The Building Centre, London

Project: The Building Centre, London

The recent refit at the UK-GBC’s office in London’s Building Centre provided an opportunity to work with a range of specialists to implement practical, eco-friendly measurers to create a greener working environment for their staff, as well as creating a more energy efficient building. With buildings accounting for 44% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, UK-GBC aims to work with government and industry to create a more sustainable built environment and their own efforts to reduce their office’s environmental impact helps to demonstrate the pressing need to reduce the amount of energy used to heat buildings for both economic and environmental reasons.

The very large single glazed windows at the UK-GBC’s offices were a major source of heat loss and, as the building is Listed, replacement windows or double glazing were not an available option. The organisation therefore consulted Selectaglaze, the country’s leading specialist in secondary glazing, with a brief to reduce heat flow through the glass and eliminate draughts at the windows.

The 3M high windows were treated with a combination of Series 10 and Series 80 Horizontal Sliding secondary units set to match the window sightlines and glazed with single panes of toughened low emissivity glass. The U-value of the original windows was 6.5 and calculations using modelling software show this has reduced to 1.8 – a very significant improvement. In addition to the improvement in thermal insulation, the secondary glazing has provided a very significant reduction in noise, an important factor for inner city offices.

Following completion of the refit Ecoteric Ltd was commissioned by main contractor Morgan Lovell to carry out a BREEAM assessment measured against the BRE Environmental and Sustainability Standard, BREEAM Offices 2008 (BES5055 Issue 3.0). The building achieved a BREEAM score of 73.75% which translates into an interim design stage BREEAM rating of Excellent.  Rebecca Avery of the UK-GBC says: “The project’s greatest achievement has been that it has taken a 1930’s building and through improvement and good design and management it has achieved this outstanding rating”.

Refurbishment or upgrade projects are often “fast track”, requiring close co-operation between client, contractor, specialists and the professional team. Established in 1966 and a Royal Warrant Holder since 2004, Selectaglaze has a wealth of experience working on this basis in buildings up to Grade 1 listed. The company also offers a technical and specification advisory service to ensure the correct interface with other trades. Programmes are particularly important and proactive site surveys, linked to a modern production facility working on “Lean principles”, ensures projects are delivered on schedule.

New Energy Conservation Guidance Notes and fully updated Product Guide
Selectaglaze recently launched a new Guidance Note on the ability of secondary glazing to improve a building’s energy performance together with a new comprehensive Product Guide demonstrating the range and diversity of styles available. Copies can be obtained from the Marketing Department on 01727 837271 or via the company’s website www.selectaglaze.co.uk