A balustrade is an architectural feature that you will come across and use, possibly without even thinking of it in your everyday life, whether you are at home, in the office or at a shopping mall or restaurant or on a pool deck. A balustrade is a protective and guiding rail along a stairway, balcony or raised area. The primary reason for balustrades is to stop people from falling from any raised area in a building that is over 1m high, and that includes staircases and balconies.
Balustrades can be made of various materials or combinations of materials, such as aluminium, glass, wood, steel and concrete. Designs can include horizontal infill rails, vertical infill rails or frameless glass panels that have become trendy within the ‘minimalist’ styles of architecture.
While design and aesthetics always come into play, the primary function of a balustrade is safety, and it is important that your balustrade design, materials and sizing conform to safety standards, and any suppliers and contractors must be aware of these.
Aluminium is the ideal material for balustrades for many practical and design purposes. Aluminium balustrades are precisely engineered from strong and light aluminium and then powder coated for additional protection, in a wide variety of colours and finishes that accommodate many different design aesthetics and contribute to the finished effect of the building design and architecture. Powder-coated aluminium is very smooth and warm to the touch, which is important when people use the balustrade to guide themselves along building pathways and stairways.
Aluminium balustrades are often created using a modular system that can easily adapt to many design requirements without the need for unsightly joints. Concealed fixings are excellent for quick assembly on-site without the need for welding.
Balustrades are needed both inside and outside buildings, so aluminium is ideal as it works well for both, ensuring a consistent and smooth flow in design when moving from the interior of the building to the exterior.
The Benefits of Balustrades For Residential and Commercial Design
Using aluminium as the material for your balustrades makes sense on many levels.
Aluminium is durable and anti-corrosive, making it excellent for long-lasting structures that resist the elements, as well as cold and heat for many years. It is flexible, which makes it perfect for exterior balustrades around balconies. Changing weather conditions and high winds do not cause the material to deteriorate and become unsightly, or even worse, dangerous. The flexibility of material opens up possibilities in terms of creativity and design potential, as the material can be easily moulded and created to suit any design style. The finishing of aluminium with anodising, powder coating or organic paint also means that no colour or finish is out of bounds.
Aluminium is light, making it easy to transport and install. Don’t be fooled, however, into thinking the lack of weight means lack of strength. Aluminium is the strongest metal used in construction and is excellent for weight bearing.
If you opt for aluminium balustrades in your design, the owners of the building will thank you because maintenance is absolutely minimal. Aluminium does not rust, and once it has been coated, it does not need priming, varnishing or sealing, and retains its original looks for far longer than other materials. Around 80 years, in fact!
The energy efficiency is high, and the environmental impact low when opting for aluminium for balustrades. Aluminium is 100% recyclable, and the recycling process does not compromise the material at all.
Balustrades are created for safety reasons and to stop people falling in or off buildings. Another safety aspect that is highly beneficial when utilising aluminium is that it is non-combustible and will not burn. A far better option than a fire roaring up the staircase along a wooden balustrade.
There is, of course, another huge benefit to using aluminium for your balustrade construction and design – that is, the bottom line. Aluminium balustrades are cost-effective, so all the other benefits come with one of the biggest benefits to your project – it costs less than many other options too.
Why Your Clients Prefer Balustrades
The excellent practical and cost benefits of aluminium are a great part of their appeal. However, looks are important, and aluminium balustrades are no slouch in the beauty department. Using aluminium generally gives a sleek, modern look to the entire aesthetic, making it excellent for contemporary, clean designs and open plan spaces in offices or homes.
A very clean and stylish trend is to use an aluminium balustrade design with frameless glass infills. The two materials work exceptionally well together for contemporary designs that open spaces up and create an airy, spacious feel.
Ready to look at how you can incorporate the benefits of trendy, stylish aluminium balustrades into your next commercial or residential project? Use our online quotation calculator to plan your next project with expert suppliers!
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