Specifier Review
Pioneer House

Pioneer House, Dewsbury – Victorian Grade II Listed Landmark Building

Histoglass have supplied their extremely thin high-performance double glazing system for the Victorian, Grade II Listed landmark property Pioneer House in Dewsbury.

Pioneer House has dominated Dewsbury’s skyline since 1878 when it was built for Dewsbury’s Pioneer Industrial Society as a place from which to sell its produce and wares. There have been a wide variety of tenants over the years including a theatre, library, French-polishers, butchers, cobblers and a restaurant.

Kirklees Council have required the prior owner to sell the building in order to protect the building from further decay and they are working with The Princes Trust to revamp the building and bring it back into full use.

Pioneer House

The window project includes more than 200 original windows to be rot repaired, draught-proofed, re-glazed and renovated. There is a variety of sash windows, casements and doors.

Most existing windows have a rebate depth of about 22mm allowing more than enough space for the use of the Histoglass D13 System. In the case of Pioneer House, Histoglass advised Aedas architects on the use of the D13 System, which has a spacer bar of 6mm and an inner and outer pane of 3mm, achieving a U-Value of 1.5. Compared to the approximate U-value of 5.6 of the existing single glazing, this will make an enormous difference to the heat-loss through the glazing.

Pioneer House

Many Victorian buildings have curved units in the top sash and that’s no different in Pioneer House. As the main purpose is to maintain the existing window frames, many units were made to template to fit the frames perfectly. Histoglass worked closely with Sash Windows Northwest Ltd to achieve the highest possible quality.

In critical areas, toughened inner and outer panes were used. The beauty of the Kitemark stamps for toughened glazing is that we now put them as a line stamp on the edge of the pane, so that, once a pane has been installed, the stamp disappears behind the putty or bead.

“Little details like these are very important to us”, Michiel Brouns, Managing Director of Histoglass explains. “We supply the ultimate thin double glazing in both aesthetics and quality currently available on the market and we achieve this by our relentless drive for quality and attention to detail.  The spacer bar, for instance was coloured in RAL 9001 to perfectly match the colour of the paint work on the frames.”

Pioneer House

“Although the quality of Histoglass glazing is re-enforced by our long track record, our units have the distinction of being the only IGU’s to achieve all 6 parts of BSEN 1279, the harmonised British /European standard for gas filled insulating glazing. The CE Certificate is available on our website.”

Michiel Brouns continues by saying that “…the Histoglass Thin System has been around in Germany for almost 30 years and the projects in which this system has been used, are still performing perfectly. The failure rate for units supplied in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Belgium is less than 0.05% and since the introduction of Histoglass to the UK market, we have not had any failed units. This track record is further proof of the confidence we have in the quality of our product.”

The Histoglass thin double glazing system was specified by Aedas, the global award winning architects. Neil Ward, the project architect from Aedas comments: “We specified Histoglass because of its proven track record and suitability for use in historic buildings.”

He goes on to explain that the main purpose is to repair the windows in a way which is “…sympathetic to the environment but which is also fit for modern day use…”

Michiel further adds: “It is great to have our product selected as the best for the job by Aedas, a company renowned for its universally high standards of design and delivery.”

With Kirklees Council now firmly back in control of the destiny of Pioneer House, it looks set to make at least another 100 years of wonderful history.