Why TRC was chosen to supply 1,600 windows for 194 Grade II listed cottages

Published: 8th July 2019

With over 25 years’ experience in the manufacturing of bespoke heritage windows, TRC was chosen to provide over 1,600 windows for the Bolsover new model village restoration project. Working closely with HLP Architects, we custom-built both heritage casement windows and heritage box sash windows to closely match the windows due for replacement.

These bespoke windows were manufactured in our modern factory from sustainable softwood with solid hardwood sills and high-performance low sightline double glazed units. Our heritage sash windows come with the classic traditional weight-and-pulley mechanism and our heritage casement windows are available as inward or outward opening, side-hinged or top-hung.

These glass units offer great acoustic and thermal performance and both softwood and hardwood come from sustainable sources. The windows were factory finished by spray applying three coats of environmentally-friendly water based micro-porous paint.

Whilst we were perfectly placed for the scale of this project, on the human side, this has to be one of the most heart-warming and satisfying projects in which we’ve been involved in recent years. To understand the scope of this project, it’s worth learning a little bit about the evolution of the Cresswell Model Village:

The History Of The Cresswell Model Village

In 1901, the newly formed Creswell Colliery was producing almost 3,000 tons of coal per day and needed to house its ever growing workforce. The company built a model village of almost two hundred houses and as new generations of miners expanded the community, they added a school, a shop, allotments, a church, and a village club house. More collieries followed and, at its height in 1933, the company employed over nine thousand men extracting 4.5 million tons of coal from its various mines.

However, from the late 1970s onwards, the falling international price for coal started to put real pressure on the British coal industry. In the 1980s, pits closures spread across the UK and, in 1991, the Creswell Colliery was also closed. The shop closed and they lost the school. Mass local unemployment forced many families to move away to look for work elsewhere and most of the miners’ cottages in the model village were acquired by Bolsover District Council. Over the following two decades, these period cottages became undesirable, rundown, and very cold. With many of these houses unloved and unoccupied, the area became a magnet for vandals.

New Bolsover Model Village Project

Fortunately, in June 2016, a £10 million project to breathe new life into New Bolsover Model Village got the go-ahead after the Heritage Lottery Fund agreed to grant £1.9 million towards the project. This three-year project was designed to regenerate the area, carry out essential repairs and restore the original architectural features on the 194 dwellings that made up the Model Village.

The reconstruction project was led by Woodhead Improve & Woodhead Heritage construction companies in conjunction with HLP Architects. Their overriding objective was to restore the “aesthetic uniformity” by sympathetically repairing or replacing roofs, ridges and tiles, chimneys, brickwork, stonework, front doors, and cast iron rainwater drainage. Internally, they provided wall insulation, new boilers and modern central heating, proper damp proofing, full electrical re-wiring and new kitchens and bathrooms.

They also needed to replace all of the windows with “like for like” traditional double- glazed timber casement and sash windows and there were many compelling reasons why TRC was chosen to design and supply all of the windows for the new Bolsover model village project.

Why TRC Was Selected To Supply All Of The Windows

Our proven track record of providing bespoke heritage windows for other highly prestigious projects, including well-known listed buildings in Central London, our ability to manufacturer large numbers of completely bespoke “like for like” windows and our ISO 9001:2008 certification all helped to reassure our client that the workmanship of these windows would be carried out to the highest quality standard.

The project was highly organised with specific tasks batched efficiently into individual phases to ensure that all works were completed in time to meet the funding deadlines. All subcontractors needed to work collaboratively within a tight site and therefore our ability to deliver the correct windows at the correct time was essential for the successful completion of the project.

Refined sight lines are the key to the aesthetic of any window. Our use of custom- made independent slim low-sight line double glazed units in combination with refined solid-through glazing bars retained the visual integrity of each window. Whilst one major objective of this project was to recreate the look and feel from the past, the houses needed to be modernised and updated to modern standards.

Thermal efficiency, acoustic performance and the overall insulation of the cottages was paramount and therefore the energy-saving qualities of our Heritage Range of windows fitted perfectly with the aims of the project. The thermal efficiency benefits of our double glazing achieve centre pane U-values of as low as 1.5 on a 6mm krypton-filled cavity. In fact, the reduction of heat loss through the glass is up to 77 per cent better than single glazing. Similarly, the acoustic performance of our double glazing dramatically improved the sound proofing of these terraced cottages again adding to another significant improvement in lifestyle for the residents.

Finally, the scale of this restoration, the delivery schedules and the overall budget, meant that TRC is one of the only companies in the UK that could design and supply over 1,600 of these windows to the project!

The Results Of This Amazing Project

The results of this project have been incredible. All 194 houses in the model village have been restored to their former glory in appearance but have also been radically updated in terms of practical usage. Returning residents have praised the work, in particular highlighting the extra light coming into the properties, the extra airiness, warmth and soundproofing, and, of course, they loved their new kitchens and bathrooms and, in many cases, new internal layouts.

Local councillors have described this project as:

“Delivering a new beginning that will create a thriving community with aspirations… where people will now choose to live because of its physical beauty, open spaces, local heritage assets and dramatically improved housing. Local people and all participants alike should feel incredibly proud of and become advocates for the new Model Village.”

TRC is delighted to have made such a significant contribution to improving the lives of the village residents - both for now and for generations to come.

If we can help you with your heritage restoration project or you would like custom-made replacement “like for like” slim profile double glazed timber sash and casement windows, please call TRC Contracts, "Experts in Bespoke Timber Sash & Casement Windows Replacement & Restoration" on 01858 469 225 or send an email to info@trccontracts.com.