Base Fixing Overview
The base fixing of frameless structural glass is the first of the three considerations for the balustrade design.
Whilst the glass choice and the base fixing need to be considered together, rather than isolated, we start with the base fixing choices. These govern how the balustrade will be connected to the Cassette®, and is the part of the balustrade which will most affect the aesthetics. Primarily because the fascia options stem from which base fixing method is chosen.
Base fixing : mechanical fixings
Using a mechanical fixing which has bolts going through the glass and into point fixings (or Bobbins) behind is the most common solution in our experience. This is because of its simplistic nature with neat aesthetic appeal.
A neat fascia can be connected to the front of the base clamp using a hidden clamp plate, which offers a neat line to finish the balcony. Alternatively a band of ceramic print can be applied between the two layers of glass which hides the detailing behind. Discs on the front would typically be powder coated to match with the band. This solution typically offers cost savings compared to the fascia option.
Base fixing : mechanical fixings (with fascias)
When a balcony has a fascia, the mechanical base fixings still uses point fixed ‘Bobbins’ behind the glass, but in front of the glass a special clamp plate is used.
These plates sit in front of the glass and span between the two point fixings, clamping the glass to the point fixings. The fascia’s hook around these special clamps and have bolts screwed in from above the clamps.
The fascias have drainage slots at the rear face so that any water which collects inside them can drain out.
Base fixing : wedge fixed
Wedge fixing of glass can often be an expensive solution for balconies when compared with the mechanical fixing.
Sometimes it is chosen by clients when using a heat strengthened glass. This is often because heat strengthened glass isn’t as strong as temper toughened glass, and by wedging the glass, less pressure is applied than with point fixed “Bobbins”.
Sapphire have also developed a wedge fixed channel profile, which provides a fixing channel and a fascia incorporated in to the same extrusion.