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Electric radiators are the perfect partner for new ‘green’ builds and renovations; especially when combined with the installation of ground source heat pumps or solar panels. VASCO is expanding its range of electric heating solutions, to include an updated Wi-Fi-controlled electric radiator, the Niva together with a hybrid version of the designer radiator the Niva Mix.

As a ritual of enjoyment, showering is becoming increasingly important with almost half of Brits admitting to taking long, enjoyable showers (42%) and 1 in 4 resorting to a shower as their first port of call when feeling stressed.

Opening its doors in late 2020, The Inverurie Community Campus in Aberdeenshire is a new £55m facility. One of the largest school constructions in Scotland, its 360 rooms accommodate 1,600 pupils and provides amenities such as a youth café, a community centre, and a swimming pool for students and the wider community.

Wedding ceremonies are made more peaceful in this highly ornamental and imaginative Grade II and II* Listed Town Hall following acoustic adaptations to block noise from Reading town centre.

Deep in the heart of Reading, just a stone’s throw from Reading Abbey in the county of Berkshire is the historic Reading Town Hall. This magnificent Grade II Listed building was built in phases between 1786 and 1897. The main façade was designed in 1875 by renowned architect Alfred Waterhouse in the Victorian Gothic style; this particular area of the building is Grade II*. In 1943, the Town Hall fell victim to an air raid and suffered extensive damage, some of which was visible until 1990, when restoration work commenced on the building.

The town’s civic offices were situated in the Town Hall until 1976 but moved when Reading Civic Centre was built. The library was also moved in 1986 to a dedicated building in the nearby Kings Road. Following a major refurbishment in 2000, the Town Hall now houses the Reading Museum, a large concert hall, conference rooms and a café.

The Town Hall’s Grade II Listed facilities offer space for conferencing, weddings, parties, and Christmas events. One such area, the Registry Office’s Ceremony Room, in the Grade II* part of the building required better acoustic insulation on seven of the primary windows, to ensure minimal breakthrough of outside noise during wedding registries. As the building is Listed, the traditional single glazed sash windows were retained as an important architectural feature and secondary glazing was chosen as a way of dealing with mitigating noise from the busy thoroughfare.

Selectaglaze, the UK’s leading specialist of secondary glazing systems worked closely with main contractor Lakehouse and Reading Borough Council to devise appropriate designs. These needed to be engineered to meet the acoustic requirements but also had to be as unobtrusive as possible.

A total of 23 units were installed to 7 enormous original windows in the Ceremonies Room. The very large gothic arched primary windows were just over 4 metres high, so had to be treated with a combination of units to ensure the perfect acoustic insulation. Each opening was treated a combination of three or four transom coupled secondary glazed units, with a Series 42 curved fixed light system affixed at the top. The slimline Series 10 horizontal sliding units were specified for the lower units on the wider windows, whereas the Series 45 side hung casement was selected for the narrower windows. This ensured that sightlines from the primary windows were not compromised irrespective of their differing widths. 6.4mm acoustic laminate glass was specified for each and a cavity of 100mm from the original windows ensured that the secondary glazing units reduced noise levels by between 40-45dB. In most instances this achieves World Health Organization guidelines for quiet environments. An additional benefit of this treatment was that the thermal controls were also enhanced, making the room warmer.

Well-designed secondary glazing can play an important role in improving the environment of buildings of all styles but as a reversible adaptation it is particularly suited to Listed and traditional buildings. Secondary glazing can achieve very significant noise insulation of 45dB or more, reduce the U-value of a window to around 1.8 and enhance security though the use of strengthened glass and locks.

Following on from the work completed by Selectaglaze, obscurity films were installed by the council to the bottom secondary glazing sashes to ensure enhanced privacy during wedding ceremonies. The staff are impressed with the units and the change in noise levels is clear for all to experience. The joining of two people in wedded matrimony will be a more peaceful, private and intimate moment.

Founded in 1966, Royal Warrant Holder Selectaglaze has considerable experience of working within Listed and sensitive buildings. An extensive range of literature and guidance notes covering acoustics, thermal performance and added security is offered together with a technical advisory service and RIBA approved online CPD seminars.

Sign up on spotlight blogs for monthly Selectaglaze e-bulletins, with recent updates, new blogposts and events.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has successfully transformed a Grade II Listed hotel into three of the most sustainable, energy efficient apartments for rent in the UK, with the assistance and expertise of Selectaglaze.

Secondary glazing to a set of patio doors in a residential property in Cockfosters, North London makes a living room warmer for a couple’s new born baby.

The Chowdhurys moved into their home in 2015 and renovated their semi-detached property from top to bottom, neglecting one area as they felt a change was not needed at the time. The single glazed patio doors were a little flimsy, but the slight draughts and noise from outside did not affect them enough to warrant replacing them. Fast-forward to Autumn 2019, the couple had a baby and this all changed. The living room was colder than other areas of the house, due to the single glazed patio doors, which were originally installed when the house was built in the early 70s. New Barnet railway station is close to the couple’s house, so they were anxious about the levels of noise from the passing trains.

