ITV BOrder, Cumberland Council , Kendal Town Council and EA representatives viewing the first glass panels.jpg

Installation of new glass panels marks key milestone for Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme

VolkerStevin has installed the first panel of 577m of glass panelled flood wall as part of the Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme (FRMS).

The new glass panels are part of the multi-million-pound investment by the Government, led by the Environment Agency and delivered by VolkerStevin, to improve flood protection to over 1,400 homes and over 1,100 businesses in Kendal and across the area as a whole.

The flood walls are finished in natural stone from a local quarry with the panels made of high-performance glass within a high specification stainless steel frame. This feature of the flood scheme is designed to protect homes and businesses from flooding, without spoiling the town’s historic beauty by retaining riverside views.

The glass created for the Kendal FRMS is self-cleaning and designed with slimline frames to maximise the glass viewing areas whilst maintaining the strength.

The glass used as part of the innovative flood wall design, is a bespoke creation developed in partnership with Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, and chemical and materials manufacturer Kuraray.

It features alternating layers of glass and interlayer to create a 35 mm laminate, with toughened Pilkington Activ™ as the outer panes and a toughened 12 mm 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.  Kuraray’s support has ensured greater stability for the glass, using their patented technology which was originally created to withstand severe hurricanes in the United States. This means the glass is well suited to high stress environments, including pressure and impacts caused by floodwater and debris.

If the glass is struck and fractured, it has been designed to remain in place, preventing shard loss and safety risks to the public or wildlife.

The glass is also self-cleaning, reacting 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 rain water 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.

“It’s great to see the installation of this important element of the project. As well as ensuring communities are better protected from the effects of future flooding, a key aspect of the scheme has been to design and construct the flood defences in a way to sympathetically blend with Kendal’s heritage and the features of the old and new buildings.”

Mark Cronshaw VolkerStevin framework director

Richard Knight, Environment Agency’s Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for Cumbria said: “The installation of the first of many meters of glass panelled flood walls is a major milestone in the delivery of the Kendal Flood Scheme.

“Taking feedback from residents we have been able to use glass technology specifically for Kendal to provide protection, retain views and provide a defence which requires low maintenance for the people of Kendal.”