Ana səhifə

Peterborough dac window protection guidelines General policy

Yüklə 56.5 Kb.
ölçüsü56.5 Kb.

Peterborough DAC
Window protection guidelines

General policy

In principle the DAC does not advise that windows are protected unless absolutely necessary. Polycarbonate screening is fraught with problems and metal grilles can create an unsightly “grid” effect from the inside whilst being obtrusive when seen from outside the building.

The DAC has a policy of only permitting metal grilles where absolutely essential and is opposed to the use of polycarbonate unless there are exceptional circumstances. In any case where the PCC did not consider that metal grilles were appropriate or offered sufficient protection, the exceptional circumstances would have to be explained and a full risk assessment and Statement of Need provided by the PCC. Proposals will only be dealt with on a case by case basis and no one exception would be a precedent for subsequent applications.

Response to vandalism

Damage to windows, whether of coloured or clear glass, is a cause of great distress and considerable expense. Often it is caused by vandalism which itself raises additional concerns and fears.

When a large area is damaged, the window will need to be repaired and the PCC should contact the church architect and DAC as quickly as possible. Where only small areas or individual quarries have been damaged the PCC is advised to wait a while and repair all the broken sections in one go. This means that the whole job can be covered by a single faculty application and one contractor.
The reason for waiting is to see if the vandals grow up, move on or get bored. This is usually the case and the PCC can then repair all the damage when the spate of attacks is over rather than repairing frequently and repeatedly. The DAC appreciates that waiting can be a test of the PCC’s nerves and can leave a building looking unsightly for a while. Sadly, experience has shown that where windows are repaired very quickly vandals may see this as a challenge to make further, worse, attacks on the glazing. In some cases putting up window protection has merely diverted attention to other accessible areas such as porches, doors or stonework.
It is very important that PCCs have an accurate photographic record of every window in the church. A professional photographer may need to be employed to ensure that there is an accurate record of design and shading. If any damage does take place the PCC then has a clear picture of what has been broken which will help conservators and insurers to deal with the problem efficiently.
Churchwardens, cleaners and all those involved with the building should understand that if any damage is discovered ALL pieces of glass and leadwork should be carefully collected and retained. These can then be used to rebuild the window and will ensure both accuracy and economy in putting the damage right.

Prevention is better than cure

PCCs are strongly advised:

  • To consider sensitive external lighting as a way of putting vandals off lurking around the church and churchyard

  • To develop Churchwatch and awareness in the local community so that vandals can be put off by the presence of other people around the church and any damage be reported quickly

  • Consult with the local Crime Prevention Officer to see if the police can do frequent checks on the church over an agreed period so that vandals are put off “having a go”. This is clearly not viable long-term (or in rural areas) but can be useful to “break the habit” of a known group of trouble-makers at a particular time. It may also be possible for urban churches to be incorporated into town centre policing policies.

When protection may be unavoidable

The DAC recognises that there are some situations where windows must be protected. Each case is taken on its own merits but the following situations have arisen and window protection has been authorised by faculty:

  • Where glass is historically outstanding

  • Where vandalism appears to be endemic in the area over many years

  • Where windows are at a low level and are at risk from stones flying from lawnmowers, strimmers or other equipment used to maintain the churchyard

  • Where windows are easily accessible and pose a security risk

Types of protection that may be considered

  1. Clear glass to “sandwich” fragile historic glazing - a conservation technique

  2. Wire mesh grilles

  3. Polycarbonate pieces cut to cover specific areas of particular windows

  4. Traditional metal bars, fixed externally into the mortar to prevent access through the window

DAC advice on these methods
Conservation glazing – isothermal glazing

  • This method is sometimes controversial, both for aesthetic reasons and because it requires the coloured glass to be moved forward within the window to allow for plain glazing to be fitted in its original position. Such work has an aesthetic impact on the outside of the building but can be appropriate in particular circumstances.

  • This is very specialist work done by accredited craftsmen. English Heritage and the Council for the Care of Churches would normally be involved in such projects.

