repair at church by selectaglaze

Selectaglaze solve noise problems at south London church

Providing secondary double glazing to Listed, heritage and new buildings, throughout the UK since 1966, paying attention to detail in original designs and well fabricated units.


St. Michael’s church in Plumstead  was constructed of brick in 1906. No record has been found of when the mission church was closed, but it was declared redundant by the Diocese of Southwark and sold in 1965 to British Road Services for use as a warehouse.

In 1980 it was sold to the Cherubin and Seraphim church and has been used as a place of worship ever since. The Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim is a Nigerian church that was established by Moses Orimolade Tunolase in 1925.

A place of worship

The church has services throughout the week, ranging from bible classes and prayer sessions that have been known to run through the night.  In addition to its function as a place of worship, the church is also a centre for children in the community, which they use especially during the school holidays.

Situated in a heavily populated residential area, a solution was required for noise insulation. The church got in touch with Selectaglaze, the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of secondary glazing systems and a member of the National Churches Trust's Professional Trades Directory, to resolve the issue of noise egress via the arched windows.

The primary windows are double glazed PVCu units, but were unable to lessen noise egress and thermally insulate both floors of the church. Secondary glazing provides a fully independent unit decoupled from the primary window providing a much better barrier to noise than sealed units.

Insulating noise

The greater the cavity between the two panes, the better the dampening effect. Sealed units with a minimal cavity is less effective at insulating noise. A well-sealed secondary glazed window with a cavity of at least 100mm can provide noise reduction in excess of 45dB. Combined with double glazed windows, up to 56dB is achievable.

Selectaglaze treated 28 arch headed windows utilising their Series 20 vertical sliding units and Series 46 fixed light system. The Series 46 fixed light lends itself well to shaping and curving, so these were created the top portion of the windows and then transom coupled to the Series 20, which gave access to the primary window for ventilation and maintenance.

All units were produced with 6.8mm acoustic laminated glass and were finished in a wood-grain colour to match the primary windows.

Acoustic improvements

Since the work has been completed, members of the church have been thoroughly impressed with the acoustic improvements and very little can be heard from St. Michael’s on the quiet residential road; day or night.

To start, the church manager, Remi Adegbola was dubious about the wood-grain finish, but having seen the finished job she is extremely happy with the aesthetic and unobtrusive look of the secondary glazing as well as the acoustic and thermal properties of the windows.

Selectaglaze has undertaken a number of projects involving church refurbishment or change of use, including the Grade II Listed, St George’s Church in Tufnell Park which required acoustic insulation for noise containment.

Royal Warrant holder

Founded in 1966, Royal Warrant holder Selectaglaze has worked on all buildings of all types from Listed to traditional and even new build. With units arriving fully factory assembled, it allows rapid installation with minimal disruption to the building and its occupants. A free technical advisory service is offered and RIBA approved CPDs are available to architects and designers.

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