Choosing the correct fixings
Choosing the correct fixings requires a basic understanding of the forces that are applied to a balustrade or Juliet balcony. These are called loads or loadings. Loadings are based on the type of use the building area which the balcony, balustrade or barrier is located.
There are different loading requirements for different areas, these appear in the form of a table on page nine of BS 6399-1:1996 "Loadings for buildings". The majority of balustrades and balconies that we deal with refer to residential balconies which require 0.74 kN (Kilo Newtons) and the majority of our generic structural calculations and load tests are all relating to this loading criteria. The generic calculations and past test information all give guidance on how to ascertain the correct fixings for the job.
Choose the fixing that fits
Any system and our system included is designed to work with all its components. If it is not fixed with a fixing which can take the loads that are required, then the whole thing can fail. The building, fixing and product act as a chain. A chain is as strong as its weakest link and therefore it is important to make sure each one of the parts is fit for its purpose; The balustrade must be fit to support the loads, the walls must be able to support the loads and the fixings must be able to hold the two together and not fail under the loads.
If it’s fixed to a wall which isn’t strong enough to support the loads which are applied to it, it can all fail.
How to choose the correct fixing in 3 easy steps:
- Determine the loading required for the fixings from our structural calculations.
- Know exactly what materials you are fixing your balustrade into or onto.
- 1 and 2 will allow you to choose the best fixing and fixing method that can perform the required loadings on the specified substrate.
Fixing glass balconies and Juliets
- You must know the required loads the fixings need to meet and we supply this information in our Structural calculations for each type of glass balustrading system that we supply.
- Find out EXACTLY what you are anchoring the glass balustrade into. “Brick” is not enough information and nor is “concrete”. The types, density, age, condition, etc. all need to be factored in when choosing your fixings and fixing method.
- Using the information in 1 & 2, you can now choose your correct fixings and anchoring method.
If you are not yet experienced with choosing such fixings and anchoring methods, you can take the information in 1 and 2 to your local builder’s merchant. They will usually be able to supply you with fixings that meet the loads.
WHAT WE PROVIDE WITH OUR GLASS BALUSTRADES
We supply an entire system for the installation of glass balustrades for balconies, decks, around pools, etc. This includes any needed handrails, posts, other supports, profiles, brackets, rubber gaskets, system accessories and anything else that that holds that system together. We do not supply the fixings because they can vary vastly from project to project and substrate to substrate and must be chosen based on the information above.
What you will be attaching our glass balustrading to can be the building itself, a balcony, a terrace, a wall, a deck, etc. Naturally, these can be made of different materials and have different strengths and would require different glass balustrade fixings.
Supply only and advice on fixings
If we are not installing then we do not give any advice on which fixings to choose. When we supply a balustrade and are not involved in the installation. In order to choose the correct fixings one must inspect the site and structures being fixed to and choose a fixing that meets the loadings on that particular substrate or structure. We supply and give you the client all the relevant data on the system and its requirements for you, your architect or engineer to decide and choose the fixing that is pertinent to the particular building and situation. If fixing into steel, brick or into a concrete wall, or into a block wall, timber or whichever is the situation on site. Taking the loading information you can easily choose the correct fixing that fits your particular case.
The specific site data and site specific reports
We always supply any of our pertinent data in terms of technical data, test reports, structural engineer reports or calculations, everything that we have that can give the relevant required information that can be used by the client to ascertain what to use or choose in their specific application.
It can be that a client wants or requires site specific details to be checked and for this employment of a structural engineer is required. The engineer will need to produce a specific report on that site and most probably the engineer will need to visit site and assess the specific site data and that is of course an extra cost in any case, whether employed through us or directly, it is an extra cost and if you feel this is required please contact us and we can discuss this with you and give an estimate on this.