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School renovation - a window of opportunity

A pool of water on a window sill or a blind flapping in a cold draft are the tell-tale signs that a window has reached the end of its life. This issue is becoming increasingly common in schools built in the 1960s and '70s, many of which feature large single-glazed windows that are thermally-inefficient. These windows are often responsible for making classrooms too hot in summer, too cold in winter and very expensive to heat. 

Saving money on energy bills while providing a bright, secure and comfortable learning environment

While you may not need an expert to tell you a window has failed, it is worth talking to an expert when it comes to selecting the best value product for its replacement. Often a school will employ a building surveyor to assess the situation. They will then contact Schüco for advice on the most appropriate and cost-effective replacement. 

Of course, the big advantage of using Schüco is that a school will benefit from a quality, cost-effective solution. For example, it is good practice to ensure that the new window provides at least the same amount of natural light as the one it is replacing. High levels of natural light reduce the need for electric light, saving energy, while helping students to concentrate.

Ventilation too is important. In the past, if a classroom required ventilation the teacher would have to open a window, even in winter. Now window systems can incorporate passive or active ventilation to ensure that there is always outside air entering the classroom, even when the windows are closed. In addition, opening windows can be pivoted to match the existing windows or, to increase ventilation, additional opening units can often be added without significantly changing the window's appearance.

Furthermore, where solar gains are likely to cause overheating in the summer, the glazing can be treated with a heat-reflective coating to reflect solar heat. Or, if the budget and the planners allow, you can also install other methods of solar control by Schüco such as external louvre blades and brise soleil.

Schüco systems at Skinner's school

Often the best solution is to replace energy-inefficient windows and doors with units made using a thermally-broken aluminium frame and energy-efficient double glazed units, such as Schüco AWS 70 SC. These will have a significantly better thermal performance, improving classroom comfort in both summer and winter to create a more pleasant learning environment while also helping reduce the school's heating bill.

When it comes to replacing external doors, particularly in high traffic areas, these will also need to be robust and high quality, such as the Schüco GFT 50 entrance system. Replacement doors may need to comply with the Equalities Act 2010, which means they must have a low threshold and be wide enough to allow wheelchair access. It is worth pointing out that, should an external door opening need to be widened, planning permission may be required.

Replacement fire exit doors need to be secure yet easy to open in an emergency. Door hardware therefore needs to be positioned so as to ensure ease of operation. In fact, all windows and doors should be fitted with high security hinges and locks complying with PAS 24 or with Secured by Design.

An additional advantage is that Schüco offers the seamless integration of door,  window and also façade systems. For example, the AWS 70 SC window system can be combined with Schüco GFT 50, an external door system designed for high traffic areas which includes an anti-finger trap solution. By integrating the thermally broken façade system Schüco FWS 50 a solution for the whole building envelope is created. 

Schüco AWS 70 SC

Discuss your requirements

Do you want to create a safe and effective learning environment? Do you need a robust, well-tested solution? Whatever is most important to you and the school, our range of products can be tailored to your needs. Email or simply click on the livechat icon in the bottom right corner.