Since its introduction in 2004 Pilkington Activ self-cleaning glass has been widely accepted as a solution to dirty glass by commercial building owners, because it reduces window cleaning costs, particularly for those hard to reach areas.

Activ glass uses the forces of nature - natural UV light and rain - in a two step process to keep windows cleaner. A special coating applied during manufacture that is extremely durable and lasts the lifetime of the window. This coating reacts with natural UV light to set up a PhotoActiv process that decomposes organic dirt and loosens up other surface soiling, and does so without water.

The second step is the hydrophilic action which causes water to spread instead of forming droplets. Rainwater sheets off the glass evenly, taking dirt with it and leaving the glass clean and streak-free.

Projects were it has bee installed include the refurbishment of the Royal Arcade in Melbourne where the developers were developers were quick to see the benefits of self-cleaning glass in the replacement atrium. Previously, the maintenance of the rooflight required significant costs and had, over the years, become very grimy. The replacement has created a self-maintaining, light-filled boulevard that incorporates a solar control interlayer and translucent finishes to mask adjacent mechanical plant on the roof.

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