Self-cleaning glass

Many of our customers ask us to fit self-cleaning glass to their conservatory roofs. The self-cleaning properties of Pilkington ‘Activ’ glass are achieved via a thin transparent coating of titanium dioxide, which is applied to the outer glass pane during the manufacturing process. Pilkington ‘Activ’ glass ‘self-cleans’ in two stages:

1/ Photo-catalytic stage:- organic dirt is broken down chemically by the ultraviolet portion of sunlight,

2/ Super-hydrophilic stage:- rain-water spreads evenly across the surface of the glass, washing away the dirt.

In this visual demonstration, raindrops can be seen clinging to the non-coated centre pane of a conservatory roof while spreading evenly across the other panels.

Admiral Windows Activ coating vs uncoated glass

Pilkington Activ glass is available tinted or non-tinted. Colour choices for tinted glass include blue and bronze. For more information about self-cleaning glass, see here (link opens in new tab / window).

Conservatories: designing-in light

One of the great benefits of adding a conservatory or orangery to your home is that it can be configured to fit your needs precisely. If we know about your interests and hobbies, and about your intended uses for this new space, then we can apply our collective expertise toward offering design solutions that will really work for you.

Sometimes people underestimate how lighting can affect their use of a room. In our houses, natural light usually enters through vertical windows only. This is not always ideal – there will likely be glare spots and dark spots.

In rooms with vaulted ceilings, skylights allow a more balanced distribution of natural light. A glass-roofed conservatory gives the most naturalistic lighting conditions, in that much of the light entering the conservatory is from above. This contributes to the blurring of boundaries between house and garden that is part of why we love conservatories! Should you wish to work on a laptop computer or tablet at mid-day in this room though, you may well find that there can be just too much of a good thing.

4802-smlSolution: a solid-roofed Admiral conservatory featuring vaulted and plastered ceilings with skylights in just the right places, giving you optimal levels of natural light, distributed exactly where you want it. If you know that you’d like to read books or work at your computer while at the same time having the perfect view of your garden – we will arrange the design elements to suit you and your location. Solid roofs can be tiled or panelled – the choice is yours.

Back to school for Admiral Windows

St. Swithun’s is a Church of England primary school in Kennington, a few miles to the south of Oxford. The school asked Admiral Windows to create a new administration office within their main reception area, as part of a larger renovation and improvement project.

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The school and their architect for this project were looking for a modern design, and chose slim aluminium frame profiles in the increasingly popular Anthracite Grey colour (RAL 7016). This versatile grey tone integrates well with other colours, making for a balanced aesthetic.

Key stswithun3to ensuring success of the project was precise surveying, making sure that the window and door frames would sit neatly on the new walls and directly under the suspended ceiling. For safety and durability, we used an anti-finger trap commercial entrance door.

The clean lines and the harmonious modern design have created a practical and attractive architectural feature to welcome visitors to the school.

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A kind of hush

gg-mainVisitors to Oxford’s Green Gables guest house will need to set their alarm clocks because, thanks to Admiral Windows, the roar of the morning rush hour will now be a thing of the past.

Green Gables is an AA ‘highly commended’ guest house situated on Abingdon Road, the main thoroughfare into Oxford city from the south. The large Edwardian building features over sixty individual windows, most of which were vertical sliding sash units featuring weights and pulleys. Because of the style and age of these windows, secondary glazing units had been fitted inside guest bedrooms, in an attempt to improve heat and sound insulation.

Green Gables’ owners tasked Admiral gg-old-sec-glazWindows with fitting suitable replacement windows for the building. These new units would need to eliminate the need for secondary glazing, while reducing maintenance requirements.

I asked Admiral Windows’ installations manager Ashton Crawley about the challenges of the job.

‘There was much making good to do, where the original frames and secondary glazing had been fitted,’ Ashton told me. ‘In all, we fitted fifty-six individual windows, including a new door combination to the rear of the property.’

How did Admiral tackle the issue of road noise?

‘We used laminated double-glazed sealed units. These break up the resident frequency of the sound waves and reduce outside noise by a considerable amount. In my opinion, by a lot more than either standard double or even triple glazed window units.’

And these are low-maintenance designs?

‘Yes. The design we agreed with the client was for a much simpler top hung with bottom opening sash window unit, with chrome coloured handles. These made for a transformation of every room where they were applied. Once we had finished the fitting job, I went from room to room with Green Gables’ cleaner, who was delighted by the reduction in her workload!’

How long did the whole job take?

‘The complete installation, from start to finish, took us less than a working week, including removing all waste from site and separating out the recyclable items. This meant the least disruption was caused to their business and they could continue boarding customers as usual.’

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Many thanks to Green Gables’ owners Mr and Mrs Bhella for choosing Admiral Windows. We hope that their clients will enjoy peaceful stays at Green Gables for many years to come.

Green Gables guest house can be contacted on 01865 725870gg-new-win-2

Style spotlight: orangery

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Our most luxurious home extensions and garden rooms are constructed with full-height masonry walls, box gutters and lantern roofs. ‘A’-rated glazing and self-cleaning Pilkington Activ Blue roof-glass help make an Admiral orangery a home extension that you can use all year.

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The ‘P’ shaped example pictured features uPVC windows and doors that are foiled externally in Chartwell green. The orangery’s Livin Room roof features an electrically operated vent that can be set to open and close automatically from its thermostatic control module. A moisture sensor ensures that the roof vent closes at the first sign of rain.

Style spotlight: modern

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A versatile and increasingly popular choice, suitable for home-owners who seek a clean contemporary look. While these conservatories look great attached to modern homes, they can be especially effective when added to period properties – they provide a dramatic contrast between old and new. For those properties with less room under the eaves, consider a reverse lean-to design with sliding or bi-folding doors. The example pictured is located at our Chilton conservatories showsite. Its five-leaf bi-folding aluminium doors open all the way across the veranda: a truly stylish bridge between outdoors and in.leanto_int

This particular conservatory features raked ftames manufactured from Duraflex uPVC and foiled in dark grey (RAL 7016) to match its aluminium Visofold bi-folding doors. We used self-cleaning Pilkington Activ Blue glazing for the large roof panels and toughened energy-efficient Pilkington K glass in the doors and frames. You can choose from a range of frame colours and specifications, as well as various hardware options.

Style spotlight: Victorian

A popular conservatory style, distinguished by a three or five faceted front, which gives the conservatory a curved appearance. A particular favourite with owners of period properties, its elegant proportions and fan-style roof add aesthetic appeal.

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Our showsite example features 600mm brick dwarf walls and a roof glazed with Pilkington Activ Blue panels. These not only look good, they help keep internal temperatures cool on hot days while maintaining excellent light transmittance and high energy absorption.

We also have considerable expertise in the construction of conservatories using hardwood frames: please ask.