Worship and contemplation can take place without interruption in the St Patrick’s cavernous Grade II Listed Church, following the installation of Selectaglaze acoustic secondary glazing to block the noise of the busses at the new Bolton Trinity Interchange next door.
St Patrick’s Church and Presbytery is Roman Catholic by denomination and located in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on the corner of Great Moor Street and Johnson Street.
Attracting a great congregation from the local community, the diocese was concerned to hear of plans for a new local transport hub and interchange on the opposing corner to the church, which formed part of the Council’s plan to create an Innovation Zone to draw more professionals to the area, in turn boosting the local economy.
In 2010 a public consultation was launched highlighting the plans for the site, which included the erection of an acoustic wall to protect the Church from the low frequency noise of the stationary busses (70 – 80dB) at the Interchange.
Doubtful that this would provide sufficient noise reduction, experts were brought in to provide further advice. The Historic Church commission proposed an alternative means, by way of external acoustic screens fitted to the church windows, replacing existing ones which had been incorrectly fitted some years prior.
Architects Greengaugh and Williams were employed to develop a design, but whilst researching options plans changed, secondary glazing was deemed a far more discreet and beneficial solution.
Fenestral, partner of Selectaglaze for more than two decades, were contacted and discussions on suitable treatments began, as well as how to approach the planning committee to submit the suggested change of plans.
The proposed internal secondary glazing was accepted for the gargantuan windows. Reducing the noise ingress of the busses was a high priority, as well as enabling full access to the primary stained glass windows for cleaning and maintenance.
The four clerestory windows were approximately 3m by 1.2m, so Series 41 double side hung casements were transom coupled to Series 46 fixed lights.
A window at the back of the church near the entrance required S41 side hung casement’s mullion, coupled side by side with a transom to couple a Series 46 fixed light above.
However, the chancery window at 4.3m by 3m took a bit more thought to ensure the sightlines were followed. Four different units were used: Series 80 3-pane horizontal slider was transom coupled to three Series 41 mullion coupled curved casements above.
Fortuitously, the stone window reveals were deep enough to accept the standard fixing method, creating a cavity between the primary and secondary glazing to meet the necessary acoustic reduction.
Nevertheless, it was a difficult installation and great attention to detail was needed while fixing the timber sub frames. The jams were splayed, so the timbers required scribing on site and from the spring point to the apex of the arch the reveal reversed.
After the successful implementation of the sub-frames, the secondary glazed units were installed. Now when you are inside the church, deep in reflection and contemplation, you would never know there is a bus interchange on the doorstep; the acoustic secondary glazing treatment has worked miracles.
Not only do they beautifully frame the single pane stained glass windows but provide the much needed acoustic insulation for generations of worshippers to come.
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