Educational buildings are warmer, quieter and safer with the assistance of Selectaglaze

It is said that the standard of the education is down to the teacher’s skills and somewhat of the individual; others will place more emphasis on the resources of the school. But what about the building itself? The sound of commuter traffic from the outside drifts in, voices in the hallway can be heard as people walk to class, a draft from the windows sweep in - not a comfortable environment to learn in, let alone to concentrate. Secondary glazing can help combat all of these problems and can also improve a building’s energy efficiency and increase window security.

Educational establishments often have a mixture of traditional and 70s style buildings, with large glass areas and secondary glazing is often an important solution.  It is particularly suited to traditional buildings, those in conservation areas or Listed buildings. 

Secondary glazing involves the fitting of an additional internal window of a building and it is a fully reversible adaptation, so it is widely accepted by most heritage bodies.

Single glazed windows offer on average a 20dB reduction of sound, so if in an area or classroom overlooking a playground or a ‘noisy space’ then there are likely to be many distractions for the occupiers. In the case of a music room, there is need to stop the noise escaping from the room causing a nuisance to others. Therefore, if the building has single glazed windows and is Listed, acoustic secondary glazing would be an acceptable adaptation to help lift the performance to required standards. If a cavity of 150mm is created glass to glass between the primary and secondary windows, then a reduction of up to 45-50dB can be achieved, which is more than double glazing alone. Additionally, it assists in saving energy costs by reducing the amount of heat lost from a building by up to 50%.

Selectaglaze’s secondary glazing can nearly halve heat loss through the glass and since it seals the whole window, draughts are virtually eradicated. In spaces with large window areas, secondary glazing will assist in conserving energy and reduce long term costs. 

Security concerns are now a reality in modern education, safety and duty of care for the students and the protection of valuable assets or sensitive information. Secondary glazing offers a second barrier to entry. The Secured by Design accredited range provides greatly enhanced levels of protection from physical attack and blast. The Series 40 fixed light unit offers 30 minutes fire integrity. Selectaglaze’s systems are suited to IT areas, laboratories, clean rooms and secure reception screens. 

The Francis Holland School was founded in 1878 by the Reverend Canon Francis Holland, whose vision was to form a school where girls could be educated. Built in the 1900s; the purpose built Grade II Listed building has been extended over the years to accommodate the changing needs for modern learning. As with many older buildings, the timeworn windows were thermally inefficient and draughty. The old existing secondary glazing was unfit for purpose allowing in external noise. The necessity to create a quieter and warmer learning environment to aid better concentration was essential. Selectaglaze worked alongside the building consultancy team at Daniel Watney to create a solution using secondary glazing.

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Educational buildings are warmer, quieter and safer with the assistance of SelectaglazeFrancis Holland School – Music room

The introduction of secondary glazing immediately increased the thermal retention of the school building, and on this project Selectaglaze also used a 6mm toughed low-E glass which enhanced the U-value to around 1.95.

Thirty five secondary glazed units were installed in four different styles including the newly designed and manufactured series 15. This new horizontal sliding unit has a more robust, yet still slender frame, allowing for the discreet treatment of larger windows.

Melissa Kent at Daniel Watney remarked; “The client and I are happy with the end result. The new series 15 is perfect for the schools requirements, and I really appreciated Selectaglaze rearranging their schedule for the day of installation in order to accommodate the school’s needs”

Liverpool University underwent renovation works to ensure it continues to provide a world class student experience in their research environment. Works also included improvements and refurbishment to the rest of their existing estate. One of the main issues was the noise ingress in the Sherrington Building, making it disruptive for research and learning. 

Fenestral, who has worked with Selectaglaze for over 20 years, was approached to create a solution. The answer was secondary glazing, which not only reduced the outside noise, but was also unobtrusive.

The ceiling in the laboratories sits lower than the windows with a raked bulkhead, which left limited space for installation and posed a challenge for the type of system that could be used. Using a combination of the Series 46 fixed at the top of the windows, Series 41 and 45 side hung casements beneath, allowed the windows to be opened, creating a subtle adaptation.

