School Window Film: Solar, Security & Privacy - Invest Wisely!
Prism has worked with educational buyers from schools, colleges and universities for many years and has gained valuable insights into the pitfalls and challenges that bursars, administrators and Head teachers face, when trying to navigate the often-confusing jargon and terminology that can be found within the window film installation industry.
There’s no hard and fast rule for how a schools’ buying-cycle operates: some schools obtain 2x quotes, while others obtain a handful – it really depends on the tendering process, the schools requirements’, the size of their buying department and the priorities of the bursar.
Initially, Bursars obtain quotations first; then they meet with the school governor and PTA committee (parent and teacher association) who pool together resources to facilitate parental participation in a school – so parents have a very big say in which company the educational establishment purchases window film from.
Before an educational buyer can ascertain which film best suits the needs of their students, Prism investigates the current challenges that the client is experiencing, using expertise gained from 28 years of window film installations.
At the initial consultation, Prism will investigate and discuss with the client:
- Why a client believes they need window film
- Their current understanding of their situation or challenge
- How they think window film can help
- Their current level of knowledge
- The reasoning behind their budget and how much they’re willing to invest
- What is needed and expected from the client, to help them decide which solution is best for them
- The type of window film that addresses their needs and constitutes the “best-value” for the client
This consultative approach includes:
- Providing samples of different types of window film
- Providing case studies of projects completed, showing undertaken previously with clients in the same or similar industry
- Surveying and measuring which area(s) of the building require window film, class by class and elevation, of floors, extensions or buildings, by elevation
- Carrying out a glass check to ensure correct window film suitability, as installing the wrong type of film to the wrong type of glass could potentially cause the glass to fracture or break
- Once your consultation has taken place, a quotation or report is issued
- Once an order is received, a project start-date is confirmed and project logistics are organised
- Upon finding a suitable window film solution, installation can then take place
Should additional priorities and further funds be set and signed-off, Prism may return a number of times, over the following 3 to 5 years, to install additional film within the establishment.
Academy School Maintenance Budgets - What to Invest in and Why?
Bursars, Heads, governors and PTA committees within educational establishments often require window film solutions installed into every classroom, staff office, library, main hall, sports gym and cafeteria all in one go. Obviously this isn’t practical or workable, so they must agree the establishments’ maintenance budgetary priorities first, before they spend.
Although sometimes seen as a lower priority within the yearly maintenance budget, once a budget for window film has been established, they need to spend it wisely, using commercial-sense and expertise gained from past experience and / or externally-sourced advice, has the foundation of a “best-value” purchase.
“Unfortunately, if educational buyers don’t invest their budget wisely within the existing fiscal timeframe, they run the risk of it being allocated to the next year’s budget or losing it altogether!”
The main challenge is that many educational buyers don’t know how much to invest in window film. This depends on what their perceived problem is and why they believe they need protection, safety or anti-solar glare solutions in the first place.
Investing in the wrong type of window film wastes precious funds, time and resources.
Academy schools have more freedom than their counterparts in how they innovate. In the UK, currently 2,075 out of 3,381 secondary schools are academies, while 2,440 of 16,766 primary schools have academy status.
Funds raised within Academy Schools are often derived from Parent / Teacher Associations (PTA’s) fundraising, parental donations and commercial sponsorship, amongst many others.
Eventually, it’s believed that all schools within the UK will acquire “academy” status – however this poses various accountability and bookkeeping challenges for administrators, who are more accustomed to following a different internal budgetary structure that relies on their local county council for funding, compared to managing their own budgets.
Indeed, managing and planning an educational establishment’s budget is no small feat, with delegated, devolved, revenue and capital funding (of which window film is included) all requiring serious consideration and financial understanding.
Which Type of Window Film is Ideal?
It’s hard to believe that many schools, colleges and universities aren’t aware that window film exists or how it actually works.
