A brand new mixed use block on Belfast’s Lisburn Road has been enhanced both visually and practically with the inclusion of Pilkington Activ™ Blue self-cleaning glass throughout. The development by PSM Properties, is named Woodlands Manor and stands five storeys high, containing offices and two and three bedroomed luxury apartments. Architects, Coogan and Co have combined a mixture of window styles and types, with PVCu for the residential units and aluminium for the commercial ones to create an interesting contrast of materials. All glazing, however, incorporates Pilkington Activ™ Blue which not only adds colour and character to the development but provides functional solutions by combining dual-action, self-cleaning properties with solar control performance for a cooler internal environment.
The building is adjacent to the busy main M1 motorway and the accumulation of dirt and pollution from the heavy traffic was a significant consideration. The use of Pilkington Activ™ Blue for both the windows and the curtain walling to the offices has reduced the problem significantly.
“Cleaning windows on a multi-storey building is always a major headache,” says Victor Bowman, a director of window fabricator Bowman Windows. “Specifying the Pilkington Activ™ Blue self-cleaning glass meant that the design of the overall structure could incorporate larger areas of glazing for high visual effect without having to worry about the hazards and costs of cleaning.”
Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass works through a dual action function. A microscopically thin coating of titanium dioxide creates two reactions by which it continuously cleans the external surface of the glass: first, a benign chemical reaction is caused by ultra violet light, which breaks down organic dirt particles on the surface of the glass; secondly, the coating causes rain to sheet rather than form beads, thus washing the surface of the glass and preventing streaking. The coating breaks down and loosens any dirt that settles on the glass, ensuring that rainwater covers the surface evenly.>
Woodlands Manor is now completed and provides a visually impacting structure on the road to Lisburn, with the coloured Pilkington Activ™ Blue glass contrasting neatly and sharply with the red and cream of the brick detailing … and for the building owners, occupiers and residents, the knowledge that the task of cleaning such the vast array of glazing is now a thing of the past brings total peace of mind.