GL AS S & GL AS S PROCE S S ING
PGS GLASS COMPLETES LISTED CHURCH REFURB GROUND
The NSG Group and
University of Cambridge are
said to be collaborating on
ground-breaking new glass
applications, while using the
latest technology to realise
the future of manufacturing.
The Group, which owns
Pilkington UK, says it is
currently working with the
University’s Fluids in
team (FIAM) to establish a
way of printing conductive
materials onto wide areas of
curved glass surfaces.
According to Pilkington,
conductive materials can only
currently be effectively
printed onto flat glass
surfaces. If successful, this
innovation is set to enable the
printing of metallic nano inks
at high precision across
curved glass, introducing new
applications for glass in
automotive and architectural
sectors by increasing the
potential functionality of
glazing. New uses include
helping detect pollution,
elements or as digital signage.
The research aims to see
the conductive materials
applied to curved glass
surfaces, such as car
windscreens, using inkjet
printing technology at the
final stage of the
Pilkington says that this
process will help make high
tech curved glass more cost
effective to manufacture,
while helping it to be
increasingly customisable for
customers – boosting its
An estimated , disused churches
and chapels have been sold for
conversion into homes across the UK in
the last years.
Combining period character including
stained glass windows, gothic arches
and timber eaves with contemporary
living creates challenges. This includes
preserving the character of the building,
while making it ‘liveable’.
Architects have turned to glass
installations as a way of dividing and
defining living space while retaining
the openness of the original building,
making church conversions potentially
rich picking grounds for glass fit-out
specialists. This includes the installation
of balustrading, walls, showers and
Their age, their layout and often
listed building status, however, can
make conversions complex, requiring a
high degree of adaptability from those
running their renovation and not least the
hardware systems they use.
PGS Glass recently completed a series
of installations as part of the conversion
of All Saints Church, a converted
former Anglican chapel in Horsmonden,
Tunbridge Wells. The church was
originally designed by the architect
Robert Wheeler in the English gothic
style, and was built over two years from
86 to 8 with Grade II Listing.
The refurbishment by PGS Glass
included the installation of a new shower
enclosure in the master bedroom on the
newly created first floor, bringing the top
of the shower screen up to and around
the eaves of the Victorian church.
Paul Groves, contracts manager,
PGS Glass, explained: “It looks straight
forward but it was a very tricky fit
because we went right up to the eaves.
The back wall also wasn’t straight, which
again made things more complicated.”
PGS created the enclosure using
mm X mm U-channel from Bohle
which it set into the floor, the back wall
and one of the eaves of the church.
It combined this with Bohle’s Bilbao
Premium swinging shower door hinges,
which accommodate weights of up 6kg
or kg per pair and 8mm, mm, and
“This means that they can be used
with doors of , x ,mm.
Available in a choice of chrome
or stainless-steel finishes and with a
contemporary design, they offer an
infinitely adjustable zero position, a plus
or minus degrees return motion and
use concealed fixings.
“On a job like this you’ve got to be
able to get over problems,” Paul said.
“We’d spent a lot of time surveying but
even then, there are little things that you
encounter. The glass may be slightly
bowed, the walls won’t be straight.
“The Bilbao hinges are heavy duty
enough to allow you to pull in the glass
and then adjust them to accommodate
other small imperfections so that
everything lines-up perfectly.
“The guys doing the fit-out work love
them because you get a lot of adjustment
and that gets you over those little issues
that could otherwise swallow up a lot of
time on site,” he concludes.