SITE: Hamilton Terrace Case Study

The brief

No project comes without its challenges, but some present unique situations which are more difficult to overcome than other.

In 2016, RealFlame were contacted about a project that had been abandoned at the eleventh hour. Our mission was to deliver four fireplaces that worked well in the aesthetic of the home, but with no working chimney breasts, the feasibility of constructing open fronted gas fires was a large mountain to climb.

The solution came as a result of a number of site visits and an exploratory design was produced that would combat the site issues. Working flues would be plausible for two of the traditional mantelpiece designs, while the third would be constrained to decorative only and the last would be transformed into a contemporary Bioethanol piece for the basement.

It was a solution that came from working closely with the architects and designers also working on behalf of the contractor, as a structured plan was put into place that would be a stage by stage install. The working flue systems, complete with bespoke gather units, would, at last, be able to work in conjunction with an otherwise rigid flue system.

Innovative Design

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the project was positioning fan units on the external wall of the property to enable the two working gas fires to function. It was an interesting challenge to overcome. With the help of an array of manufacturers, it was agreed that we would hide the units in the external wall of the property.

CAD drawings (above) were created to bring the project to life by real flame and were closely followed when on-site contractors placed steel supports into the cavity. The finished product created two working gas fireplaces that met the client’s needs where others had fallen short of the mark.

Further to this, our designs included a self-supporting gather unit for the rigid flue system to fit within pillars that had been build prior to our involvement in the project. The earlier we become involved in a project, the faster we can circumnavigate such problems. But, our skills and expertise allowed us to find solutions to existing site problems in a way that satisfied the client.


Careful consideration also went into the basement aspect of the project. RealFlame designed the installation of this fireplace within an existing timber structure and cabinetry faced wall.

This involved creating a fireproof chamber which would house a bespoke steel unit, such a chamber ensures the transfer of heat would not pass through the non-combustible area. The original cabinetry facing was then protected by using a stone frame overlapping with expansion gaps hidden underneath.

Our solution

Despite coming to the project late, the end result was pleasing for our client and a triumph for the team here at RealFlame. Our expert team can find a solution to even impossible-seeming problems.

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