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Conservatories, Roof Glazing, Polycarbonate, Double Glazing, Low E Glass

This editorial provided by Quantal Conservatory Roof Systems

Quantal Conservatories, Conservatory Roof SystemsA well-planned, modern conservatory should be glazed appropriately to ensure a comfortable living environment all year round.

The roof of your conservatory can be fitted with a variety of technically advanced glazing materials, each of which have specific light and heat control benefits. Your choice will be influenced by factors such as location, cost, energy conservation or likely heat build up etc.

This guide gives you an overview and explains the wide range of alternatives available, to help you decide which kind will be most suitable in your particular situation

As with many building products, new improvements are often introduced and your installer will be able to advise you of the very latest developments in each type.

What are the options?

Your primary decision will be whether to opt for Polycarbonate Sheet or Glass.

Polycarbonate Sheet

Light, strong and economic, this high performance, transparent or translucent, multi-walled thermoplastic material is specifically designed for insulated glazing applications.

It is very durable and highly resistant to the effects of natural sunlight and ultra-violet. Available in a range of thicknesses with various coloured tints, anti glare and sun-shielding properties, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to handle.

Polycarbonate is currently the most popular conservatory roof glazing material and allows for quick and simple installation.

GLASS - Double Glazed Sealed Units

Similar to domestic windows; two sheets of toughened or laminated safety glass – up to five times stronger than ordinary glass - produced to British Standards, are sealed together around the edges with an air gap between them.
Usually about 24mm (1inch) thick they have similar insulation attributes to conventional double-glazing. A range of tints and coatings can be added to either conserve extra heat or reduce internal overheating

Although inherently more expensive and, by nature of its weight; trickier and more costly to handle and install, many people still prefer the traditional look and transparancy of glass.


The rate of heat loss due to the difference in temperature between the inside and outside surfaces of any building material is determined by the amount of Thermal Insulation it provides.

Insulation is vital when considering energy conservation both for warmth and keeping heating costs to a minimum.

Heat loss through Polycarbonate and Glass can be significantly reduced by increased thickness, tinting or the addition of reflective coatings.

Thermal insulation levels are indicated by the U value for the material. THE LOWER THE U VALUE THE BETTER THE INSULATION.


Opaque opal polycarbonate or roof blinds with glass are sometimes desirable to cut down glare especially where the conservatory is often used for work or study.

Heat Control

The position of your conservatory in relation to the sun can dramatically effect how hot it gets inside – even on winter days.

There are various measures that can be taken to keep a conservatory warm, combat excessive heat build up and maintain a comfortable temperature.

Reflective Insulating Glazing

Reflects internal heat back into the building, reducing energy consumption by avoiding heat wastage from internal sources. Particularly suitable for Northern climates or locations where less solar heat is absorbed and internal heating is necessary. It is also effective in the reduction of condensation.
Anti-Solar Tinted & Solar Shielding Glazing

Protects against the sun by increasing thermal absorption within the material, thereby creating considerable solar heat reduction to the interior. This is particularly effective in South facing locations and Southern counties.

It is absolutely essential that adequate ventilation is always installed in conjunction with appropriate glazing, to help regulate temperatureand reduce the risk of any condensation. See Quantal’s ventilation options leaflet for a full explanation of the methods available
Internal Blinds

Especially helpful with glass roofs in sunny locations, blinds should be considered to counter glare and add to the overall comfort and ambience.


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