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8/26/2014

Types of Balcony Structures | Balcony Systems

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Updated on: 04/08/14

Types of Balcony Structures


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Types of methods of fixing Balcony structures


How do you choose the correct method to fix a balcony to your structure and what are the advantages of each
option.

Cantilevered balconies:

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These are balconies constructed in a manner so that the balcony


protrudes from the face of the building without any visible supports
other than the fixing to the face of the building. The weight and
imposed loads are supported by cantilevering the structure off the
wall. These balconies will not need or have gallow brackets or chains.
This type of balcony, while possessing the most aesthetic end result,
will require to be designed in advance and will impose larger point
loads on the building. This type of balcony cannot be added on but
must be predesigned.
There are various ways to cantilever a balcony and in today's building
another important factor that must be taken into account, particularly when using a steel balcony, is thermal
bridging (conductivity). To meet U values and part L, there must be a thermal "break" created. To overcome this
there are several companies offering "Thermal break" balcony joints in the market, or a break is created using
two steel balcony connection plates with a HDPE (high-density polyethylene) sandwiched between them.
Timber joists are an excellent solution and can be properly cantilevered by leaving a third of the joist protruding
from the face of the building as their thermal conductivity is very low. Concrete is also a popular structure but
again the thermal conductivity is a key issue in the use of this material.

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Cantilevered balconies are usually made to a maximum of 1500-1800mm depth. Beyond these depths the
forces grow and require much more technical solutions. The smaller the depth the less movement you can
expect. Being cantilevered members they will always have a bit of movement and "bounce". This can sometimes
make the balcony users uncomfortable.

Hung balconies
Another form of supporting the balcony structure is using stainless steel
cables that fix to the walls and "hang" the balcony or balconies. The
balcony sits perpendicular to the building, a steel cable fixes to the edge
of the balcony and a large plate is connected to the building at 45
degrees. The fixing at the wall makes maximum use of the bolt strength
as it is using fifty percent "shear" and fifty percent "pull out" forces.
This is a very aesthetic solution but is less common.

Stacked balconies or balconies on pillars


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This is the most popular type of balcony structure, mainly because of


the simplicity of implementation and the minimal load implications on
the building. In fact it is a separate structure to the building and on
occasions is not even connected structurally. The balcony structure is
supported using vertical pillars or posts. The weight of the balcony or
balconies (if stacked on top of each other) is supported by these
pillars and transferred to the ground where concrete pads are usually
cast. The size of these pillars is an derivative of the size, weight and
number of balconies stacked on top.
This solution has an aesthetic compromise of seeing vertical pillars
but is usually chosen for the structural simplicity and ease of implementation.

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8/26/2014

Types of Balcony Structures | Balcony Systems

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Registered office: Unit 6, Systems House, Eastbourne Road, Blindley Heath, Lingfield, Surrey, RH7 6JP, United Kingdom.
Tel: 0800 979 0808, Fax: 01342 410 412

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