Issue 27 March/April 2021
GLASS SWITCHABLE SOLUTIONS FOR LIGHT TRANSMISSION & PRIVACY
CONSERVATION ROOFLIGHTS DAYLIGHT PLANNING FIRE SAFETY LATEST PROJECTS AND MORE
The term ‘toughened’ implies a degree of safety which in the case of rooflights, is misleading – as toughened glass can shatter, putting those beneath a rooflight at risk. For more information, visit:
Always check this with your supplier, as we are aware that some rooflights are being supplied with toughened glass inner panes: a potential danger.
OI CE H C E
For the safety of building occupants, NARM advises that inner panes on all glass rooflights must be laminated glass.
ON LY E H T S
For safety’s sake, check for the tick symbol.
D R O A VERHE
LAMINATED INNER PANE ENDORSED BY
RIBA accredited CPD materials Available
THE TRADE ASSOCIATION REPRESENTING LEADING UK ROOFLIGHT SUPPLIERS
Daylight & Sunlight Planning Shining a light on permitted development A look at recent changes in planning legislation – in particular, the new requirements for adequate daylight in office to residential conversions. By Manuella Nguessan of Rapleys.
NARM Daylight Diary Updates from the UK’s influential trade association for rooflight manufacturers
Daylighting Icons 30 St Mary Axe: ‘The Gherkin’, London
A guide to conservation rooflights There’s a huge variety of choice in the conservation rooflight market and selecting the right product can be confusing. Paul Trace from Stella Rooflight offers some advice on things to consider when planning your project.
What’s trending on social media?
Switchable Glass Solutions for the Modern Home An innovative technology capable of adjusting privacy or light transmission on demand is now available. By Emily Burkinshaw, Intelligent Glass.
More about DAYLIGHTING Magazine Back issues, free subscriptions & media information
Fire Safety Successful test for dual directional fire resistant curtain wall system One of the UK’s leading steel glazing specialists has announced a significant and “breakthrough” fire test.
DAYLIGHTING is published by: Bennett B2B Ltd Pure Offices Lake View House Tournament Fields Warwick CV34 6RG United Kingdom TEL: +44 (0)1295 711666 EDITOR Paul Bennett email@example.com Tel: 01295 711666 Mobile: 07900 895110 AD SALES firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01295 711666 DESIGN/PRODUCTION email@example.com Tel: 01295 711666 WEBSITE www.daylightingmag.co.uk CIRCULATION Daylighting is available by email, free of charge to subscribers, by logging on at www.daylightingmag.co.uk Free access is also available via our website and social media. Average impressions per issue are approximately 5,500, however this varies according to social media activity. Our readership is predominantly UK architects, specifiers, contractors, consultants and roofing professionals. Full details are available on our website. www.daylightingmag.co.uk
Front cover: MATT Architecture worked with Intelligent Glass, using Switchable Film to create a focal point for this multi-award winning home. Article, page 26. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content, the publisher does not accept liability for errors. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. This publication contains editorial photographs which may have been supplied and paid for by suppliers.
of Monovision flat glass rooflights, our solutions deliver performance & peace-of-mind. Lareine Engineering is a preferred supplier to leading architects, engineers & contractors, with a service that includes in-house design, manufacture, installation and servicing.
glazed roofs and sophisticated natural & smoke ventilation systems, to our trusted range
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The darkness is lifting – in more ways than one... After a seemingly endless winter of short days and continuing Covid-19 restrictions, at last we’re heading into spring & summer with more daylight & fewer limitations on our lives. Increased exposure to daylight is well documented as being beneficial to health & wellbeing – and I for one can already feel the positive seasonal effect, perhaps further enhanced by the prospect of my local pub re-opening soon! This issue of Daylighting Magazine brings a diverse offering, so hopefully you’ll find something to interest you - whether you’re a planner, designer, architect or homeowner. Manuella Nguessan’s article on page 14 takes a close look at recent changes in planning legislation – in particular, the new requirements for adequate daylight in office
to residential conversions. Regular contributor Paul Trace gives a guide to conservation rooflights and their use on page 20: a must for anyone embarking on restoration of a historic or listed building. For those with a more modernist outlook, Emily Burkinshaw’s article on page 26 gives a fascinating insight into switchable glazing, which can alter light transmission and privacy on demand. And there’s more innovation on page 30, with news of a successful test of a new dual-directional fire resistant glazed curtain wall system.
Paul Bennett email@example.com
Plus of course, our regular news and project updates... I hope you’ll find it all interesting reading – and as always, if you have any thoughts or comments, please drop me an email.
