The new system, called HYBRID, creates a new category of balustrade, to sit in between the traditional alternatives of post-supported and structural frameless glass. HYBRID balustrades offer the open views of frameless glass at the cost and convenience of the older post-supported styles.
The HYBRID category enables wide runs of glass with no, or few, vertical posts. Its ease of installation and lower cost brings the very high-end look into range for many projects for the first time.
“People buy a glass balcony to enjoy the view, not to look at a row of metal posts. Fully frameless glass gives great views, but is expensive and requires complex structural fittings,” says Balconette’s CEO, Effi Wolff.
“The HYBRID category offers the uninterrupted views of structural glass but at around half the cost”.
The innovative engineering design at the heart of HYBRID uses invisible bracing within an elegant self-supporting handrail, which achieves excellent structural integrity. The design of the rail means few vertical supports are required – often none at all.
Up to four-metre glass runs are now possible without vertical supports – and where the balcony turns a corner or is curved, the postless spans can be even longer. A three-sided balustrade square can have 12 metres without posts. In place of the extensive footings usually required for structural glass, HYBRID balustrades use slim surface-mounting which is easy for builders and even DIYers to install.
“We went back to the drawing board to solve some long-standing problems with balustrade design,” continues Effi.
“The HYBRID category makes wide, open glass balustrades possible at a cost similar to old systems requiring a metal post every metre.
“Builders and developers tell us they love the ease of installation, and architects say it gives them a practical alternative to structural glass, with the same clean lines. Homeowners are effectively getting the most expensive style at half the price.”
Handrails for the HYBRID systems come in two profiles: Orbit and Aerofoil. The Orbit handrail has a circular profile and allows for up to 3.3m without posts when attached either side to a wall or structural element. The Aerofoil handrail profile allows for up to 4m without posts. Both systems include panels of 10mm toughened glass, which can be produced in a variety of tint options including the standard clear and customised blue, grey, bronze, green and satinised (opaque).
Balconette is the trading name of Balcony System Solutions, based in Blindley Heath, Surrey. The company was established in 2009 and manufactures and supplies glass balustrades, glass Juliet balconies, curved glazing and composite decking.