Secondary glazing enhances Plumstead Library refurbishment

Secondary glazing, Plumstead Library,

Working with architects Hawkins Brown Associates LLP and main contractor Osborne Construction, 63 secondary glazed units have been installed during the remodelling and refurbishment of Plumstead Library

The secondary glazing makes Plumstead Library more thermally efficient and creates quieter spaces for the local community user groups.

The building was Grade II Listed in 2016 by Historic England, due to its architectural and historic interest – one of the earliest funded libraries by Andrew Carnegie. It was constructed to the designs of Frank Sumner and officially opened in 1904 forming part of the community civic centre and social buildings.

Over the ensuing decades, the building fell into a state of repair with little public use.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich decided to make the building a critical element of the regeneration of the local high street and surrounding area. As part of the first phase, the reworking and renewal of the Library started in 2018, enabled by a £16.6m local authority backed scheme.

Due to the Listing, the original metal single glazed windows had to be retained, which did little to provide thermal and acoustic insulation – which is much needed in a library to create a welcoming and peaceful atmosphere for the users.

Noise was of particular concern, given the location of the library which faces onto the busy A206 – Plumstead High Street. Hawkins Brown Associates decided that Selectaglaze’s secondary glazing would pose the most effective solution to improve thermal efficiency as well as dramatically reduce the noise ingress.

Installing secondary glazingSecondary glazing, Plumstead Library,

Occupying the majority of the ground floor on the elevation facing the high street, are two striking bow windows. On other floors across this façade and the return elevation facing east a number of metal frame single glazed windows in various configurations. They allowed light to flood the areas yet did little to help the comfort levels of the spaces.

Well sealed and tightly installed secondary glazing significantly improves the performance of original windows. If used in conjunction with metal framed openings, U-values of 1.9 and reductions of 45dB (if fitted with 150mm cavity) can be achieved.

A total of 63 Selectaglaze units across the 2 facades were installed, which including Series 10-3 pane horizontal sliders, Series 80 – 3 pane horizontal sliders and more. Each sweeping bay overlooking the high street were built up with seven Series 20 vertical sliders, transom coupled to seven Series 45 side hung casements. This configuration complimented the sightlines of the primary windows and allowed full access for cleaning, maintenance and natural ventilation if required.

After months of highly skilled refurbishment works, the Library reopened in early 2020. It is a milestone in the long term plans of revitalising the high street and regeneration of the wider area. It is set to become a sustainable and cultural destination in the Plumstead area and a great legacy for one of the remaining Carnegie libraries in the UK.



Tel: 01727 837271

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