Issue 26 January/February 2021
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ENERGY EFFICIENCY HOW ROOFLIGHTS CONTRIBUTE Issue 23 July/August 2020 TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDING DESIGN
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DAYLIGHT & SUNLIGHT PLANNING INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS SCHOOLS LATEST PROJECTS AND MORE
SMARTER, BRIGHTER HOME DESIGN USING DAYLIGHT
DAYLIGHT & SUNLIGHT PLANNING ENERGY EFFICIENCY HEALTH & WELLBEING NEWS LATEST PROJECTS AND MORE
Previous issues of DAYLIGHTING Magazine are available on-line indefinitely. So you can refer back to old issues whenever you like, right here: http://www.daylightingmag.co.uk/archives/
Remove barriers but keep a national green retrofit strategy, urge builders Companies doing globally accredited eco refurbs should be able to do green retrofit work on UK homes and buildings immediately, advises the National Federation of Builders, NFB. The trade body argues poor take-up of the troubled green homes grant scheme was due to a complicated TrustMark accreditation system requiring PAS 2030 excluding lots of qualified tradespeople. NFB housing and planning policy head Rico Wojtulewicz said if the government had listened to the construction industry the scheme could have worked. “They need to create a market environment for retrofitting works and understand that there isn’t yet the skilled workforce in every area to complete retrofitting works at the standard the government set. “Once it has a pathway to upskill industry, it must seek out professionals already doing these works and in the early days, allow them access to any accredited retrofitting works. It also needs to reform planning so these works can more easily go ahead.”
Regulatory framework needs to change The NFB says companies doing accredited retrofits such as EnerPHit, the standard set by Passivhaus, should be allowed to do green refurbishments under a national scheme backed by the government.
The Federation of Master Builders, FMB, said the construction industry should have been consulted to address flaws in the green homes grant scheme with a commitment to training adopted. The government announced on Friday it was scrapping the £1.5bn scheme from tomorrow, 1st April, giving just four days’ notice. The scheme, launched in July 2020, suffered from a poor takeup reaching just 10 per cent of the 600,000 homes it was meant to help. It will now be replaced by a £300m local council initiative prioritising housing associations and those on state support. FMB chief executive Brian Berry said local builders had spent thousands of pounds to become eligible for the scheme and felt let down. He said the decision was at odds with the UK’s desire to be a global leader in tackling climate change and jeopardised retrofitting the country’s 28 million existing homes. The FMB believes a VAT cut on home improvements from 20 per to 5 per cent would incentivise people to do more green refurbs. The NFB wants new homeowners to get a rebate on their stamp duty if they make improvements to get to an energy performance certificate of C within two years.
walls. It argues there should be incentives for using traditional building materials such as timber window frames and breathable lime mortar which cost more but are more sustainable. Conservation architect and Insall Associates chairman Tony Barton told Building magazine there was a danger of listed buildings being stranded in the zerocarbon economy. He said the energy performance certificates for traditionally built houses are often E or F compared with A or B for modern homes. Mr Barton is calling on planning law to be amended so a flexible approach to improvements can be adopted. For example, changing national planning policy framework to allow removal of skirting and cornices to enable a layer of wood fibre or cork to be fitted behind them. Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said development and refurbishment bridging lenders were hoping the government would rethink its strategy for incentivising home-owners to do green improvements. The government has pledged to hit a net-zero carbon target by 2050 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 68 per cent by 2030. www.hankzarihs.com
It also wants VAT to be scrapped for retrofitting the UK’s 500,000 listed buildings, the 1.2 million homes in conservation zones and seven million properties with solid
New chairman at NARM NARM, the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers, has appointed Tom Ogilvie as Chairman, following a vote at the Association’s recent Annual General Meeting. He takes over the role from Jim Lowther who has announced his retirement, following many years of outstanding service to NARM and the broader rooflight industry. Tom has held the position previously, having served as Chairman between 2013 and 2015 and again between 2016 and 2018. He commented: “NARM plays an active role informing government and standards bodies in relation to rooflighting, as well as driving initiatives supporting best practice among manufacturers and installers. I’m looking forward to the challenges that the coming years will no doubt present.” The NARM Council has also welcomed two new members, Scott Leeder and Henrik Dall
New NARM Chairman, Tom Ogilvie
Lauridsen, each bringing many years of experience in the rooflight industry. Tom continued: “We’re delighted to bring new skills and expertise to the Council. I extend our sincere thanks to Jim for his outstanding service in many roles at NARM over the last three decades. His experience and
Previous Chairman, Jim Lowther
insights will be missed.” The National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers represents manufacturers and suppliers of all types of rooflights into the UK market. For further information, visit: www.narm.org.uk
New acquisition for Premier Roof Systems Premier Roof Systems (PRS), based in Jarrow, South Tyneside, has taken over its long-standing customer Classic Windows, which has a facility in Stanley, County Durham. PRS, which was founded in 2011 by manufacturing director Jamie Blackwood and sales director Chris Mullen, manufactures and supplies a range of roofs and windows. The firm will continue to employ Classic Windows’ 10-strong team, while co-founder
Andrew Peart will remain in a consultancy role for 12 months to support the integration between the two businesses. Jamie said: “As a manufacturer of windows, doors and conservatories, Classic Windows is a company that we have dealt with from our very first year in business”. The acquisition is the result of a decade of success for PRS, with turnover having risen by 36 per cent and earnings by 101 per cent.
