Self Cleaning Glass

• Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Glass Balustrade makes ‘unbelievable difference’ to holiday home.

Have you ever wished you had installed the right product, at the right price, to do the right job in the first place? Alistair Mackenzie’s balustrading experience at his recently-built luxury holiday home on the exposed West Highland coast in Scotland illustrates why Balcony Systems’ products are designed to perform – even in the most extreme locations.

The Wire Balustrade System was not fit for the coastal environment

Frustrated by the poor performance of his original wire balustrading that went rusty after just a few months, Alistair replaced it with a clear glass balustrade from Balcony Systems. And now he’s delighted!

“The wire system was a complete disaster; it went rusty after four months and would not have been safe on a rental property. So I had to rip it out,” explained Alistair, an IT company director from Glasgow. “Then I found Balcony Systems and having installed their six metre by three metre glass balcony balustrade, the difference was unbelievable!

The Glass Balustrade that makes the difference

“I wish I had chosen Balcony and its glass system in the first place as I would have had all sorts of problems with a wire balustrade. Not only would I have saved hundreds of pounds initially, but the wire would have blocked the amazing views from the master bedroom.”

Completed to a high specification in November 2011, the Ardmair Bay House near Ullapool sleeps up to eight and boasts stunning views looking across to the spectacular Mountain of Ben Mor Coigach and the Isle of Martin.

The right choice of glass coating

Wisely, Alistair also specified Balcony’s BalcoNano® self-cleaning glass coating that transforms ordinary glass into self-cleaning glass, saying: “The coating was a key part of the specification. Being in a coastal location with lots of sea salt in the air, any deposits come off really easily. The coating really protects the glass and it only takes a wipe with a wet cloth to keep it sparkling. Of course, the rain helps too.”

The balustrade, using Balcony’s proprietary Shiny Chrome handrail, was installed efficiently in one day by Simon Elms of Elmswood (Scotland) Ltd, an Aberdeen-based Balcony-Registered Installer, who Alistair is happy to recommend.

“He was really quick and did a great job – the new balcony fitted onto the existing decking perfectly. Nothing was too much trouble, plus he also enjoyed seeing two Golden Eagles soaring above while he was installing it. Balcony’s service and delivery to Aberdeen was 100% too,” said Alistair.

Standing the test of time and the elements

Mr. Mackenzie adds “Two years on and the Balcony balustrade still looks great; it also proved its sturdiness in the recent 2013/14 winter storms. I would definitely recommend the company and its products.”

glass balustrades in Scotlandglass balustrades in Scotlandglass balustrades in Scotlandglass balustrades in Scotland

glass balustrades in Scotland

glass balustrades in Scotland

glass balustrades in Scotland

Simon the installer commented: “The glass balcony really does justice to Alistair’s house, which is in a fantastic location. The beauty of Balcony Systems’ products is that they are very easy to install and really work well.”

• Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Fantastic panoramic views of the southern tip of the Isle of Man from a luxurious bed and breakfast property are fully exploited using every product from UK balustrading specialist Balcony Systems’ wide range of low-maintenance clear glass balustrading and curved sliding patio doors.

Balcony Systems’ products fully exploit Isle of Man views

Owners Philip and Jillian Routledge specified Balcony’s four-panel curved patio door, with two sliding panels, that forms the stunning centrepiece of the domed guest lounge at The Arches overlooking Port Erin. Either side of the curved white aluminium powder-coated doors are two further straight patio doors allowing additional access to the outside space.

Measuring 5.2 metres across and maximising the 180-degree views, the curved door has double glazed units with Low E glass and a 16mm air space that achieve a 1.8W/m2K U-value. It opens onto a square terrace with a structural glazed balustrade, also supplied by Balcony Systems. This balustrading style was chosen specifically to fulfil safety requirements with low-maintenance minimum visual impact, plus the added benefit of protection from prevailing winds.

The curved patio doors and balustrading elements were installed by Chris Wedgwood, Managing Director of Jurby-based Hamilton Project Management Ltd and incorporated as part of extensive remodelling to the substantial 1920s building, perched on a steep site in Tower Road.

Five years of construction work included rebuilding and extending the southern elevation and roofing over what was an outdoor swimming pool.

Frameless Glass Balustrade

Frameless Glass Balustrade

Curved Patio Doors

Curved Patio Doors

Curved Glass Balustrade

Curved Glass Balustrade

Following the shape of a second lower terrace next to the swimming pool are nearly 40 metres of Balcony’s curved and straight balustrading, topped with an anodised silver handrail. Above this terrace, three glass Juliet balconies supplied by Balcony Systems maintain clear views from guest rooms on two upper floors.

