There’s no denying balconies and balustrades look great. They can also act as an important safety barrier. But ill-thought-through, fitted incorrectly, or poorly maintained and they can be an accident waiting to happen. Being aware of the dangers, making smart design choices, and ensuring regulations are fully met can go a long way to safeguarding your enjoyment of these attractive features. To help raise awareness, and keep you safe, here the experts at Origin Architectural cover a few of the basics.
With so many options on the market – wood, glass, steel – choosing balustrades can seem a little daunting. But following a few basic guidelines, can help to guarantee safety.
If you like the idea of glass balustrades, great! But make sure you’re using toughened safety glass. Not only does this make the glass much stronger than regular glass it also ‘breaks safely’. By this we mean it shatters into small, less hazardous pieces rather than large, jagged shards which have the potential to cause more serious harm.
There are strict legal requirements when it comes to the height of balconies or balustrades and it’s important to always check the latest requirements. Current regulations specify that internal balustrades should be a minimum of 0.9m. This increases to 1.1m for external balustrades and balconies.
The other aspect of ensuring balustrades and balconies are fit for purpose is ensuring they are built to withstand the weight they will be subjected to. For domestic use, they must be able to withstand 0.36kN/m – 0.74kN/m externally. In public areas such as bars and restaurants, this increases to 1.5kN/m and areas with heavier traffic, such as shopping centres, must be able to withstand 3.0kN/m.
Safety should always come first but working with experts – such as the team here at Origin Architectural – won’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Our experienced team is on hand to help with all stages of your project from initial advice, guidance, and design, right through to supply and completion. Why not get in touch with the team today? We’ll happily talk through any safety concerns you may have and offer our expert opinion on the right balustrade system for you. Our fantastic team recently supplied this project in Redhill, Surrey.
If you are looking to install a glass balustrade in Surrey, then try out our balustrade designer tool today. Send your questions on our contact form, email email@example.com or call us on 0113 277 4316.
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