Historic England lead by example and specify Stella Rooflight

Historic England (formerly known as English Heritage) has specified and installed a Stella bespoke conservation rooflight at their York Regional Office.

As part of a programme of works, which included several fire safety improvements throughout the building, Stella was approached by specialist heritage surveyors, Smith & Garratt to design a bespoke conservation rooflight. The design of which would need to provide suitable ventilation for the building’s communal stairwell.

Aside from the design functionality, the rooflight would also need to satisfy strict Conservation requirements, as the building is deemed of significant historic and architectural interest. As all Stella rooflights incorporate slender steel frames, which sit flush within the roofline, they were the ideal choice for maintaining the heritage of the building.

The Stella team worked closely with Smith & Garratt and specialist contractors CG Building & Restoration Ltd on an innovative design that would meet the approval of Historic England and the Planning committee.

Stella Rooflight Director, Paul Trace, said: “When Historic England approached us to help obtain planning permission, which had previously been rejected, for the refurbishment works at the head office, we were only too happy to help. We came up with a unique rooflight design with electrically actuated central openings that would provide the solution they were looking for, while at the same time satisfying the planners.”

The 2185mm (w) x 2050mm (h) rooflight consisted of four casements, of which, the two centre side hung opening panes are electronically operated by two pairs of high performance chain actuators and designed to open out 90 degrees to provide the required ventilation. The two remaining side panes were of a fixed design and were at the same level as the opening casements; which was an important detail in satisfying the planning requirement.

As with all Stella rooflights the frame was manufactured using marine grade 316 stainless steel, with a C5 coastal powder coating to protect against rust and prolong the lifespan of the rooflight. A bespoke handmade hardwood liner provided a stunning internal finish.

A high specification glazing consisted of a BioClean Natura Self-Clean and Solar Control outer pane with a black warm edge spacer (Argon Gas), and a Planitherm One Low E inner pane.

Due to the considerable size and weight of the rooflight, CG Building carefully craned the rooflights into position and fixed them into place, finishing the job using a pre-formed lead flashing kit provided by Stella Rooflight.

Historic England’s head office is situated at 37 Tanner Row in the Micklegate Ward of York city centre. The impressive five-storey, end-of-terrace red brick building is Grade II Listed and lies within a Conservation Area.

Originally built as a railway hotel in the 1850s, originally ‘The George Hotel’, latterly ‘The North Eastern’, the property today serves as the modern offices of Historic England – the Government body that helps people care for and enjoy England’s historic environment.

For further information on Stella conservation rooflights contact Paul Trace on 01794 745445, email or visit

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