Of those who are aware, many don’t realise the benefits that film provides to children, students and teaching-staff:
- Building Security – ideal for receptions, classrooms, libraries and study rooms, cafeterias, gyms and assembly halls
- Office and Workspace Privacy – offering one way (inside to outside only) or two way (inside and outside) views
- Maintaining Stable-Temperature Working Environments - staff can’t teach effectively and children, students and graduates can’t learn or stay alert, for long periods in overly-heated rooms
- Bomb-blast Protection Film – with high crime rates and IT systems that need protecting, anti-shatter film is a safe solution that absorbs blast energy and protects humans
- Health & Safety Compliance - Workplace Health Safety and Welfare Regulations (14) state that existing glass has to be made safe – window film can provide this, with all the above added benefits adding to its overall value
- Energy Cost-Savings – offering up-to 30% heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (AC) savings
- Climate Responsibility and Governance – window film has a “net-zero” carbon footprint, meeting climate sustainability requirements
- Prolongs Office Furniture, Carpets and Upholstery Lifecycle – anti-glare and heat-resistant film rejects up-to 99% of ultra-violet (UV) rays
- Helps Protect Staff and Students - protects eyesight from sun-glare on screens and prevents headaches
- Existing Window Modernisation – upgrading windows without replacing them helps maximise strict budgets
Decorative and Frosted Window Film
In addition to security, safety, solar and carbon-neutral film solutions, many schools and colleges require various forms of decorative film including coloured, patterned, custom-made, textured or frosted. Prism can create and install graphical film to any window or door glass surface, to perfectly suite your establishments brand and image, while adding an extra layer of anti-shatter and anti-intrusion security.
Frosted window film is often used within education provider premises, as an energy efficient and cost-saving alternative to glass replacement or blind installation. Once frosted film is installed, it provides a workable, affordable solution and gives glass doors and windows an opaque appearance – ideal for round-the-clock privacy or as a security deterrent against intruders.
Prism provided decorative film for Silsoe Lower School - a new build development in Bedfordshire. Internal window film decoration gave the school a nature feel, with lots of green colours and plants, with steel beams painted brown to resemble tree trunks.
The steel beams rose to the ceiling, where circular-sectional clear-glazing film was installed, allowing sunlight to come in. This image shows a leaf-patterned graphical film, making the glass look like a tree canopy, allowing light to come through the glass to create a leaf shadow on the walls.
Customised Window Film – Perfect for Logo’s and Glass Manifestations
Customised printed film is a great, cost-effective way to decorate and add messaging to glass windows, doors, mirrors, partitions, mirrors and other glass surfaces, in a style that empowers an environment of growth, learning and personal development. Prism provides an extensive range of branding, messaging and manifestation options for schools, colleges and universities, including:
- Branded printed logos
- Educational messaging
- Uplifting and positive graphics and text, to motivate the students to achieve their best
- Student classroom directions
- Safety glass door signage
- Patterned glass manifestations – film applied to doors that stops staff, students and visitors walking through glass, adhering to building health and safety regulations
Schools that we have provided front door and entrance logos for include Watford Grammar School, St Johns School in Northwood (London), Bloomers Day Nursery (London) and Larwood School in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
Prism can professionally re-create and custom-print window film, using a variety of graphical designs with our printing facilities, such as:
- Scaling graphical designs to suite the size and shape of the room the window film is being applied to
- Installing and trimming out-of-the-ordinary designs for odd-shapes, ovals, arched windows and door shapes
- Using colour changes to match the ambience of your reception, room, library or study area
- Styling and matching designs for multiple windows and panes within sports gyms, large study areas and halls
Graphic Wallpaper Film – Bringing Your Messages to Life
Graphic wallpaper film is perfect for classrooms, study areas, auditoriums and assembly halls where iridescent and luminous colours compliment the nature of the subjects and topics being taught – such as chemistry, social studies, science, physics, electronics, religious education (RE) and philosophy. If you’re not sure which graphical wallpaper design style - patterned or plain coloured - best matches the area you wish to apply film too, we can help you choose. Transforming your ideas into reality is what sets Prism apart from other window film companies – we will digitally print your imagery to your exact specification.
Prism were asked by Harrow College in London, to install various customised coloured films to the external windows of the new block, to provide a colour scheme that matched the outside facade of the building. The painted surfaces and new windows all look coordinated, with a modern contemporary feel. The film has the added benefit of reducing the direct sunlight glare by 75%.
Harrow College provided the colours that they needed to appear as translucent, for one-way outward viewing. If a solid colour vinyl had been chosen, the windows would have been blanked out. We were able to match their requirements with a translucent film that is manufactured by applying colours over a clear film.
Did you know that?
- Graphical wallpaper can be scaled beyond regular sizes without loss of quality. Examples of messages for your educational establishment may include historical photographs, curriculum reminders, famous quotes, giant word definitions and motivational reminders.
- Image wallpaper can be applied to any wall or window surface to provide all-over graphics, using luminous, chameleon or rainbow effects
- Graphical murals can extend length of your interiors, including perfect folds around edges
- Graphic wallpaper can enhance your interior decoration and classroom furnishings to improve your students overall audio and visual learning experience
Educational Window Film Installation Case Studies
St Johns Church of England Primary School – Window Film Replacement
St Johns Church of England Primary School commissioned Prism Protection to replace their disintegrating window film, which had been unnecessarily fitted on the outside and provided no form of UV, solar-heat or glare protection.
