The age-old and the contemporary habitually coexist in our cities, where ultra-modern structures, often with futuristic styles, stand side-by-side with historic, and even centuries-old buildings. The coexistence of such different structures, from diverse periods, enhances the charm not only of our cities but also rural areas. Country houses, castles and stately homes embellish the English countryside, lending it the enduring charm that has long fascinated visitors from all over the world with an authentic experience of traveling back in time.
Glass can be a key component, not only in more modern architecture, but also in historic buildings. Its technical and aesthetic features can suggest new uses and functionality, with the same performance as found in the most innovative structures.
Being able to provide optimal living comfort in any building, under the most diverse climatic conditions, is one of the primary challenges that the makers of IG units face every day. And achieving this goal is even more complicated in historic buildings where stewardship and conservation of the architectural heritage of the building must blend seamlessly with the most current technologies in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation.
This long-standing and very sensitive issue in the United Kingdom now has a certified solution made by SafeGuard, an English company specialized in the manufacture of insulating glass units. With the Clarity Classic – Heritage Sealed Units project, it is now possible to maintain the original, traditional style of windows and also ensure the maximum energy efficiency possible. Through the use of high-performance components, SafeGuard perfectly pairs technical glass from the 21st century with IG units that are aesthetically appropriate for traditional or historically-important buildings. The resulting IG units successfully, and effortlessly, pass the moisture penetration index and gas leakage rate tests outlined in parts 2 and 3 of the EN1279 standard.
In order to maintain the charm and style of heritage buildings, reduced sight-line, extremely slim IG units must be installed. Only the perfect combination of truly efficient elements - like coatings, sealant and high-performance gas - can ensure the kind of performance needed for proper living comfort, while also offering customers the confidence that comes with internationally-recognized certification.
A key factor in achieving this result is the lengthy partnership between SafeGuard and the Fenzi Group labs. Research and development of Hotver A+, the one-component Fenzi sealant capable of optimizing and improving the gas leakage rate while also ensuring a perfect seal, even in the reduced amount of space available in the Heritage IGUs, was a major driving force in the success of the Clarity Classic – Heritage Sealed Units project. In fact, Hotver A+ is ideal for the production of high-performance energy-saving windows that meet the strictest national and European standards, even in single-seal. These features make it a sealant suited to the production of IG units for windows in historic buildings and those of particular architectural value.
“Another aspect that should not be underestimated is the consistency of the unit’s performance over time – explains Jason Williams, Director of Solutions UK (IG) Ltd, distributor of Fenzi Group products in England – “This kind of glass must maintain a perfect seal and guarantee a long service life, in order to avoid replacement or further intervention on the structure of sensitive historic buildings. Which is exactly why samples of insulating glass were sent to the Fenzi labs for regular testing for compliance with EN1279, in a program of constant monitoring of the products and components utilized. These regular quality checks make the systems developed by SafeGuard absolutely the most durable for this kind of application.”