Glide-on balconies are a unique concept, specially developed by Sapphire to make it simpler, faster and more cost-effective to provide high quality balconies for residential projects.
Offering housebuilders, developers and contractors the first real alternative to traditional balcony design and construction, this patent-protected system combines the benefits of pre-fabricated balcony ‘cassettes’ with fast installation using our own innovative connectors.
Sapphire’s approach is based on the manufacture of ‘semi-modular’ units (using standard components and methodology whilst manufacturing to exact project dimensions). This enables the firm to maximise the efficiencies associated with producing standard, repeatable units, whilst still allowing design variations to be made to each module as required. Once delivered to site, the individual balcony modules simply ‘glide’ onto pre-erected supporting brackets.
Sapphire’s new offsite glide-on balconies have already proved to save time and cost on a number of prestigious residential projects, resulting in repeat orders from satisfied clients.
Fascias, soffits and drainage systems can be pre-installed, reducing time on site even further. Sapphire’s lighter, modularised balcony cassette concept delivers both architectural flexibility and fast track construction benefits
Using Sapphire’s pioneering offsite glide-on balcony system, 22 complete balcony units, including glass balustrades and sub-deck, were installed to new West London apartments in just 6 hours.
Fully assembled balcony modules, together with Sapphire’s innovative glide-on connectors, made it possible to install a balcony every 6.5 minutes.
The balconies were also put to good use recently as part of an award-winning Glasgow development by Barratt Homes in Queen Margaret Drive, a stone’s throw from the city’s Botanical Gardens. A prestigious project designed for discerning residents, The Botanics’ specification had to meet exacting standards. Limited space on site was a further challenge and, as the project was in Glasgow, the preassembled balconies had to be transported safely and efficiently a significant distance from Sapphire’s production facility in southern England.
Sapphire’s offsite manufacturing process enabled high quality control standards to be maintained consistently within a controlled factory environment. This quality control ensured that all 99 Glide-On Cassette balconies for the project were prefinished correctly and passed a series of checks before being released to site.
Offsite manufacture was also vital in overcoming the site’s space restrictions. The balconies for Botanics were produced by Sapphire ahead of the agreed date and held in a secure storage facility, ready to be called to site as needed. Once the site was ready, balconies were individually wrapped for protection and loaded onto flatbed lorry trailers. A custom loading plan ensured a safe journey to Glasgow and meant balconies could be delivered to site in stages and installed quickly, avoiding the need for onsite storage or programme delays. Summing up, Project Manager for Barratt Homes, commented: “The balconies are great, everyone comments on them.”