Managing director Pouya Bostani, who joined the company in 2018, said: “The two firms have a lot of crossover, which is why they were one of the first names that came to mind as we continue to scale PRS. “Such common markets will provide the opportunities for increased production volumes, efficient operations and a broader product range.” www.premierroofsystems.co.uk
NSBRC announces post-lockdown April re-opening
The NSBRC, National Self Build & Renovation Centre is set to reopen its doors to the public from 12th April 2021, subject to the latest Government Guidelines.
to building systems and roof types, plus a full-scale renovation house, that takes visitors through the journey of a major renovation project.
Situated in Swindon, Wiltshire, the NSBRC is the UK’s only permanent exhibition centre for self build, renovation and home improvement.
Visitors can also join audio tours around our Renovation House, where they will hear some of the main factors and considerations when taking on a renovation project. There are also more than 250 stands displaying the latest innovative products and services, in the Centre’s ‘Trade Village’.
There are three full-size exhibition houses on permanent display, as well as educational areas featuring an array of displays covering everything from groundworks and foundations,
The NSBRC’s aims are to inspire, educate and provide
impartial advice for visitors as well as offering services and products from a wide range of selected exhibitors. The Centre’s standard opening hours upon re-opening, will be: Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am - 17:30pm Sunday 10:00am - 16:30pm Visiting is free of charge and the NSBRC aslo offers online courses & surgeries. Book a free visit to the NSBRC, at www.nsbrc.co.uk
Façade Awards 2021 announced The publishers of RCI magazine have announced that The Façade Awards UK is back for its second year. The event will be taking place on Friday 19 November, 2021, at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, showcasing the very best products and contractors in the industry. From the creative and innovative use of products used on a project, to the complexity of the installation and the
talent of individuals who have demonstrated high quality across the industry, the Façade Awards UK recognises this through a wide range of categories, which cover all aspects of the sector. Entries will be judged by an independent panel of industry figures, who will ensure integrity and rigour in the awards process. Free entries must be submitted by by Friday 11 June, 2021. www.facadeawardsuk.com
Groundwork starts on £6bn North London regen scheme to Lea Valley Park. Hank Zarihs Associates said the 25-year regeneration scheme was just the type of innovative property development finance lenders were keen to support.
Construction of roads, bridges, cycle lanes, water, gas and communications to service the 10,000 homes set to be built at Meridian Water in Edmonton will start later this month. Enfield council has entered a framework agreement with Vinci Taylor Woodrow, BamNuttall and VolkerFitzpatrick to deliver the £90m works. Council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan said: “Successfully delivering the infrastructure on the site will be a major step forward in what will be a transformational plan for the area, providing homes, jobs and parkland for the lasting benefit of our borough’s residents.” The work is expected to generate 150 jobs supporting ten skilled apprenticeships with at least £4m of contracts going to local construction companies. So far, the council has won £170m in infrastructure
funding from the government. Vistry Partnerships is overseeing phase one of the project which includes 950 new homes of which half will be affordable. Work on the first 300 homes will start later this year with the first completions due in 2022.
Creative hub ambitions underway The former Vehicle and Operator Services Agency building is already being converted to create workspace for thousands of freelance designers, artisans and small businesses. The workshops will provide 30,000sq ft of workspace for up to 1,000 makers and creators across engineering, wood, metal, digital and additive technology plus a fashion studio.
In January, the council struck a deal with Troubadour Theatres to build film and television studios at the development which are expected to open this spring. It’s hoped they will enhance Meridian Water’s ambitions to be a creative hub offering jobs and cultural activities. Meridian Water has suffered a series of setbacks since the council unveiled the masterplan in 2013. Talks with master developer Barratt Homes collapsed in 2017 with the council claiming the firm’s plans offered a ‘poor deal’ for locals. After discussions with the reserve bidder, Pacific Century Premium Developments fell through the council decided to work with several smaller developers to deliver the scheme. www.hankzarihs.com
A new station was built last year to service the 210-acre site next to the Ikea store and close
NARM publishes new Construction Products Regulation Guidance following Brexit From 1st January 2021 the UK is no longer a member of the EU and changes have been made to the regulation and marking of construction products in the UK. Responding to this change, NARM, the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers, has updated its guidance document NTD07 covering construction products regulation. The new document, NTD07.1 Construction Products Regulation, NARM update January 2021 provides detailed information on post-Brexit regulation. Included are:
Full details of the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark: the new GB product marking used for goods being placed on the market in England, Scotland and Wales, which replaces the CE mark – and the CE or CE and UK(NI) mark for Northern Ireland. Explanations of all product and material standards hENs (now known as UK Designated Standards) that are relevant to rooflights and roof windows along with their current status. Specific information relating to glass rooflights which are not subject to hENs / UK
Designated Standards. The document, which will be of interest to rooflight specifiers as well as suppliers of rooflights, is available for free download from the narm website. www.narm.org.uk
New regulatory guidance for smoke vent specification contribute to improving fire safety standards by clarifying the definition of the term ‘geometric free area’ in respect of smoke ventilation, to ensure compliance as defined in Appendix D of Approved Document B2 of the Building Regulations.”
NARM, the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers, has issued a new document entitled ‘Definition of geometric free area for Smoke Vents’. NARM’s Technical Committee Chairman Stuart Middle said: “This document is intended to
The document is listed as NARM Quickguide 07 and can be downloaded free of charge from the Technical Documents section of the NARM website library. NARM represents manufacturers and suppliers of all types of rooflights into the UK market, many of which incorporate
ventilation functions. Its purpose is to identify and promote best practice in rooflight specification, installation, maintenance and safety.