In addition to its poor appearance, it partially blocked views from the classrooms, limiting the children’s visual enjoyment of the schools surrounding grounds.
The deterioration of the film may have led to sun-glare and loss of staff and pupil productivity, due to over-heating in rooms. Major health issues, such as migraine, fatigue, eye-strain and skin disorders may have been experienced, as a result of limited UV protection.
The Head was looking for a solution that would bring cost-savings and meet health and safety compliance standards. Prism knew that the overall solution needed to be a “best value” purchase and provided advice on which window film may be most suitable.
Upon completion, the school facility manager commented on what a difference the updated anti-glare window film has made to the school: “The difference is lighter, brighter classrooms allowing outward vision and improving the wellbeing of the whole school community. We have had very positive feedback from staff, children, visitors and governors.
We would not hesitate to recommend Prism Protection. Installation, completed by skilled staff, took place during the normal school day with very little disturbance. The school’s delivery of security, health and safety has been enhanced through the use of anti-glare window film – a great outcome!”
Cranfield University in Bedfordshire – Greenhouse Window Film Installation
2 sectional parts on the front of this experimental greenhouse were used as an office and collection of research data. As the entire building structure was glass, the office area was suffering from extreme heat, which distorted affected IT equipment and data and became unworkable for staff. To address this challenge, Cranfield University in Bedfordshire, commissioned Prism to install Silver 20 solar window film.
Once the film was applied, there was a measurable decrease in heat, which enabled staff to work in a temperature-stable environment and the computer equipment to function without fear of over-heating.
Window Film vs Classroom Blinds
Dusty, out-dated blinds are often found in educational buildings, which can cause allergic reactions to staff and students, such as:
- Runny or stuffy noses
- Red, itchy or teary eyes
- Tightness in the chest and shortness of breath
Not only does window film provide a healthier option than traditional blinds – it’s more cost effective too. New blinds may look nice initially, but when their fabric is exposed to the sun on a continual basis, they will fade quicker.
Window film tends to last longer than blinds and will not deteriorate or weaken with time. There are documented cases of window films lasting more than 22 years - imagine the condition of a blind after that same time period.
Window film costs a fraction of the amount of blinds and made with the intention of amplifying the security and safety of your classroom windows. Unlike window blinds, film protects the glass if it is broken or shattered – a key health and safety benefit when young people are in the vicinity.
Why Choose Prism as Your Window Film Company?
Prism Protection is a professional window film company who provide installation, consultancy and advisory services to schools, colleges and universities throughout Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, London and South East England.
Prism’s standard of service describes “best value” as:
- Out of hours and weekend working - away from active classroom lessons, in line with health and safety regulations
- Rubbish removal – leaving the work environment in the same orderly way that it was, before work begun
- Access to elevated installation equipment, such as standard steps and mobile scaffold towers
- Ensuring projects are completed to the highest standards - within agreed timeframes and budgets
- Pre-defined technical specifications are met
Are you a building advisor looking for the right solution for your client, but not sure which type of window film to choose? Contact us to us discuss your project or book a site survey to obtain a quotation.
To help you choose the right window film for your budget, project or specification, our initial consultation includes helping you find which window film is most appropriate to your needs.
Our experience is to your advantage - we’re dedicated to delivering the best service, by combing professionalism, commitment, honesty and transparency that spans 22 years of experience within the window film industry.
- Window film installed by a fully-qualified professional fitter
- Complete manufacturer’s warranty
- Extensive range of window film styles, patterns, textures and colours to match your corporate brand
- “Best-of-breed” window film installed – the worlds-leading window film manufacturer
- Maintenance free and easy to clean – just wipe with a moist sponge or cloth
- Long life span - up to 20 years, providing a “once-only” installation
- ‘No disruption’ installation including out-of-hours, weekend working and adherence to health and safety
- Typically installed within 1 day, although larger commercial applications may take longer
- Rubbish removal – the environment we work in is left as it was, before we started the work
- Access to mobile window film installation equipment, used for heights inside and outside your premises
Review our case studies and customer testimonials to see how we help other clients in various sectors. To view ‘Before’ and ‘After’ shots of our corporate project work, visit our commercial gallery. Alternatively, review our blog posts for helpful insights and tips or dive into our commonly-asked FAQ’s and resources sections.
Photo Credit: Top photo by Pixabay from Pexels