Property case study conservatory replacement

03 December 2010
Type of Property: 19th century crofter's cottage
Location: Yorkshire
Timescale: 8 weeks
Cost of project: approx £40,000

The Brief:

To gain extra living space for a large family and new Labrador pup
Create a room, which could be used all year round
Allow more light into the property
Provide views of the beautiful garden


Franklin Conservatories specialises in installing aluminium conservatories.  Due to its remarkable resistance to corrosion aluminium is almost unaffected by the weather, whereas wood requires regular stripping and varnishing to protect it from the elements.  The Wrens’ conservatory was designed using powder-coated aluminium on the outside and ash hardwood on the inside, giving it all the benefits of aluminium and the beauty of wood.

The Roof:

Being a large and busy family, it was important for the Wrens to select a glass that needed minimal maintenance. They chose to install Pilkington Activ™ Blue combined with Pilkington K Glass™ in the roof. Pilkington Activ™ Blue is designed specifically for conservatories.  It is a blue-tinted glass that combines dual-action self-cleaning properties with solar and thermal control technology.

Pilkington Activ™ Blue has a dual action coating that uses UV rays to break down organic dirt (for example, fingerprints, bird droppings, tree resin) and then encourages rainwater to flow down the glass in an even ‘sheeting’ effect washing away any loosened dirt.  This ‘sheeting’ action prevents water from forming droplets and drying in streaks and smears following a rain shower; it also means that there is a clear view through the window even after the heaviest downpour.

The blue glass allows considerably less heat into the room compared to standard glass as it absorbs the heat and re-radiates it back outside, helping to keep room interiors cool in the summer whilst maintaining temperatures in the winter, when combined with Pilkington K Glass™.  It also has an aesthetic benefit; it reduces reflection and glare from the sun, giving uninterrupted exterior views, and improves the outlook on even the greyest of days.

The Windows:

The Wrens chose to glaze the vertical windows with Pilkington Optifloat™ combined with low emissivity Pilkington K Glass™, which improves energy efficiency and is designed to reflect heat back into the room.  Heat from the radiators and stove are reflected back into the conservatory allowing the Wrens to stay at a comfortable temperature during the cold winter months without worrying about fuel bills.

David Franklin, Managing Director of Franklin Conservatories says, “Our philosophy on conservatories is that air-conditioning is unnecessary. We recommend Pilkington glass products to all our customers as the company’s innovations in glass mean customers can enjoy their conservatories without worrying about one more thing going wrong.  By installing Pilkington’s solar control glass combined with appropriate ventilation, there should be no need for air-conditioning.”

The Result:

An entirely new living area, creating a light and spacious area the whole family can enjoy all year round.  The Wrens were careful to ensure the new conservatory was in keeping with the rustic charm of the property by opting for a cream colour scheme and tumbled limestone flooring throughout. Jayne then installed a wood-burning stove to complete the look.

“I am so pleased with the results,” exclaims Jayne. “The conservatory is a god-send.  It creates more living space for us all and is where we now spend most of our time as a family.  Most importantly, installing Pilkington Activ™ Blue self-cleaning glass has meant that we spend hardly any time cleaning the conservatory and more time enjoying it.  The solar and thermal control technology in the glass, helps prevent our conservatory from getting too hot in the summer and also keeps us warm in the winter so we now have a fantastic light and airy room, which enables us to sit and look at the garden all year round.”