Self-Cleaning Glass: Offering A Clear Advantage

Recent figures clearly show that homeowners are willing and able to up-spec their conservatories. Conservatories Active looks at how margins and customer satisfaction are increased by selling up conservatories with options such as self-cleaning glass.

According to information contained in the report by AMA Research the‘Domestic Conservatory Market – UK 2004’, the conservatory market is worth more than £1.3 billion at retail prices. However, says AMA, the market value increases towards £2 billion when installation costs, furniture, lighting, flooring, window coverings and other accessories are included.

However, glass conservatories are essentially an extension of the glazing industry – the double glazing industry – means that many of the methods and cultures upon which the conservatory industry is founded are shared with the window market. Including, some of its more negative traits. In particular, the habit of going for the price close as a means of securing an order now pervades the conservatory market.

The result of underselling, invariably, is a conservatory that may be poorly ventilated, cold in winter, too hot in summer, noisy when it rains and difficult to clean, none of which it needs to be.

This means that the bright, shiny new pride and joy that Mr. & Mrs. Jones have increased their mortgage for quickly loses its charm, and therefore the all-year-round versatility that any conservatory should offer them. It also denies worthwhile margin to the installer, and possibly even sales recommendations. What makes this worse is that the homeowner would almost certainly, faced with a reasonably convincing pitch, upgrade to overcome these inevitable negatives.

Pilkington Activ™, the world’s first self cleaning glass may cost a little extra but, especially when specified for a conservatory roof, it is in its element – quite literally. Using an inert and totally safe coating that is applied during manufacture of the glass, it uses ultra violet light from normal daylight, and rainwater, to quite literally keep itself clean. Ultra violet light combines with the coating – an otherwise unremarkable compound called titanium dioxide that is used in such humble products as toothpaste – to degrade organic matter soiling the surface of the glass, in a continuous process. Then, when it rains, the second action created by the coating causes the rainwater to ‘sheet’, and wash the organic soiling off the glass, taking inorganic matter with it. Stubborn soiling may be helped along by a light hosing, with the glass looking pristine and streak-free without any further effort.

Thus, through the break through of self-cleaning glass, one of the biggest disappointments of owning a conservatory is avoided – forever.

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