In the autumn of 2021, the St Johns and Highwoods Community Centre decided to meet the challenge of increasing fresh air and ventilation flow into their main hall by replacing their old, tired and leaking roof windows with new mechanically operated VELUX® roof windows.

The initial contact with VEL Fit was to discuss the specifications of the replacement VELUX windows and the co-ordination of replacing the units within a busy community centre. As the windows were at a height of 3.5m in a vaulted ceiling, an alley tower was required to reach them. There were six timber framed, manual roof windows at the site which were never opened due to their inaccessibility. The centre also had solar panels with rails that ran on the roof, some being very close to the windows and it was identified that these needed to be temporarily removed to make replacing the windows possible.

Once we had talked through the project requirements and replacement process, the site manager felt comfortable that the work could be carried out successfully whilst the centre was still operational, and the weekly schedules could continue uninterrupted. VEL Fit recommended replacing the old roof windows with new VELUX GGL MK04 Integra units. This would mean that the windows could be solar-powered and remotely operated.

The community centre applied for a regeneration grant to cover the cost of the replacement work and in early 2022 they got word that the application for the grant was successful. VEL Fit was appointed to undertake the replacement of windows.

In March 2022, the VEL Fit team arrived at the site with two access towers. There was also scaffolding on the site as work to remove the solar panels on the roof was also underway. VEL Fit replaced the first two windows on the first day. They proved a challenge as the mounting points for the solar panels were drilled through the slates. After consulting with the solar fitting company, we were instructed that we could cut parts of the rails that are close to the windows as these could be later restored. The first two windows were replaced on the side without the solar panels, this helped the team get a feel for how the tiles are placed, and it also helped with deciding the best possible method to replace these windows.

New frames were installed and quality checked to ensure that the frames are sitting correctly with the sash, along with the BFX collar which comes with a transverse gutter that prevents any water damage.

On the second day, the other four windows were replaced. The team utilised the scaffold to help reach the roof. The rails were cut using a rip saw and a metal cutting blade which made the replacement easier.

As there was a total of six windows, the client could choose either to have a single remote control to operate the windows together, or individual controls. A single control unit was preferred so all the windows were synced to one remote which was mounted on the wall.

To complete the installation the windows were thoroughly cleaned and the scaffolding was also swept. The client was shown how to fully operate the windows using the remote and the process of the replacement, describing the reasons for a BFX collar and the cutting of the slates.

St. Johns and Highwoods Community Centre were very pleased with the work of our team and the new VELUX roof windows. Now with the press of single button these replacement windows can usher in a breath of fresh air to the venue for the community. The added bonus being that should the roof windows be left open accidentally on a rainy day, then six windows will automatically close keeping the rain out.

If you’d like a quotation for replacement windows, just contact the VEL Fit team for a free, no obligation quotation.