Can I use secondary glazing in historical buildings?

English Heritage has been given the responsibility for managing the historic environment, so advises local planning authorities and government departments on development proposals that can significantly affect listed buildings or conservation areas.

Fortunately both heritage bodies and conservation professionals recognise that historic buildings have to adapt in order to be attractive for modern usage particular as disused buildings can suffer from neglect, deteriorating fabric and possibly vandalism or theft.

Most are thermally inefficient and draughty with poor acoustic performance all of which have to be addressed and all of which can be helped through the careful addition of secondary glazing. 

A reversible adaptation

In most cases it is fully accepted by conservation officers as a reversible adaptation i.e it can be removed, if required, at a later date with almost no impact on the original fabric of the building apart from repair of fixing holes and some redecoration. When designed carefully the original windows remain unaltered and aesthetically uncompromised.

Building consent

Selectaglaze has a wealth of experience in providing secondary glazing for listed buildings and offers:

  1. The widest available selection of frame styles which allow the most sympathetic designs to be developed
  2. Attention to detail with bespoke joinery sub frames where required 
  3. Frames that can be finished in almost any colour to closely match the existing decor
  4. Easy maintenance and full after sales service

Listed Building Consent is required for any alterations that would affect the character of the building and it is a criminal offence to carry out these works without consent.  If you wish to carry out any work on a listed building you will require ‘Listed Building Consent’ through your local authority. If the building is in a conservation area then advice should be obtained from a Conservation Officer at your local planning authority. For further details please check the planning portal.

Further avenues for guidance:

Grade I:  buildings are of exceptional interest
Grade II*:  particularly important buildings of more than special interest
Grade II:  buildings of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them

The government’s commitment to preserving the UK’s historic buildings and conservation areas is documented by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.  The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservations Areas) Act 1990 sets out the rules and regulations governing the treatment and enabling works of these types of buildings.

The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservations Areas) Act 1990 sets out the rules and regulations governing the treatment and enabling works of these types of buildings.

  1. English Heritage: Listed Building Consent and secondary glazing for windows (Energy Efficiency)
  2. Historic Scotland: Managing change in the Historic Environment - windows
  3. CADW: Conservation principles
  4. Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)
  5. The Georgian Society
  6. The Victorian Society