The Huntsman is a Grade II listed, former Coaching Inn, built in 1725. It has a colourful history, which includes rumours of frequent visits by Dick Turpin. There are stories of how the local Blacksmith put Turpin’s horse’s shoes on backwards in order to fool his pursuers that he was traveling in the other direction.
Until the early 1990’s, the property continued to be used as a public house until it was purchased under a Compulsory Order by the Government, to make way for major road works. The proposals changed and the property was not demolished as planned, but found itself sited close to the very busy A1(M). The development had made the property difficult to access and so was no longer attractive to the breweries.
During the development of the road the current owner Mr. Gordon Stygalls, a member of the RICS and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Builders, frequently traveled past the building. In 1995 he bought the property to house his growing historic building restoration company. In 1998, he sold his business and was so enamoured with The Huntsman and its history that he decided to make the property his main residence.
However, this involved a change of use from commercial to residential premises. He applied to the local council and was aware, as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, that there were stringent noise regulations that may pose a problem to his application. Sure enough, one of the main stumbling blocks to full consent was the level of noise intrusion from the A1(M) motorway.
As a listed building there were also other considerations to be taken into account, including retaining the external aesthetics of the buildings, its internal shutters, ease of maintenance and not least of all cost.
So the search for a suitable noise reduction system began. Despite Mr. Stygalls contacts in the construction and restoration business, it took extensive time and research to find a company with the products and skills to meet all his criteria. That company was Storm Windows.
Before the work began, Storm Windows worked closely with both Mr. Stygalls and specialist acoustic engineers. Following extensive acoustic tests and surveys, it was established what satisfactory level of noise reduction would be acceptable to meet both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Local Authority requirements.
The level of noise reduction required was quite significant and Storm where able to demonstrate, ahead of the work being done, that this could be achieved.
During the installation process each room was tested before and after installation to ensure that the required noise level reductions were met. After installation the noise level in the principal bedrooms was reduced from circa 73 decibels outside, to less than 33 decibels inside. At night (23.00-7.00 hrs) the internal noise levels fell to between 20-26 decibels in the bedrooms, coming well within the ‘good’ range, as the specified by the WHO, which recommends a maximum of 30 decibels at this time of day.
Like any old building the windows themselves were not perfectly true but Storm Windows easily accommodated this using its bespoke surveying techniques combined with Computer Aided Design. However, at the Huntsman, an additional complication was that some of the lounge windows had internal wooden shutters, as the shutters were detailed in the listing of the building, they had to remain operable. This left an extremely narrow gap in which to install the secondary glazing.
Storm Windows has developed a unique system which does not utilize wooden sub-frames, and is able to be mounted inside the staff beads of a vertical sliding sash window, and still not be seen from the outside of the building. With Storm’s ability to replicate “out of square” apertures, they were able to achieve an accurate fit which allowed the shutters to close unhindered and the noise reduction to be attained.
Mr. Stygalls commenting on the work says “I was impressed with the attention to detail undertaken by Storm Windows, they were careful to line up the bars of their secondary glazing with the existing bar lines on the windows, even on the sliding windows, making them virtually invisible”.
Martin Walford, Technical Director at Storm Windows explains “We fitted a total of nine windows at The Huntsman including vertical and horizontal sashes as well as our slim-line lift outs. We are confident of the virtually perfect fit of our windows. This makes them not only aesthetically appealing but also ensures that in properties like The Huntsman where, with the appropriate reduction in noise levels, the change of use certificate is able to be issued”.
Mr. Stygalls states “After nearly four years since the installation, the secondary glazing still not only meets my requirement for noise reduction and aesthetics but also for maintenance. The units are easy to remove when I need to clean the windows due to their unique magnetic fixing system, which also reduces the amount of dust ingress we get from the road. It isn’t until you take the glazing out for maintenance that you notice just how much the glazing system is able to reduce the level of noise. It is so noticeable you would have difficulty sleeping in the bedrooms without them but with them we have no problems,” comments Mr. Stygalls.
One tip, from Mr. Stygalls, for other listed building owners with similar problems is to “make sure that you get samples of the window system you are planning to use and take it direct your local conservation officer. A face-to-face meeting will always produces faster results and because the Storm Windows system is so unique it was easier for me to show them what I was planning than write it down or try to describe it.”
“Storm Windows is also able to colour match its window frames to existing stonework or décor to ensure that they remain as discrete on the inside as they are on the outside”, concludes Martin Walford.
A full acoustic report on The Huntsman is available. If you are interested in receiving more information on the acoustic properties of Storm Windows secondary glazing system, please contact us on 01384 63 63 65 or visit our website on www.stormwindows.co.uk.
Mr. Stygalls, The Huntsman
“After nearly four years since the installation, the secondary glazing still not only meets my requirement for noise reduction and aesthetics but also for maintenance. The units are easy to remove when I need to clean the windows due to their unique magnetic fixing system, which also reduces the amount of dust ingress we get from the road."