The synapse, secondary glazing and the Sherrington research laboratory with Selectaglaze secondary glazing

Secondary glazing solution supporting research at Liverpool University


Project Profile

In 1882 The University College, Liverpool was successfully formed. The University College, now known as Liverpool University was based on the site of a disused lunatic asylum next to the Royal Infirmary and Medical School. In 1903, the College was granted a Royal Charter establishing the University of Liverpool. Liverpool University undertook a large renovation programme to ensure it continues to provide a world class student experience in their research environment. Works also included improvements and refurbishment to the rest of their existing estate. One of the key issues identified was the noise ingress in the Sherrington Building, making it disruptive for research and learning. The Sherrington Building, named after the scientist responsible for discovering the 'Synapse' - Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, is home to some of the university's main research laboratories. Sherrington was Professor of Physiology at the university before receiving the Chair of Physiology at Oxford in 1913. Fenestral, who has worked with Selectaglaze for over 20 years, was approached to create a solution. Working closely alongside the Architects AA Projects they decided on a solution that not only reduced the outside noise, but was also an unobtrusive adaptation. The ceiling in the laboratories sits lower than the windows with a raked bulkhead, which left limited space for installation and posed a challenge for the type of system that could be used. Using a combination of the Series 46 fixed at the top of the windows, Series 41 and 45 side hung casements beneath, allowed the windows to be opened, creating a subtle adaptation. Liverpool University Sherrington Building research laboratory with secondary glazing and integral blinds Series 41 and 45 side hung casements with integral blinds  Another requirement was to incorporate blinds within the secondary glazing, which have a room side knob control to the side of the windows. These provide privacy for the students and keep the blinds free from dust. The addition of the blinds also offered the researchers direct control of the amount of light entering the labs on sunny days.  Secondary glazing can reduce noise levels to around 45dB providing there is a gap of at least 100mm between the primary and secondary glazing. As well as noise reduction, it assists in saving energy costs, reducing the amount of heat lost from a building by up to 50%. Barry Higson, Project Manager at the University of Liverpool said; “The product is well specified and manufactured and does exactly what it says on the tin!” Over 158 units were installed, all of which are fully assembled in Selectaglaze’s factory to enable minimal disruption and rapid installation to fit in with the University’s timetable. The resulting treatment combines low visual impact with dramatically enhanced comfort and control of the environment, supporting current students in their quest for knowledge.