Sapphire’s Innovative Thinking Meets the Demands of Kenavon Drive

Sapphire’s flexibility and collaboration proved to be essential at Kenavon Drive allowing significant challenges in the design and install of balconies to be overcome with ease.

The project included several types of balconies and required anchor solutions for each application. This was particularly complex in the corner balconies which required a non-standard bracket.

While the weight of steel and concrete balconies requires substantial penetrations into the slab, Sapphire’s aluminium Glide-On™ Cassette® system is lightweight meaning the number of anchors required could be significantly reduced for the client.

For this project we developed an innovative corner arm and two-piece corner balconies, to overcome the potential deflection issues and the complex interface at the corners.

The project called for 82 Cassette® and 71 Juliette balconies which were prefinished offsite to production line quality standards at Sapphire’s production facility in Winchester. A lean one-piece flow production method was utilised to ensure optimum efficiency and precision in the finished balconies. The balconies were finished ahead of the agreed date, safely stored in our designated facility and delivered to site when required on a combination of simple flatbed lorries and some lorries with hiabs.

Whilst most balconies were installed using a tower crane, some balconies needed to be installed without it to reduce the cost to the client. This required value engineering and specialised planning for both delivery and install. Some were installed using a telehandler, while others used the hiab lorries dramatically improving the financial efficiency of the scheme by limiting the number of days a full crane was required.

The balconies were secured and lifted into position before sliding on to the precast support arms and locked into place by installers working from inside the building. The Glide-On™ system does not require installers to work below a live load but rather work from inside the building behind a protective barrier, dramatically improving health and safety standards on site. Only once the balcony is securely locked into place do installers step onto it, finish placing the decking and detach the crane’s sling.

Safety standards were further maintained for workers installing corner balconies by using a Syam harness system which prevented potential falls from the leading edge.

Drainage was another concern for this project as the NHBC required the larger balconies over 6 square meters be prefinished with positive drainage. The smaller balconies on the other hand, were fitted with controlled drainage to a drip edge at the front. A study of these drainage solutions was done during residential occupation to determine their effectiveness. You can view a video demonstrating the difference in the case study here.