Having explored various options to improve thermal insulation, it turned out that by installing secondary glazing to the primary single glazed sliding doors would be a more cost-effective solution. The opening was around 2m x 2m and it was important to the family that the treatment would be as unobtrusive as possible, complementing the sightlines of the current patio doors.

An order was placed for a Series 10 horizontal sliding unit. This unit is a versatile secondary glazing treatment that allows easy access to the outer window and can be used to treat sliding patio doors. By installing an independent glazing system, heat loss can be decreased by up to 60%. The high-performance brush seals guarantee draughts are eliminated, thus boosting comfort near a window. Timber grounds were set up in the reveal, which had skirting boards. Installers scribed into the timber frame to create matching grooves and nuances to fit tight in the reveal and over the skirting.

To create the requisite noise insulation, the Series 10 was set 100mm apart from the doors and therefore achieved an acoustic reduction of over 40dB. In addition, from a security standpoint, the inclusion of secondary glazing to a set of patio doors provides a second barrier to entry. The Series 10 was installed with 6.4mm laminated glass which increased noise reduction as well as offering added strength and security to the unit.

The clients are ecstatic with their new secondary unit and have benefited greatly from the warmer and quieter living room environment, which has negated any anxieties they had over the comfort of their baby.

"I am so impressed by the look and performance of our secondary glazing. The whole point of getting our doors treated was to improve thermal and noise insulation for the benefit of our baby and it has done that.” Monika Chowdhury

Founded in 1966, Royal Warrant Holder Selectaglaze has considerable experience of working within Listed and sensitive buildings. Selectaglaze distributes monthly Spotlight e-bulletins, with recent updates, new blogpost and events – so sign up on spotlight blogs to not miss out.

Working with Messenger Construction and architects Rodney Melville and Partners, Selectaglaze installed 25 thermal secondary glazed units for the Grade I Listed Belton House stable block in Grantham.

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Built in 1685, The Grade I Listed Belton House stable block in Grantham, Lincolnshire is one of only 10 significant 17th century stables in England, famous for the number original features intact. They were built by William Stanton and form part of the Belton Estates, residence for the Brownlow and Cust families for three hundred years; a dynasty of renowned lawyers.

Changes were made to the building between 1811 and 1820 for the 1st Earl of Brownlow by Jeffry Wyatt. During World War I, the complete estate was offered to the Government for war services and operated as a base for the Machine Gun Corps. Belton was also home to the RAF Regiment through the Second World War.

In 2018, the National Trust commenced a large-scale project to bring life back to the stables to guarantee a sustainable future for the building. Although a restaurant was installed on the ground floor as soon as the National Trust took over in 1984, the building needed updating. The plan was to restore the building sympathetically to include a new café with increased capacity, a function space and much-needed office and meeting rooms on the upper floors for the staff at Belton. The project required restoration work which included conserving lime plaster, repairing the 19th century windows and reinstating historic paint schemes, employing craftspeople skilled in traditional building techniques.

Rodney Melville and Partners got in touch with Selectaglaze to bolster the efficiency of the original windows, which despite being repaired, were thermally inefficient. Selectaglaze Series 10 horizontal sliders were stipulated for 24 of the original leaded windows in the offices, and meeting rooms. Three units were glazed with satinovo glass, to boost privacy in the toilets. Custom made timber grounds were affixed to all the openings which were splayed or out of shape. As a result of the installation, thermal efficiency has improved considerably, with the added benefit of increased acoustic insulation.

An extremely unique and original feature in one of the offices was a drop-down door; traditionally opened to allow for hay or other agricultural produce to be hoisted up for storage by the groomers. When fully open, the door is supported by a stone jettied platform on the façade of the building. The architect was eager to retain the door as a way of preserving the traditional agricultural character. An ideal solution was achieved by treating the opening with a Series 20 vertical sliding secondary glazing unit, whereby the top sash could be brought down to permit ventilation. The Series 20 glazed with 6mm toughened glass also provided an active barricade to stop people from walking on the door once opened.

Selectaglaze is privileged to have backed the National Trust on what was a very complex project to consolidate and secure the future of such a special historical building.

Selectaglaze sends out monthly Spotlight e-bulletins, with recent updates, new blogpost and events – please sign up on spotlight blogs.

At the start of 2020, the commercial flooring landscape for the year was predicted to be very different from what it is now. Like many industries, the pandemic had a huge impact on the biggest trends of this year.

08 December 2020

Keeping Active at Home

As we near the end of this rather turbulent year, full of changes, ups and downs and uncertainty, one thing is for sure, new habits are being formed, and a new normal is emerging, not least in our active lives.

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