Use CABS – The Quickest Way To Create Your Balustrade Solution

Sapphire Balustrades has launched CABS – Computer Aided Balustrade Specifier – to guide you sequentially through various decisions to specify the style and structure of your chosen balustrade and handrail systems. After 5 clear stages – and a total of approximately 20 clicks – CABS lets you generate and print out a balustrade specification report which summarises some of the relevant regulation requirements including handrail, baluster (upright post), infill (eg glazed) and fixing method, complete with NBS paragraphs and basic 3D CAD drawings. With such a clear specification it’s then easier and quicker to prepare your final package, request a quotation or receive further design advice from Sapphire.

Log on to (or via and you’ll see a clear sequence of stages. In Stage 1 (Design Considerations) you’re prompted to define the application such as Environment (eg internal, external, coastal), Loadings, Accessibility (eg DDA compliant), and likely to be abused or vandalised. Stage 2 (Aesthetic Selection) guides you through selection of style (framed, frameless etc) and materials such as timber handrail, stainless steel baluster, and toughened glass infill etc.

In Stage 3 (Enhancements) there is an opportunity to specify ‘additions’ such as LED lighting strips beneath the handrail or anti-vandal surface coating for metal components. Stage 4 (Project Notes) allows you to type notes to add to your report; and then it’s onto Stage 5 (Finish) to generate the report itself.

Nick Haughton, Sapphire Balustrades’ Marketing Manager, believes CABS is an industry-first, and comments: “With numerous design and loading criteria, various balustrade styles, and hundreds of permutations for finish, colour and fixings it’s possible to create exactly the right design solution for each balustrade on a project.” But he goes on to say, “Because we offer so many choices the specifier can create a truly bespoke solution from our collection of ‘standard’ ranges. CABS lets you see all the options and guides you to make unique but ‘buildable’ and regs-compliant balustrades.”

“Summing up, having worked hard to understand how and what specifiers find simplest and most beneficial in designing balustrades, clients are sure to see this as the complete balustrade manual. We’re sure architects, specifiers and designers will find this new guide an invaluable tool in specifying great balustrade solutions that meet aesthetic, functional and legislative requirements. To prove its benefits, we’ve created a video on our website to impress you before you try it for yourself.”

One Chartered Architect who participated in the vigorous testing programme, comments: “CABS is a very user-friendly programme which is compatible with NBS Specification Writer – it provides the user with a diagrammatic representation of each specified element.” Another user says: “CABS is an excellent tool. The simplicity of use, along with the complex report creation function makes my job as a designer very straightforward. No more trawling through documentation to check what the regulations are – it’s an all-in-one tool. Good work Sapphire, keep it up!”

To access Sapphire Balustrades’ new Computer Aided Balustrade Specifier or to view the video go to Alternatively, to request a free printed copy of the Technical Manual call 0844 88 00 553.