Installing Triple Glazing In Conservation Areas And Listed Buildings

There are still many buildings in the UK with single glazed units still installed. Whilst these may suit the aesthetic features of older buildings they can cause real problems for property owners when the colder weather hits. Draughts, costly heating bills and windows that are difficult to operate are just some of the reasons homeowners are looking towards solutions like triple glazing.

Installing new windows and doors seems like an obvious solution when your single glazing is no longer providing ample insulation. However, this can be a real chore when it comes to listed buildings and properties in conservation areas. So, how do you get the job done? What considerations do you need to take on board? Here we’ll take a look at the steps you need to take to arrange triple glazing in these instances and the bumps in the road you may face along the way.

Installing Triple Glazing In A Conservation Area

Before you can undertake any work to your conservation area property, you will need to pass all plans through your Local Authority for review and approval. This can be a very complex process depending on the type of property you want to improve. Using a triple glazing installer with experience in the process could save you a lot of time and effort, and prepare you for what lies ahead.

Conservation areas are so named because they are areas of historical, aesthetic and architectural interest. Buildings in a conservation area are usually visually unique in appearance, and may also be listed buildings or built in an area with strong ties to historic relevance. Making visual changes to properties in conservation areas is often a big no-no, but not always impossible.

Let’s consider a typical triple glazing installation on an entire property. Installing windows to the rear facade of the building may be relatively straightforward given that this side of the building will not usually be seen from the street. Therefore, you will not be making any changes that aesthetically change the conservation area directly or in an obvious manner. However, triple glazed units require a deeper frame in order to support three panes of glass. In a conservation area all window and door re-fittings need to match the design, finish and dimensions of the existing windows, and this can be a tricky task when you have a deeper frame to install.

Installing Triple Glazing In A Listed Building


Installing triple glazing in a listed building is similar in many ways to installing triple glazing in a building in a conservation area. However, if the building is classified with Grade I or Grade II status, you will need to involve English Heritage in addition to your Local Authority. This can make the process even longer and more complex as English Heritage will really want to dig down into the detail.

It’s certainly not impossible to obtain approval for triple glazing in a listed building, but you may need to jump through many hoops to get there. It’s not unusual to be asked to provide detailed technical drawings, and to submit a number of applications. These applications will be scrutinised carefully by both your Local Authority and English Heritage before any decision is made. Replacement window applications are considered down to the very last detail and if your designs differ from the existing designs or dimensions of your existing windows, the application could be thrown out.

So, What Can Be Done In These Situations?

Well, there is some good news for occupiers or owners of listed buildings and those in conservation areas. English Heritage are starting to realise that many of these buildings will simply be impossible to live in if their windows and doors cannot be upgraded. Nobody wants to live in a cold house with ridiculously high energy costs, especially when there are many more modern alternatives available. And when people no longer live in and look after an older building it can start to fall into disrepair very quickly.

For this reason English Heritage and Local Authorities are starting to work together to relax the rules somewhat so that properties can be preserved whilst also providing cost effective and comfortable living.

Also, if your property stands alone and won’t affect the rest of the neighbourhood if you make changes, you have a much better chance for getting approval for triple glazing. If your property is a flat or part of a terrace within a conservation area, it can be harder to get approval for an installation, but it certainly isn’t impossible.

Making An Application

Most planning applications for triple glazing and other modifications can now be completed and submitted online. The Planning Portal allows you to make an application to every Local Authority in England and Wales.

You will need to submit the following information in order to process your application:

Certificate of ownership


you will need to submit a certificate of ownership for the property in question, or submit a Certificate B form if you do not own the freehold to your property or you reside in a flat.

Site location plan


you need to provide a map showing your house or flat with two roads clearly visible.

Existing elevation drawings or high quality photographs


photographs must show entire elevation, windows that will be replaced and should identify each window with a number or letter on the photograph for easy identification during the approval process.

Drawings of the proposed new windows


drawings must show 1:20 scale elevation drawing of each window showing the opening and glazing clearly. Your triple glazing installer should be able to supply these drawings.

A heritage statement


this statement will detail the area in which the property is situated and the property itself. It also needs to detail the type of windows installed.

Finding An Experienced Triple Glazing Installer


There are many triple glazing installers with experience in working in conservation areas and listed buildings. Many window designer and manufacturers are getting around the problems posed by Local Authority and English Heritage by creating windows that are specifically designed with these properties in mind. Smaller glazing bars and ultra-thin glass panes can result in a much smaller frame that could just fit the bill when it comes to complying with the rules put in place for older dwellings.

Published on : 30th October 2016

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