Refurbishment Goes Swimmingly With Pilkington

24 September 2008
Pilkington Planar™ glazing has made a splash at a multi-million pound regeneration of a leisure complex in Swansea. The leading frameless structural glazing system has been used to replace the previous steel framed windows within the building’s concrete structure. The stunning redesign breathes new life into the re-named “LC”. It uses 1880m2 of vertical glazing around the reception area, water park, sports hall and gym, while 65m2 of roof light glazing was fitted above the stairs.
Swansea Leisure Centre featuring Pilkington Planar™

The versatility of Pilkington Planar™ was used to create an unusual design for the project. The original shape of the building – a series of concrete pillars - allowed the glazing to be installed inside the structure rather than outside it. As a result, the flush glass surface was built facing into the building, with structural support on the outside. This is the inverse of most projects, where the smooth glass facade is found on the outside, but the Pilkington Planar™ system allowed the innovation without imposing any structural or installation constraints.

The new design allows more daylight into the building and represents a significant improvement in terms of energy efficiency. Jerry Almond, Project Manager, Charles Henshaw, installers of the glazing, said: “Previously the building used single glazed, steel framed windows that allowed large amounts of heat to escape from around the water park area, which requires a constantly high temperature to ensure the comfort of the swimmers inside. The newly installed Pilkington Planar™ glazing has excellent solar control properties and an impressively low u-value of 1.3, which will help keep the building warm and prevent heat loss.”

Andrew Nixon, Architect, Powell Dobson, said: “Having previously worked with Pilkington on several structural glass assembly projects they were my first port of call for this unusual installation. The pre-analysis work was completed with Pilkington Architectural, and then we derived and approved the exact specification. Pilkington Planar™ glazing proved the simplest and most effective solution to the “inside out” conditions of the project where the water park environment is more aggressive than the external environment.  The seamless internal surface also created more efficient air flows across the façade to combat condensation and made for a far easier cleaning regime”.

Following its £32million refurbishment, the LC was re-opened by the The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. It has the facility to stage national competitions for indoor sports, Wales’ biggest indoor water park and a state of the art gym and health spa.

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