Having holidayed on the Isle of Man for many years, the couple moved there from the UK in 2006 having fallen in love with The Arches’ spectacular coastal location. The B&B opened for business in 2011.

Philip, from Liverpool, explained: “The incredible views inspired all the glass as the whole point was to maximise the pleasure from them. It’s unusual to have 180 degrees of such splendour – and the curved patio door from Balcony Systems really does it justice. Everyone is stunned when they see it and it adds so much to the value and enjoyment of the property.

Top quality products that are built to last.

Phil also commented on the quality of the materials:

“As the house is located near to the sea, that’s great for the views but a real challenge to the materials used to enable us to enjoy them to the full. After four or five years of installation, the finishes on our Balcony products are like new.

“The curved patio door performs well; it’s thermally-efficient, air and watertight, even during the wild weather we get sometimes. It’s so central to what we wanted to achieve. There’s no product like it and it really brings the outside in!”

Project architect John Cryer, of Marshall Cryer Architects said an initial triangular design for the lounge was adapted into a more space-efficient curve after consultation with Balcony Systems.

He said: “The curved door is a remarkable product, making the most of the space and views while turning an ordinary room into something much better. This site is so suited to this product. So many sites on the island have good views that would benefit from products like those from Balcony Systems. I would definitely use their products again.”

According to Chris Wedgwood, it’s the combination of Balcony’s three different products that work really well at The Arches. “The curved patio door undoubtedly gives the house its ‘Wow’ factor and makes the most of the views. The structural glass balustrade is a fantastic answer for uninterrupted views. They’re all good quality, well-thought out products.”

Balcony Systems is a specialist in sophisticated glass and aluminium balustrading solutions and stunning curved patio doors, supplying straight or curved external and Juliet balconies to exact client specifications.

From single balustrades to multi-apartment developments, the company works with architects, designers and specifiers to deliver the most cost-effective, stylish and durable balustrade solution.

The Arches Port Erin.

The house is a lovely and unique B & B and well worth a visit www.arches-porterin.com

• Thursday, January 26th, 2012

We have launched a new website focused on our BalcoNano® DIY self-cleaning glass solutionwww.BalcoNano.com

The  new website is solely focused on the new BalcoNano® self-application glass coating process that transforms ordinary glass into self-cleaning glass.

The introduction of this easy-to-apply DIY sachet solution follows the huge success of our unique, patented factory-applied coating across our entire range of modern glass balconies, glass Juliet balconies and curved patio doors.

Protecting glass, keeping it new and clean

BalcoNano® works at a nano-scale level – a nanometre is one millionth of a millimetre – to form a hard, clear coating that leaves a super-smooth surface on the glass. It transforms the dirt-trapping microscopic pits, peaks and valleys of the underlying glass surface into one that is water-repellent or hydrophobic.

Water that comes in contact with the coated glass curls into droplets that quickly roll away, so any dirt, grime or deposits wash off easily to keep the glass surface looking new and cleaner for longer.

“Having achieved tremendous success and high levels of customer satisfaction with our pre-applied revolutionary coating, it was clear there was a demand from our customers, dealers and installers for an answer to protecting already-installed glass,” explains Balcony Managing Director, Effi Wolff.

“As customers started to recognise the immense benefit of our self-cleaning glass coating that dramatically reduces cleaning cycles, we rose to the challenge in creating the BalcoNano® sachets system. It meets this obvious market need for a convenient on-site application, which also works for other glass products and elements so these too can enjoy the protective advantages of the coating,” he continues.

Applied in minutes

Intensive research and effort was placed on creating a retro fit solution as we adapted our factory-applied coating so that BalcoNano® can now be applied to glass that is already installed using a two-part sachet process – a special glass cleaner and the BalcoNano® coating. Each sachet contains a pre-soaked towelette ready for immediate use.

Designed for use by the homeowner or professionals alike, the unique coating can be applied in minutes to existing glass in doors and windows, conservatories, shower enclosures and much more.

Because the coating chemistry works just as well on other silica-based products such as ceramics, porcelain, marble and stone, the sachets can be used to apply the coating to kitchen tops, sinks, ceramic tiles and many other areas.

Effi adds: “The BalcoNano® glass coating offers an eco-friendly and durable solution that literally pays for itself; both in saved cleaning frequency and time, plus in eliminating the need for use of expensive chemical cleaners.”

