Taking glass to new heights

While the aesthetic appeal of glass balustrades and Juliet balconies is obvious, thought needs to be given to the careful and safe installation of such systems. Simon Boocock of CRL Europe takes a look at some of the solutions available

buildings and has widespread aesthetic appeal. Small spaces can be made to feel much bigger through the use of glass,


and Juliet balconies in particular are increasingly being chosen for new buildings as a way of filling the room with light and natural ventilation, without the need for any planning permission. Unlike a bolt-on or decked balcony, they do not need the foundations of a property to be re-evaluated to accommodate them, making them a useful solution for refurbishment and renovation projects. Once installed, Juliet balconies are effectively maintenance-free and can be

suitable for even the most corrosive seaside or coastal properties if they are made of 316 Grade stainless steel and accordingly tested. Although glass infill panels are often perceived as a more expensive option than metal, glass isn’t necessarily beyond the reach of projects with a limited budget. For the installer though, fitting a glass balustrade or balcony can be a more

reating a minimal, high-end finish on buildings, glass is fast becoming the material of choice for balustrades and balconies. Providing an uninterrupted view, this look is particularly popular on high-rise

demanding – particularly when scaffolding is required and the system needs to be installed from the outside in, as this raises many health and safety issues. Maintenance, too, can be a challenge, as by their nature balconies and balustrades involve working at height. Wet fit balcony systems need to be held securely in place, and this is often

achieved with cement to ensure a tight fit. Cement can be messy however, particularly on retro-fit projects. Often the architectural hardware used for installation will be heavy and cumbersome to fit, particularly when working at awkward angles and from height, and can even compromise the minimal aesthetic if it is poorly designed. Specifiers need to be mindful that the general Code of Practice for barriers

in and around buildings is confirmation to BS6180:2011 and a system that can be fixed back to the stone or brickwork of the building will offer the best solution in terms of security. However, a dry-glazed railing system suitable for frameless glass balustrades is a hassle-free alternative to the mess and awkwardness of working with cement and scaffolding. This solution simplifies the fitting and maintenance process, enabling installation from the safe side of | HMM May 2018 | 33

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