ASws flies to the rescue for a leading Scottish hotel

The conversion of a former warehouse property in the heart of Glasgow into a leading hotel required the speedy intervention of a steel door specialist, with London-based Associated Steel Window Services (ASWS) subsequently flying one of its teams up to Prestwick to carry out the required work.    The building’s imposing red sandstone frontage is dominated by a trio of arched headed openings, which were to be a key feature of the refurbished element to a much larger and very stylish new destination on the famous Clyde Street. Unfortunately, despite the city’s association with shipbuilding and engineering generally, the main contractor could not identify a company North of the border, capable of meeting the technical and time demands of the project.
The Contract Director for ASWS, Kris Bennell, commented, “The creation of this landmark hotel involved the construction of a new building alongside the refurbishment and conversion of the original stone structure with which we became involved.  These were very large and extremely heavy steel doors and fixed lights which required a lot of work – and though the client could probably have replaced them with alternatives, they wanted to stay faithful to the heritage of the building and its architectural style.”    “After I originally flew up to Glasgow, as a specialist contractor could not be found locally, and our tender was accepted, we sent a whole team up there on the plane while two other operatives drove vans up with all the necessary equipment.  The three doors, frames and subframes were then demounted and prepped ready to be transported back to our London premises so restoration could be carried out.” 
This process with the frames being deglazed and then grit-blasted back to bare metal, ready for repairs, involved some replacement of heavily corroded sections. The bottom rails had been almost completely eaten away through resting on the stone paving without any weathering detail.  Some of the corroded T-bars were also replaced using stock sections.  

An anomaly to the original design or installation was the presence of a substantial, but intrusive and badly deteriorated, timber subframe to all of the three frames, which the project team wanted to have substituted by a tubular section insulated aluminium frame; in order to create a thermal as well as visual uplift. Designed in-house by ASWS engineers, this was made up in several straight and templated curved sections which were bolted together on site and set back into the stone reveal for the doorframe to be fixed to.  

Kris Bennell continued, “The centre double door had originally featured a central ‘slamming bar’. However, in order to facilitate the double doors being converted to two individual entrance doors the slamming bar had been cut out disposed of and the doors inverted at some time. As the doors required rehanging as one double door we ended up having a complete new sub-frame fabricated and fitted and the repaired original opening leaves were rehung into it.  Primed in the workshops, the three assemblies were finished in-situ while the main door was fitted with new ironmongery and an electronic closing mechanism.  Despite this just involving three openings, due to the condition and the logistics of the location for us, it turned out to be a demanding contract.”  

The original 10mm plate glass was replaced by a similar thickness of toughened glass to protect building users, while new solid steel beading was mitred, drilled and taped for its retention.  In addition, the solid steel bead had to be cut and curved to match the shape of the main semi headed frame.  

ASWS is a long-established member of the Steel Window Association and well recognised expert in the repair of metal windows, from the earliest wrought iron examples through to contemporary curtain walling.  The family run business is frequently called upon to prepare condition surveys during the appraisal stages of a project, which then become part of the planning or listed building permission process.  The company also maintains a very large stock of ironmongery and metal frame components to assist in its restoration work.