Introduction: A Critical Challenge at Pride Hill House
In 2016, residents of Pride Hill House faced significant window issues. They urgently approached Mila to survey and propose solutions. Mila’s response not only resolved the immediate problems but also set the stage for long-term maintenance under the KEEP element of their SAFEKEEP model.
Client Background: The Heart of Shrewsbury
Pride Hill House, nestled in Shrewsbury’s centre, comprises eleven luxurious apartments. Managed by the Pride Hill House Management Committee, the building is a landmark, converted from offices to high-end residences in 2012. Despite the renovations, the window systems, pre-dating the refurbishment, began showing multiple defects.
(S)urvey to identify and understand Complex Window Issues
The initial concerns at Pride Hill House arose when defects were found in the window hinge components of two apartments. Further research revealed that a majority, 9 out of 11, of the residents were experiencing similar issues with their windows. The most common problems included difficulty in operation, draughtiness, and water ingress.
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During our initial site survey, we uncovered serious issues with the inspected windows. These windows, equipped with old pivot hinges, were designed for an office environment and not suited for residential use. Over time, sashes and hinges had been badly damaged due to previous repair attempts. In some cases, the windows were deemed unsafe and unsuitable for use. This was highlighted by a critical incident where a window began to detach from its frame over a busy shopping street, necessitating immediate action using a hydraulic platform to seal it closed.
Given the extent of the damage, it was clear that simple repairs would not suffice. The windows required a complete overhaul, involving the replacement of sashes and the installation of new hinges. After thorough discussions with residents, we recommended converting the existing pivot windows to Tilt-before-Turn windows. This innovative approach not only preserved the building’s façade by retaining the original window frames but also offered a cost-effective solution by eliminating the need for extensive scaffolding.
The residents concurred that this approach was preferable, as it significantly reduced costs and minimized the risk of additional damage to the building’s exterior.
Innovative (F): Tilt-Before-Turn Conversions
Mila proposed converting the existing pivot windows to Tilt-before-Turn windows. This solution agreed upon after extensive consultation, meant significant cost savings by avoiding external scaffolding and façade damage. A pilot conversion demonstrated the efficacy of this approach to the residents.
Below shows a converted Tilt & Turn window next to the old pivot style. This shows how the approach was able to upgrade and repair the windows while maintaining the building’s external aesthetics.
(E)nhance with Customised Glass Specifications: Meeting Diverse Needs
Mila understood the unique requirements of each resident. The building’s location posed challenges like noise from a bustling street and heat from direct sunlight. Collaborating with glass suppliers, Mila developed a range of glass specifications offering noise control, solar control, and enhanced heat retention, allowing residents to choose according to their budget and needs.
Phased Conversion: Minimising Disruption
The conversions, carried out over three weeks, were done individually for each flat. This approach, using a scaffold fan for public safety, substantially reduced costs and inconvenience. The interior-focused work eliminated the need for extensive external scaffolding. The scaffold fan was needed as works we carried out above busy shopping streets.
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Ongoing Maintenance: The Essence of KEEP
The residents agreed on an ongoing maintenance programme, crucial for upkeeping the warranty of the new installations and extending the windows’ life. Regular adjustments and lubrication by Mila have become an annual routine since 2018, ensuring the windows remain in top condition.
Operational Benefits: Immediate and Tangible
- Resolved Ingress Issues: No more cold spots or draughts, enhancing comfort.
- Safety and Functionality: Windows are now safe and fully operational.
- Noise Reduction: Acoustic glass effectively reduces external noise.
- Solar Control: Glass technology prevents excessive heat and reduces glare.
- Cleaning and Maintenance Efficiency: Inward cleaning and repair capabilities significantly reduce costs.
Environmental Benefits: A Greener Outlook
- Heat Loss Reduction: Enhanced U-Values of the new glass lead to an estimated 63% less heat loss, a substantial environmental benefit.
Conclusion: Mila’s Commitment to Long-Term Quality
Mila’s intervention at Pride Hill House goes beyond immediate repairs. The KEEP element of their SAFEKEEP model ensures these luxurious apartments continue to enjoy enhanced safety, comfort, and efficiency. This case study stands as a testament to Mila’s dedication to providing sustainable, long-term solutions in window maintenance.
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