Hazlemere, an experienced architectural glazing specialist, has successfully completed a challenging refurbishment project for Buckinghamshire County Council — installing thousands of replacement windows at the authority’s 12-storey Aylesbury headquarters.
The £2.2m development saw Hazlemere fit 1,500 Sapa Dualslide vertical sliders, replacing dilapidated 1960s originals with modern, thermally broken window products equipped with high performance solar glass to cut heat gain and deflect glare.
The project was not without its complications. Not only did work have to be carried out at evenings and weekends to minimise disruption for what remained a fully occupied, bustling workplace — commencement was also delayed for six months to allow local peregrine falcons to complete their mating season.
The rare bird is subject to the strictest legal safeguards under the Wildlife and Countryside Protection Act of 1981, and damaging, destroying or even attempting to move one of its nests can result in fines of up to £5,000, or a six-month prison sentence.
Hazlemere sales director Tony Beale commented: “Refurbishment jobs can often be more challenging than new builds — but that also makes them some of the most rewarding. There’s something very satisfying about completely refitting a 12-storey building in a way that still allows everyday work to continue.”
“On a tower block of this sort, safety is paramount. That’s why we installed windows that could be cleaned from the inside — but only by authorised users, preventing accidents that, particularly from the upper floors, could be deadly.”
“We were also particularly pleased that the improved thermal efficiency and reduced solar gain that’s resulted from the new windows is projected to cut the council’s costs by 15% — especially important at a time when it’s looking to make savings as funding from central government is reduced.”
“The initial delays were obviously frustrating — there’s no way you can plan for finding a rare bird nesting on site. But we persevered — and the result has been an installation job that both we and the council are extremely pleased with.”
Hazlemere is experienced in working on complex and challenging developments in the education, local authority, commercial and residential markets. The company also frequently acts as the main contractor on projects. Its extensive range of products from Sapa and Reynaers are all made on site at its 38,000ft2 facility on the outskirts of High Wycombe.