• 1. Concept

    Make a difference to your project pathway

    Beautiful, practical balconies make a difference. Internally they can make a compact living area feel more spacious, and upgrade a ‘nice’ apartment into something very special. Externally they can often create the architectural signature that sets one building apart from the ordinary.

    Get the balconies package right and they’ll pay for themselves in added-value; but get it wrong and it will show. Recent research shows that 88% of people looking to purchase or rent an apartment felt a balcony would make a property more desirable.

    Design Assistance

    Practical and careful design directly affects occupant usability and satisfaction. From drainage concerns, rigidity and security to ensuring privacy, we’ll work together to ensure your balcony design meets the needs of developers and end users.

    Standard balcony sizes have been designed, continually refined, and are held in standard models which we can quickly provide drawings of for project balconies in 2D or 3D CAD or as BIM Components, along with FEA and structural calculations.

    By being involved in the design stages early in the project we can help ensure your balconies satisfy NHBC drainage requirements.

    Early design assistance can also help with optimising anchor quantity resulting in improved thermal calculations and lower costs.

    We can also provide bespoke or stock samples of components like non-combustible decking to aid the design process.

    CABS

    To make your job easier and quicker we have created CABS (our free online Computer Aided Balcony Specifier) for the best route through the design process. Visit https://sapphire.eu.com/balcony-configurator/.

    NBS

    To support you with creating exact specifications our product specification clauses are available both on our website or if you create a CABS configurator model these will automatically be generated in the background.

    CAD

    We have a helpful CAD document library on our website to make your life easier, that said it’s even easier using our 3D configurator (CABS). And if you can’t find exactly the CAD detail you need, just ask and we can create it for you.

    SES (Structural Evaluation System)

    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.

    Our various design tools will automatically give indicative structural calculations, glass thickness etc. When you’ve completed your outline design we can use our Structural Evaluation System for peace of mind that you comply with all relevant regulations and standards.

    The journey to achieving great looking balconies was just as good as the aesthetics, thanks to Sapphire’s high quality product and service package

    Barratt Homes

    Who is involved?

    • Architect
    • Sapphire

    Key tasks completed

    > Research Options
    > Create Visual Effects
    > Material Selection
    > Samples
    > CAD Icon’s
    > Specification
    > CPD’s

  • 2. Design

    Beautiful, bespoke balconies

    Inspired design is a combination of great vision and attention to detail. It’s also about being able to convert initial concepts into cost-effective, buildable projects.

    We believe design should never be limited by a catalogue of standard parts. Nor do we recommend you start with a blank sheet of paper to ‘reinvent the wheel’ on every project. Instead, we create bespoke solutions for individual applications starting with essential elements from our core ranges, mixing-and-matching innovative ideas from our huge bank of design permutations, and adding individual touches unique to your project.

    When ‘ordinary’ is not good enough, let’s work together to create an inspired design for beautiful balconies. Let’s work together to make a difference.

    Offsite manufacture

    By utilising off-site manufacture our skilled fabricators benefit from a range of high-tech precision machinery in the safety of our own facilities to create a level of quality which is almost impossible to achieve on site.

    Speed, cost and aesthetics

    By streamlining off-site processes we achieve a low cost base, better aesthetics, and faster production times. Once on site, this approach significantly cuts installation time and safety risks (eg hot works).

    Design the best balconies

    Involve us at an early stage and we can help you design the best balconies, not only for functionality and aesthetics but also to enjoy all the benefits of off-site construction. With our experience, we can avoid common problems which cause programme delays. We can assist you in maximising sales appeal whilst minimising costs by pre-fabricating complete balconies in our quality-assured factories ready for delivery and erection with minimum time, cost and risk on site.

    Standard balcony sizes have been designed, continually refined, and are held in standard models which 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.

    Unique details

    At Sapphire we don’t just manufacture good balconies; we’ve spent years developing details to make better balconies, and now we’re launching a series of innovations that truly define the best balcony solutions. Our continuous development programme isn’t just focused on balcony hardware; we couple it with our legendary personal service – our target is to make a difference at every moment you need us.

    Special thanks go to their contracts team that delivered a quality product on time. They were always ready when we needed them

    JARVIS HOMES

  • 3. Procurement

    Estimating strategy

    We don’t like to boast but two factors set us above our competitors – personal service and true value engineering. This approach helps us to understand and provide meaningful estimates centred around your needs.

    Personal service

    Our aim is to help you by prompt response to enquiries and by preparing detailed estimates with clarity and honesty – no “ticking bombs” which look attractive but end up costing money and causing disputes.

    True value engineering

    Some of our clients want the cheapest solution; others want our help to add value to a project or development. To some, ‘value engineering’ means make it cheaper; to us ‘true value engineering’ means identifying ways to make it better or maintain aesthetics whilst reducing or minimising the cost.

    By working together we can reduce the number of arms required and slash crane costs with our Glide-On system setting a record of 34 balconies installed in just 6 hours.

    Who is involved?

