Balustrades knowledge initiative

By OnLevel managing director Gary Dean.

Glass balustrading has grown in popularity over the years, becoming the go-to choice for balconies, screening and barrier applications.

Today, the market for glass balustrading is vast, with a broad range of manufacturers and suppliers to choose from. With so much choice, how do you ensure you are specifying the best solution?

Unfortunately, not every solution out there is always up to the job, with great service, installation and understanding of a project’s exact requirements not always available.

OnLevel is dedicated to customer service and providing the correct glass balustrading solution for your project. Key to OnLevel’s offering is education and safety, making sure the customer and the industry is informed of development and specification requirements.

I am passionate about the education of glass balustrading, and raising awareness on key issues within the market. I was also instrumental in the development of Babsi (the Balustrade and Balcony Suppliers and Installers Association), which was launched this spring.

The association’s mission is fundamentally about improving glass balustrade standards. From the outset it was important that Babsi ‘had teeth’, be independent from any one system supplier, and offer real value beyond simply networking and discussing best practice (though these are part of the mission too).

So, Babsi asked industry competitors, associated supply chains, installers and designers to join in. Babsi has also appointed Justin Ratcliffe as CEO, an independent with no affiliation to any suppliers past or present.

Babsi has been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and not for profit organisation. One of the first initiatives is to run an independently certified NVQ Level 2 course in Balustrade Design and Installation, along with CSCS cards and generic day courses, again independently tested and certified.

OnLevel’s glass balustrade systems undergo rigorous testing to ensure safety and peace of mind. Central to ensuring great performance and easy installation of OnLevel’s balustrading systems is Flex-Fit, which is OnLevel’s system for adjusting glass plates. With this system it is possible to adjust each individual glass plate up to 40mm towards the perpendicular line.

It provides safe alignment of glass balustrades; with just a simple sliding movement the installer can precisely position glass and reduce the assembly time by some 30%.

Flex-Fit is safer than traditional glass balustrade fixing solutions which often require you to work from both the balcony side and the void side. Flex-Fit is fully operated from the balcony side. Not only is it safer, but rental costs for scaffolding or a cherry picker are eliminated.

OnLevel’s glass balustrading solutions provide real cost savings due to installation ease and speed, furthermore with OnLevel you have peace of mind, knowing our products have been successfully installed on numerous projects across the UK and Germany for many years.

For example, situated in the heart of north west London is Colindale Gardens, a £1 billion residential development, which will comprise 2,900 homes, nine acres of public green space, alongside a shopping plaza and school.

Spanning 47 acres in total, Colindale Gardens is an ongoing regeneration scheme with a 12-year plan. The first construction phase in 2017 saw the development of Lassen House and Newington House: beautiful new residential blocks featuring OnLevel’s TL-6020 frameless glass balustrade profile. Each apartment features an external area with a balcony that combines with the building envelope to create a sleek, modern structure.

Central to the success of the building’s exterior appeal, with its clean lines and architectural balcony framework, was the frameless glass balustrading by OnLevel. It provides a safe and secure barrier to each balcony area while subtly unifying with the protruding metalwork and facade of the building.

A total of 600m of TL-6020 frameless glass balustrading system from OnLevel was specified and installed in the external balcony areas of each apartment, maximising light throughout and providing unobscured views.

Redrow North London’s Colindale Gardens development received the accolade of Multi Storey Development of the Year at The Bricks 2017 Awards