Secondary Glazing Receives a Standing Ovation at Stunning London School Performing Arts Centre

    South Hampstead High School in Hampstead, North-West London was founded in 1876 by the Girls’ Public Day School Trust. The school has a rich history, and its alumni include Academy Award-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter and Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury.

    The girls’ school commenced a major rebuild in 2014 as part of an ambitious 8-year plan, which included the transformation of Waterlow Hall (originally constructed in 1988) into a state-of-the-art performing arts centre. This was a £3 million project which Selectaglaze assisted through the installation of acoustic secondary glazing.

    Designed by renowned architects Broadway Malyan and Hilson Moran, and constructed by main contractor, 8build, Waterlow Hall can morph into 12 different layouts and put on professional standard concerts for up to 400 people plus a musical ensemble. The objective for the project was to create a facility that upheld the school’s performing arts legacy while also providing a first-class venue that could be used by both the school and the local community.

    Other work carried out by main contractor 8build included the installation of tiered retractable seating to improve the audience experience. The walls, ceiling and a technical gantry that runs around the perimeter of the hall, have all been designed to optimise the acousticity in the performance space. As the school is located in a residential area and the surrounding roads carrying fairly high volumes of traffic, noise ingress and egress was a worry.

    An acoustic report revealed that the internal noise levels within the hall needed to meet Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which specifies that performance rooms and multipurpose halls should not exceed 35dB, and ensemble rooms to be no more than 30dB. The introduction of secondary glazing to supplement the existing windows was proposed.

    8build got in touch with Selectaglaze to come up with the most sensitive but practical options of secondary glazing to meet the required acoustic insulation of the large new primary windows, whilst ensuring that they could function properly and look aesthetically pleasing.

    A total of five Series 15 2-pane horizonal sliders were installed, along with one Series 15 3-pane horizontal sliding unit for a primary window with a wider opening. The secondary glazing was installed using bespoke timber fixing grounds into which it was fully sealed and secured. The cavity between the existing primary window and the secondary glazing makes a substantial difference to the level of noise attenuation. The primary and secondary windows act as independent barriers to the spread of noise, the greater the cavity between them, the better the dampening effect of the combined windows. Selectaglaze was able to attain the largest cavity available to maximise the acoustic benefits with a glass-to-glass cavity of around 200mm.

    Royal Warrant Holder Selectaglaze has one of the most comprehensive ranges of secondary glazing, allowing sympathetic treatment of almost any window style.

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