Regain the view

By Gary Dean, OnLevel.

There continues to be debate and controversy over the current ‘ban’ on the use of laminated/toughened glass on balconies on high-rise buildings (those above 18m) in England.

From the industry perspective – and indeed OnLevel’s – this current ban is an incorrect overreaction to the welcome drive to use non-combustible materials on facades. Indeed, OnLevel has introduced its Dektek aluminium decking solution primarily for this reason.

However, while this ban remains in place, what we consider to be unsightly vertical bar rails have widely been adopted on high-rise developments. In our opinion, not only are these ugly, expensive and, over the long term, hard and expensive to maintain, the growing cost of steel also means they are neither a lower cost alternative to glass, nor something the homeowner wants to be imprisoned behind.

So, a solution needs to be found.

We can now provide a A2 fire-rated solution glass balustrade that can be used to regain the view. Meeting the BS EN 13501 class A2-s1, d0 requirements, the system uses a special glass that does not include a PVB or EVA interlayer with a newly developed base profile and edge protection for aesthetic reasons.

In reality, this is not truly a frameless glass balustrade due to the slimline edge covering required for the individual glass panes, but currently it’s the best option available that meets current requires of Approved Document B 2018.

Architects can now once again design the view back into their buildings, which is all the designers and occupants ever wanted.