The new Dussindale Primary School in Norfolk is set for completion in September 2007, ready for the brand new school year. The £5m building, designed by the architects department of Norfolk Property Consultants Ltd, has made extensive use of the latest materials and systems in construction, to make the school as contemporary and as sustainable as possible. For the roof glazing, revolutionary Pilkington Activ™ Blue glass was specified as an integral part of the overall design, both for aesthetic appearance and for practicality.
“The installation of the glass had a twofold purpose,” comments Andrew Loader, Operations Manager at VITRAL, who supplied the bespoke roof glazing. “Access to the roof is limited and for cleaning and maintenance purposes a scissor lift would be required. The self-cleaning properties of the Pilkington Activ™ Blue were ideal for this job, as it enables cleaning to be kept to the bare minimum which, of course, impacts positively on the health and safety concerns of working at height.”
Pilkington Activ™ glass works by breaking down and loosening organic dirt particles on the surface of the glass. The specially developed coating causes rain and any water for that matter to sheet rather than form beads, thus washing the surface of the glass and reduces streaking, providing a clearer vision immediately after rainfall. The need for manual cleaning is significantly reduced, and for a school environment, the product is perfect as scaffolding or scissor lifts are a major attraction for curious infants!
“Additionally, the Pilkington Activ™ Blue offers solar control,” continues Mr. Loader. “We manufacture our roof glazing as pre-fabricated fully framed panels, with our integral opening panels allowing natural ventilation through to the corridors below. The solar control qualities of the Pilkington Activ™ Blue reduce some of the solar gain and this in turn leads to a reduced need for artificial cooling and reduced lighting, as light now floods through the glazed roof”
The popularity of the Pilkington Activ™ Blue through recent press and publicity has seen more and more architects specifying the glass for a variety of applications. “Launched in late 2005, primarily targeting the conservatory market, Pilkington Activ™ Blue is realizing its potential in both the public and private sector domains,” comments Julia Berkin, marketing and communications manager of Pilkington Building Products UK. “This latest installation at Dussindale School reinforces the product’s capacity for versatility and excellent performance as an innovative construction method.”