Steel Balcony Connection System – BALCON™
Balconies, whether steel or concrete, are a common feature of residential developments – providing much desired outdoor space and additional living area. The connection of steel balconies to concrete floor slabs (normally involving separate trades) in particular, gives rise to a special set of practical and design considerations, namely, the need to:
1. Carry high loads.
2. Minimise the adverse effects of cold-bridging.
3. Provide considerable adjustability in the fixing method.
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Most channels used in UK were manufactured by two German manufacturers, and their range of channel profiles is virtually identical. They published loading data based on their own tests, allowing users to select a suitable product for a given situation. However, as there were no laid down procedures for the testing or the interpretation of the test results, we had the undesirable position where two apparently identical profiles could have somewhat different published capacities.
Until recently there were no standards or agreed rules governing the design of channels.
Two recent events prompted action on this situation. Firstly, cheap clones of profiles came in from the Far East. These often suffered from quality problems and do not have the technical backup of the main manufacturers.
For example, if the material is too thin then the lips can bend under load, and if too thick, cracking can occur during rolling causing longitudinal failure.
Secondly, the standard BS EN 1992-1-1:2004 – Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures. General rules and rules for buildings (EC2) was published, and has now taken over from BS8110 as the principle design standard covering concrete structures. Continue reading