Library facelift

profile 22Profile 22 Approved Commercial Manufacturer Emplas, and its customer Unicorn Windows have helped to revitalise Leighton Buzzard library with the supply and fit of new windows and doors.  

Working with main contractor Kier and local sub-contractor Furlong and Higgs, Unicorn Windows reportedly secured the contract based on its locality, just a short walk from the library, and its status as ‘a loyal and trusted Profile 22 supplier’. The profile system was a criterion of the project specification.

As part of the on-going refurbishment of the building and facilities, it was important that the character of the mid-century building block was maintained. This meant staying true to the colour of the original aluminium frames. To achieve this, Unicorn requested a particular RAL colour from its fabricator, Emplas. The brown tone was achieved using the Emplas Kolorplas service.

The original windows, which dated back to when the library was built in 1978, leaked and were described as ‘incredibly inefficient’. Unicorn Windows, supported by Emplas and Profile 22, addressed this issue using a bespoke product specification.

“There are a lot of windows; some very large expanses of glass,” commented John Rollo, managing director of Unicorn Windows, “and that can have a big impact on the efficiency of the building. So we needed to balance this with the performance of our products. We used energy efficient tinted glass to help reduce the glare and protect the books, while its thermal properties help to reduce heating costs.

“We also supplied sliding doors and installed a new fire door on the ground floor to comply with building regs. While we worked hard to maintain the integrity of the building, we also needed to consider the practicalities; where once there had been fixed casement windows we provided openers.”

Councillor Brian Spurr, executive member for community services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Libraries are very important as part of a thriving community, and here in Central Bedfordshire we are proud to be investing in our libraries and doing everything that we can to encourage people of all ages to visit.

“That is why the council is making sure that our libraries are welcoming places to visit and spend time. And Leighton Buzzard Library, which is bright and airy thanks to our £86,000 investment in the new windows and fire escape doors there, is a great example of that…I hope that residents take the time to visit, as they will be pleasantly surprised.”