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Balcony CROSS Report highlights construction compliance

Updated: Mar 21

A recently published CROSS report has highlighted the importance of adherence to safety regulations and compliance, particularly maintaining guardrail height standards during balcony maintenance and modification.




We’ve taken the liberty of reading through the report and have distilled the most pressing points down to a concise summary, emphasising the critical importance of compliance in our industry.


Key Points

  • When making alterations to balconies, it's crucial to ensure that the guardrail height is maintained according to safety regulations. In this case, the guardrails being less than 1100mm high would render them non-compliant.

  • Increasing the height of guardrails may necessitate modifications to their fixings to ensure they remain secure and compliant.

  • Alterations to balcony structures, such as increasing deck height, can impact both vertical and horizontal forces on the structure. It's essential to check the structural integrity of the balcony to withstand these alterations.

  • Companies involved in balcony modifications should provide training and advice to installers and clients regarding the safety implications of changes in deck heights.

  • Building Control authorities should ensure that balustrade heights are checked during building works to maintain compliance with safety regulations.


Summary

The reporter has recommended that all those involved in remediation need to be conscious of the structural consequences of their work, that balcony decking companies should train and advise installers and clients on the impact that a change of deck heights can make on safety, and that Building Control should ensure balustrade heights are checked on such building works.


“There are risks associated with methods of procurement which introduce multiple interfaces. There should always be one party with a responsibility to assure that the final design, as a whole, is acceptable.”

Expert panels have commented on the importance of considering potential structural implications beyond just guardrail height, including the increased weight of new developments and further safety concerns.


“A good quality design will account for assuring long term durability from the outset.”

Considering quality design with a respected balcony supplier from an early stage could be make-or-break for your project. For further information and guidance, we encourage you to consult the Safety Alert issued by CROSS in February 2022, which covers general construction issues associated with balconies and widespread problems observed in many countries.


Visit the links below to learn more about this crucial safety alert.




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