Sapphire Balustrades Helps Cut Construction Time and Costs for New Apartments

Stylish balconies manufactured offsite by Sapphire Balustrades helped reduce construction time and costs for a development of apartments in south east London by award-winning housebuilder Hill Partnerships. Enterprise House in Bromley features bespoke balconies and balustrades based on Sapphire’s versatile Crystal glazed system combined with aluminium balusters (uprights) powder-coated in a smart slate grey finish. Over 50 projecting balconies and balustrades were manufactured in Sapphire’s state-of-the-art offsite production facility and delivered to site fully assembled ready to be craned into position and fixed to the façade of the building, saving the need for scaffolding.

Enterprise House is a development of one, two and three bedroom apartments in a convenient location for accessing the capital and the Kent countryside. The development reflects Hill Partnerships’ reputation for innovation, both in design and build, including the use of offsite construction techniques for apartment balconies. Hill Partnerships’ Project Manager comments: “As well as having the design and manufacturing expertise to create high quality balustrades for this residential project, Sapphire was able to develop a cost-effective offsite solution for our balconies and balustrades, eliminating the cost of full facade scaffolding and saving contractors’ time on site.”

Balcony and balustrade units for Enterprise House, complete with timber decking, were manufactured and assembled by Sapphire in factory production line conditions ensuring a high degree of quality control. Sapphire’s innovative design enabled finished balconies to be stacked inside each other to optimise lorry loads and reduce transport costs. The 10mm toughened glass panels have concealed fixings to create a clean line. Panels to the front of each balcony have an attractive pre-etched glass for aesthetic and privacy purposes.

For added sales appeal Enterprise House has a large roof terrace on the building’s fifth floor where apartment-owners can enjoy far reaching views across London. To complement this facility, and ensure users’ safety, Sapphire has installed its Crystal structural glass balustrades and stainless steel handrails around the roof perimeter at a height that prohibits climbing by small children, while a glass-panelled balustrade from Sapphire’s Aluma range divides front and back terrace areas.

Completing Sapphire’s product package for the new residential development is a Crystal structural glass and stainless steel balustrade for a disabled access ramp at the front of the building, and also matching stainless steel handrails for main entrance steps. Ramp balustrades are designed and manufactured from clear toughened 15mm glass and have 42mm diameter handrails in polished 316 grade stainless steel, offset from the glass. Handrail centrelines are positioned 1,000mm above landings for the convenience of disabled users, in accordance with British Standards and DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) related regulations. In addition, the balustrade is specifically designed to be child-friendly with gaps that permit nothing larger than a 100mm sphere to pass through.

Offsite manufacture has enabled the construction time to be reduced significantly across many projects.