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Lifts, Stairs & Balustrades

Sapphire Balustrades selected for new state-of-the-art academy


Beautiful glass balustrades from Sapphire provide the perfect balance between high style and student-proof performance at the new £32 million Shoreham Academy in West Sussex. Sapphire was selected to manufacture and install high quality internal balustrades to complement the three-storey building’s contemporary design and deliver the durability demanded by such a high traffic education environment. Balustrades to atria and stairways combine elements from Sapphire - Crystal Balustrades 2Sapphire’s core range of handrails, balusters (uprights) and infills, with custom detailing to satisfy the design criteria of each application. Project Manager for main contractor, Balfour Beatty, says the state-of-the-art education facility is finished to the highest standards and was handed over on time and to budget. He comments: “Sapphire contributed to the successful completion of this prestigious project with a ‘personal’ service and high quality installation of stylish balustrades.”

Built by Balfour Beatty on behalf of West Sussex County Council, Shoreham Academy boasts the latest teaching facilities and well-equipped classrooms for around 1,600 students. Sapphire’s Crystal glass balustrades, uninterrupted by posts or balusters, are installed to gallery-style landings in the Academy’s open plan atrium, enhancing the sense of light and space. Selected balustrades for this application were specified to withstand horizontal loadings to 3.0kN/m, requiring 25.5mm thick laminated glass infill panels manufactured from two 12mm sheets of toughened glass with a 1.5mm interlayer. Glass infills are complemented by satin polished stainless steel handrails with matching stainless steel cappings and fixings for visual continuity.

Sapphire - Crystal Balustrades 3Balustrading to the Academy’s main and secondary stairways was designed using 10mm glass infills with tubular balusters from Sapphire’s Onyx stainless steel or Opal polyester powder coated range depending on the location within the building. In addition, Crystal glass balustrades from Sapphire provide transparent protection in Shoreham Academy’s 450-seater sports hall. Installed in front of the elevated seating area the frameless structural glass panels ensure the safety of spectators without impeding their view of the action.

All balustrades for the project were designed to satisfy British Standard BS6180 5.3 relating to their suitability for use by children. This includes ensuring balustrades are not easy to climb _ or fall through. For example, the design needed to meet the regulatory criteria of having no gaps in the guarding that would permit a 100mm diameter sphere to pass through.

Summing up, Balfour Beatty’s Project Manager says: “We were very impressed with Sapphire’s product and service package for Shoreham Academy and would have no hesitation in recommending them for a future balustrade project.”