Repurposing with Selectaglaze secondary glazing: an open and shut case

  • 6 Jan 2021

Working alongside Messenger Construction and architects Rodney Melville and Partners, on a Grade I Listed former stable owned by the National Trust – Selectaglaze installed 25 thermal secondary glazed units to create a warmer and more pleasant office environment. 

The Grade I Listed Belton House stable block in Grantham, Lincolnshire is lauded for its artistic and historical value. The Stables were originally built back in 1685 and is one of only a few Grade I Listed stables in the country.

Constructed by William Stanton, they form part of the Belton Estates, home to the Brownlow and Cust families for three hundred years; a dynasty of distinguished lawyers. 

In 2018, the National Trust began a bold project to conserve and rejuvenate the stables providing a sustainable future for the building.  



Although a restaurant was installed on the ground floor, much of the building was still in disrepair. The plan was to restore the building sensitively to include a new café with increased capacity, a function space and necessary office and meeting rooms on the upper floors for the staff at Belton.

Renovations in the project included conserving lime plaster, repairing the 19th century windows and reinstating historic paint schemes, employing craftspeople skilled in traditional building techniques.  

As part of the revamp, Selectaglaze was contacted by Rodney Melville and Partners to provide an upgrade for the original windows, which in spite of being repaired extensively were thermally ineffective. 

Selectaglaze Series 10 horizontal sliders were specified for 24 of the original leaded windows in the offices, and meeting rooms.  The slimline profile makes it perfect for Heritage properties.

Three of the units were glazed with satinovo glass, to raise privacy in the toilets. Custom made timber grounds were affixed to all the openings which were splayed or out of shape. Because of the bespoke installations, thermal efficiency has improved considerably, with the added benefit of improved acoustic insulation


A somewhat unique and original openings in one of the offices was a drop-down doorTraditionally, these were used by groomers to allow for hay or other agricultural produce to be hoisted up for storage. 

Once fully open, the door is supported by a stone jettied platform on the façade of the building. The architect wanted to retain the door as a way of preserving the traditional agricultural character.

The clients wanted to facilitate the movement of the door, so some sort of access was required for future maintenance. As this particular office room had no windows, the opening of the door also allowed for much needed natural light and ventilation to flood the space. 


 The ideal solution was achieved by treating the opening with a Series 20 vertical sliding secondary glazing unit, whereby the top sash could be brought down to permit ventilation. 

The Series 20 glazed with 6mm toughened glass was an active deterrent in preventing people from walking on the door once opened.  

The clients have been amazed with how well the secondary glazing is performing and have already noticed how much warmer and acoustically effective the offices now are, as well as being sensitive to the stable’s origin and context. 

Ian Cooper, Belton House, commented: “We are delighted with the way the Stables restoration at Belton House has been completed. Transforming an almost derelict listed building into fabulous working offices has been an incredible project and working in collaboration with the Architects and Curators on the project Selectaglaze have played their part in delivering a stunning historic but comfortable working environment.”


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