Connecting to a precast facade
It could be argued that the future of construction is in sustainability. Sustainable practices such as lowering embodied carbon emissions, using recycled content or a more sustainable material such as aluminium are all viable options, but connecting to a precast facade could be the solution many people in residential construction are looking for.
What is a precast façade?
A precast façade is a modern method of construction where wall panels can be constructed offsite in a factory environment. The concrete is poured and cast over pre-lined fascia and cladding details, then transported to and fit on a live building site.
The benefits of a precast façade begin at conception – unlike traditionally poured concrete frames, the balcony anchors in a precast façade can be considered during the design phase. An architect will be able to make choices in the design stage that allow anchor stubs to be cast discretely into the façade so that balcony installation can be made faster and easier during the façade fitting stage.
Further to this, there are numerous sustainability and cost benefits to using a precast façade. Similarly to the benefits of our innovative Glide-On™ system, using a precast façade will reduce the total manhours spent onsite as installation of the walls will be far quicker. A great number of precast facades can be transported at once instead of the equipment needed for traditional pouring, so transport costs and carbon emissions will also be reduced.
Connecting a balcony to a precast facade
The benefits of a precast façade don’t just end there, however. Due to the innate strength of a precast façade, the options for balcony connection are abundant – from tie-rod anchors and remote lockers to an innovative new ultra-low carbon solution currently in the works at Sapphire.
Casting a wall with the stub brackets already in place means that strict template measurements for the arm anchors can be adhered to. Our accredited installers work to precise measurements and having these arms measured in a factory environment means a minimal chance of measurement faults on delivery.
Once again, due to the innate strength of a precast concrete façade, it means the balcony connections can be placed on a different number of areas on the wall. This allows solutions such as a tie-rod connection to be feasible. Tie-rods connect the balcony to the façade at both a floor and handrail level, balancing the forces put on the balcony via a tie-wire.
Remote Locker devices are also incredibly useful for precast façade walls. If a balcony needs lifting to a difficult-to-reach area or to a façade built off site, a remote locker device can be used. This small device, no larger than a briefcase, sits above pre-installed arms inside the balcony Cassette® and, once the balcony has been lifted to the precast façade’s installed stub arms, fixes them together via radio signal, making the balcony safe to step out onto.
Thanks to modern methods of construction, precast facades are incredibly useful for low-carbon balconies as the balcony no longer needs to connect directly to the concrete floor slab. The enormous structural stability of a precast concrete façade allows for connections in various areas of the wall and even allows for the anchors to be cast-in before they’ve left the factory shop floor.
Various methods of connection are available for a precast façade such as a tie-rod, a remote locker or even an upcoming ultra-low carbon solution. Connecting a Sapphire balcony to a precast concrete wall has never been easier.
Design your own precast façade balcony connection using COACH: