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Clean, private and secure environments for laboratories enhanced with secondary glazing

6 Apr 2018
Case study

PsiOxus Therapeutics Ltd. (PsiOxus) is a UK and US based cancer therapeutics company recently listed 25th in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 in 2017 for its ‘Gene Therapy for Cancer’ platform technology for the treatment of solid tumours. PsiOxus has recently expanded into 21,000 sq ft of new facilities including a state of the art research and development laboratory in The Quadrant at the Abingdon Science Park. The Quadrant was acquired in January 2016 by Addington Capital and Europa Capital and Addington has been actively asset managing since.  In total, the 75,000 sq ft scheme is refurbishing the R&D and office accommodation internally and upgrading laboratory equipment, heating/cooling systems, lighting, and windows. 

The main contractor, Morgan Lovell specified Selectaglaze, the leading supplier of secondary glazing, to come up with bespoke solutions to improve the thermal insulation and security of the building in specific areas. Liaising with Tom Hing, the Morgan Lovell project manager, a challenging schedule was targeted, to keep the works on time in preparation for the opening of the centre in Summer 2017.

The works involved the introduction of secondary glazing at the new PsiOxus facility to meet the needs of an oncolytic virus research and development laboratory by enhancing the thermal and security properties of the primary glazing.

The original primary windows were thermally inefficient, draughty and let heat escape. PsiOxus’ research and development environment demands the utmost cleanliness so a glazing solution was needed to meet these requirements.  As part of the refurbishment, windows with fire ratings separating the labs and corridors were also required to conform to building regulations. 

Selectaglaze met the brief by installing a total of 15 horizontal slider units with 6mm toughened low- E glass in the 2 and 3 pane options to all of the external primary windows. The inverted u-channel section was included to sit in the bottom of each frame to minimise the dust traps and enhance the ease of cleaning. This is ideal for tissue culture labs where there is a requirement for infection control.  All of the secondary glazing on the ground floor was fitted with Satinovo obscurity glass to provide increased lab privacy.

In addition, a total of 22 Series 40 fixed light units were fitted as viewing panels in the research and development laboratories. The Series 40 has a sturdier frame which can house higher weights of glass. The vision panels within the internal walls were fitted with 6mm toughened glass and in the lab areas, units were fitted with a 10mm Pyrodur glass, providing 30 minutes fire integrity. PsiOxus installed fume cupboards, new upstands and trunking after the secondary glazing was fitted. This was to ensure that the units could be fitted with ease as any new equipment or upstands may have restricted the unit fitting into the reveal.

Thermally speaking, the U-values have been improved, now exceeding 1.9, and draughts have been eliminated. The flush frames and Satinovo glass now ensure that any experiments will be contained within the laboratories, thus promoting an optimised cleanable and controlled environment. An additional benefit not initially specified was the improvement to acoustic insulation. Selectaglaze units combined with a cavity of at least 100mm from the primary window, provide a significant noise reduction from the outside environment.

The successful on-time installation of secondary glazing has greatly benefited the working atmosphere in the labs. The PsiOxus staff are already reaping the benefits of the new secondary glazing in their daily operations.

Selectaglaze is the leading specialist in secondary glazing, established in 1966 and Royal Warrant Holder since 2004. It boasts a wealth of knowledge and an extensive range of products to suit all projects from Listed properties, to new builds. The company offers a wide range of tested products covering acoustic and thermal performance as well as protection against intruder and blast mitigation. A free technical advisory service is offered and RIBA approved CPDs are available to architects and designers.

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