Beard finalises work at heart of Bath's historic charity
After months of specialist renovation work, Beard has completed its contract with the 800 year old almshouses charity, St John’s Hospital in Bath. The ‘wraps’ are now off the two Grade I listed buildings and the first resident has just moved into the state-of-the art accommodation.
Both city centre almshouses, John Wood House – the first commission of John Wood the Elder in Bath - and Fitzjocelyn House, named after the charity’s Founder, have been extensively and sympathetically refurbished to provide 15 comfortable, spacious, energy-efficient flats for residents, as well as newly-created wheelchair-accessible communal facilities and improved space for care and maintenance staff.
A key part of the refurbishment programme involved replacement of all 148 windows in these architecturally-important Grade I listed buildings – thus an important landmark for historic buildings, not only in Bath but also in the UK. They are the first historic Grade I listed buildings in a city centre location to be fitted with double-glazing. The special slim-profile wooden double glazed sash and casement windows dramatically reduce energy consumption and are predicted to save more than 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
St John’s Director of Property, Paul Taylor, said, “Beard’s experience with listed buildings was an important consideration. The team was quick to accommodate design and planning changes, especially the planning permission for double-glazing, which was awarded after construction had started. Double-glazing was a crucial factor in improving the comfort of our residents and, also, an important decision for the city as a whole”.
A very constrained City centre site, arranged around Chapel Court, together with the complexity of the work and close proximity of a number of other sensitive buildings -including the Thermae Bath Spa and the Little Theatre - provided numerous challenges for the construction team.
Marc Bayley, Construction Director for Beard Swindon, said: “We were chosen because of our expertise in refurbishing and restoring listed buildings and for our success in working in areas with limited access. It was particularly rewarding to work on a landmark project such as this and to have contributed to the energy efficiency and comfort of historic buildings.”
Delighted residents will also enjoy the new facilities of the Communal Lounge, which can also accommodate other local organisations.