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Cascade Victorian Charm on Renovation Projects

Knutton Village, Cascade Rainwater & Soil System

Brett Martin Plumbing & Drainage's Cast Iron Style rainwater system has been used to breathe Victorian charm into a £1.15million period terrace renovation in Knutton Village, North Staffordshire.The system was selected for its accurate replication of traditional cast iron drainage and guttering, remodelled in cost-effective, lightweight pvc for the modern age.

CTD Architects’ Chris Hesketh specified Brett Martin’s Cast Iron Style rainwater system. The system replicates the appearance of real cast iron, in lightweight yet durable pvc. Traditional architectural detailing is carefully rendered with the resulting rainwater system that contributes to the heritage appearance of a building’s exterior, in a durable and lightweight material.

“The aesthetic was the primary reason for selecting the Cast Iron Style system,” explains Chris Hesketh, “However, we were also impressed with the thickness and quality of the products. Residents of the refurbished houses wanted a system that would require little or no maintenance, and from this point of view the solution from Brett Martin satisfied both the residents’ and architectural requirements.”

The Knutton Terraces Heritage project was undertaken by RENEW North Staffordshire as part of the RENEW North Staffordshire Housing Market Renewal Initiative (HMRI) Area of Major Intervention, with 40% of the funding from Newcastle Under Lyme Borough Council. The project at Knutton village involved the exterior renovation of 73 properties in High Street, Nash Street, Peake Street, Chapel Street, Gordon Street and Cemetery Road in the village of Knutton.

The properties were recognised as being of significant quality in the comprehensive heritage characterisation study of the area, commissioned by Urban Vision North Staffordshire. The overriding aim of the project was to improve the appeal of the properties by restoring and retaining their heritage features. As a result, specification of works and product details were focused on improving the heritage aesthetic and activity was focused on reinstating original features where possible.

Because Brett Martin’s Cast Iron Style system is made from pvc it is lightweight. Installation at height is therefore safer and quicker. Meanwhile cutting is easier for the installer, with no need for sealing, priming or finishing onsite. The whole process contributes to the speed of installation and the cost efficiency of this system over traditional cast iron options.

“The most important criterion for the renovation of the Knutton terraces was to preserve and retain their original Victorian features,” explains Julie Jeffries, Programme Manager for RENEW North Staffordshire, “In re-instating the heritage appeal of these properties modern solutions meant that we could save time and reduce costs. The Cast Iron Style rainwater system from Brett Martin is one example of a product that provides a modern alternative to a traditional material, with time and cost benefits, yet the final result is so close to the original it is hard to tell the difference.”

Although the driving aim of the Knutton village project was to imbue the original Victorian features back into the exterior facades of the properties, the project did not actually fall into a conservation area. However, as Chris Hesketh explains, it has already drawn attention from elsewhere: “We specified the Cast Iron Style system for its heritage aesthetic, high quality and durability for a low maintenance finish. It has been noticed by several key players in conservation areas, as it represents a cost-effective solution to the replacement of real cast iron in locations where the original appearance is the overriding concern.”

For further information on the Cascade range visit Cascade Cast Iron Style Systems.