Smart Refurbishment for Listed Art Deco Building

Posted by Barry Pearson on June 29, 2015  |   Comments Off on Smart Refurbishment for Listed Art Deco Building

Smart Architectural Aluminium supplied windows and doors from its Alitherm Heritage range for the refurbishment of the Art Deco-style Lanchester Building in Watford, the building being locally listed due both to its historical and architectural significance.

Originally built in 1938, the Lanchester Building has been completely transformed by Martindales Architects into a two-form entry primary school and nursery for West Herts Community Free School Trust, and is now home to the Lanchester Community Free School.

With a design requirement to retain the slim lines of the building’s original steel windows, so closely associated with Art Deco buildings, while at the same time achieving thermal performance and energy efficiency gains which are made possible by modern materials, new windows and commercial doors from Smart’s Alitherm Heritage ranges were specified, all of which were fabricated and installed by one of the company’s specialist partners, Leicester-based Dotcom Glazing Ltd.

Over 70 window assemblies (covering approximately 650m² in total) and 15 door entrance assemblies were installed from Smart’s Alitherm Heritage range, the doors being set in the company’s Smart Wall framing system. The window and door profiles were all finished in white polyester powder coating at Smart’s state-of-the-art paint facility, to match the materials being replaced and to provide a robust, durable and low-maintenance finish.

Despite a particularly tight build programme to meet the school’s opening date, the windows and doors were all installed on-time by Dotcom Glazing who worked closely throughout the project with Smart’s technical support team, Martindales and the main contractor, Borras Construction.

Terry George, Sales and Marketing Manager at Dotcom Glazing said: “Having previously worked with both the architect and the main contractor, this programme ran extremely smoothly and to the ultimate satisfaction of everyone involved.

“Not only are the Alitherm Heritage and Smart Wall systems a delight to manufacture and install, but they also provide an extremely authentic appearance for sensitive refurbishment projects like the Lanchester Building, where the replacement windows had to replicate the original steel fenestration”.

Designed specifically to meet the requirements of heritage projects and listed buildings, all Alitherm Heritage windows feature a polyamide thermal break to deliver enhanced thermal performance. This enables the system to achieve a ‘B’ grade window energy rating, when fabricated with the correct specification and glazed unit. Similarly, the system’s doors are ideally suited to school projects, which typically have a high footfall and heavy usage. Certified to PAS24 for security and BS6375 for weather testing, rebated doors were specified for this particular project, which provide an effective ‘anti-finger trap’ solution.

Commenting on the project, Smart’s Managing Director, Eddie Robinson said: “This is exactly the sort of scheme that we had in mind when our team developed the Alitherm Heritage range – an Art Deco building with traditional steel windows. The final refurbished building looks fantastic and retains the authenticity of the period in which it was built, but the staff, pupils and building managers can now enjoy the thermal and cost benefits that modern aluminium materials deliver.”

For more information call Smart’s technical support team on 01934 876 100, or visit