Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery. But, Can You Pass the Chip Butty Test?

When I was growing up, there was an advertising campaign for a brand of margarine which claimed it was better than butter because it contained butter – oh how we laughed.

 Today, margarine and blended products (or yellow fat spreads as the UK Food Standards Agency so temptingly refers to them) are still playing catch up with butter, as can be seen by the buttery brand names they have adopted, like Utterly Butterly, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Butter Me Up, You Butter Believe It… the list goes on and on. But, deep down, we all know, they’re not as good as the real thing.

However good these spreads might become, there is still one taste test in which they fail dismally. A chip butty, made with real, deep-fried chips, real butter, on white bread is impossible to replicate.

Over the last few months, I have seen increasing promotion of “Crittall Replacement Windows.”

Let’s put to one side the fact that “Crittall” is a registered trade mark, and only Crittall Windows Ltd can manufacture Crittall Replacement Windows.

The majority of Crittall steel windows which have been installed over the last 150 years, have now been replaced. In residential buildings, more often than not by UPVC.

The outstanding original Crittall installations are, in general, retained for heritage/conservation reasons. Either because local or national authorities recognise the architectural/cultural/historical importance of a particular building or district, or because owners do.

In an effort to tap into this heritage market, Aluminium window systems companies have developed their own versions of “I can’t believe it’s not butter.”

Fortunately, there is a “chip butty” test for these windows.

The strength of steel allows for a window with narrow sight lines. These cannot be duplicated in aluminium, timber or uPVC. The graceful lines that can only be created using steel windows have been incorporated into many different styles by architects over the years.

In the words of the Steel Window Institute, “The look of steel windows and doors is not simply distinctive, it is unique.” (I feel the same way about real chip butties)

In the same way that margarine/spread companies have brainwashed the public into believing that their products are a suitable replacement for butter because they are somehow a healthier option, we are told that these new aluminium windows are more energy efficient than steel windows.

As I have shown in a previous post on my wodewick blog, the difference in performance between windows with various energy ratings is minimal, and the savings in energy consumption, and ultimately energy bills, can be counted in pennies.

So, if you are considering replacing your steel windows, remember the chip butty – there’s nothing like the real thing.

Homeowners can find out more about genuine Crittall Steel Windows here find your local Crittall Approved Distributor here and request a Survey here For general enquiries about genuine Crittall Windows click here

Crittall windows for Iconic London landmark

The Old Building at the prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies in London has a new appearance, thanks to a replacement window scheme involving Crittall Windows. The original building on Russell Square was designed in the late 1930s by Charles Henry Holden, best known for his designs of underground stations.
Being Grade II listed, the upgrade specified like for like replacement - and in this case, this involved the removal of existing Crittall steel profiles from their decaying timber subframes and the installation of new high performance steel Corporate W20 units.
The scheme is part of an on-going plan to upgrade the SOAS campus, with the new Crittall windows serving a dual purpose; maintaining the overall visual appearance of the architecture and significantly improving the thermal performance. As the doors and windows span five storeys, new double glazed contemporary windows that comply with stringent conservation and environmental requirements will make a noticeable difference on heat gain and maintenance costs. In addition, they provide a timeless aesthetic quality to the architecture, without overshadowing the prominence of the structure itself.
A selection of side hung and open out vents were installed, together with horizontal and vertical pivots, louvres and fixed lights, all in a uniform RAL cream colour to heighten the visual appeal.
Architects Kendall Kingscott were responsible for the project with Overbury appointed as main contractors. The work was completed on time and to schedule, with the Crittall installers managing the work so smoothly and deftly that they were awarded Overbury's contractor of the month award for their 'flexible approach and professionalism '.