The Sapphire Project Pathway
At Sapphire, we understand the importance of support throughout your project. We offer unrivalled assistance at every step of the way, from concept to completion. This level of service and support set Sapphire apart, offering something unique in the sector, and makes a real difference to our clients.
Regardless of the fact that most of our contractual commitments are for the supply only not the supply and install, our service is far more than just the supply. We deliver balconies with a full supply and support package.
Our project support goes far beyond our contract duties and obligations to ensure all installs are carried out by people we have appropriately trained, and we maintain our own fleet of specialist equipment which is all regularly inspected, maintained and certified.
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We provide solutions. the most effective solution is one that works well in various aspects of performance whilst cutting out waste and unnecessary costs. Being involved in the concept design stage can help create simplistic solutions reflecting the vision yet avoiding costly and tricky details. Anchor spacing alone has saved £100,00o’s off some schemes.
In order to better understand your project and integrate our innovative Cassette Glide-On balconies seamlessly into the building, we believe it is essential to be involved in the project pathway as early as possible.
By taking this collaborative and supportive approach we can guarantee our balconies will be Rigid, Ready, Right.
That’s why we offer support which can really make a difference right from the early parts of the pre-construction process.
- CPD presentations & technical support. We share our expertise and years of learning to give attendees guidance in understanding regulations, approaches to tackle common issues and innovations to simplify and speed up the installation.
- Interface solutions. There are many interfacing challenges which we will help tackle from casting in brackets through to final finishing.
- Pre-construction concept design refinement. We will review designs and suggest potential enhancements, refinements or concerns and suggest solutions and ideas or value engineering.
- We support clients in making decisions by providing standard samples and can also produce full project-specific balconies and mockups.
- 2D, 3D and BIM. We can assist with providing early-stage concept design drawings of balconies in 2D or 3D CAD or as BIM Components.
- Structural Calculations. Sapphire uses a bespoke SES (Structural Evaluations Systems) to check structural calculations and can also do FEA modelling to enable good design decisions to be made.
There are big advantages to using standardised design. At Sapphire, we have created our Cassette® system on the principle of modular construction. Our Cassette® skeletons are constructed at 400mm modules. We have created a range of standard sizes which offer the optimal widths in several projections. The benefit of using standard sizes is efficiency and therefore cost saving.
Standard balcony sizes have been designed, continually refined, and are held in standard models, meaning we can quickly provide drawings of for project balconies in 2D or 3D CAD or as BIM Components, along with FEA and structural calculations.
We can provide sizes to suit the exact project requirements for instance with widths differing from standard sizes or with unusual bracket positions. This still benefits from using the 400mm modular approach but has cost variations, making the design process more complex and with a longer duration, but still well within our in house capabilities.
Try our free online 3D Balcony Configurator!
For total safety, it’s essential that your balconies comply with all the relevant legislation. That’s why we’ve developed Structural Evaluation Systems (SES) – a set of unique tools for bespoke structural evaluation and calculations for individual balcony projects or associated metalwork and glazing.
Based on extensive testing of our products, SES allows us to provide evidence on whether a proposed design is strong enough, across a huge range of applications. Clients find the data invaluable for securing Building Control approval. The system represents a unique innovation reflecting our commitment to ensuring projects happen quickly, efficiently and safely, and within regulations, from estimating through to installation.
Offsite Balcony Production
Our History of Offsite Production
Ever since 1992, we’ve aimed to minimise site work by maximising offsite production.
This provides not only more controlled, traceable processes and better-quality products, but also makes the balcony installations a breeze with less coordination of trades and speedier installation.
Our balconies are made predominately in UK assembly plants, specifically laid out to suit the workflow of balcony production. These processes are key in giving each of these locations the capacity to produce several thousand balconies a year. All welding is done in accordance with weld procedures as necessary under BS EN 1090 and are covered by CE marking Certificates of Conformity.
Our balcony production facilities work closely with third party (3PL) logistics specialists, who collect and store balconies in line with site programs. This flexibility can enable clients to get a much faster flow of balconies to site than making balconies Just In Time (JIT) for their install. We understand LEAN processes and seek to drive these into our production and design.
