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Pilkington and Connect provide shelter

26 January 2011

A housing association property in Leeds has been given a high performance make-over thanks to Pilkington.  The refurbishment has specified market-leading energy efficient glazing Pilkington energiKare™ and Pilkington Activ™ Blue for its self-cleaning properties with solar control performance for a cooler internal environment.  Utilising these two types of glazing within the building ensures energy efficiency and easy maintenance throughout the year.


The building features a large glass faceted front, with substantial areas of elevated slanted glass which could accumulate a significant amount of day to day dirt over time.  To reduce this problem Connect Housing Association specified Pilkington Activ™ Blue for these areas as well as the glazed staircase and front roof of the building. 

“The contract presented a number of technical and logistic challenges that we had to overcome,” said Rob Hawkins, Commercial Manager of Polar Windows, the Principle Contractor for Connect Housing on the project.  “Replacing the old glass with Pilkington Activ™ Blue self-cleaning glass meant that we could maintain the aesthetically pleasing facade of the building for high visual effect without having to worry about the hazards and costs of cleaning.  The unique colour of Pilkington Activ™ Blue for high solar control performance helps keep internal temperatures cooler whilst still maintaining excellent light transmittance.  Specifying Pilkington energiKare™ in the flats themselves will also dramatically reduce the heating costs for the individual residents of the building, as well as meeting the current Part L of the Building Regulations and the changes in 2010 which will be implemented in October.”


Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass works with a dual action coating. A microscopically thin coating works in two ways by which it continuously cleans the external surface of the glass: firstly, the coating reacts with ultra violet light (UV) rays from natural daylight to break down organic dirt particles on the surface of the glass.  The second part of the process happens when water hits the glass.  Rainwater is caused to sheet as it runs down the glass to wash away the loosened particles.  The sheet action avoids the water forming beads that can dry to form streaking and ensures that rainwater covers the surface evenly.

West Park Drive Flats is now completed and provides an aesthetically pleasing entrance to the building, aided by Pilkington Activ™ Blue glass.  For the building owners, occupiers and residents, the knowledge that the task of frequent cleaning such a large and awkwardly positioned area of glazing is now a thing of the past.  Residents also benefit from Pilkington energiKare™ installed in their flats which will help them save energy and money off fuel bills.  Pilkington estimates that if every household in the UK replaced their glazing with Pilkington energiKare™, over 20 years the nation would save a massive 234 million tonnes of CO2 and £149 billion off fuel bills.

Polar Windows has been a Pilkington partner for 2 years and supply Pilkington Activ™ and Pilkington energiKare™.  Based in Chesterfield and established for over 22 years, they are proud to be one of the Nation’s leading suppliers and manufacturers of Energy Efficient windows & doors.