Property Case Study First Floor Conservatory

03 December 2010
The Brief:
To gain extra living space on the first floor and allow maximum sunlight into the property making it a bright and light home environment.


The Stevens enlisted the help of local architect Eduardo Hoyos and experts in glazing technology Payne Windows to build the conservatory. Their main aim was to imitate the Georgian design of the property, whilst also giving it a contemporary feel, so that the Stevens were comfortable using it as additional living space. A key feature of the design was the addition of glass blocks in the floor of the conservatory to increase the amount of natural daylight in the kitchen below. This was a huge benefit, as the size of the kitchen window was restricted by the planning authorities, due to the property's Grade II listed status.

The Roof and Windows:

Due to the obvious inaccessibility to clean the structure, it was important for the Stevens to select a glass that needed minimal maintenance. They chose to install Pilkington Activ™ Blue combined with low emissivity Pilkington K Glass™.

Pilkington Activ™ Blue is designed specifically for conservatories. It is a blue-tinted glass that combines dual-action self-cleaning properties with solar control technology. The dual-action coating uses UV rays to break down and loosen organic dirt (e.g. fingerprints, bird droppings, sap and pollen) and then encourages rainwater to flow down the glass in an even 'sheeting' effect, washing away any loosened dirt. This 'sheeting' action helps prevent 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. 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.

Pilkington K Glass™ improves energy efficiency and is designed to reflect heat back into the conservatory, thus helping the Stevens to stay at a comfortable temperature during the cold winter months with less concern about fuel bills.

The Result:

An entirely new living area, creating a light and spacious room the whole family can enjoy all year round. The Stevens were careful to ensure the new conservatory was not only in keeping with the simple clean lines of the rest of the property, but that externally it fitted well with the mix of traditional and modern buildings surrounding it. The unusual design even won a Merit Award for Innovative Design in the Glassex Conservatory Design Competition 2007.

"We're absolutely delighted with the results," exclaims Rachel. "We love the bold design of the structure and even the conservation officer preferred it to a fake Georgian one. It's given us loads more space and the kids love the funky design, especially as the glass blocks are such an unusual feature. Most importantly, installing Pilkington Activ Blue™ self-cleaning glass has meant that we hardly need to clean the conservatory and we're able to spend more time enjoying it. We now have a private space which allows us to sit and sky-watch all year round - I just love it."

Pilkington Activ™ and Activ™ Blue are available now through all good suppliers in the UK at a price premium of around 15-20% over the fully-installed cost of standard PVC-U windows.

For further information on Pilkington Activ™ please call 0800 527752 or go to