The NARM website library contains a wide selection of technical guidance documents covering rooflight-related topics from general daylight design guidance, to energy saving, safety and regulatory compliance. Download a free copy of the document from the NARM website. www.narm.org.uk
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NEW PROJECTS Opera Terrace, Covent Garden An innovative external shading system was designed and manufactured by bespoke blind specialists Guthrie Douglas, for this iconic listed building. Eric Parry Architects designed a clear glass roof, which hovers over the building, enfolding a restaurant and bar area, whilst still allowing access to the sky and views out onto the square below. Whilst blinds were a necessity to reduce heat and glare, the architects did not want a typical bulky shading solution. www.guthriedouglas.com . Grange University Hospital, Gwent Architectural glazing systems by Kawneer that were installed offsite, helped elements of a £350 million new hospital to finish almost a year ahead of schedule and help with the Covid crisis. Kawneer’s AA®720 HI Reflex Plus windows were fabricated into precast sandwich panels at the main contractor’s off-site factory for installation at the hospital. www.kawneer.com
NEW PROJECTS Private residence, Lancashire Stella Rooflight supplied 12 bespoke conservation rooflights for a private residence in the seaside town of Lytham St Annes in Lancashire. 10 smaller rooflights, which comprised of 6 opening and 4 fixed frames, were designed to fit internal rafters of 690mm x 940mm and 550mm x 740mm. A much larger non opening rooflight which was sized at 3000mm wide x 3500mm high was designed as a grand centre piece in the roof. www.stellarooflight. co.uk
Mixed-use development, Central London Improved levels of acoustic and energy insulation will be provided following specification of ISO-Chemie’s advanced sealing tape for windows at this new development. More than 1,000m of ISO BLOCO 600 tape and 300m of BLOCO ONE tape has been installed to support the conversion of unused office space to a high-class entertainment venue at 6 Grafton Street in Mayfair, providing longterm protection against wind-blown rain ingress as well as an effective acoustic and thermal seal. www.iso-chemie.eu
DAYLIGHT & SUNLIGHT PLANNING
Shining a light on permitted development By Manuella Nguessan, Surveyor, Neighbourly Matters, Rapleys
From 1st August 2020, legislative changes in Planning were made to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO). More specifically, with Class O (Office to residential) conversions, the revision includes an additional requirement that all habitable rooms within the conversion must have internal layouts that receive adequate access to light. In May 2013, the government amended the General Permitted Development Order to allow the conversion of office space to flats or house without having to submit a planning application to the local authority. With Class O conversions, there is no maximum size
requirement for the converted office block and there are no minimum or maximum limit set on the number of dwellings you can convert to. This has had the effect of increasing the supply of new homes whilst stimulating the economy and regenerating parts of towns and cities across England and Wales. The change last summer was informed by research into the quality standard of homes delivered through change of use permitted development rights published on 21 July 2020. This report highlighted that homes created through planning permission are of a higher standard and have
DAYLIGHT & SUNLIGHT PLANNING better access to daylight and sunlight compared to dwellings created through permitted development rights.
higher density and within built up urban environments will have difficulties achieving ‘adequate natural light’.
These recent amendments have been widely accepted and adopted as they seek to improve the quality and access to adequate natural light. Although it may be challenging to balance aesthetics with the new natural [DT1] light requirements, the changes will lead to improved designs and removes all internal ‘habitable’ rooms in new developments. However, less certainty exist around how local planning authorities are planning to ensure natural daylight to each habitable room, based solely on the submission of planning drawings.
As a result, Class O conversions now require the submission of detailed existing and proposed floor plans showing the position and dimensions of windows, doors and walls, the dimensions and proposed use of each room, and the elevations of the homes. There is also now a requirement for the conversions to adhere to minimum space standards, and minimum bedroom sizes if converting to HMO’s. This is to enable the local planning authority to consider the provision of adequate natural light within proposed habitable rooms, as rooms with a
DAYLIGHT & SUNLIGHT PLANNING
‘Adequate’ Natural Light
There is currently no specific guidance on what constitutes ‘adequate natural light’ under the new amendments. However, the BRE daylight and sunlight assessments provide these definitions and detailed analyses to ensure ‘adequate natural light’ in habitable rooms. Although the new legislation does not make a direct link to the BRE assessments, in the absence of widely recognised industry alternatives and avoiding the legal easement route of Rights to Light, it seems the most prudent approach to take. Therefore, whilst this is not a requirement by the new legislation, for conversions where there is likely to be an issue meriting a more considered review, the carrying out of a daylight and sunlight study using BRE Report 209 is proving useful.
Whilst we appreciate some developers will see this requirement as another hurdle in the process when Permitted Development is intended to reduce ‘red tape’ and delays on a project, our advice is to instruct a daylight and sunlight consultant alongside the appointment of a design team in order to optimise the room configuration and maximise the access to daylight and sunlight for the future occupiers.
