Bridge House, Uxbridge

Client:   Xone Kontrol

Contractor:   Xone Kontrol Limited

Architect:   Leonard Jones, Brooks Murray Architects

Location:   Uxbridge, Greater London

Balconies:   110 balcony lifts, dark grey finish

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Uxbridge is a town drenched in British history. Home to both Brunel and Buckinghamshire New University, a stretch of the Grand Union Canal and the Colne Valley Trail, Uxbridge is a dense metropolitan area with a rich history, once home to the Battle of Britain Bunker, Hillingdon House and The Crown & Treaty, a public house used as the base of negotiations during the English Civil War.

Bridge House is a six-storey residential block situated adjacent to the very source of Uxbridge’s name – Wixan’s Bridge – proudly displaying 110 of Sapphire’s Glide-On Cassette® balconies over the quiet walks of the Grand Union Canal towpath.

How Sapphire Made It Simple

Once an office building over the Grand Union Canal, Bridge House has been transformed into a residential complex that marries convenience with modern living.

Understanding the logistical and structural constraints of the busy urban area, Sapphire Balconies proposed a solution that would not only respect the building’s architectural integrity but also streamline the installation process. Opting for lightweight aluminium balconies, Sapphire facilitated the addition of outdoor spaces with minimal connections required, thereby preserving the building’s facade and reducing the load on the structure.

To address the complexities of attaching balconies to the existing structure, Sapphire introduced ‘post-fixed’ brackets, which employed a ‘bolt-on’ connection sitting atop the slab. This method proved to be not just innovative but also incredibly efficient, allowing for quick and secure installations with minimal impact on the building’s exterior.

The project’s logistics were meticulously planned, taking advantage of a multi-storey car park behind the main building for storage and laydown of balconies ahead of their installation. This strategic use of space ensured that transport and logistics would not hinder the installation process, setting the stage for a groundbreaking attempt at a record balcony installation.

Sapphire’s approved installer, D&A, executed the ambitious plan flawlessly, achieving a record-breaking installation of 62 balconies in just one day. The momentum continued into the second day, with the remaining 48 balconies installed, culminating in a total of 110 balconies fitted in merely two days. The efficiency of the process was highlighted further when a single balcony installation was completed in an astonishing 1 minute and 34 seconds, documented with video evidence.

This remarkable achievement not only demonstrated the effectiveness of Sapphire’s installation strategy but also resulted in significant cost savings for the contractor. The rapid installation pace reduced crane hire expenses and condensed weeks of planned balcony installation into two days, significantly accelerating the project timeline.

Bridge House, Uxbridge, exemplifies how innovative engineering and strategic planning can overcome the challenges of modernising existing structures. Sapphire Balconies’ approach to the balcony installation at Bridge House not only preserved the architectural heritage of the building but also enhanced the living experience for its residents. This case study stands as a testament to the potential for efficiency, innovation, and cost-saving in the construction industry, setting new standards for future projects.

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