Soffits Turn the Game Around at Upton Gardens

Upton Gardens is a substantial project delivering 842 homes located in Upton Park on West Ham FC’s former home, the Boleyn ground.

The project’s location makes it ideal for London professions as well as families and the facilities provided include a gym, rooftop terraces and family play areas, as well as a new café and community space.

The developer specified balconies without soffits because they were concerned about issues with drainage. Previously they had experienced poor drainage management causing stagnant water and resident complaints. As a result, they chose to avoid soffits all together and opt for free draining balconies.

At Sapphire we recommend the use of polyester powder coated aluminium soffits with our Glide-On™ Cassette® balconies not only because they provide an aesthetic finish to the balcony but because they also bring a range of benefits.

At Upton Gardens we delivered balconies without soffits in line with the client specification which created a unique design to the building exterior. The underside of the balconies show the underside of the decking and areas which conceal the support arms.

However, on subsequent phases of the project the developer has chosen to include soffits in the specification, thanks in part to their drainage benefits on other schemes. While soffits are not a legal requirement on balconies their minimal cost and added benefits make them a great addition. With an offsite modular solution like Glide-On™ they don’t add to the onsite works or project programme.

Our soffits are either positive or controlled draining meaning that rainwater is managed effectively and not allowed to collect internally. In addition to this the soffits also bring the benefit of protecting residents from spilled drinks falling from balconies above.

During fire testing at Exova we found that the use of aluminium soffits dramatically improved fire safety by containing a balcony fire and minimising its spread. The soffits help to prevent embers falling to the balcony below and block the fire from spreading to the balcony above.

Residents at Upton Gardens will experience all the benefits of the area and the balconies will provide coveted outdoor space in the city. The project has been designed to maximise green space with communal gardens and landscaping.

When complete the development will include commercial space and a public library creating a sense of community and providing ample resources for residents.

Learn more about this project in the case study.

Further useful links

Find out more about balcony structure

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Find out more about balcony drainage

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Find out more about controlled drainage

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