As a result, Rapleys have seen an increase in the number of daylight and sunlight enquires for studies to accompany the submitted plans to local planning authorities at preplanning stage and see this trend continuing.
At Rapleys, we advise on all manner of Neighbourly Matters from Daylight & Sunlight, Rights to Light, Party Wall and Access Arrangements such as crane oversail licences. Operating nationally and working ‘both sides of the fence’ for developers and neighbours to development across all property sectors, we are well placed to assist and advise.
“Although the new legislation does not make a direct link to the BRE assessments, in the absence of widely recognised industry alternatives and avoiding the legal easement route of Rights to Light, it seems the most prudent approach to take.”
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daylight diary APR 2021
New roles, new faces, new challenges... MARCH was a busy month at NARM, with our AGM and Technical Committee meetings taking place on-line, on consecutive days, on the 24th and 25th of the month. The NARM Council comprises volunteers from the management of our member companies, selected by vote at our AGM. This year, we are delighted to announce that Tom Ogilvie returns to the post of Chairman, taking over from Jim Lowther who has announced his retirement, following many years of outstanding service to NARM and the broader rooflight industry. The NARM Council also welcomes two new members, Scott Leeder and Henrik Dall Lauridsen, each bringing many years of experience in the rooflight industry. NARM’s current workload encompasses a variety of pressing topics, including: • Changes to standards & regulations following Brexit • Consulting member companies regarding the new Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI): an industry-wide initiative launched by the CPA (Construction Products Association
within or connected to the rooflight industry • The establishment of working groups focussed on thermal performance and fire safety • Development of new external communications to specifiers, contractors, self-builders & homeowners •
Collaboration with partner organisations, including RIBA, CPA, Eurolux (the European Trade Association for rooflights) and NSBRC (The National Self-Build & Renovation Centre.
For further information, visit NARM at www.narm.org.uk
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with GRP rooflights from Filon Safety is at the front and centre of our product policy: Our technical expertise has contributed directly to UK rooflight non-fragility classification over decades, with Filon personnel playing key safety roles in influential trade associations including NARM (National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers) and ACR (Advisory Committee for Roofsafety). Our unique, patented Fixsafe system is the only solution that allows profiled rooflights to be safely installed from within the building envelope, without the need to access fragile roof areas. We offer a range of fire grades to provide compliance with Building Regulations. Our Supasafe triple reinforced rooflights provide high impact resistance, spanning and load-bearing capabilities. We’re the UK’s longest established manufacturer of profiled rooflights by continuous process, with a successful track record of excellence in design, product performance and customer support. As you’d expect, we’re also currently employing Covid-secure working practices throughout our operations. Filon: truly a ‘safe pair of hands’ for specifiers.
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A guide to conservation rooflights There’s a huge variety of choice in the conservation rooflight market and selecting the right product can be confusing. Paul Trace from Stella Rooflight offers some advice on things to consider when planning your project. What is a conservation rooflight? If you know that you need conservation rooflights for your project, the chances are that you have searched online and found plenty of choice. But what is a conservation rooflight and are they all the same? To better understand what makes a rooflight a conservation style, it is important to understand the history behind this type of glazing and why the design is so sought after, not just on period properties but also more modern projects. Without the ingenious concept of a rooflight the vision of transforming unconventional space into a well-lit property would be a daunting task, and in some cases an impossible option. For that reason, the conservation rooflight could be considered a highly influential building feature, which has given the construction industry a solution to introducing natural light into a property. Although rooflights, or skylights as they are sometimes known as, have been around for centuries they became more prominent during the Victorian era as technology and building aspirations were stretched and roof glazing boomed. One of the most famous Victorian building projects was
the Crystal Palace, which in 1851 used glazing on an unprecedented scale to showcase just what could be achieved. Mass-produced Victorian rooflights for residential use tended to be made from cast iron and the earliest examples would have smaller, lighter panes of glass. This was partially down to limits of glass technology at the time but also because of excise duties, which were imposed on glass by weight in the mid-18th century. These slim, single glazed rooflights with multiple panels of glass were unobtrusive in design and sat flush in the roof. Today it is this minimalist appearance that many people are seeking to achieve in their glazing designs.
“To better understand what makes a rooflight a conservation style, it is important to understand the history behind this type of glazing and why the design is so sought after, not just on period properties but also more modern projects.”
As a result of their popularity, there are lots of conservation roof windows on the market, which can make choosing the right one virtually impossible unless one can identify what the differentiations are. An effective way to make this distinction is to look closer at the attributes of a true replica of a Victorian conservation rooflight. What material is the conservation rooflight manufactured from? If a conservation rooflight is all frame, then there is little point in having one. Genuine conservation designs should be manufactured with slim clean lines
and a low-profile to match the roofline. A number of skylight companies try to produce conservation rooflights using modern bulky aluminium profiles, which sit proud of the roofline, particularly slate. It is widely accepted that most authentic conservation rooflights are manufactured from steel because it provides great strength while offering a slim profile and excellent glass to frame ratios. There are many types of steel conservation rooflights and for unrivalled protection and lifespan, all Stella rooflights are manufactured from marine grade 316 stainless steel.
