Selectaglaze scale monumental heights!
At the noisy heart of bustling Birmingham is the city’s Town Hall, an impressive example of Roman Revival civic architecture. Designed by Joseph Hansom (of “Hansom Cab” fame), this Grade 1 Listed landmark building is based on the Roman Temple of Castor and Pollux.
With a refurbishment budget of £34m, the 1830’s iconic masterpiece will once more become the performance centre of the city. However, the journey from faded glory to world class concert venue was hardly straightforward and took the combined expertise and ingenuity of main contractor, Wates Construction and Selectaglaze, the country’s leading secondary glazing specialist.
The challenge was to prevent the sounds of the city from interfering with the most sensitive of arias while maintaining clean sight lines for the building’s original windows and listed facade. The solution was a monumental story in the real sense of the word.
Working with their tried and tested Series 50 side hung casement, Selectaglaze produced a unit which, at 4.5m high, was substantially taller than any previous construction. And at 1.8m wide, the complete casement weighed in at over 200kg. Having met this first challenge, the next was how to fit the largest casement ever made, 8m up from floor level to cill!
Working closely with Wates Construction, an ingenious combination of rollers, vacuum lifting gear and purpose designed scaffolding was identified as being the most practical way of positioning the windows so that they could be presented to the specially reinforced openings. And, of course, the acoustic performance of the glazing combination and the fitting procedure had to be tested on the initial prototype before the main task of manufacture and installation could be undertaken.
Other necessary changes to the original Series 50 unit included the modification of the locking mechanism so that the unit could be closed by a single handle operated near the base of the window.
The benefits of secondary glazing systems are not only in sound insulation. The range also offers high levels of thermal insulation and can be specified to incorporate Part L compliant sealed units. The company also offers a suite of Security windows providing certified protection against blast, physical & ballistic attack and fire retardant rating.
Secondary glazing systems are purpose made and arrive fully assembled to allow rapid installation with minimal disruption. They need very little maintenance and will continuously contribute to energy savings.