Office block transformed

Technal aluminium window, curtain walling and doors were specified and installed at Heathervale House, transforming the outdated office development.

Situated in the centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Heathervale House is a commercial property, which has been used as an office space for decades. Originally clad in brick, slate and hung tile, the building had started to show signs of disrepair, looking tired and dilapidated. To bring it back to life, the building owner developed plans to undertake a wide scale refurbishment and extension of the property. Following a feasibility study, the building was handed across to design-led architectural practice, MortonScarr.

Previously, Heathervale House had featured small, brown-framed windows, which limited the amount sunlight that reached the inside.

Technal project consultant Graeme MacInnes said: “MortonScarr contacted us at an early stage of the design process to provide the build team with technical advice on how it could best achieve its vision while improving the building’s external envelope performance. One of the project team’s key ambitions was to incorporate more glazing products into the build, to create a much brighter, lighter space.”

The entire facade of the original three-storey building was re-clad with concrete tiles, incorporating projecting brass window boxes. These feature Technal systems, adding visual relief to the building, while maximising internal vistas for occupants.

Technal also assisted on a large rear extension, a new glazed lift to the front, and two additional fully glazed storeys on top of the existing roof. Flooding the new office spaces with daylight, the large glazed expanses are shaded by two-storey bronze louvres. As a result, the newly fitted out office now brings in much more natural light than before.

Nick Surtees, an architect at MortonScarr, said: “At an early stage, we understood the importance of incorporating high-quality, architectural solutions into this build and that’s why we chose Technal and got them involved, almost immediately. We found the company to be extremely helpful and always available to answer our technical questions. The team also stuck with the principal package discussed in our initial meeting. While some changes needed to be made along the way, we were always informed and kept in the loop, enabling us to achieve our overall design intent.”

Technal supplied a myriad of products, including many of the glazed solutions identified at an early stage of design development. This included the company’s Dualframe 75 Si Reversible Windows, which provide thermal performance without the need for complex sealed unit specification.

The fabricator on the project was Watford-based A Plus Windows, and the company’s joint managing director Jon Palethorpe said: “A number of curtain walling situations, using the Elegance 52 Standard and the Elegance 52 SX systems, were detailed. And to complete the glazing scheme, Technal Stormframe STII High Traffic aluminium doors were installed, which are widely recognised as an exceptional product in terms of performance and fabrication. As well as delivering its product solutions, all the relevant CAD detailing was provided by Technal to ensure accurate planning, manufacture and installation.”

The £5 million renovation project is now complete and a local business has already moved into the extensively refurbished office space.