14 February 2011
Leading fabricator, Polar North East, has been supplying windows with the revolutionary Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass to one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Durham University. Founded in 1832, the university has built up a reputation as one of the UK’s leading research universities, with world class expertise in science, engineering, technology, social sciences, arts and humanities. As part of the establishment’s energy awareness policy to reduce both the cost and impact of its energy usage, Pilkington Activ™  is being specified as standard in the university’s rolling maintenance programme for its extensive range of buildings on the site.

“A lot of the window replacements we quote for involve Pilkington Activ™,” comments Steve Rushforth of Polar. “The university has a very proactive approach to embracing new technology and concepts that will save costs and reduce wastage and Pilkington Activ™ not only keeps the windows looking cleaner for longer but also reduces the labour, materials and hazards associated with the cleaning process.

“We have been working with the main contractors at Durham for over a year on the maintenance of the various buildings, including tower blocks, student accommodation and administration areas,” continues Steve. “The value of the Pilkington Activ™ is that it can be incorporated into any window frame in any location. We are looking to complete the replacement window requirements over a number of years by which time virtually all windows on the site will boast Pilkington Activ™.”

Having been in business for over 25 years, Polar North East has seen the evolution of the Pilkington Activ™ concept attract increasingly larger contracts on the commercial side. “The product has proved to cut costs and comply with all performance standards,” concludes Steve. “The ongoing Durham University programme is an excellent example of how Pilkington Activ™ can assist in dramatically cutting long term maintenance costs for large scale projects.”   

As the world’s first dual action, self-cleaning glass, Pilkington Activ™ features a microscopically thin coating of titanium dioxide which features two processes 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 water to sheet rather than form beads, thus washing the surface of the glass and reducing streaking. The coating is applied during the manufacture of the glass.