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Pilkington UK: Advanced glass flood wall to protect Kendal, UK

Kendal, located in southern Cumbria, UK, is benefiting from multi-million pounds worth of flood risk investment designed to protect homes and business from flooding. A key design feature of the flood defences is a high-performance glass within a high specification stainless steel frame to protect properties, without spoiling the town’s historic beauty and retaining riverside views.

The glass used as part of the innovative flood wall is a bespoke creation developed in collaboration with Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, and chemical and materials manufacturer Kuraray, while the overall elegant flood system was designed and will be installed by Flood Control International.

It features alternating layers of glass and interlayer to create a 35 millimetre laminate, with toughened Pilkington Activ™ as the outer panes and a toughened 12 millimetre Pilkington Optiwhite™ middle pane. The glass panels undergo rigorous strength testing and have the capability to safely hold back water in the event of water levels rising.

Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass reacts with natural daylight to break down and loosen organic dirt, meaning no harsh chemicals or regular manual cleaning is required. After the dirt is broken down the coating spreads rainwater evenly over the surface of the glass, helping to wash it away, ensuring that locals and visitors have a clear view of the riverside that runs through the centre of the town, as well as its distinctive buildings.

The use of Pilkington Activ™ laminated with Pilkington Optiwhite™ provides functionality and safety, while helping to preserve the appearance of the landscape.

The 39-metre wall adjacent to Stramongate Bridge on the entrance to Gooseholme Park is the first location where the glass panels will be delivered. This section is the first of three locations where glass panels will feature within central areas of the town, comprising part of the 6 kilometres of flood walls and embankments.

Through the phased scheme, the Environment Agency will deliver further flood defences to protect the most vulnerable homes in the area of Burneside, Staveley and Ings. In addition, flood storage in the upper catchment with complimentary Natural Flood Management will slow the flow and provide greater resilience. Once complete, it will reduce the risk of flooding for over 1,480 homes and 1,100 businesses.

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