What is a terrace area?
Architecturally speaking, a terrace is normally an external area guarded with a balustrade. You’ll usually find it located within the communal parts of a property development, traditionally being integrated into the podium, rooftop or garden areas.
Terraces in architectural terms are elevated flat outdoor areas in either a landscape or around a building, for instance a podium or roof terrace. Their use as a residential balcony is most common where there are a number of apartment entrances, joining into one communal walkway. Where the architecture of the building steps back from the façade line of the lower floors, this forms a roof top above the internal areas below. These roof tops are commonly used as a terrace for the floor above instead of a balcony.
Most penthouses are set at the top part of the building and commonly will have a roof terrace instead of a balcony. Such terraces are normally more spacious that other types of balconies, and are therefore often landscaped with the use of planters etc to give the feel of a garden.
In terms of their use as a balcony, they are typically long runs integrated into the building structure, but often subdivided by privacy screens or fins which form part of the building facade’s architectural voice.
Options and benefits
Given that terraces are essential part of the building structure, commonly only a balustrade is required from Sapphire, although occasionally walkways like this are done using Cassette Balconies. At Sapphire Balustrades we have a range of unique high-quality balconies and balustrades to compliment any terrace areas including framed and frameless options. These are available in a number of different materials and finishes, with accompanying handrails and accessories to finish:
- Aluma (aluminum balustrade system with a crisp, contemporary design)
- Jasper (flat-baluster system with slim, contemporary sightlines)
- Onyx (stainless steel, great looking, low maintenance option)
- Opal (attractive, hard-wearing with a polyester powder-coating)
- Crystal (a frameless option ideal for large atria and other high-profile applications)
Given that terrace areas are often just a straight level run of balustrade, the baluster fixing details in these applications are often simple. However, as a lot of terrace areas are directly above internal rooms, it is common for one of the most important consideration to be the interfacing detail between the balustrade and the waterproof. Sapphire has developed a number of solutions which work well with a variety of different water proofing systems.
Whilst side fixing the balustrade to the slab edge is perfectly achievable, terrace areas normally are designed with the balustrade top fixed to the outside edge of the terrace. If there are parapet walls or an upstands, then the most common fixing method would be to side fix the balustrade to the vertical inside edge of the upstand. With applications like parapet walls, there are commonly flashings from the cladding which extend around the top of upstand. Whilst these need clever coordination with the balustrade, We are willing to assist you with this process and have a number of intelligent engineering methods to be able to minimise the issues for you.
Because terraces often have long straight runs, another key consideration is that when you eye down the balustrade it must be perfectly straight. The crucial product choice which affects this is to ensure that the balustrade system used has a lot of tolerance so that it can be easily adjusted to align properly. At Sapphire this is normally assisted by the fact that when installing, lasers and/or CNC made jigs are normally used to ensure that the balustrade is set out accurately from gridlines and datum points, which gives the best start for achieving a perfect installation.
With terrace areas normally being used in conjunction with projecting balconies etc, we recommend that the same type of balustrade is used on both areas so that the design becomes harmonised, and seamlessly blends well together.
Through such a specialist focus, Sapphire has regularly come across the challenges of these applications and continue to intelligently engineer innovative solutions to minimise and simplify the interface. Talk to us so that we can work with you in achieving a smart design solution.