Internally Stella rooflights are finished with real wood linings. American ash is the most popular choice, but we can produce these from any timber required. The use of real wood gives a neat, warm appearance to the internal element of your conservation rooflight. Many rooflight suppliers use cheaper soft wood or plastic, which is painted white as an internal finish and these liners can result in deeper frame profiles or reduced viewable areas. While a white internal frame can be sold as ‘clean’ or ‘neat’, these can sometimes feel a little soulless and is a finish more often associated with
REFURBISHMENT “Victorian rooflights would have been single glazed, however, today’s modern building standards are much higher and so single glazing does not meet the minimum requirements for thermal efficiency (Part L) ”
modern flat rooflights than traditional conservation products. Single or double glazed? Victorian rooflights would have been single glazed, however, today’s modern building standards are much higher and so single glazing does not meet the minimum requirements for thermal efficiency (Part L). Double glazing is now the most popular option for genuine conservation rooflights because glazing technology is such that a modern double glazed unit can provide a number of benefits while remaining reasonably slender. The units used in a Stella conservation rooflight offer both self-clean and solar control elements, while also providing excellent thermal efficiency with an inner pane of Planitherm One. Using warm edge spacer technology and argon gas our units are also silicone edge sealed, which gives them greater protection against UV light. Some conservation rooflight suppliers are keen to boast about offering triple glazing in their products but while this does offer a slightly improved thermal performance it comes at the expense
of appearance. The optimal spacer bar thickness is 16mm so any decent triple glazed unit is going to be almost 50% thicker than a double glazed version. Now with a flush fitting profile being one of the main requirements of a conservation rooflight, the introduction of triple glazing makes that almost impossible on some roof types. Glazing bars? It is often a stipulation from the Conservation Officer that a conservation rooflight should have a glazing bar to replicate that original Victorian appearance. It is not always the case but it is definitely worth checking whether you need them before purchasing any conservation rooflight. If your conservation rooflight does require a glazing bar then it should be a genuine one. This is an area that separates those producing close replicas to the original Victorian rooflights and those who are trying to pass off modern skylights as something more traditional. A genuine glazing bar should be something which not only divides the glazing but also provides
REFURBISHMENT additional strength to the casement. So many conservation rooflights have something simply stuck or glued onto the outside of the glass which neither looks good nor provides any benefit to the rooflight. In addition, these stuck on bars (usually plastic) often attract dirt and mould and the lifespan of anything which is simply held on by tape or glue is unlikely to compare with a genuine steel glazing bar. A stuck on glazing bar is one step up from a felt pen but
certainly should not be seen as a way to make a modern bulky framed profile meet the criteria of a conservation rooflight. Top hung or centre pivot? Once again, if you are looking for a close replica of a Victorian rooflight then a top hung profile will be the one you should opt for. Not only does a top hung design offer a more authentic appearance, it maximises the space
REFURBISHMENT below because the casement doesn’t stick into the room. Smaller top hung rooflights also utilise beautiful brass ironmongery to operate the casement whereas centre pivot designs tend to rely on modern plastic handles, which are out of reach and offer nothing to enhance the internal aesthetics. Is any conservation rooflight suitable for my project? Just because something is sold as a conservation rooflight, that doesn’t automatically make it suitable for all building types. If your building is Listed or in a conservation area then the criteria for using conservation rooflights are much stricter and you should always gain approval, not only for their use but also the manufacturer that you would want to use. There are only a handful of companies that specifically make conservation rooflights and even fewer who design, manufacture and assemble in the UK. Many conservation rooflights available online are simply other products which have been spruced up to look like they meet the requirements of that type of product. If you ask a supplier what the main difference is between their conservation rooflight and those used on modern buildings and the answer is a stuck on glazing bar, then you should avoid at all costs. Likewise, there are many elements which go into a genuine conservation design and price is always a reflection on quality. Is there anything else I should consider when choosing my conservation rooflight? With the UK Government pursuing a carbon neutral environment it is imperative that every action is taken to reduce energy consumption. Rooflights are energy efficient as they let in large amounts of natural light thus reducing the need for artificial lighting. Bringing
natural daylight into your home is about much more than creating a bright, welcoming environment, it’s about protecting your health and wellbeing and achieving a more positive way of life. One way to ensure that you maximise the amount of available light is to increase the size of your rooflights… or is it? Just because you have a large rooflight this does not always guarantee lots of light and you should always check what the finished viewable (often referred to as clear viewable) area of the rooflight will be. You might think that a conservation rooflight with a whole frame size of 900mm (w) x 1200mm (h) would have a similar clear viewable area regardless of the manufacturer, but you would be wrong and bulky framed modern types or the flat rooflights posing as pitched conservation styles will let in considerably less light than a genuine steel framed version.
“If your building is Listed or in a conservation area then the criteria for using conservation rooflights are much stricter and you should always gain approval, not only for their use but also the manufacturer that you would want to use.”
