Attendance at the recent seminar, organised by Pilkington in association with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to present the findings of a research programme on Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass, drew an excellent and perhaps surprising cross-section of delegates. The research, which was carried out by the BRE to formally quantify the benefits and express in objective terms the non-quantifiable benefits of Pilkington Activ™, attracted specifiers and architects from virtually every discipline in the private and public sectors, offering a glimpse into the depth of interest that now exists in the concept of self-cleaning glass, and the product itself.
Delegates heard from the Pilkington team who explained the purpose behind the research, and the BRE scientists and researchers that carried out the study which set out to apply objective and measurable values to Pilkington Activ™. As the world’s first self-cleaning glass there were few if any existing evaluation criteria to apply to the concept until the publication of the BRE paper. Bob Heapy, Chief Executive of Partners For Improvement in Camden, a major public sector specifier of Pilkington Activ™ also made a presentation on his organisation’s experiences with the product.
With the event held at the BRE’s excellent conference facilities near Watford, delegates largely travelled from the south east and particularly London with a number of local authorities and housing associations showing particular interest. Additionally, engineers and architects representing some of Britain’s biggest and best known companies and construction projects attended. Chartered surveyor Mr S Larkin commented: “I found the day extremely beneficial, coming away with a better understanding of the product.”
Ms T Istephan of Foster & Partners said she ‘would have preferred to hear more from the BRE.” though all in all she “… found the day to be very useful…. .” Ms Istephan concluded that Foster and Partners had used the product and would be using it again. Architect P Brades stated that he “thought the seminar was very useful, entertaining and well organised,” adding “This is a product I look forward to using.”
Pilkington’s Rick Wilberforce, who co-ordinated the research with the BRE, believes that the seminar drew out some worthwhile points of interest: “It was very clear that whilst there is a very keen interest in the concept of self-cleaning glass many professionals are uncertain about some aspects of the performance of the product under various conditions and applications. Some key, specific issues were raised such as potential contamination of the coating in a number of circumstances, and we were very pleased to have the opportunity to provide answers to these on a one-to-one basis.
“Pilkington Activ™ is liberating the way that glass may be specified in buildings, particularly in situations where design freedom might otherwise be compromised by issues relating to maintenance. This type of direct communication with specifiers allows us to deal with the expectations and realities of its specification,” he added.