Vesta Street: Glide-On™ Overcomes Challenging Waterfront Installation

Vesta Street is a waterfront location steeped in British and Mancunian history. It was once the home of Willian Fairbairn, a prominent engineer in the mid-19th century who helped make Manchester the epicentre of the British industrial age. The industrial age transformed life in Britain and beyond and is woven into Manchester’s heritage.

This modern development’s 169 sleek apartments bring a new lease of life to this historic location delivering views over the Ashton Canal and city-centre living. With tranquil waterside views from Sapphire balconies the development is sure to provide sanctuary to Manchester’s city professionals.

We became involved in the project after Schoeck anchors had been cast-in. As a result, the balconies had to be specifically designed to accommodate for the existing spacing of the anchors while maintaining our high standards of rigidity. Fortunately, aluminium balconies are substantially lighter than steel balconies, often half the weight, meaning a superior standard of rigidity can be achieved with the Glide-On™ system.

Another design feature of the project which added complexity to the install was that the balconies were situated within the reveal. This meant than the balconies needed to align precisely with the specification and façade to ensure a perfect finish on site.

Thanks to Sapphire’s offsite manufacture and high standards of quality control, the balconies were thoroughly checked throughout the production and prefinished to exacting standards. The Passport app is used to document each balcony along every step of its manufacture. This means that at every step of the way the balcony is extensively checked, logged and signed off before it can move to the next stage of production. Thanks to this system all of the 15 balconies we completed ahead of the agreed date ready to be called to site as needed. It also ensured that each balcony was produced to the standard and specification required, nesting between the 20mm reveal each side upon installation.

Due to the waterfront location at Vesta Street, the logistics of delivering and installing the Glide-On™ balconies was more complex than usual. The location required a blind lift over the building using a mobile crane.

The crane operator needed to rely on close communication with the slinger signaller to guide the balconies into position before sliding them onto the awaiting arms. Once in place the balconies slide effortlessly into place nestled between the reveal before being safely secured.

Thanks to our offsite modular solutions once secured in place the balconies were complete without the need for additional trades. Our balconies arrive on site with balustrades, decking and soffits prefinished and installed. This avoids the need for coordinating multiple trades on site each requiring access to the balconies adding time and cost to the programme.

Despite delays in logistics outside of Sapphire’s control, all the balconies were installed in less than 24 hours living up to our reputation for fast, efficient install while meeting the expectations of our Rigid.Ready.Right. guarantee.

Learn more about the project.