Concentration enhanced with Selectaglaze secondary glazing

Secondary glazing, selectaglaze

The standard of an institution’s education is down to the teacher’s skills and the individual; others will place more importance on the resources of the school. But what about the building itself? The sound of commuter traffic from the outside drifts in, voices in the hallway can be heard as people walk to class, a draft from the windows sweep in – not a straightforward environment to learn in

Secondary glazing can help resolve these distractions, simply and effectively. It can also significantly improve a building’s energy efficiency, which improves comfort during winter months and increase window security as educational buildings are often targets of theft and vandalism.

Secondary glazing offers an essential option to help educational institutions decarbonise their heritage estates as it is particularly suited to traditional buildings, those in conservation areas or listed buildings with preserved facades.

Abbey School

Creating a more sustainable environment

Selectaglaze has recently worked on The Abbey School in Chester. Set in the area nearby the imposing 600-year-old Chester Cathedral are two Georgian buildings which have been carefully and sympathetically renovated to become the Abbey School for Exceptional Children. Grade II listed and within the surrounding conservation area, Cheshire West & Chester Planning Authority, Chester Cathedral’s Fabric Design Committee and Historic England had to be consulted and approve any changes that were to be made to the buildings.

The townhouses were built on land belonging to the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral between 1754 and 1760. Some of the most striking external features are the windows, including 12-pane Georgian box sashes, as well as a couple of tripartite 4-12-4 pane sashes. Most of the windows were original and single glazed, which provided little thermal insulation for the students who would be occupying the spaces and allowed the noise of passing tourists visiting the historic square to enter the rooms.

Secondary glazing is generally accepted for use in heritage buildings as it is a reversible adaptation; so appointed architect Barron Design contacted Fenestral, trusted partner of Selectaglaze, to discuss options, suitable treatments and install the units thereafter.

Seventy units were installed over three floors in the two buildings, in classrooms, sensory rooms, dining areas and accommodation. Series 46 fixed lights were used below sill level transom coupled to either Series 60, where there are offset sashes, or Series 20 where the sashes are of equal size. For the exceptionally large windows, over 3m, Series 90s were specified. With their larger balance capacity, these heavy-duty sliders can easily cope with the added glass weight

The Abbey School is now a more sustainable environment, creating a sense of wellbeing and pride for all.

A sympathetic and sustainable solution

Gonville and Caius College

Selectaglaze was tasked with a challenging project to find a sympathetic and sustainable solution in Gonville & Caius College as part of a major kitchen refurbishment. The college is the fourth eldest and one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Cambridge.

The college has long historical associations to medical teaching and strong academic programmes spanning law, economics, English literature and history. It has produced 15 Nobel Prize winners over the years and Professor Stephen Hawking was a fellow of the college until his death in 2018.

Dining and socialising are important aspects of daily life for Caius’ community of students, staff and academics, known as Fellows, with two sittings six days a week in the Grade I listed hall, serving 500 people. It had been some time since it had seen a refurbishment, so Cambridge architect Pleasance, Hookham & Nix was employed to work up new ground floor layout to create more space for food preparation and a reconfiguration of office space on the mezzanine level.

Within the offices were four time-worn steel framed windows, which let in a great deal of draughts and allowed heat to escape. With sustainability high on the college’s agenda, secondary glazing was designed in to improve the U-values and thermal retention. Following their refurbishment, Cocksedge, the appointed main contractor, contacted Selectaglaze to work out a sympathetic solution that provided the required insulation levels.

The sensitive treatment followed the sightlines of the original glazing, as well as allowing full access to the primary windows, with Fineo 8 specified in the Series 15 mid-range horizontal sliding unit. A total of four windows were treated, one with Series 15-2 pane sliders and the others with three-pane sliders. To complement the internal detailing of the rooms, the timber subframes were finished with ovolo detailing, into which the secondary glazing was installed.

With such a vast array of options and working closely with the architects and contractors, Selectaglaze provided a solution that will enhance the working environment for the staff using the offices, as well as improving sustainability credentials.

With 50 years’ experience, Royal Warrant Holder Selectaglaze has a wealth of experience working in buildings of all styles.



Zoe Williams

Head of marketing


Tel: +44 01727 837271

Education sector

Twitter: @Selectaglaze


Please note: this is a commercial profile.


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