  • This method of protection is primarily intended to preserve the window by defending it from wind and weather rather than vandalism

Black powder-coated stainless steel grilles

  • This is the least intrusive aesthetically and provides good protection but can give a grid effect to clear or lightly-coloured glazing when viewed from inside the church.

  • Each grille must be carefully profiled to each section of the window

  • Grilles should be fixed using non-ferrous fixings into the joints/mortar

  • The church architect should be involved in drawing up a specification and advising on which contractors could offer a good quality service.


  • This method of protection is very seldom suggested because of the difficulties it presents.

  • Polycarbonate looks ugly and discolours quickly

  • The surface is easily scratched by vandals or by dust/twigs in the air and the scratches quickly become good environments for lichens and moulds

  • The sheeting can become completely obscure within five years, making the interior of the building very dark and the exterior hideous

  • The use of sheeting creates a micro-climate where mould and moisture build up very rapidly.

  • The lack of ventilation between the polycarbonate and window can cause severe damage to the glazing, lead and stonework.

  • In addition the much reduced access for cleaning results in a nasty build-up on the outside of the glass which looks unsightly when viewed from inside the church.

  • Fire is also a major problem: polycarbonate burns readily and vandals may find this even more entertaining than throwing stones at glass. Polycarbonate guards ablaze could cause enormous damage, destroying the glazing completely rather than simply smashing it.

  • Sheets which are not expertly cut and fitted can provide a haven for nesting birds and their excrement can etch into the surface of the guard, making it unsightly, or fall behind it and damage the glazing and stonework behind.

  • In the very rare cases where polycarbonate is used it must be at least 6mm thick, profiled to the window so that the sheeting only covers the glazed areas, fitted with non-ferrous fittings into the joints/mortar, allow clear ventilation gaps at top and bottom, be fitted in sections which do not overlap and allow space for expansion.

  • It is important that the polycarbonate is removed regularly so the windows can be cleaned and the ferramenta properly maintained. This has to be done more frequently with polycarbonate than stainless steel grilles because polycarbonate does not allow natural washing and removal of debris through rainfall and wind.

External metal bars.

  • This is a traditional way of preventing access on windows which could be broken and used for illicit entry to the church. It is particularly useful on inconspicuous windows which are not overlooked e.g. vestries, boiler houses.

  • For larger windows, or ones in more prominent positions, designs can be developed which look like normal ferramenta but are made of stronger metals.

  • These do not prevent damage to glazing but do help to prevent people getting in through the window.

Laminated glass

  • Laminated glass (sometimes reinforced by metal mesh) is uncommon in churches. It often has a green tint so the glass used must be free from the iron oxide which causes this tendency.

  • The use of laminated glazing would be exceptional in an historic building.

  • It is just as visually intrusive externally as polycarbonate but does not scratch so easily, although it will craze if fired at with an air pellet. It is possible to get treated surfaces which minimise the effects of “dead” reflection common with flat finishes.

  • Fitting is a major issue as badly fitted sheets can cause all the problems of polycarbonate whilst being heavier and harder to remove.

Wider consultation

The DAC is always happy to offer preliminary advice to PCCs thinking about installing window protection of any sort. It is possible that other bodies may also need to be consulted, especially in situations where window protection is being introduced for the first time.

  • English Heritage

  • Local Planning Authority

  • Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings

  • Amenity societies (e.g. Victorian, Georgian)

  • Council for the Care of Churches

  • Ecclesiastical Insurance Group

The DAC will be able to offer advice about the involvement of these at the outset of discussions. The Chancellor may require their input when the faculty application is made. In particular, PCCs with listed church buildings are advised that the Local Planning Authority should be consulted to see whether planning permission is required on the basis that window guards have an impact on the appearance of a listed building and may, therefore, require planning consent as well as a faculty.

Further information

    The Care of stained glass and historic glazing: a handbook for custodians

Sarah Brown and Sebastian Strobl

2002 Church House Publishing ISBN 0 7151 7600 5

Available from Church House Publishing 020 7898 1557
Church Window Guards

The Council for the Care of Churches
Photographic records of stained glass windows

The Council for the Care of Churches

Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur © 2016
rəhbərliyinə müraciət