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  Category: Articles » Business » Press Releases » Article


By Bronwen Elisabeth Roberts

Recent figures clearly show that homeowners are willing and able to up-spec their conservatories. Conservatories Active looks at how margins and customer satisfaction are increased by selling up conservatories with options such as self-cleaning glass. According to information contained in the report by AMA Research the 'Domestic Conservatory Market – UK 2004', the conservatory market is worth more than £1.3 billion at retail prices. However, says AMA, the market value increases towards £2 billion when installation costs, furniture, lighting, flooring, window coverings and other accessories are included.

What this extraordinary statistic confirms is that Britain's homeowners are willing, and able, to dig deeper still into their pockets to customize their conservatory, to add the finishing touches to what is an extension of their home that will have a profound effect on the way they use their home, not merely an improvement to it. However, glass conservatories are essentially an extension of the glazing industry – the double glazing industry – means that many of the methods and cultures upon which the conservatory industry is founded are shared with the window market. Including, some of its more negative traits. In particular, the habit of going for the price close as a means of securing an order now pervades the conservatory market.

The result of underselling, invariably, is a conservatory that may be poorly ventilated, cold in winter, too hot in summer, noisy when it rains and difficult to clean, none of which it needs to be. It means that the bright, shiny new pride and joy that Mr. & Mrs. Jones have increased their mortgage for quickly loses its charm, and therefore the all-year-round versatility that any conservatory should offer them. It also denies worthwhile margin to the installer, and possibly even sales recommendations. What makes this worse is that the homeowner would almost certainly, faced with a reasonably convincing pitch, upgrade to overcome these inevitable negatives.

Pilkington Activ™, the world's first self cleaning glass, provides a case in point, one that would be true of any so called 'luxury' extras that would inevitably add worthwhile and tangible value to a conservatory, but which the lazy or nervous sales person avoids pitching. Pilkington Activ™ may cost a little extra but, especially when specified for a conservatory roof, it is in its element – quite literally.

Using an inert and totally safe coating that is applied during manufacture of the glass, it uses ultra violet light from normal daylight, and rainwater, to quite literally keep itself clean. Ultra violet light combines with the coating – an otherwise unremarkable compound called titanium dioxide that is used in such humble products as toothpaste – to degrade organic matter soiling the surface of the glass, in a continuous process. Then, when it rains, the second action created by the coating causes the rainwater to 'sheet', and wash the organic soiling off the glass, taking inorganic matter with it. Stubborn soiling may be helped along by a light hosing, with the glass looking pristine and streak-free without any further effort. Thus, through the break through of self-cleaning glass, one of the biggest disappointments of owning a conservatory is avoided – forever.
About the Author
Many conservatory companies recommend Pilkington when it comes to glass. Having been in the glass industry for 179 years, Pilkington is recognised as the world's technological leader in glass. Out of all of their innovative products, Pilkington Activ™ - the world's first self-cleaning glass is one of their greatest products and an ideal glass for conservatory construction.

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  Some other articles by Bronwen Elisabeth Roberts
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Self-Cleaning Glass acknowledged by British Standards Institute
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