First Central, Park Royal

Client:   Catalyst Housing Group/London Borough of Brent

Contractor:   Higgins Construction

Architect:   Boon Brown Architects

Location:   North West London

Balconies:   119 Cassettes®

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Installation of 119 Glide-On™ balconies at First Central, a new residential development in North West London. Schoeck cast-in anchors were installed to provide a connection and a thermal break. The concrete casting had taken place without the use of templates, meaning that some anchors weren’t correctly positioned.


Sapphire’s innovative balcony system allows for a tolerance of +/- 20mm, which traditional steel bolt-on balconies don’t provide. By using Sapphire’s Cassette® balconies. they were able to be fitted the first time. The balconies for First Central were also fitted with a positive drainage system to a soffit tray, reducing the risk of façade staining and water falling through the deck onto the residents below. With many balconies over 6m² this also fulfilled the NHBC drainage requirements for flat roofs and balconies. The drainage connections, along with the extract vents from the building, were contained within a hidden void added to the underside of the Cassette®.

Installation process

Step 1: The scheme used cast-in Shoeck anchors to provide a thermal break and Sapphire’s brackets connected directly to these, taking the bracket from the thermal break within the cavity to outside of the finished façade.

Step 2: Sapphire manufactured Cassette® balconies for First Central at its Winchester production facility while balcony connections were completed on-site.

Step 3: Off-site production enabled the factory finished Cassette® balconies to be delivered to site, ready for install team to take over.

Step 4: Using Sapphire’s innovative counter-balance technology, the balconies were simply glided onto the pre-installed brackets, with installers inside the building.

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