Visit our MMC Hub for further information on our offsite manufacturing.
Install Benefits from Offsite Production
With our Glide-On Cassette balconies, we’ve been able to rapidly install over 30 balconies in a day, multiple times. Offsite balcony production enables any production constraints are smoothed by securely holding the finished balconies ready to be delivered, as required by the installation or site program.
To learn more about our Modern Methods & Offsite Innovation visit our Modern Methods of Construction Knowledge Hub
This video provides an overview of the production and assembly process all our balconies are manufactured in and the quality processes that ensure every balcony is Rigid, Ready, Right.
When working with our innovative Glide-On Cassette balconies which are able to be installed far more efficiently than the industry standard, smooth balcony transport & logistics is absolutely essential.
Our Glide-On system has set the record at 36 Glide-On Cassette balconies installed in just over 6 hours (compared to the industry standard of 4-6 in a day). This accomplishment means the logistical constraint then becomes how fast they can be delivered to the site.
To avoid supply of balconies becoming an issue we manufacture all balconies offsite. These are made ahead of time, moving into vast storage facilities so that not everything is dependent on being made just in time. This fulfils our brand promise as all balconies will be Ready for install before the agreed date.
We believe that it is essential to get goods to site in a pristine condition safely and ready to be efficiently offloaded with minimum risk of damage or safety issues. That’s why we have invested in a number of our own trailers specially adapted so that they can allow double stacking and so that guardrails are pre-fitted ready for safe offload. We also attach certified slings at the point of dispatch so that the site can quickly offload them without having to climb onto each of the balconies.
Once fully assembled and correct, we move our balconies from our production facilities into third partly logistics hubs where they are stored until they need to be transported to site. Prior to dispatch, each project is given a custom lorry plan to transport as many balconies as possible safely and efficiently to minimise emissions, carbon footprint and balcony transport costs.
For some projects, small quantities of balconies may be required ahead or behind the main bulk, so on these occasions smaller or Hiab lorries may be used. For example, marketing suites may have a single balcony delivered on a Hiab which can also install it directly from the lorry trailer bed.
Our impressive production capability – and commitment to the quality process at every stage of the manufacturing process and the supply chain – is second to none in the industry.
Sapphire’s Balcony Passport app provides key quality process benefits to customers because without the sapphire balcony passport app being signed off at each stage, a balcony is not authorised to move on to the next or to be dispatched.
With this quality process app, every stage of QC checks is captured, from multiple stages of assembly to final quality acceptance, delivery, installation and handover. The install side of Passport is available to our Sapphire Accredited installers and provides unprecedented visibility into the manufacture and installation process of each balcony.
Passport provides a complete traceable history on each balcony, and the design of it is such that the next checklist cannot be completed until the prior one has been completed. This gives assurance that every balcony has gone through the complete QC process so that every balcony can be delivered ‘Right’, in line with our brand promise of balconies delivered Rigid.Ready.Right.
The quality process is controlled through each step meaning that when a balcony is delivered, the quality is far thoroughly checked than it ever would have been in the old industry norm of supply and install balconies leading to the snagging happening at the point of client handover.
We support on-site installation teams initially with training, then supply them the unique specialist equipment they need for their specific project.
Sapphire has developed many unique pieces of equipment to make installing balconies on site faster, more efficient and, most importantly, safer for installation teams.
Innovations include the Counter Balance Lifter. In essence, the CBL offsets the crane hook by using weights to balance the balcony, opening the door to a wide range of install sequences.
We also offer an internal guarding system, behind which installers can safely guide in balconies. In addition, an SYAM safety harness is available for leading edge work on corner balconies or walkways, for example.
By providing the equipment needed, on-site installers at Pomona Wharf managed to install 34 balconies in just over six hours. See for yourself and understand how this on-site support combined with our unique rapid install system, could really make a difference to your balcony project.
See Berkeley Homes director Jason Margetts speaking of his experiences of Sapphire’s supply and support on their Royal Arsenal, Thames riverside development in Woolwich, London. Click here to hear more from Tim Hawkins, the project director at Berkeley Homes on his experience working with us.
Learn more about our Supply & Support Model and Install Partners here.