With so many choices available, choosing the right conservation rooflight can be a bit of a minefield but with the right guidance and advice it need not be a stressful experience. At Stella we focus on each element of our conservation rooflight and our attention to detail is second to none, providing a realistic yardstick to measure the performance of other conservation rooflight designs. Our aim has always been to provide the best looking and best performing conservation rooflight on the market. Whether you are building from the ground up, renovating an existing environment or extending to create more room, we know that quality is important to you and getting it wrong is just not an option. www.stellarooflight.co.uk
Switchable Glass Solutions for the Modern Home An innovative technology capable of adjusting privacy or light transmission on demand is now available. By Emily Burkinshaw, Intelligent Glass. Privacy has always been a key factor in decision making when it comes to buying a home. With new build homes offering a fraction of the space when compared to older properties, homeowners are now looking for new ways to keep their space private. Traditionally privacy has always been achieved using blinds and curtains but with smart homes trending in interiors worldwide, alternative solutions on the market are being favoured, one in particular being Switchable Glass.
Switchable Glass can be used as an alternative to standard glass in all areas of the home and can also be produced in the form of a self-adhesive film, that can be easily applied to any existing glass surface.
What are the different types of Switchable Glass?
What is Switchable Glass?
Switchable Glass comes in all shapes and sizes, having many unique uses in all areas of the home. There’s no one size fits all, Intelligent Glass provides made to measure solutions that are completely bespoke to the individual.
Switchable Glass, also known as Intelligent Glass or smart glass, is an innovative technology that is capable of adjusting privacy or light transmission on demand. Providing modern, minimalist alternative to blinds, Switchable Glass in its off state appears as translucent, giving a frosted effect but when an electrical current is applied, becomes transparent.
The most common type of Switchable Glass used in homes is Switchable Double Glazing. Providing an improved thermal performance to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, these units can reduce solar heat gain by up to 30% whilst still allowing natural light into the property. Used in the Collard Towers dream home build and featured on
“Switchable Glass can be used as an alternative to standard glass in all areas of the home and can also be produced in the form of a self-adhesive film, that can be easily applied to any existing glass surface.”
MATT Architecture worked with Intelligent Glass, using Switchable Film to create a focal point for this multi-award winning home. LEFT: Glazing in clear state. Right: glazing switched to frosted for privacy.
C4’s ‘Building the Dream’, two 1100 x 2100mm double glazed Switchable Glass panels were integrated into their entrance hall, allowing a huge amount of natural light into the space whilst providing the option of privacy at a moment’s notice. For homeowners who are looking to renovate rather than build from scratch, Switchable Film is the most popular option. Designed to retrofit easily to any existing glass surface, Switchable Film is ideal for applications to windows, doors, dividers, skylights and more. Used as a finishing touch to an already breath-taking project, MATT Architecture worked with Intelligent Glass, using Switchable Film to create a focal point for the multi-award winning home, Number 23. The modest exterior conceals a home that is actually 30% bigger than its neighbours despite occupying a 20% smaller plot, using
sun pipes, skylights and Switchable Film to flood the interior with natural light and create the illusion of an even larger space without compromising on privacy. The popularity of the Ring doorbell has emphasised the interest in knowing who’s outside before you answer the door, but this can be incorporated into the door itself with a Switchable Vision Panel. Battery operated and with no external wiring, these vision panels can be easily retrofit into existing doors with little to no disruption and made to fit custom shapes and sizes for a solution that’s completely unique to you. A clever solution that works at the touch of a button, that won’t impose on the aesthetics of the interior. The range of Switchable Glass solutions on offer are huge, with laminated and toughened options
Switchable Vision Panels on
being popular for room dividers, doors and bathrooms. Also on offer are more specialist products including curved, acoustic and fire-rated Switchable Glass, as well as the elusive Switchable Dark featuring a dark grey appearance, that brings a cosier atmosphere to any room.
What are the benefits of using Switchable Glass in the home? The main benefit of using Switchable Glass in the home is the control of your privacy being in the palm of your hand. Switchable Glass changes between frosted and clear in seconds, with a range of control methods, this technology is flexible to your needs. More traditionally, Switchable Glass has been wired up to wall switches, but operation via remote-control is heavily favoured, working from up to 25 meters away. In recent years, switchable technologies have also been integrated within smart home automation systems, from apps and built in control panels to incredibly popular voice automation systems like
Switchable Vision Panels off
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Switchable Glass is commonly used to maximise the amount of natural light in the home whilst remaining private. Areas that are usually void of natural light like basements, spaces under the stairs and sometimes en-suites, are now benefiting from systems like Switchable Glass doors, skylights and walls, flooding them with light making the interiors appear larger and more inviting. One great example of how Switchable Glass can be used cleverly is in this barn conversion where the owner looked to get the most out of his limited space. With the main bathroom of the property positioned under the stairs the space was destined to feel cramped and dingy, but with the genius addition of Switchable Glass stairs the bathroom became illuminated with light, keeping the intimacy of the space still intact. The property also utilised a cleverly placed skylight above the stairs to lighten the interior, even allowing the opportunity to stargaze from the bath in the evening whilst the stairs are switched to clear.
