A former banker who was determined to make his house warmer and more energy efficient has seen his invention used in its first commercial rollout at an Edinburgh community centre.
Gareth Claase walked away from his financial career to focus on Gecko Glazing – and the company’s Gecko Panes – and since its launch in late 2021 has seen his eco-friendly product fitted in more than 1,000 homes across Scotland’s capital.
Now the start-up business has celebrated a significant milestone, after fitting Gecko Panes in a major commercial premises for the first time. The B-listed Duncan Place was saved from demolition by a community campaign, but faced a fresh threat from skyrocketing energy costs until Gecko Glazing stepped in.
The installation of 63 Gecko Panes has been tipped to see the community hub reduce heat loss through its windows by up to 50%, helping to cut bills and also improve its carbon footprint.
Nicola Lamberton, development manager at Duncan Place, explained that the charity faced significant costs to refurbish the existing, heritage windows, because of strict planning regulations.
She added, “Getting the windows removed and restored was never going to be a viable option for us. Duncan Place Community Hub is a charity and it would not have been possible financially. We would also have needed permission to put up scaffolding for months and would have been left without any windows while they were being refurbished, which would have added the problem rather than helping.
“Gecko Glazing was a fantastic and cost-effective option, allowing secondary glazing to be installed without obstructing the existing windows – you can barely notice they are there.
“The process was quick and simple with virtually no disruption and Gecko Glazing were a brilliant firm to deal with, making it a seamless process. People are really noticing the difference in temperature since we got Gecko Glazing installed. The transformation has been brilliant.”
Duncan Place provides a host of activities, classes and workspaces, but managers were struggling to meet costs of heating the building, which was formerly part of Leith Academy.
A team from Gecko Glazing installed the secondary glazing panels throughout the building. The Gecko Panes are described as a ‘fraction of the price of double glazing, while delivering 80% of the efficiencies’.
Originally designed for use in homes, custom-sized Gecko Panes can be fitted with ‘minimal disruption’. They do not prevent windows from opening or interfere with shutters.
Gareth Claase said, “Scotland is full of listed buildings like Duncan Place, where the owners or tenants struggle to keep the buildings warm because of old windows that haemorrhage heat. The cost-of-living crisis on top of the climate emergency has now made that situation untenable because of both the financial and environmental toll.
“People need simple, affordable solutions and that’s what I was determined to develop. It is brilliant to see that our panes have been such a fantastic help for the team at Duncan Place.”
Since being launched In October 2021, Gecko Glazing has been heavily involved in the retrofit sector. The panes can be installed in minutes and are said to cause no damage to existing windows or frames.
Gareth added, “We’ve already proven how effective Gecko Panes are in people’s homes, but projects like Duncan Place show there is also huge potential in commercial properties. There are many museums, schools, hospitals and other community buildings across Scotland which could benefit in the same way.”