Benefits of innovative balconies

Innovation has long been at the core of successful industries and exciting developments within those sectors. Without innovation, progress in each industry is impossible. The benefits of innovative balconies are a key part of innovation in residential construction.

Balcony design, manufacture and installation require the innovation of elements of the external envelope and modern methods of construction have meant that innovative balconies have great benefits on a global scale. Canada is no exception – the Canadian markets are no strangers to innovation and in fact, the benefits of innovative balconies could make a huge difference to North America.

How has Canada innovated in the past?

As before, Canada is no stranger to innovation. In fact, some of the most significant innovations in history have come from The Great White North. Perhaps one of the earliest signifiers of the technological revolution, the telephone, was invented by Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell in 1874. However, whilst this is often attributed to Scotland, the invention took place in Ontario, Canada! In fact, both the telephone and the lightbulb, patented by Thomas Edison, were developed in Ontario in the year 1874.

Canada is home to some other great technological innovations across the ages. From the snowmobile in 1937, allowing much of the nation to cross previously tricky terrain, to the ZENN Light Electric Car in 2006, often cited as an early design reference point for the modern electric car (and also as an early indicator of Canada’s commitment to strong sustainability goals), Canada is where innovation thrives and innovation has become particularly important for the residential construction market.

What makes innovation important?

Innovation is incredibly important for the residential construction market for various reasons, not least because of costs, sustainability, and safety. By incrementally improving each of these factors, the market continues to evolve at a steady and beneficial rate.

For the balcony market, making innovations such as Sapphire’s lightweight aluminum Cassette has meant bringing costs down across a project at multiple critical points. By building a balcony out of aluminum, the material cost is reduced, making manufacturing cheaper. Reducing the amount of aluminum needed with a lightweight design can further reduce the cost of the balcony through innovative design.

Innovating in terms of sustainability can also bring huge benefits to the balcony market. Through intelligent anchor point penetrations or perhaps even physically smaller penetrations, it is possible to make thermal bridging less likely in cold weather. This can have an impact on the amount of heating a property uses, meaning the balcony can positively impact the thermal performance of the building. Further to this, using more environmentally friendly materials in the balcony (such as recycled or reused metals) will reduce the carbon footprint of a balcony from design to installation.

Finally, innovating the safety of a project can have beneficial ramifications. Using installation techniques such as Sapphire’s Remote Locker design, whereby the anchor arms are pre-fitted inside the balcony Cassette and are fixed to pre-cast stub arms in the building’s façade via a radio controller. The benefits of this are that balconies in tricky-to-install locations can be fitted with ease and without compromising the safety of the installation team, who would otherwise have to step out onto a balcony before it was safe to do so.

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Sapphire’s innovations

The final question to ask is, how has Sapphire innovated their balcony design? Through years of configuration and reconfiguration, we have implemented innovations across the board that have improved the quality of our balconies considerably. Our Glide-On Cassette solution has brought speed and simplicity to both the balcony and the anchor design, reducing the time spent on-site at installation and making the product out of sustainable aluminum, making it more environmentally friendly and easier to transport to the site due to its stackable nature.

Mass customizability

Innovative balconies are more than just future-proof, sustainable technical design – the mass customizability of balconies is a benefit that goes beyond aesthetic value.

Digital balcony configuration has become a staple of Sapphire’s innovation with our COACH system – giving our customers the ability to easily visualise their ideal balcony project without the rigour of having to hire a design professional first. Once your balcony has been configured, COACH lets you send the design to our dedicated pre-construction team who will guide you through making your design a reality.

Between the customization of balustrades (vertical, rotated and inclined bars), drainage options available (controlled edge or rear pipe drainage) and methods of installation, it’s never been easier to make your balcony project unique to you.

Finally, our in-development ultra-low carbon balcony system will start to be rolled out in the coming years – we consider this to be a breakthrough in sustainable, lightweight design and will serve as a benchmark for innovative balcony design.

Innovation in the residential market is crucial, not least when considering the benefits of innovative balconies. Canada is home to many of the world’s historical innovations and inventions, and with the thermal, sustainability, cost and safety benefits that a balcony can provide, it’s worth Canada embracing its history of innovation and expanding it to its balcony solution.

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