Make buildings warmer, quieter and safer with Selectaglaze

Secondary glazing can help combat noise pollution and boost energy efficiency

The standard of an institution’s education is down to the teacher’s skills and the individual; others will place more importance on the resources of the school. But what about the building itself? The sound of commuter traffic from the outside drifts in, voices in the hallway can be heard as people walk to class, a draft from the windows sweep in – not an easy environment to learn in. Secondary glazing can help combat all of these problems and can also improve a building’s energy efficiency and increase window security. It is particularly suited to traditional buildings, those in conservation areas or Listed buildings.

Secondary glazing involves the fitting of an additional internal window to a building and it is a fully reversible adaptation, so it is widely accepted by most heritage bodies.

Single glazed windows offer on average a 20dB reduction of sound, so if in an area or classroom overlooking a playground or a ‘noisy space’ then there are likely to be many distractions for the occupiers. Therefore, if the building has single glazed windows and is Listed, acoustic secondary glazing would be an acceptable adaptation to help lift the performance to required standards. If a cavity of 150mm is created glass to glass between the primary and secondary windows, then a reduction of up to 45-50dB can be achieved, which is more than double glazing alone.

Selectaglaze’s secondary glazing can nearly halve heat loss through the glass and since it seals the whole window, draughts are virtually eradicated. In spaces with large window areas, secondary glazing will assist in conserving energy and reduce long term costs.

Security concerns are now a reality in modern education, safety and duty of care for the students and the protection of valuable assets or sensitive information. Secondary glazing offers a second barrier to entry. The Secured by Design accredited range provides greatly enhanced levels of protection from physical attack and blast. The Series 40 fixed light unit offers 30 minutes fire integrity.

Liverpool University – Science Labs

The Francis Holland School was established in 1878 by the Reverend Canon Francis Holland. The Grade II Listed building has been extended over the years to accommodate the changing needs for modern learning. The timeworn windows were thermally inefficient and draughty and the old existing secondary glazing was unfit for purpose allowing in external noise. Selectaglaze worked alongside the building consultancy team at Daniel Watney to create a solution.

Francis Holland School – Music room

The new secondary glazing immediately increased the thermal retention of the school building, and on this project Selectaglaze also used a 6mm toughed low-E glass which enhanced the U-value to around 1.95.

Thirty five secondary glazed units were installed in four different styles including the newly designed and manufactured series 15. This new horizontal sliding unit has a more robust, yet still slender frame, allowing for the discreet treatment of larger windows.

Melissa Kent at Daniel Watney remarked; “The client and I are happy with the end result. The new series 15 is perfect for the schools requirements, and I really appreciated Selectaglaze rearranging their schedule for the day of installation in order to accommodate the school’s needs”

The University of Birmingham’s Aston Webb Great Hall and the Quadrant Range were given a Grade II* Listing in 1970. Associated Architects was appointed to refurbish the exterior and to renovate the interior of Block C, creating new space to accommodate a large lecture theatre, student services and support hub.

University of Birmingham lecture theatre with secondary glazed arched widows

To make the building a warmer and more comfortable learning space, replacing the draughty and unsecure primary windows with new double glazing was discussed. However, as the building is of architectural interest and has a Listed status, consent could not be obtained. Instead, all the original primary windows were removed, stripped, repainted. Although refurbished, the original single glazed units were still ineffective. Selectaglaze was specified to deliver a solution with its secondary glazing.

Over 200 units were installed, most of which were curved. In the lecture theatre the 2.3m wide 3.8m openings were treated with a combination of fixed lights from the Series 42 range and horizontal sliders from the Series 80 heavy duty range.

If the educational establishment is well insulated, then it will induce an improvement in the student’s learning capacity and make their time at school more memorable. Selectaglaze’s purpose made systems arrive fully assembled to allow rapid installation with minimal disruption and works can be staged to suit maintenance budgets.

With fifty years’ experience, Royal Warrant holders Selectaglaze has a wealth of experience working in buildings of all styles. Boasting a wide range of extensively tested products and fully bespoke manufacture allows sympathetic designs to be created for all types of window.

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

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