Crittall on the curriculum

  • 10 Feb 2021

School and college authorities that need to improve the learning environment while enhancing their green credentials are turning to leading steel window manufacturer Crittall.

The company has a suite of products to upgrade both external appearance and interior comfort. 

The education sector has a massive investment in its built environment and, despite the temporary dislocation caused by the pandemic, remains eager to find ways to keep control of costs and bear down on excessive energy consumption as things eventually return of normal.

Crittall offers a range of windows that are finding favour with the most prestigious educational establishments, in some cases presenting a fresh, modern aesthetic, in others replacing worn out fenestration that replicates a heritage appearance while greatly enhancing thermal performance. 

And moving to the inside of the building a range of internal screens can provide for a lighter, more welcoming interior with no compromise to acoustic, security and safety requirements.

Popular among school and college authorities is the highly successful Corporate W20 window with its slender but strong frames.


For example, a programme of maintenance and energy efficiency improvement at the University of Sussex has involved the installation of W20 profiles throughout the Falmer campus, outside Brighton.

The windows have been installed in four buildings across the site, replacing the Crittall originals dating from when the university was first created in the early 1960s. Two of the refurbished  buildings were Grade 2* listed. 

At Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, Corporate W20 windows were installed in a modernist, concrete-framed accommodation block, also Grade 2 listed.

Meanwhile at the Levine Building at Trinity College, Oxford, the T60 advanced thermally-broken windows have been specified.

This profile can mount double or triple glazing to deal with harsher weather conditions and is suited to either new-build or replacement in listed buildings or conservation areas to meet the exacting requirements of local planning authorities.  

Greatly improved thermal performance but with a like-for-like appearance was demanded by planners in the north London borough of Enfield when a special school, Durants, decided to expand into an existing classroom block on a nearby site.

Original 1950s single glazed steel windows were replaced with new double-glazed thermally-broken steel windows that exactly mimicked the appearance of the originals.

Overall U value for the completed project is 1.8 W/m2K based on a glass centre pane value of 1.0 W/m2K. The double glazing incorporates toughened low E glass and an 18mm argon filled cavity.

Alternatively, the MW40 profile can be specified where superior air, wind or water resistance and greater sound attenuation are required. Offering the same high quality appearance as the W20 range the MW40 profile can accept glass up to twice the thickness as its stable mate. Either double, or even triple, glazing up to 32mm thick can be installed with a consequent higher level of thermal or sound insulation.

Yet this is achieved while retaining the same slender steel profile for which Crittall products are renowned thereby ensuring maximum light ingress.

In addition to exterior steel windows and doors with their slim profiles Crittall’s InnerVision glazed interior screens ensure a seamless transfer of increased levels of natural daylight throughout the building reaching even the most remote working areas. 

Solid partitions dividing workspaces can be replaced with glass and the performance of glazed interior screens can be further tailored to fine-tune levels of acoustic insulation, light transmission, thermal insulation and natural ventilation control to suit individual client’s requirements.

Crittall’s InnerVision range of glazed internal fixed screens and doors can now be specified for fire rated applications. The steel framed system is compliant with BS476 Part 22 providing 30 minutes (FD30) integrity fire resistance. The profiles match the Corporate W20 exterior window range in appearance and can be supplied as fixed screens, with single or double leaf-hinged doors. 

Russell Ager, Crittall managing director, commented: “Steel windows will out-perform other window materials in terms of longevity – evidenced by many that can still be seen in iconic buildings today.

“The low life cycle cost compared with other window materials, combined with the robustness and material selection to further reduce the burden of maintenance, properly maintained steel windows are expected to last the lifetime of a building. Maintenance is very straightforward with just periodic inspection and cleaning required.”

Contact the Crittall commercial specification team on 01376 530800 for further details.

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