Selectaglaze: Helping projects achieve BREEAM ratings

by Rob

Ham Yard Hotel bedroom with Selectaglaze secondary glazing

Being more thermally efficient and wasting less energy has become very important, not only on an environmental level, but also economically. Secondary glazing is a well-established method of greatly improving insulation within existing buildings. As the leading specialist in secondary glazing, Selectaglaze has a range of tested products that can reduce the U-value of a building to around 1.8 when coated in low emissivity glass. With the Pilkington Spacia glass in the S25 unit, it can be reduced down even further to around 0.8.

All units are designed and expertly installed with brush seals, or compression seals for hinged panels, to ensure the tightest fit, dramatically reducing air infiltration to help eliminate uncomfortable drafts.

Secondary glazing with Spacia glass

Firmdale Hotels approached Selectaglaze to help deliver a solution with their bespoke secondary glazing systems for the stunning Ham Yard Hotel, located in one of the most vibrant parts of London. Three different unit styles were used, one of which was the Series 80 horizontal slider, typically used for larger windows as it can hold up to 12mm thick glass. Acoustic laminated glass was used, which absorbs the outside noise levels, to assist in creating a more peaceful and relaxing environment – as well as a good night sleep. A total of 37 openings were treated with the secondary glazing being finished in a dark grey colour to match the existing primary windows, making them as inconspicuous as possible. As testament to the detailed planning throughout the design and build phases, their efforts were rewarded with the hotel gaining a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

Wiltshire Town Hall Council Chambers, with bronze monumental hinged casement secondary glazing

The recent £22m remodelling and refurbishment of the 1930s civic building and 1970s office extension for Wiltshire’s County Hall in Trowbridge was undertaken to consolidate the majority of Wiltshire Council’s 95 offices into four hubs, reducing floor area by 50% and releasing 59 properties for disposal. A major requirement of this development was to reduce the energy consumption by 40%, making it the first refurbishment project within the UK with a BREEAM “excellent” rating, achieved by a complete building services overhaul together with improvements to the glazing and thermal upgrading of the walls and roof.

The traditional single glazed sash windows were retained as an important architectural feature of the 1930s building and secondary glazing was chosen as a way of dealing with the both the heat loss through the glass and discomfort caused by drafts. Selectaglaze, worked closely with main contractor Kier Western and Bristol-based architects Stride Treglown to develop appropriate designs. These needed to be engineered to meet the thermal requirements but also had to be as unobtrusive as possible. Some of the windows were very large, up to 3.5m high and 1.6m wide, and a heavy duty frame from the Series 90 range was required to support the glass sizes. Smaller windows were treated with a slimmer frame from the Series 20 range. More than 270 bespoke frames were fully fabricated off-site allowing rapid installation to all four floors in phases to suit the contractors programme. The result is a more energy efficient and comfortable environment that is also much quieter.

Founded in 1966, Royal Warrant Holder Selectaglaze has grown its reputation as a leading secondary glazing specialist offering high performance noise insulation, improved building energy performance, environmental control and certified security. A wide range of literature and guidance notes is available together with a technical advisory service and RIBA approved CPD seminars.

For further information, please contact Selectaglaze on 01727 837271/e mail: or visit:

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