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Heart of glass

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With its hundreds of glass louvres and elliptical steel framework, the three-storey structure behind the old Chief Post Office is a glittering entrance to New Zealand's first underground train station

Heart of glass

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Whenever architects are designing buildings with a large amount of glazing, questions are raised about ease of maintenance – in particular, cleaning. Not surprisingly, overcoming this concern was a priority for the architects of the glasshouse.

Specifying the new Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass provided an innovative solution, says Brian Armstrong of Pilkington.

"With ordinary glass, dirt and soil adheres to the surface and hardens, making it difficult to remove," he says. "In addition, rain, carrying more dirt, picks up loose material and forms into droplets, which then dry leaving spots and streaks.

"Activ has a special, dual-action, pyrolitic coating to prevent this happening. This durable, hard coating also absorbs ultraviolet light, which gradually breaks down and loosens organic dirt on the glass surface."

Armstrong says the second part of the process occurs when water hits the glass and is spread evenly, removing loose dirt and drying cleanly.

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"The Britomart glasshouse is the largest single application of Pilkington Activ to date," he says.

For more information on Activ, contact Pilkington, freephone 0800 808 060.

First published date: 12 October 2003

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