Results from the unique Project:LIFE research experiment have now been assessed and according to David Wilson Homes who originated the concept, some significant design issues have emerged from the project.
In conjunction with the Universities of Nottingham and Leicester, David Wilson Homes set up the Project:LIFE house to investigate how a family uses different rooms and what effect house design had upon behaviour. Volunteer family, the Parnells spent two seasons test-driving the research house in Sheffield, where manufacturers volunteered their leading edge equipment and technology for testing under real life conditions.
Pilkington Building Products supplied a large quantity of its Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass for the project and the final analysis revealed that the use of the product was highly appreciated. The interior of the house was designed to be much larger than it appeared from the road, with the illusion of space and light enhancing this impression. The large expanses of Pilkington Activ™ glass significantly helped to create this sense of space with glazing to the rear of the property. The aim was to evoke the ‘inside out’ theory, where the garden is brought into the house and the house into the garden to create a seamless integration. Because of the revolutionary self-cleaning properties of Pilkington Activ™, these large glass expanses could be achieved without having to consider the onerous maintenance problem of cleaning.
Although relatively new to the house builder market, Pilkington Activ™ has been readily adopted by the ever-growing self-build market, which recognises the design value of a glass with self-cleaning properties. “Self builders are more up to date with innovations and are more perceptive to embrace new concepts because they usually deal with individual homes rather than with volume building,” explains Ian Spokes of Pilkington Building Products. “This allows them a more creative design choice and Pilkington Activ™ is becoming increasingly popular with this market sector.”
The results of Project:LIFE revealed the value of Pilkington Activ™ self cleaning glass as a useful design concept, accommodating large expanses of glass as well as offering a practical solution to the problems of cleaning.