Sapphire Balustrades design and manufacturing expertise is on display in a new fashion store in Edinburgh with a bespoke package of glass and stainless steel balustrades and associated glazed walling. The challenging retail project included over 200 metres of complex balustrades for a feature staircase over four levels with dog-leg half landings and no supporting columns. Sapphire produced CAD drawings, supported by detailed structural calculations for the balustrades, using its own SES Structural Evaluation System. As well as bringing the concept to life, Sapphires unique through-the-project support helped ensure the proposed designs met the relevant regulatory and performance requirements of a demanding retail environment.
For optimum safety in the event of a breakage, the stores staircase balustrades were manufactured using 21.5mm heat-soak toughened laminated glass from Sapphires Crystal structural glass system. The design included white back-painted glass panels around landings to obscure the stairways internal structure. As an additional safety measure, balustrades extend 1,400mm above the finished floor level to prohibit climbing. Glass panels are side point fixed or base channel fixed depending on their position on the staircase: fixing channels are concealed with a stainless steel trim custom-designed by Sapphire. The balustrades 50mm tubular stainless steel handrails are offset from the structural glass to provide smooth, continuous support, and have a satin polished finish which will retain its good looks with minimal maintenance.
In addition to staircase balustrades, Sapphire designed, manufactured and installed over 100 metres run of full height glazed walling around the stores escalator and entrance areas. Sapphires comprehensive product package for the fashion retailer also included clear toughened glazing to lift shaft fronts, together with hinged glass gates and stainless steel ironmongery to enable easy access to window bed display areas.
Summing up, Nick Haughton, Marketing Manager at Sapphire Balustrades, says: As well as meeting all the key requirements of safety, functionality and compliance, high quality balustrades can communicate the right retail brand message to consumers and create buying confidence. The Edinburgh project demonstrates Sapphires ability to meet complex design criteria and deliver stylish, durable balustrade solutions that will withstand the rigours of a high traffic environment.