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Profile 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 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 library refurbishment has been a work in progress over the last few years, with the new windows and doors a welcome arrival for library manager, Hazel Kerr, “The windows were the original ones dating back to when the library was built in 1978. They leaked and were incredibly inefficient.”

Unicorn Windows, supported by Emplas and Profile 22 addressed these issues using a bespoke product specification. “There are a lot of windows; some very large expanses of glass,” comments 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.”

Commenting on the use of the Kolorplas service and its role in securing the Leighton Buzzard library contract, Mike Crewdson, sales and marketing director, Emplas said: “Now in its third year, the Kolorplas service is growing but most importantly it’s seeing sustained demand. This is reflective of the wider growth in foiled and sprayed products, which now includes the full Emplas window and door range.

“In addition to the retail opportunities that foiled and coloured products deliver, its impact on commercial sales has been huge, allowing our customers to go head to head with aluminium system manufacturers and installers at a far more competitive price point, just like Unicorn Windows.”

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, as well as all of the services we offer and the events we stage, 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.

“The work is all part of a larger refurbishment project taking place at the library to ensure that its look matches up to the first-class services and staff there, and I hope that residents take the time to visit, as they will be pleasantly surprised.”

Leighton Buzzard Library comprises the first two floors of the building while a 170 seat theatre takes residence on the top floor. The library offers books, DVDs, CDs and magazines for lending to children, teenagers and adults while 25 computers give free access to the internet and online library resources. The theatre hosts a programme of films, event showings and live events.