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Simplifying balustrading installation

“For us, it has to ultimately be about what the customer wants”,  says James Neill, Managing Director, Norwich Glass. “We see a number of advantages in SkyForce but also use Bohle single point fixings. Each looks fantastic, so which we go with is about end-user choice.”
 
Working  across retail and commercial sectors Norwich Glass offers a complete range of services from commercial fit out and emergency repair to splashbacks and shower screens, working with some of the UK’s biggest brands. With balustrading and balconies making up an increasingly significant part of its product offering, its partnership with Bohle as a key hardware supplier has been important in supporting the glass processor’s continuing growth.
 
This includes SkyForce, the Juliet and French Door balcony system launched by Bohle earlier this year. It’s been developed to deliver the flexibility for use in on-site installation, fixed directly into brick work and masonry or direct into timber, aluminium and PVC-U door frames, as long as in the case of the latter, it’s manufactured using a suitable reinforcement. This also means that Skyforce can be prefabricated as part of door manufacture.
 
“We’re doing more balconies”, continues James. “Where SkyForce delivers the biggest benefit is that it can be fitted direct to frames using dedicated fixings for different materials, for example timber, PVC-U or aluminium. You also get dedicated fixings for masonry and brickwork. That means that you aren’t necessarily always having to run across the full width of the installation. For example, if you have inward opening French doors with sidelights either side, you would, using a traditional fixing system, have to run the full-width of the opening even though a lot of that glass is serving no real purpose because it’s running across a sidelight. That adds a lot of additional cost to the customer but also weight which makes handling and installation much more complicated.”
 
Tested to General Building Inspection Test ABP and BS6180, SkyForce accommodates single glass width of up to 3000mm using one complete two-part aluminium fixing and glazing system. It’s supplied by Bohle in three pre-assembled profile sets for glass heights of 900, 1000 and 1100mm. These can accommodate multiple glass thicknesses from 12mm to 21.52mm,  depending on the rubber glazing set selected.
 
FACTBOX: Installation in five easy steps
Step 1: Profile is pre-applied or drilled and fixed on site to a suitable French Door Frame or masonry using suitable fixing anchors
Step 2: Glass is offered up to and sat on base of profile/frame
Step 3 : Aluminium fascia clips and slides into place to conceal fixings and secure glass
Step 4: Gasket applied using glazing tool
Step 5: End/weather sealing caps applied to the top of each profile

“SkyForce in our experience goes together really well. There’s no drilling of glass required on site so it’s pretty simple to fit”, continues James. “You get a very contemporary and clean finish. Perhaps one of the things you need to look out for is where doors have been supplied with external handles. Why anyone would supply external handles on an inward balcony door is beyond me but where they are there they can create an issue where SkyForce is fitted flush to the frame, in which case they need to be removed and replaced with external blanking plates.”
 
SkyForce is supplied by Bohle in anodised aluminium, anthracite grey and mill-finished options. The latter delivering the flexibility to powder coat aluminium sections to installation specific finishes.
 
This design flexibility was accessed by Norwich Glass in a recent installation in East Tuddenham, just outside the City. The residential development combining a contemporary aluminium-clad gable-end with traditional timber cladding. “We powder coated the system to match in perfectly to the aluminium cladding and it looks seamless and absolutely fantastic. The mill finish gives you the flexibility to deliver very bespoke finishes down to individual customer requirements. You aren’t constrained by a limited choice of colours”, says James.
 
He concludes: “Which route we ultimately go down, SkyForce or Bohle traditional single point fixings is down to individual customer requirements and the specification of the job.
 
“In our experience, however, SkyForce has significant end-user appeal, it’s good to fit and it offers the design flexibility that we want.”
For more about Skyforce download the brochure at www.bohle.com/en-gb or email info@bohle.ltd.uk or call the customer services team free on 0800 616151 for more information.
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