The main aim of glass balustrades is to maintain an open uninterrupted vista to the views beyond, either from the balcony itself or from inside the building through a window or door, while maintaining protection from falling.
The added benefit of glass is it does not deflect from the design or beauty of the buildings aesthetic and can offer some degree of wind break.
There are a variety of different glass systems on the market but these break down into 3 main groups:
Glass over an aperture that has an opening window or opening door that requires a barrier at 1100mm to stop people falling.
Post & Rail
A barrier constructed of vertical posts with a fixed handrail linking the posts together with infill panels between the posts. Picture
No handrail is fitted and often glass panels are secured at the base only, with point fixings, continues base rail or spigots.
There are many systems and fittings in the market, these are normally manufactured in stainless steel in a satin or polished finish, but also timber post & rails can also be fitted.
The key issues when considering balustrade are:
· How to gain a secure fixing to the fabric of the building, to withstand the loadings required. (remember the leverage from the top edge of the baluster to the base)
· To devise a method of installation that does not break the waterproof membrane, so water can enter the building.
· Drainage of the balcony area, if a continues base rail system is to be installed.
· There are also building regulations to consider re; barrier heights, loading requirements, wind loadings and impact testing as per BS6180 2011.
Once installed, glass balustrade has minimal maintenance to consider, be aware that marine conditions may cause some discolouring to the surface appearance of metal fittings, these can be cleaned with specialist cleaners.
When considering installing glass balustrade, use a company with knowledge and experience and has a good track record in knowing the right products to install, to meet both the correct legal building regulations and installation techniques to minimise any long term construction issues.
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