Why do we install balustrades in our homes, buildings, and almost everywhere we go?
Balustrades are safety measures. Over the years, we have been falling into mishaps and through all these years, people have been developing ways of keeping our environment safe as we freely move on with our day to day routine.
From stone to wood, to steel balustrading, we had come a long way and made it an integral part of our lives. In line with this, we were able to make it look more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
We are now in the age where glass is the best choice for balustrades. Technological advancements have made it possible for us to use this elegant material to the point where we can trust it to guard our safety.
Strict compliance with Australia’s Safety Standards is observed to make glass the material of choice that brings about the elegance and sophistication needed to compliment today’s safety needs, as well as architectural designs. From stairwells to balconies; with constant reviews and untiring updates on current Australian Safety Standards, we have come to the era where glass is fast becoming as safe as having wood balustrading around us.
How Are We Kept Safe
One of the most important updates in Australian Safety Standards is the outlawing of fully frameless panels made of glass. This is for the safety of the people that balconies more than a metre off the ground should have frames. Prior to this being enacted, many buildings and houses had been deemed to be non-compliant.
There were high instances of people falling from balconies and terraces. Fortunately, logic won! In the event that glass would break, toughened glass would instantly break into granulated pieces giving way to pressure and could cause serious injuries and even death. This brings to the decision to add a secondary yet reliable safety measure – metal frames.
This solution is now being adopted to ensure the safety of every person in contact with glass balustrades on their day to day lives. Solutions that includes retro-fitting frames and handrails are now being employed to comply with the new standard regulations. After all, safety comes first!
The Building Code of Australia sets the standard for regulations in the building industry across all territories and states of Australia. With closer examination, this covers areas of fire, safety, sustainability, and most importantly, safety. In line with this, the Australian Glass and Glazing Association makes sure that these are met to the “T” without sacrificing the aesthetics with the safety of people in mind.
Balustrades That Are Compliant
There are different conditions that govern the set standards being enforced in balustrading. Factors such as climate, wind, end-user, and functionality are of utmost concern and vary from country to country.
Australia is a continent rich in every aspect of the mentioned factors. It is with these in mind that engineers, architects, designers, and technology experts base their recommendations. There are a number of glazing products on the market but which are good for balustrading?
- Tempered Glass – This is the choice of many. A strong glass that can withstand strong pressure and extreme temperatures. Coupled with other safety features like frames and laminates, this becomes a cost-effective solution to balustrading, as well as other glazing needs like windows and paneling.
- Laminated Glass – Glass can shatter at any given time. A coated or laminated glass panel ensures that the pieces of glass would not automatically fall off if it shatters.
- Maximum Toughened Glass – Most commonly referred to as Armed Glass, this is also commonly used for roofing. This is the ultimate choice as it is used in industrial buildings, as well as other outdoor structures. Aside from providing additional lighting, if used in roofs, it provides a good solution to high-rise balustrading needs.
This is just an overview of how far our industry had grown. The years of painstaking care and hard work is evident with our dedication in providing solutions that ensure safety. Safe and elegant glass balustrading is one of the ways that show our passion.