First Floor, 13 Russell Street, City Centre, Bath
13 Russell Street is a Grade II late 18th century terraced townhouse, since subdivided into flats, situated within the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of a high concentration of individually-listed Grade II townhouses within the streetscape attributed to John Wood the Younger as part of a cohesive development around the Grade I Assembly Rooms. The terraces on either side of Russell Street remain cohesive in design and use of detail, with a shared Bath stone ashlar façade that creates a junction between the Grade II terraces on Rivers Street and Bennett Street, as well as incorporating the northern façade of the Assembly Rooms. There are some examples of later alterations that have somewhat interrupted the homogeneity of the terrace, particularly towards the southern end, where tripartite windows have been inserted at first floor level. Later changes are also evident in the varied mix of window fenestration designs between dwellings; the majority of dwellings on the eastern side, including No. 13, now implement single pane sash windows. Interestingly, the majority of traditional multi-pane (6-over-6) sash windows have been retained on those properties concentrated on the northern end of the western side.
In response to the declared Climate Emergency, BPT is supportive of sensitive sustainability retrofits, where deemed appropriate, within the historic environment, as well as the sympathetic upgrade of traditional and listed building stock to better meet modern standards of living.
There is a positive opportunity for the sensitive implementation of energy efficiency retrofits and thermal improvements where this does not result in harm or the loss of significant historic fabric.
The existing windows are indicated to be of a poor thermal performance, and suffer from “substantial condensation” and are already suffering from deterioration despite overhaul works in 2017. We welcome further thermal improvement works and repairs to existing windows in conjunction with secondary glazing.
We are supportive of the principle of installing secondary glazing as a less invasive and easily reversible retrofit measure to improve the thermal performance of a historic building, allowing for retention of the existing historic-style sash windows and established appearance of the listed building.
The sash secondary glazing would be installed within the staff bead and would be recessed behind the principal sash, and would therefore be of very limited public visibility from outside the building. It appears from the proposed sections that the bottom rail of the secondary glazing would slightly project over the bottom rail of the principal sash window, but any resulting harm would be minor and outweighed by the public benefits of proposals.