Aluminium in Conservation Areas?


Can you fit aluminium windows in conservation areas?

Navigating the rules of conservation areas can be complex, especially for window and door updates. With over 10,000 conservation areas in the UK, each with unique architectural styles and guidelines, changes require careful consideration and approval. AluK offers window systems designed to meet these requirements, preserving your home's historical integrity while providing modern benefits. 

Like so many questions around conservation areas, there’s no simple answer to that one.

It depends on the rules of individual councils, the architectural style in each area and the material of the windows that are being replaced (and whether any Article 4 directions are in place which require additional approval). But rest assured, AluK has several options which it is possible to fit in conservation areas if you choose your sightlines and detailing carefully.

Conservation areas are defined as areas of special architectural interest and they’re there to preserve the historical character of urban and rural locations. There are more than 10,000 in the UK, and they encompass anything from streets of Victorian terraces to 1960s housing estates and cover commercial buildings as well as homes. 

What it means for anyone buying or living in a conservation area is that you need approval from your council or local authority’s conservation officer before you can make changes to the exterior of your home – and that particularly applies to windows and doors.

If the property is listed, then it’s very unlikely that you will get approval to change the material from the original (which is likely to be timber and single glazed). If, however, it’s not listed, then you’ll just need to pass the test of replacing the originals with something that doesn’t compromise the design of the original and which ‘preserves or enhances’ the character and appearance of the area. Conservation officers are focused on the quality of the window design, how appropriate that is to the character of the building and whether it fits into the locality – and that’s where our AluK 58BW ST system comes in.

Clearly, double or triple glazed aluminium windows aren’t likely to be approved as replacements for timber sash windows in a Victorian cottage, but if you choose the design of the aluminium system carefully, then they will often pass the test in more contemporary settings where steel windows were originally fitted or in many types of industrial conversions.

In the AluK 58BW ST system, ST stands for steel and this system has been purposefully designed to replicate the traditional look and design of steel, but with all the thermal, acoustic and security benefits of aluminium - and at a considerably reduced cost. In fixed lights, the sightlines of the 58BW ST are just 43mm and and there are options for square, stepped edge, putty line or exterior glazed chamfer detailing, as well as  top, bottom and side hung configuration choices.

It’s been approved for use in conservation areas before in many parts of the UK, but you will still need to talk to your conservation officer along the way to make sure it’s approved for your individual property.