A new landmark university building in Essex, architect-designed to BREEAM Excellent standards, has selected high style, student-proof solutions from Sapphire Balustrades for all interior balustrading.
Structural glass balustrades from Sapphires Crystal range with stainless steel handrails are installed along central staircases and around light wells at the University Centre Harlow, a modern addition to the Anglia Ruskin University campus. Sapphire was selected to manufacture and install high quality solutions for the multi-million pound project which combine contemporary styling with the performance demanded by such a high traffic education environment. In addition to Crystal balustrades for the main building, Sapphire has also installed matching stainless steel handrails in the 96-seat lecture theatre, and provided balustrades for escape stairs using its Opal powder coated steel balusters and handrails with glass infill panels. Handrails in all areas feature 50mm diameter tubular profiles and inline stalks to match.
The three-storey University Centre Harlow accommodates a range of higher education courses including graphic design and journalism. Working in conjunction with the projects main contractor, Essex-based Hutton Construction, Sapphires team developed bespoke balustrades which satisfied the architects aesthetic specification, were fit for purpose, and also complied with relevant regulatory criteria, including DDA compliance for disabled users. Hutton Constructions Commercial Director comments: Sapphire ticked all the boxes in terms of design and product quality. They managed the manufacturing and installation very smoothly - in fact, we are already looking at another project with them.
Creating a sense of light and space was a key design requirement for the new university building. An expansive glazed façade allows light to flood into the open plan atrium and over 100 metres of Sapphires Crystal glass balustrades with 15mm structural glass panels provide the perfect complement to freestanding stairways. Panels are manufactured from clear toughened glass, with fixing channels concealed by a satin polished stainless steel trim. Handrail fixings are stalk type, offset or wall brackets depending on location. Opal tubular steel balusters and handrails for escape stairs are powder coated in Traffic Grey (RAL 7042), providing a smart, long lasting finish.
Nick Haughton, Marketing Manager at Sapphire Balustrades, says the University Centre Harlow project highlights the benefits of Sapphires step-by-step approach to the design, manufacture and installation of high quality balustrades. He comments: We will work with clients at each stage of a balustrade project, from concept to completion, to ensure that every contract is completed on time, on budget, and to specification, both in terms of style and performance.