‘Versatility’ of timber

A bat-friendly window designed and manufactured by West Port has allowed a housing project to continue unhindered.

A collaboration between Speller Metcalfe and Linden Homes, the Victory Fields development has seen the transformation of decommissioned Gloucestershire air force base Little Rissington into a collection of luxurious homes – but the venture hasn’t been without its challenges.

While converting the base’s officer’s mess building, builders discovered that large numbers of bats had taken up residence in the attic. Bats and their roosts are protected by strict conservation legislation, making attempting to remove the animals or their nests a criminal offense.

West Port then began designing a way around the problem.

The bats had to be left with free run of the attic, but the building still needed extensive renovation. The result was a bat-friendly timber window, which incorporated a gap large enough for bats to fly in and out of.

The attic space will require regular cleaning and observation by ecologists – meaning the window had to be designed to open like a door, allowing for easy access.

Commercial sales director Ken Mercer said: “We met with the client, assessed their needs, and got to work producing an elegant solution that met those requirements exactly.”