Friday 17 May 2019 – The latest news and updates from the Chalcots Estate

Talk to us on Tuesday 21 May

  • Come and talk to us at our drop in event to speak to technical experts and Camden officers about the options for your radiators and windowsills. We would like to talk to you about how the proposals would work in your home, any concerns you have about the works and what we could do to address them. We will also show you more drawings like the one below of what your radiator could look like with your windowsill.

  • Tuesday 21 May, 2pm to 7pm, Swiss Cottage Library, The Swiss Round Room, Ground Floor, 88 Avenue Road NW3 3HA. Please note that this is a different location to where we usually hold our events, and refreshments and kids’ activities will be provided.

Book your ‘Getting to know you and your home’ appointment

  • To get a better idea of your needs during the works, Wates will be meeting you in your flat for a face-to-face ‘Getting to know you and your home’ appointment.

  • The appointment is very important as it is for Wates to identify your personal needs and the things that may impact your day to day routine during the works. It also allows Wates to assess the internal structure of your home and note things they need to take into consideration when construction starts.

  • Residents will need to book an appointment with Jackie Russell, the lead RLO on 0800 389 2837.

  • For more information, please feel free to contact Donna Peters on 020 7974 3889 or

Computer generated image (CGI) of what a low level radiator could look like beneath the windowsill with glazed panel – and we’d like your views on whether this panel is solid or glazed.

Windows frequently asked questions
We have received a lot of questions from residents, ward councillors and your TRA reps about the windows and we will continue to answer them as best we can – you’ll find all of our answers to your window queries on our website at

Why have we chosen a tilt and turn window?Residents told us that overheating is a concern and that ventilation is really important. This is the window that provides the best ventilation and meets the other criteria that you told us is important to you. There are no other options that meet the required standards and provide the same level of ventilation or protection against overheating.

Why is it proposed that we lower the windowsill?The lower windowsill will help reduce the risk of accidents by providing a safer distance between the nearest ledge and the window opening. The distance between the sill and the opening is based on analysis of the building regulations.

What will my window and radiator look like?One of your radiator options could look like the CGI drawing on the previous page which is a low level radiator under the windowsill. Come to our event on Tuesday to see three more radiator options and talk to us about the one you’d like in your home.

Will this mean lots more disruption for residents?We were always going to have to take out the old curtain wall completely and remove the small wall below your window. The only change now is that with the lowered sill we will need to either move your radiator or give you a different one, which is what we’d like to talk to you about at the event we’re holding next week.

How long has the council known about the proposed changes to windowsills and could you have told residents sooner?The council and our technical experts have been working with Wates since they joined our design team in January to design a window to the highest standards of safety.This thorough design work is an ongoing process and has taken time, and needed lots of versions of detailed drawings which have each had to be checked and assessed by us, Wates and our technical experts. We told the Chalcots Works Group about the proposal to lower the windowsills at the earliest opportunity on Wednesday 27 March. The TRA reps at the Chalcots Works Group did not like this option and asked us to provide more detail, so we showed them a mock up of a room with the lowered windowsill on 10 April, and shared our proposals with all Chalcots residents on 11 April.

Will the changes to the window design make the overall costs of the programme increase?It was always intended that the small wall below the window would have needed works when we remove the curtain wall. The additional cost for the current solution is the change to the radiator. We will confirm the pricing of this once the design has been finalised.

Is the recommendation to lower the sills a matter of opinion or is this a legal requirement?The council and its designer, Wates, are legally required to design out or find ways to reduce the risk under the Construction and Design Management (CDM) regulations. The new windows have to provide enough ventilation and make sure that there is enough protection to prevent falls from height.

The only window option that meets the required standards and lets in enough fresh air to prevent overheating is the tilt and turn inwards window that the council has chosen for the Chalcots Estate. To achieve this level of ventilation the window has to open more than 10cm and we have to make changes to the height of the windowsill and reduce the risk of falls from height. In developing the current proposal the council and its design team have applied principles set out in the building regulations, British Standards and health and safety legislation.

No other option examined by the design team provides the same level of ventilation and protection from falling from height.

What decisions still need to be made about the windows?The council has decided that the windows at the Chalcots Estate will be replaced in some locations with a tilt and turn inwards window with a lowered windowsill. In other locations like the bathroom, there will be a tilt inward window and the sill will remain at the same height.

However, this is an ongoing design process so there are still lots of things we don't know, for example we don't know exactly what your radiators will look like, which is why we are inviting you to see different radiator options next week. We also need to talk to you about:

  • what your window restrictors will look like and how they will operate

  • what your window handles will be like

  • the exact colour of your windows

  • whether the panel above the windowsill will be glazed or a solid panel.

Have you decided whether the panel above the windowsill will be glazed or solid? If a glazed panel is chosen will it be less energy efficient or let in more noise?We haven’t decided whether the panel above the windowsill will be glazed or solid, and we would like you to come to event on Tuesday to tell us what you would prefer.

Whether the panel is solid or glazed the new window design will meet regulations to both prevent overheating and to keep you warm. There should be no impact on your heating costs and the improved energy efficiency might even reduce your bills.

With a glazed or solid panel your new window will be the same or better than your current windows at keeping out noise.

Is there an option to install a window that doesn’t open as far but is wider than the current windows, for example without a fully open “purge” option?No. A purge option is a setting where you can open your window fully for occasional ventilation, for example to air your flat after painting. Without the purge setting the proposed window would not meet building regulations about ventilation, even if the window was made wider.

How are you reducing the risk of accidents when the window is open beyond 10cm or on a purge setting?We propose lowering the windowsill to put a distance of 1.1 metres between the nearest ledge (the windowsill) and the window opening to prevent accidents. 1.1 metres is the height set out in the building regulations for edge protection. Please note that restrictors will be fitted so that a specialist tool is needed to fully open the window, we would like to talk to residents about this and how we should manage issuing this tool.

How will the new windows perform when compared to the current windows in terms of thermal performance and noise insulation?Through the design process the council will need to make sure that the new windows perform as well or better than the current windows.

How can I engage with the council about the windows and the wider programme of works?

There are lots of opportunities for you to engage with us as the works progress and we are keen to find out how you would like to engage with us in the future. The first opportunity is to come to our engagement event on Tuesday next week at Swiss Cottage Library, where we will listen to you and answer your queries.

Wates will also be contacting you about the works. Over the next few weeks Wates will arrange to meet with you in your home to talk about how the works will affect you – contact the lead RLO, Jackie Russell on 0800 389 2837 to book your appointment.

Wates will be holding events to consult with you about the construction management plan and to tell you about the timetable of works, as well as regular drop in events and community activities.There will be a planning application consultation about the future works that all residents can respond to, and we will let you know when this is happening and how you can feed back your views.

Chris TarpeyWe are saddened by the recent passing of resident and TRA rep Chris Tarpey. We want to acknowledge his contribution to the Chalcots Works Group and our thoughts are with his family and friends.