Safe and stylish internal and external balustrades have been manufactured and installed by Sapphire Balustrades to enhance retirement living for elderly residents at Richards Close in Harrow. Balconies and stairways in two new blocks of purpose-designed apartments feature several different balustrade solutions from Sapphire’s aluminium and stainless steel systems. Sapphire’s flexible design and manufacturing expertise ensured that custom features could be incorporated to create a bespoke product package for the multi-million pound project, from Iroko hardwood handrails to colour laminated glass infill panels to complement the apartments’ vibrant facades.
Constructed by Mansell for Octavia and Harrow Churches Housing Association, Richards Close offers an affordable alternative to residential care for older people with the reassurance of 24-hour staffing and communal facilities. Of the 76 apartments, 47 offer extra care facilities, seven have wheelchair access and the remaining 22 provide shared ownership accommodation. Mansell’s Regional Director comments: “Sapphire was able to provide high quality, best value balustrade solutions by combining elements from different standard ranges to satisfy both the practical and aesthetic specification of Richards Close which was named ‘Best New Place to Live’ in the London Planning Awards.”
Sapphire’s Aluma aluminium system was specified in a low maintenance blue-grey polyester powder coated finish for upper storey balconies and ground floor terraces in both apartment buildings. Aluma balusters are combined with either aluminium or hand-finished hardwood handrails and, where used, infill panels of 10mm clear, coloured or satin-etched glass to suit individual building elevations. All balcony balustrades and fixings are designed to meet the regulatory design load for this application of 0.74kN/m.
In addition, Sapphire supplied balustrades to all internal stairways at Richards Close using a variety of systems from its comprehensive range. The main staircase features Sapphire’s Opal polyester powder coated steel balusters and handrails. Balustrades for escape stairs in each building are manufactured from the Onyx satin polished stainless steel system. All staircase balustrades have clear toughened glass infill panels to create a light, open feel to the stairways and balustrades are specially designed to be suitable for disabled users in accordance with Building Regulations Document M.