiency and low maintenance benefits of a PVCU window.
Because the house was in a conservation area, the homeowner needed to have his choice of window approved by the conservation department of the City of Cardiff Council. The conservation department officer was initially very sceptical, but all parties worked closely together to provide all the documentation and samples that were required. In due course, the department was happy that the Genesis met all the criteria, especially in relation to the look and appeal of a traditional vertical slider.
We were delighted that our PVCU Genesis VS was accepted and it just goes to show that some Grade II listed buildings and conservation areas needn’t be no-go areas for PVCU. We aren’t advocating that PVCU windows should be accepted for use
in every instance – some properties have been listed because of their architectural and historic importance and deserve to be sensitively restored and maintained.
We are saying that high quality heritage-style PVCU windows such as the Genesis VS should be allowed to stand shoulder to shoulder with timber and considered as an option. The homeowner deserves to have that choice and timber shouldn’t be the only option every time.