Calne Heritage Centre

The Project

Fifty glass panels have been lowered into place on the roof of the Calne Heritage Centre in Calne town centre in Wiltshire. Incorporating Pilkington Activ™ Blue glass, the roof is the last stage of the refurbishment of the Heritage Centre which began in 2004. The museum displays Calne's history and heritage and is the former Carnegie library, which was purchased and refurbished by Calne Town Council for its current purpose.

In association with the Heritage Centre, it was decided to replace the existing glass roof sections, retaining the original glazing bar detailing. SW Glass supplied the Pilkington Activ™ Blue on the recommendation of Wilkins Builders, a Raymond Brown Group Company, who were responsible for the project. “The client wanted a glass roof that would allow in as much natural daylight as possible,” says Mel Wilkins of the contractors. “Obviously, as this is a museum, as well as a listed building, some of the exhibits are very old and sensitive to direct light, so specifying Pilkington Activ™ in blue was the obvious solution, as it acts as a filter. The 50 panels, 25 for each side, were transported to site once the scaffolding was in place. We sourced a manufacturer to provide special capping seals for the glazing bars that replicated the originals and it was a relatively simple procedure to install the panels.”

Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass has a specially formulated coating which breaks down organic dirt particles when exposed to daylight, making it the world’s first truly self-cleaning glass.

These particles are then washed away by rainwater. The glass is defined as hydrophilic, which means that the rain water runs evenly over the surface rather than forming droplets. The coating is activated by UV radiation, but contains harmless chemical substances so offering environmental benefits. Pilkington Activ™ Blue has been specifically developed for use in conservatories and commercial applications, so called because of its attractive ice blue tint, which offers excellent solar control properties and good light transmission.

Once installed, the difference is outstanding. The Pilkington Activ™ Blue glass allows direct filtered sunlight to flood into the galleries below, illuminating the exhibits and displays and creating a light, airy environment. “The end result is exactly as the client wanted,” comments Mel. “The self-cleaning properties of the Pilkington Activ™ Blue eliminate any risks associated with physical cleaning and the blue glass enhances the building, both practically and aesthetically.”

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Project Details
Surface Area
120 m²
Calne, Wiltshire
Building Type
  • Leisure
  • Entertainment
Calne Town Council
About the Architect/Installer
Wilkins Builders, a Raymond Brown Group Company Pilkington Activ™ Blue supplied by S W Glass
Benefit Led Categories
  • Self Cleaning