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Glass and coatings

In terms of environmental performance, glazed openings are the weak point in the external fabric of any building. Performance can be improved significantly by using the right type of glass. Pilkington do a natty little guide online where you can select the situation and then see types of glass that control solar gain, heat loss, protect against fire, increase security or even self cleaning glass.

Do not forget that glazing to doors and at low level needs to be toughened, laminated or wired to meet safety tandards.

Consider too the possibilities of self cleaning glass -after years of research and development, Pilkington has introduced the Pilkington Activ™ range of products. The range has products which combine both self-cleaning and solar control properties, making them highly desirable amongst homeowners looking for the ultimate in glass solutions.

Choosing low energy glass

The Glass and Glazing Federation ( can also help in selecting low energy glaziing. 

Many homeowners are unaware of the fact that energy efficient windows can help reduce energy bills, condensation and carbon footprints, amongst many other things.  Despite research showing that one in seven people rate energy efficiency as one of the most important features in a home, many persist with old windows which could be responsible for up to 20% of heat loss within their household.

The GGF, in its position as a representative of companies who carry out over 50% of glass and glazing installations in the UK, advises that the energy efficiency of windows are now rated via a labelling scheme as developed by the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC).

Window Energy Ratings (WER's) aim to make it easier for consumers to see the savings they can make by replacing their existing windows. As with household appliances such as fridges, dishwashers and other 'white' goods, windows are now rated from A-G, with 'A' rated windows being the most thermally efficient. 

When choosing an installer, check whether they are a GGF member and their windows carry the BFRC energy-rating label for the highest level of installation and protection.

The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) is the primary trade association for companies that make, supply or fit flat glass products including double glazing, Energy Efficient Windows, replacement windows, doors, conservatories, applied film, hardware, safety glazing, sealants, fire resistant glass, emergency glazing, decorative glass, secondary glazing, solar control and plastics. It provides information for homeowners, professional specifiers and anyone seeking professional and unbiased information on any aspect of glass and glazing in the UK.

For further information go to:

Useful Glass resources
  • Abode Window Films -thin surface applied films to increase privacy, reduce energy usage or enhance security.
  • Art With Glass - specialist stained glass artists whose workshop is based in South East London.
  • British Glass -representative organisation for the glass industry -from bottle glass to window glass.
  • Glass and Glazing Federation -is a trade association for all those who make, supply or fit flat glass, such as windows, film or plastics. It also supplies information about glass and glazing to the general public.
  • Glaverbel - a world of glass -the French 'Pilkington'.
  • Interpane -Low emissivity glass, solar control, heat retaining and soundproof glasses from Germany.
  • London Crown Glass -high class conservation glasses -also gives a good outline of the history of glass in the UK.
  • Pilkington -founded in 1826, Pilkington is recognised as the world's technological leader in glass.
  • Philip Bradbury Glass -offers a range of authentic styles of high quality decorative glass. They specialise in hand-made period etched glass, leaded lights and brilliant-cutting.
  • London Crown Glass Company - specialises in high quality conservation glasses selected from the best of the traditional European craftsman glassblowers.
  • Rainbow Glass Studios - design and produce traditional and modern stained glass using various techniques -leaded stained glass, fusing, sandblasting, acid etching, kiln formed casting and painting.
  • Recycled Bottle Glass Centre -exactly as the name says, they supply a range of coloured glass produced from their patented glass bottle recycling process for many applications, including the refurbishment and repair of traditional stained glass windows and panels, or in making Tiffany style lamps.
  • The World of Glass -visitor centre in St Helens dedicated to glass.
  • Window Film UK Directory -directory of window film specialists throughout the UK.

Windows |
Conservatories | Rooflights | Doors | Garage Doors | Ironmongery | Glass | Shutters | Blinds and Curtains

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Featured books:

Translucent Materials: Glass, Plastics, Metals (Detail Practice S.) by Edward B. Burger and Frank Kaltenbach (Paperback - April 2004)
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