A long-standing water penetration problem in the central stone courtyard of London's prestigious Building Centre has been recently solved by Watford based fabricator & installer Europa Conservatories and Pilkington Activ(tm) self-cleaning glass. Europa has built a special conservatory structure that acts as a cover linking several buildings of the Centre, using roof lights externally glazed with Pilkington Activ(tm) to avoid manual cleaning of an area that is extremely difficult to access. The covered area has stopped water from leaking through the stone floor into the basement exhibition area below.
It is highly appropriate that Pilkington Activ(tm) - the world's first self-cleaning glass - should be used in the Building Centre. Located in Store Street, London, it is the world's largest permanent exhibition and single source of information for the construction industry, promoting its most innovative and ground-breaking products. For more than seventy years it has remained at the heart of the industry and today plays host to many important events, housing some 2,500 square metres of exhibition space and receiving more than 100,000 visitors and delegates per year.
Glenn Upton, Managing Director of Europa Conservatories, was in the process of visiting the Building Centre to enquire about exhibition space when he heard about the floor leak from the Centre's Commercial Director John Gibson. Says John:
"The central courtyard was originally an outside exhibition area in the middle of all the other buildings for displays and paving products. However, the problem got so bad that the stone began to crumble and the roof of the basement became damaged, leaking water onto the exhibits below. We knew we had to do something, and we were looking into pulling the stone floor up and installing tanking when Glenn visited. He suggested putting a roof over it instead and I asked him to submit a quotation. It made a lot of sense to do it."
The new structure is made from powder coated aluminium and utilises argon gas-filled sealed units to provide increased thermal performance. The glazed roof is fitted with special automatic air vents for optimum comfort and has Pilkington Activ(tm) self-cleaning glass as its outer leaf. The conservatory now acts as an extension of the Building Centre's existing exhibition space - linking the four main buildings - and is currently occupied by Formica Limited. Europa Conservatories has also taken exhibition space at the Building Centre as well as having its own permanent product exhibit in the shape of the conservatory.
John Gibson is extremely pleased with the result:
"Glenn Upton suggested that Pilkington Activ(tm) would be the ideal solution for the roof as I had been concerned that it would be difficult to keep clean. To be honest, the idea to use Pilkington Activ(tm) was one of the factors that tipped the balance for us in favour of building a conservatory. This way, we benefit from an attractive and practical addition to the Building Centre that has also proved an excellent all-round solution to our problem."