Product Overview

What are Juliette/Juliet balconies?

A Juliette balcony is essentially a balcony consisting of a balustrade connection to the building facade without a deck to walk on; not, as many assume, a glass balcony.

Made famous by Shakespeare, made perfect by Sapphire, the Juliet (or Juliette) is a specialist balcony commonly used to protect openings such as French doors on an upper floor of a residential development. Sometimes specified where a full, walk-on balcony isn’t practical for design or budgetary reasons, the Juliet version offers an effective way to create an open, outdoor feel to an indoor space in an apartment, for example.

Options and Benefits

As well as its practical function, this type of balcony can provide an attractive architectural feature to the building façade which can be recessed or protruding to suit individual design requirements.

Juliet balconies often form part of a larger project of full, projecting balconies. Where this is the case, consideration needs to be given to their design and manufacture to create architectural harmony across the development.

Glass – glass infill panels (most commonly with a handrail on top) enhance the ingress of light, making them a popular choice for all types of balcony, including the Juliet. This balustrade option can be manufactured using structural, frameless glass, so there are no uprights to impede view, or as framed glass panels with metal balusters (uprights).

Metal – vertical infill bar offer an alternative to glazed panels for Juliet balconies. Typically, these are manufactured in stainless steel or powder coated aluminium. Vertical infill bars would typically be used to comply with regulations relating to climbability (Click to Balustrade Systems)

Technical

Slimline point fixing is the standard option for base fixing glass infill panels. These neat individual fixings engineered in stainless steel provide a cost-effective solution which make it easy to fix or replace glass panels. Sapphire is able to incorporate a unique compressible layer into this type of fixing to compensate for irregularities in the fixing substrate.

Clamped fixing is main alternative to point fixing. There are two main options:

  • Individual clamping plates, which can be used for clamping direct to steel structures providing they are accurately vertical.
  • Continuous clamping plates, which can be used with a minimum clamping height of 100mm.

Recommendations

Consult Sapphire to discuss bespoke fixing solutions. As this option can involve an extended lead time or additional cost, it is best suited to larger projects involving high volume production.

NHBC Good practice for Juliette balconies

Juliette balconies are now a common feature on many low and medium-rise developments, and are used on a wide range of building types and structural forms.  Background : Due to the potential health and safety implications, NHBC is becoming increasingly concerned at the level of consideration being given to the design of Juliette balconies, their fixings to the supporting structure and the capacity of the supporting structure to adequately resist the applied forces.

Design standards : Juliette balconies should comply with relevant standards and codes of practice, including BS 6180:2011 Code of practice for barriers in and about buildings. Care should always be taken to ensure that the positioning of the fixings into a suitable substrate does not compromise the height of the balcony, which should be a minimum of 1,100mm above finished floor level to satisfy the recommendation in Approved Document K (Protection from falling, collision and impact).

The guidance suggests that you need to :

  • Ensure that an appropriate design has been prepared for the Juliette balcony in accordance with current design standards and guidance. Where the design responsibilities are split between different consultants and contractors, make sure that there is communication and coordination.
  • Make sure that load/pull-out test data is available to substantiate that the fixings will generate the safe loads required by the design in the material.
  • Have pull-out tests undertaken on site if no safe load values are available from the manufacturer for the fixings into the proposed substrate/building structure.
  • Ensure that the building structure can safely support the loads from the balcony.

Recommendations

Consult Sapphire to discuss bespoke fixing solutions. As this option can involve an extended lead time or additional cost, it is best suited to larger projects involving high volume production.