    • Architect
    • Contractor
    • Sapphire

    Key tasks completed

    > Estimating
    > Detailed Proposals
    > Sample Approval
    > Value Engineering
    > Revised Proposals
    > Sample Approval
    > Value Engineering

  • 4. Production

    Preparing for site

    We spend our time wisely preparing for site so that you don’t have to waste time expensively when things go wrong on site. One of the UK’s largest developers commended the way Sapphire “parachutes in and out at exactly the right time”.

    Intelligent engineering

    When you involve us from an early design stage we continually assess to make sure that we can fabricate your balcony efficiently from stock or short-lead-time components. We calculate designs to ensure they are achievable, materials are right, connections are practical, and timescales are workable.

    Planning and programming

    Let us assist you in programme planning through procurement, manufacturing, and just-in-time delivery. And trust us to propose realistic programming for your balcony installation alongside other trades on site. At Sapphire, we know that good pre-site communications can make a difference to the successful running of a contract. So that’s what we try to do.

    Who is involved?

    • Architect
    • Contractor
    • Sapphire
    • Approved Sapphire subcontractor or supplier

    Key tasks completed

    > Site Survey
    > Detailed Dimensions
    > Structural Calculations
    > 2D/3D CAD Drawings
    > Drawing Approval
    > Production Issue Pack
    > Procurement
    > Manufacture
    > Assemble
    > Protective Packaging
    > Quality Checking

  • 5. On-site

    Training

    Our brand promise ensures all our balconies are delivered Rigid, Ready, Right every time. This means that all our balconies will be ready for install before the agreed date and each one will be inspected and certified every step of the way so you know there’ll be no delays on site.

    With our breadth of balcony installation experience, and with multiple certified Appointed Persons and Slingers in house, we now run our own comprehensive offsite balcony installer training. This enables operatives to learn the fundamentals of installing balconies safely and effectively.

    This includes the use of Sapphire’s installation innovations, for example, counterbalance lifters and internal door guarding system.

    Delivering results on time, on budget

    By analysing the project pathway step-by-step we have identified where we can make a difference on site. We know that time and budgets are critical to you but it is actually achieving them that matters.

    Strict supply chain management

    By maintaining high stock levels of key components and good management of critical path suppliers we’ll be ready to start on time exactly in-line with site requirements.

    Off-site manufacture

    By pre-fabricating and pre-assembling as much as possible in our quality- assured manufacturing facilities we can minimise the need for storage on site and can reduce the duration of scaffolding – saving you money.

    On-time delivery

    We can’t always do the impossible, but through our personal liaison, we can prioritise to achieve best-in-class performance against tight deadlines.

    Onsite Safety and Quality Assurance.

    Whilst it isn’t our own installers who fit your balconies, we by no means leave this important area as a gap in the project pathway. Before the install, we provide offsite training both theory and practical to all install team members. What is more, all equipment to make your install is a success is supplied by us to the project specific requirements and all fully certified for lifting.

    Pronounced ‘Oscar’, our Onsite Safety and Quality Assurance process allows us to tackle challenging targets and monitor performance on site even though we may not be present. Because we set high standards for quality assurance, and by critical self-assessment, we aim to put right any details before they become snags.

    Speedy O&M

    Little details can make a big difference; we’ll ensure that we create the O&M documentation early on so you’re not waiting when you need it.

    Project feedback

    By regular communications throughout the project we keep you up to date and in control at every stage. And we pro-actively seek out your feedback about our performance as part of our ongoing quest to make a difference.

    Who is involved?

    • Contractor
    • Sapphire
    • Approved Sapphire subcontractor or supplier

    Key tasks completed

    > Risk Assessment
    > Method Statement
    > Installer training
    > Delivery
    > OSQA
    > Reporting

  • 6. Post-Project

    Getting the right quality of balconies can be a big factor in the perceived quality of a whole residential development. The balcony quality is a key point in forming initial impressions of a much larger project. Yet quality is notoriously difficult to define, so we’ve identified a series of steps to assist in measuring it.

    Rigid. Ready. Right.

    Our support has always gone far beyond any contractual obligations. Now, our commitment to supply and support excellence includes a three-fold promise that every balcony we produce will be Rigid, Ready and Right.

    Rigid: We promise that every balcony using Sapphire anchors will be Rigid, and can be scientifically proven to deflect less than half the amount British Standards allow.

    Ready: We promise that every balcony will be fully Ready for delivery before the agreed date.

    Right: We promise to have traceable proof that each balcony has been inspected to the required standard so that every balcony is supplied Right.

    Warranty

    It’s so simple… we offer a 12 year peace of mind warranty.

    Low maintenance

    It’s not until after the design, fabrication and installation that you can measure user satisfaction and low problem rates; customer survey evidence shows that Sapphire consistently performs to the highest expectations.

    Who is involved?

    • Contractor
    • Sapphire

    Key tasks completed

    > Project Review
    > Follow Up Call
    > Customer Care Meetings