Sapphire is showcasing speed and innovation with glide-on balconies for North Wharf Gardens in Paddington, a new residential development at the very heart of London living. Sapphire’s pioneering concept, which combines offsite manufactured Cassette® balconies with a unique glide-on connection system, enabled rapid installation, saving both time and money on site. The fast-track install method minimised crane hire and associated site costs; while delivering fully assembled balcony units reduced the need for secure storage on site – a particular benefit for projects in city centres like London where site space can often be very limited. Having watched balconies being installed at North Wharf Gardens, Design Coordinator for main contractor, Bouygues UK, says: “Sapphire’s glide-on balcony concept is so simple and yet very clever. It provides a really fast and flexible solution for this type of high-rise residential development.”
“Sapphire’s glide-on balcony concept is so simple and yet very clever. It provides a really fast and flexible solution for this type of high-rise residential development.”
Comprising four residential towers ranging in height from eight to 14 storeys, North Wharf Gardens is a stunning addition to London’s landscape. Sapphire designed, manufactured and installed projecting balconies to apartments on the development’s east and west elevations. Balconies were produced and assembled in Sapphire’s factory and stored ready for delivery call-off as required to meet the build programme. This supply route not only helped keep the project on schedule but also ensured a high level of quality control that would be almost impossible to achieve on site. Balconies feature frameless structural glass balustrades from Sapphire’s Crystal range and durable WPC composite decking. The glass panels are combined with a smart stainless steel top rail, which complements the development’s contemporary façade of brick, concrete cladding and spandrel glazing.
Working from the top down, balconyCassettes® were lifted into position and installed by simply ‘gliding’ them on to pre-erected brackets. Balcony brackets were cast-in to the slab with a arms taking projecting from the thermal break within the cavity to outside of the finished façade. This provides an important thermal break, preventing balcony connection points causing a cold bridge from the cold balcony to the warm inside, which can lead to condensation problems.
North Wharf Gardens is the latest in a growing number of prestigious residential developments to specify Sapphire’s patent-protected glide-on Cassette® balcony system. The innovative solution makes it simpler, faster and more cost-effective for housebuilders to provide high quality balconies for their developments, says Nick Haughton, Sapphire’s Marketing Manager: “As well as the time and cost savings, offsite manufacturing reduces the on-site health and safety issues associated, for example, finishing works like soffits when installing traditional balconies and potentially costly project delays due to bad weather.”