Selectaglaze secondary glazing for historic Kent dockyard

  • 10 Jan 2019

The Historic Dockyard at Chatham in Kent, one of the Royal Navy’s main facilities for 400 years until it closed in 1984, has received secondary glazing from Selectaglaze.

After 1984, ownership was then reassigned to the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust to re-purpose the site, opening it up as a visitor attraction, as well as including places where people can live and learn.

It has also been used as a location for filming TV shows such as Call the Midwife, Mr Selfridge and Downton Abbey, plus the Sherlock Holmes movies.


The 80 acre site contains over 100 buildings and structures dating from the Georgian and Victorian periods, to present day new builds.

Many are Listed and required a great deal of upgrading to bring them up to 21st century working and living standards.

Selectaglaze has worked with the Historic Dockyard Chatham for a number of years, with work beginning at the maritime museum on the Grade II Listed Joiner’s Shop back in 2008.

The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, SEEDA and the Local Council agreed to renovate the old Joiners Shop into a hub for creative businesses to be based.

The 200 year-old structure underwent a £3.5m facelift and provides 19,000 square feet of high-specification commercial accommodation and creative space comprising of studios, workshops, office units, meeting rooms and communal facilities.


Many of the building’s notable original features were retained and integrated into the new design. As part of the refurbishment, Kingswood Construction contacted Selectaglaze to provide a solution to augment the thermal insulation of the existing single glazed timber windows in the reception, office spaces and communal facilities; some of which had to be 30 minute fire rated.

85 units were installed. The long row of primary windows on the first floor, complimented by a cast iron structure, was treated with a number of Series 20 vertical sliders.

To aid ease of use, maintenance and cleaning, the sashes were reversed to accommodate a full width grab handle on the meeting rail and a lower handle along the bottom sash.

The addition of secondary glazing in the renovation has created a more amenable working environment in the Joiners Shop.

In 2010 Selectaglaze worked with the Historic Dockyard Chatham when a number of units including the Series 10 3-pane horizontal slider and the Series 30 Lift out units were installed at the Grade II Listed Armour Plate Shop.

A year later, Selectaglaze was contacted by the Historic Dockyard Chatham to install a total of 25 secondary glazed units to the first floor of the Sail and Colour Loft, again for the purpose of improved thermal retention.

Series 20 Vertical sliding counter-balanced units glazed with 4mm toughened safety glass were installed to 21 of the smaller window openings.

The 4 larger windows were fitted with the Series 90 heavy duty vertical sliding units, curved at the head to match the existing reveal and glazed with 6mm toughened glass.

21 units were installed on the ground and first floor windows including a number of Series 45 bottom hung and fixed lights, and Series 20 Vertical sliding curved head units.

The engineering workshop now functions as an exhibition space for the University of Kent’s Art students. The inclusion of secondary glazing has made it a serene and thermally efficient place for students to build and present their creations.


Another building belonging to the Historic Dockyard Chatham; the Grade I Listed Fitted Rigging House which was built in 1793, underwent renovations in spring last year.

Selectaglaze secondary glazing was specified on all floors of the building to help remove draughts. This was owing to their long standing relationship with the Historic Dockyard Chatham.

In the first phase of works, 133 units were installed, the majority of which were the Series 20 vertical sliding units. A second order was made by facilities manager Nigel Howard to fit the offices of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, which is located on the first floor of the Fitted Rigging House.

25 units were installed, again the Series 20 specified for the majority of openings. The large loop hole doors in the office that cannot be detached due to the buildings Listed status also required secondary glazing; so three Series 41 double side hung no threshold casement units were installed on door frames to increase thermal retention.

Nigel Howard, who has seen much of the redevelopment of the Historic Dockyard Chatham, has been thoroughly impressed with the consistent quality of Selectaglaze systems throughout the years.


Alban Park,
Hatfield Road,
St. Albans,

Phone: 01727 837271
Fax: 01727 844053

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