Published On: Mon, Jul 23rd, 2012

Sapa Building System aids energy efficiency and access at Clapham

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A brand new residential development in Clapham has seen a formerly run-down area transformed thanks to a community led housing association which has accessibility and energy efficiency at its heart. As part of the New Deal for Communities (NDC) funded Clapham Park regeneration scheme, leading aluminium specialists Sapa Building System was involved in the creation of 41 new apartments and nine townhouses. The huge regeneration project has become a reality thanks to Clapham Park Homes. Formed to manage the houses on the Clapham Park estates, it provides a housing management and maintenance service to more than 1,400 tenants.

As part of an overall masterplan, Block N1 on Clarence Avenue was one of the first phases in the project. Situated on an old sheltered housing scheme which was demolished in 2007, the £13m mixed use development started on site in early 2010 and was completed in the summer of 2011.  A combination of new build town houses and apartments, Block N1 has helped transform the area and provide residents with good quality, well managed and maintained homes at affordable rents.  Working closely with main contractor Wates Living Space and PRP Architects, Sapa was able to ensure two key design criteria relating to the windows were met; energy efficiency as part of the overall project brief and disabled accessibility under the Lifetime Homes Standard.

Sapa’s Dualframe Si Tilt Before Turn windows were installed throughout the apartments and town houses, Dualframe 75mm doors were used for the balconies and Stormframe ST doors in the main entrances on the ground floors. The Dualframe Si window has high thermal properties thanks to advanced polyamide thermal break technology which reduces the heat transfer from inside to outside the frame. Sapa was also able to provide thermal calculations to PRP which allowed them to see the benefits of the product.  Graeme MacInnes, Project Consultant at Sapa Building System, says: ‘With a U-value of 1.6 (1.4 with warm edge technology double glazing), the Dualframe Si tilt before turn window provides high thermal efficiency which was key in this project as part of the housing association’s commitment to helping reduce resident’s living costs. As well as the polyamide thermal break technology, tailed gaskets and centre seal also help reduce thermal radiation and mean that costly foam inserts into the profiles are not required. They are also ideal for high rise applications as they combine ventilation with easy cleaning facilities and large span openings.’

The concept of Lifetime Homes was developed in the early 1990s because of concerns about how inaccessible and inconvenient many homes were for large sections of the population. Lifetime Homes are ordinary homes incorporating 16 design criteria that can be universally applied to new homes at minimal cost. In England, the Greater London Authority is leading the way in terms of Lifetime Homes while in Wales and Northern Ireland it is compulsory for all new publicly funded homes to comply with the standard. It also allows developers and builders to meet all of Part M of the Building Regulations.  Under Criterion 15, which aims to allow people a reasonable line of sight from a seated position in the living room and to use at least one window for ventilation in each room, Sapa had to meet specific requirements relating to window handle heights. As part of this, the handles/controls to at least one window (which should also be accessible to wheelchairs) have to be no higher than 1200mm from the floor.

Graeme MacInnes said: ‘We worked closely with Wates to ensure the standard was met but most crucial was that we were involved from an early stage. This allowed us to ensure the 1200mm maximum was not exceeded without having to go back retrospectively, which would have made the process much more complicated.’

Sapa and Wates Living Space are now involved in the next two phases of the redevelopment which are both currently on site.

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