SMART GLAZING Another key benefit is how switchable technology offers privacy without compromising on your interior. It’s sleek and minimalist nature makes it perfect for integration into both modern and traditional homes, even becoming a favourite for use in listed buildings as it maintains the appearance of the space in its clear state, whilst still offering the option of privacy at a moment’s notice. Using solutions like Switchable Double Glazing in your home can also provide economic benefits, with their improved thermal performance helping to better regulate room temperature. Switchable technology also reduces glare when turned off without the need to block the light out completely, keeping your space light and airy all year round.
with homeowners constantly looking to push the boundaries of how Switchable Glass can be used around the home. From fitting Switchable Glass into furniture to creating stunning, sweeping curved Switchable Glass feature walls, the opportunities are endless! For a privacy solution that works aesthetically with any interior, Switchable Glass is the perfect option. With over 15 years of experience supplying switchable technologies to both the commercial and residential industries, Intelligent Glass prides itself on being able to bring visions to life, creating brighter and more distinctive spaces to live, work and experience, all over the globe. www.intelligentglass.net
The custom nature of this technology is only limited by your imagination,
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Successful test for dual directional fire resistant curtain wall system One of the UK’s leading steel glazing specialists has announced a significant and “breakthrough” fire test. Wrightstyle, the Devizes-based company, has tested its WSL SR60 curtain wall framing system with SCHOTT PYRANOVA® 120 glass.
But it’s also a significant advance in providing greater fire protection between high risk areas such as car parks and lower risk areas such as offices – or between buildings.
The successful test at WarringtonFire was carried out with the exterior The test also incorporated steel building surface facing into the furnace. spandrel panels, making it one of the first alternative infill options to achieve The significance is that the SR60 two hours of integrity and insulation. system has been tested to be dual directional fire resistant. Spandrel panels can have both functional and aesthetic purposes, It therefore makes the system an ideal and generally have to meet thermal, solution in places where a high level of acoustic, fire performance and integrity and insulation is required. moisture requirements. The test was extremely demanding on The SR60 system is also fully weather the system components, and target certified, being a gasket glazed system, performance was to achieve EI120 (120 an enormous advance over more minutes integrity and insulation). commonly-used tape glazed systems. “In the event, the test ran for a period of 148 minutes, exceeding the criteria for a pass by 23%. Such a comfortable overrun is rare in high-performance tests,” said Chris Peters, design manager at Wrightstyle. “Its significance is that many specifiers don’t pay enough attention to the fact that a fire can start on either side of a fire-rated glazing system. In other words, the specified glazing system will provide protection, but only in one direction,” he said. It’s a safety issue that Wrightstyle, as a leading international advanced glazing company, has recognised as important in, for example, atria, shopping centres or airports.
Full furnace temperature was achieved after some 60 minutes into the test, with a peak temperature of 1050 degrees C. The test module size was three metres by three metres and the test was jointly carried out by Wrightstyle and SCHOTT Technical Glass Solutions GmbH. SCHOTT is one of the world’s leading speciality glass manufacturers. Helmut Kugelmann, Sales Director for Fire Resistant and Security Glazing at SCHOTT, commented, “SCHOTT were very happy to work with Wrightstyle in developing this fully-tested safe solution that exceeds local building code requirements.”
The SR60 curtain wall framing system can be installed internally or externally, further underlining the capabilities of the system and its absolute safe functionality. System attributes of the SR60 curtain walling system include: • Tested to BS476 Part 22 and EN1364-3. • Dual Directional Fire Applications up to EI-148 Minutes. • Dry Gasket Glazed • Self-Draining. • Pressure Equalised. • Thermally Broken. • Roof Glazing Applications. • Air Permeability AE (> 600 Pa) • Water Resistance (Pa) RE 1650 • U Value <0.9 W/(m2K) • Sound Insulation up to Rw 48dB • Burglar Resistant as per DIN EN1627 up to RC3
• Bullet Resistance to BR8. • Steel Faced Spandrel Panels. “This breakthrough test gives architects and specifiers new evidence on our WSL SR60 system, allowing them to push the boundaries of fire safety,” said Chris Peters. “All our systems are complete and guaranteed, and tested to European, US and Asian standards. “We believe in testing everything and were one of the first companies, for example, to test one of our systems against a lorry bomb, which can be seen here,” he said. www.wrightstyle.co.uk
DAYLIGHTING ICONS The biggest: the best: the most awe-inspiring; the most outrageous; the most influential... In this regular feature we indulge ourselves and our readers with images of daylighting projects throughout the years that simply deserve a double page photograph...
30 St Mary Axe: ‘The Gherkin’, London This famous London landmark uses energy-saving methods which allow it to use around half the power that a similar tower would typically consume. Gaps in each floor create shafts that serve as a natural ventilation system for the entire building, with firebreaks on every sixth floor. The shafts create a giant double glazing effect, by which air is sandwiched between two layers of glazing and insulates the office space inside. Double glazing in residential houses avoids the inefficient convection of heat across the relatively narrow gap between the panes: and the tower exploits this effect. The shafts pull warm air out of the building during the summer and warm the building in the winter using passive solar heating. The shafts also allow sunlight to pass through the building, making the work environment more pleasing, and keeping the lighting costs down.
Roman Babakin / Shutterstock. com
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