Disadvantages of Steel Bolt-on Balconies
Traditional cantilever steel bolt-on balconies offer the aesthetic appeal of no visible means of support. However, there are a number of disadvantages associated with this option and with the self-supporting type of bolt-on steel balcony.
- Time consuming to install. Sapphire’s Glide-on technology is proven to be up to 50% more efficient, allowing up to 22 balconies to be installed in just 6 hours compared with only 5-10 steel bolt-on balconies per day.
- Finishing works. Unlike bolt-on balconies, Sapphire Cassettes come complete with preassembled soffits, fascia and decks etc, reducing finishing works and associated costs.
- The heavy weight of a steel balcony means that more brackets are required to connect back to the main structure. Sapphire’s aluminium Cassettes are approximately half the weight of steel. This reduces the number of anchor connections, saving cost and minimising the risk of cold bridging.
- Visible welds and fixings. Sapphire Cassette balconies are engineered to keep fixings discreet, with preassembled soffits that complete the underside.
- Health and safety hazard of installers having to connect the balcony from underneath while the crane holds its weight. Sapphire Cassette balconies simply glide-on to pre-erected support brackets, with no need for fixing from below under live load
- Misalignment issues. This can occur with traditional RC frame casting, resulting in programme delays and costs. Sapphire provides templates with cast-in anchors so its Cassette Glide-on balconies fit first time.
- Tolerance. Compared with traditional steel balconies, which need to align holes perfectly, Sapphire’s Cassettes have a +/- 20mm adjustment both horizontally and vertically.
- Coordinating multiple trades on site. Sapphire Cassette balconies are manufactured offsite and arrive as fully assembled units, reducing trades on site
- Overall cost. Typically, Sapphire Cassette balconies, with their fast-track Glide-on connections, offer a more cost-effective solution than bolt-on balconies, with significant savings to be made through program and crane cost reductions, anchor quantity reduction and all soffits etc pre-fitted in the factory.
Below is a video of Bolt-On balconies being installed the traditional way. delivered to site, craned up and into their final position. Note the reason these are slow and how accuracy is so critical. Also note how having men underneath has been designed out in the Glide-On balconies making them a much safer option.