London Fire Brigade has completed a PFI project to renovate and update nine fire stations across the city with new state-of-the-art facilities that deliver excellent energy performance – thanks in part to glazing from Pilkington United Kingdom Limited.
Under a £51.5m PFI project, the consortium Blue 3 worked with architect BDP to design the stations, to provide the quality and flexibility of accommodation needed to support a 21st century fire service.
A major part of this was delivering a comfortable year-round climate for crews while controlling on-going energy costs and meeting the Brigade’s ambitious environmental-performance targets.
The stations have all achieved an "Outstanding" rating in the Building Research Establishment Environment Assessment Method (BREEAM), which assesses a building’s performance on areas including energy and water use, health and wellbeing and waste.
To support the passive design strategies used by the architect to deliver low-energy climate control, Pilkington supplied 600 m2 of Pilkington Insulight™ Sun double-glazed units. These incorporate Pilkington Suncool™ 66/33, a solar control glass that reduces transmission of energy from the sun to just 33 per cent, while allowing 66 per cent transmission of daylight.
This means that the amount of the sun’s energy entering the building is reduced, making the climate inside easier and cheaper to control, while still offering windows that provide bright, clear views in and out.
Pilkington Suncool™ also has low-emissivity properties, which helps to reduce the heat escaping through the glazing externally.
James Baker, Architect Director at BDP said: “Achieving the BREEAM Outstanding rating in the competitive PFI environment is quite a challenge, so we are proud that all of the stations have comfortably met the standard.
“The passive design solutions we incorporated into the building – including natural ventilation to cool the building and exposed thermal mass for heating – allow it deliver a comfortable climate all-year-round while minimising energy costs.
“We sought a high performance double glazed unit that would have a low centre pane U value, and would have a neutral appearance in terms of its g value – while maximising the natural light entering the buildings, which will have a big impact on the wellbeing of the crews stationed there.”
Peter Maj, area sales manager at Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, added: “This project is testament to the excellent performance of the Pilkington Insulight™ units and the role they can play in boosting the overall energy performance of a building.
“While climate control is a key concern, it’s important that it doesn’t come at the expense of a well-lit working environment, and that is what our high-performance glazing allows designers to achieve – even on very commercially competitive projects.”
The glazing was installed by specialist building envelope contractor Paneltec Services.