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Liverpool University – laboratory with Selectaglaze secondary glazing

Another requirement was to incorporate blinds within the secondary glazing, which have a room side knob Educational buildings are warmer, quieter and safer with the assistance of Selectaglazecontrol to the side of the windows. These provide privacy for the students and keep the blinds free from dust. 

Barry Higson, Project Manager at the University of Liverpool said; “The product is well specified and manufactured and does exactly what it says on the tin!”

So far Fenestral has installed 158 units, all of which are fully assembled in Selectaglaze’s factory to enable minimal disruption and rapid installation to fit in with the University’s timetable.

The University of Birmingham’s Aston WebbGreat Hall and the Quadrant Range were given a Grade II* Listing in 1970 as a grand example of Victorian design and engineering with its domed roofs and a sweeping curved façade. Associated Architects was appointed to refurbish the exterior and to renovate the interior of Block C, creating new space to accommodate a large lecture theatre, student services and support hub.

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Educational buildings are warmer, quieter and safer with the assistance of SelectaglazeUniversity of Birmingham lecture theatre with secondary glazed arched widows

To make the building a warmer and more comfortable learning space, replacing the draughty and unsecure primary windows with new double glazing was discussed. However, as the building is of architectural interest and has a Listed status, consent could not be obtained. Instead, all the original primary windows were removed, stripped, repainted. Although refurbished, the original single glazed units were still ineffective. Selectaglaze was specified to deliver a solution with its secondary glazing. 

Over 200 units were installed, most of which were curved. In the lecture theatre the 2.3m wide 3.8m openings were treated with a combination of fixed lights from the Series 42 range and horizontal sliders from the Series 80 heavy duty range.

Jesus College, part of the University of Cambridge commissioned Niall McLaughlin Architects to design the plans and Cocksedge Building Contractors to carry out the refurbishment and reconfiguration of the site. The College wished to sensitively refurbish the Grade II Listed building to make it as heat efficient and sustainable as possible, while also keeping its beautiful original features.

However, as a Grade II Listed building, creating a specific sustainable agenda with the introduction of insulation and secondary glazing posed some challenges. The main contractor, Cocksedge, approached Selectaglaze, the UK’s leading provider of secondary glazing, for advice and assistance. The primary windows were draughty, allowing heat to escape and suffering from noise during ingress and egress. The College stipulated that the original materials and architectural design were to be maintained and that the secondary glazing had to be considerate with regard to the heritage of Jesus College. 

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Jesus College Cambridge with secondary glazing

Selectaglaze has substantial experience working in Listed buildings and it previously worked on the College’s Educational buildings are warmer, quieter and safer with the assistance of SelectaglazeChapel Court student accommodation refurbishment, where it treated over 300 openings. Based upon this successful track record, Selectaglaze installed over 100 secondary glazing units in the West Court development. The original primary windows were iron casements set into stone mullions, so it was important that the secondary glazing did not detract from them. A mixture of casement and horizontal sliders were chosen to provide the best match with the original design and to avoid the introduction of new sightlines. Finished in anodised bronze, they complement the overall feel of the building.

The College hopes to cut its annual energy costs as a result of Selectaglaze's work. Those staying there have found the accommodation to be far more peaceful, with little or no distraction from the outside. 

If the educational establishment is well insulated, with a quiet calming interior, then it is more than likely you will see an improvement in the student’s learning capacity and makes their time at school more memorable for the right happy reasons. Selectaglaze’s purpose made systems arrive fully assembled to allow rapid installation with minimal disruption and works can be staged to suit maintenance budgets.

With fifty years’ experience, Royal Warrant holders Selectaglaze has a wealth of experience working in buildings of all styles. Boasting a wide range of extensively tested products and fully bespoke manufacture allows sympathetic designs to be created for all types of window. Selectaglaze offers a technical advisory service along with RIBA approved CPDs to make sure that the right product is used for the maximum benefit - ensuring the building is warmer, quieter and safer. 

For further information, please contact Selectaglaze on 01727 837271 

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