Add space and style

// the building envelope

Limonds Wynd is a new build project comprising 22 new flats and terraced houses in Ayr town centre for Ayrshire Housing, with an attractive design feature – enclosed balconies from Windoor.

Designed by John Gilbert Architects (JGA) for Ayrshire Housing, the development’s main contractor Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd. chose McKean Developments Limited to install the Windoor system.

“14 balcony enclosures were installed in this project, using the System 1000 light option,” explained John Baillie, MD/Sales & Project Manager for Windoor.

System 1000 is a complete solution from top to bottom. The upper part of the balcony system consists of sliding and folding glass whilst the lower part consists of slender powder-coated aluminium profiles, with a wide choice of materials for these elements. The laminated glass can be clear, coloured or opaque, and in addition to glass a range of alternative materials are available including Alcubond, Formica or Composite Aluminium.

The glass panels can be either single or double glazed. Single glazing offers the flexibility of framed ‘Silhouette’ or unframed ‘Light’ panels, whilst double glazing can be supplied with a slightly more robust frame ‘Shadow’ which is a non-thermal solution.

Each order is tailor-made for the client in the factory, and is delivered to site in elements for easy assembly and installation.

“There are many benefits for the residents,” John added. “The glazing increases solar gain, so when it is closed in the winter the balcony area and inner room are warmer. The enclosure allows the balcony to be used all year round, so it increases the living space.

“And, especially important to many residents, the locking system on the enclosures offers another line of defense, making them feel more secure.”

An additional advantage is the ‘neighbourhood watch effect’ – with more people able to use the balcony space whatever the weather and therefore seeing passers-by, the whole area is less likely to suffer from petty crime and vandalism.

Architect Matt Bridgestock of JGA told HA that they have a long history of using Windoor balconies, having used them on projects in Fife, Glasgow and Moray previously.

“For the Limonds Wynd project there were a couple of key issues that led us to propose using Windoor,” Matt explained. “Firstly the site is adjacent to a main road, and the Windoor system reduces sound transmission by 17db which helps us achieve quiet homes in urban areas.

“The site is also very tight and we successfully argued with the planners that the Windoor system contributes to the private outdoor amenity space which allowed us to maximise the number of units on the site.

“The brief also asked for us to achieve Scottish Silver sustainability level. Whilst the energy saved by sunspaces is not accurately reflected in SAP calculations, it does have an effect on the energy calculations and assisted us meeting this target.”

JGA are currently monitoring a number of flats, looking at whether the project delivers the expected performance.

“We are looking specifically at whether the sunspaces contribute to better air quality and assist in heating the flat,” said Matt.

Jim Whiston, Director, Ayrshire Housing, agrees that the system has many advantages.

"Whilst most of the benefits of the Windoor system will be felt by the residents themselves, the benefits to Ayrshire Housing will include an improved housing stock that in turn makes the properties a more desirable choice for new residents,” he said.

"The balcony enclosures will also help towards protecting the building fabric, which should reduce maintenance, keep the homes warmer, and reduce condensation risks by providing space for clothes airing.”

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