Positive customer feedback

Customer feedback on the BalcoNano® glass coating has been extremely positive, with many homeowners commenting on much lower maintenance needed. Bryan and Melanie Heslop from Tyne and Wear, said: “Our Juliette balcony overlooks the sea, so the self-cleaning glass means lower maintenance and less cleaning because of the salt air.”

Adrian and Catrin Hughes from West Wales, reported: “We have noticed a difference with the self-cleaning glass coating. Our Juliette balcony keeps a lot cleaner compared to the windows and we keep the countryside views.”

Brett and Helena James from Margate, Kent, said: “Despite being close to the sea, we’ve not had to clean the self-cleaning glass panels in the eight months since the balcony was installed.”

Paul and Margaret Ratcliffe from Sheffield, commented: “We specified self-cleaning coated glass as it really does work; there’s a noticeable difference compared to normal glass. It stays much cleaner as the water runs off it quickly. Being glass, the balcony lets in plenty of light and keeps the garden views.”

Peter Morley from Taunton, Somerset, reported: “The self-cleaning glass does stay very clean. In the four months since the Juliette balcony was installed, I’ve not had to clean it.”

Author:
• Wednesday, October 05th, 2011

In order to enjoy the benefits of your self-cleaning glass coating for many years here’s what you need to know:

Initially it is important to stress to never use harsh cleaners or chemicals on your treated/coated surfaces as it may damage the coating and the underlying surface.

How does the coating work?

When viewed under a microscope, standard glass actually has a pitted surface to which water, lime scale and soap scum can latch to. This builds up with everyday weather and environmental elements. The glass will then require regular cleaning and scrubbing just to keep them clear, clean and hygienic.

Taking its inspiration from plants, our coating forms an invisible and smooth Nano (measured in nano-metres) shield. This shield prevents the collection and building up of dirt and grime.

The hydrophobic (water repelling) properties of the coating cause water to run off freely, washing away residue and dirt as it goes.

Better for the environment

This coating is truly eco-friendly. In a manner of speaking, water and rain does the cleaning for you, so it’s more hygienic and with fewer bacteria there’s NO need for harsh chemical cleaners – which is a viable way to stop this horrid chemical pollution and is kind to the environment

Similar to the way Teflon®-coated cooking pans make cleaning easier, our coating dramatically reduces the cleaning required, making it less of a burden and less frequent.

If you follow the maintenance tips below will ensure many years of satisfaction from this wonderful coating.

Care and maintenance

Cleaning method: Wet the surface and use a nylon sponge to wipe it down, rubbing in a circular motion. You should feel any ‘sticky’ places becoming smooth again. Then rinse or spray the surface with clean water, let the water drain off and wipe dry.

Maintenance and care vary substantially according to the type of application (treated surface type and location/exposure) and the abrasion which the treated material is exposed to. Abrasion means any mechanical (such as windshield wiper on an automobile) or non-mechanical force (such as wind or dust) affecting the treated product. Thus, an exterior architectural glass structure exposed to all kinds of weather conditions will require much different maintenance and care than an interior application.

While our coating does make treated surfaces water and oil repellent, stain and scratch resistant, among other properties, and lasts for a long period of time (years in most cases), maintenance time is guaranteed to be reduced, depending on the application, by as much as 50% and up to 90% AND eliminates the need for any harsh, expensive and toxic chemical cleaning sprays.

Once treated with the coating, will I still need to clean the surface?

Our coating reduces cleaning time but it does not eliminate it entirely. It is similar to the development of non-stick cooking pans. While you can cook food in uncoated pans, it is so much easier to clean if you cook with non-stick pans. While you still must maintain your glass with a coated surface, the time and effort required are significantly reduced.

Author:
• Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Effi Wolff – Balcony’s Managing Director in a short video speaks about Balcony Systems’ innovative self-cleaning glass coating and its positive “green” side, how it reduces the use of harmful chemicals and aids the war against pollution:

Author:
• Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Balcony’s self cleaning glass coating featured on “Refurb & renew” magazine:

The subject of self-cleaning glass in the building industry and on balconies in particular has become a most interesting topic for self builders and architects alike.

Balcony's self cleaning glass on "Refurb & renew” magazine Balcony's self cleaning glass on "Refurb & renew” magazine

Mr. Effi Wolff, Balcony’s MD was asked to bring some like on this topic by the editor of Refurb & Renew magazine.

This article is featured on page 20 and 21 of  the March/April edition of Refurb & Renew magazine.

This can be viewed online at: http://www.wavcoms.co.uk/emags/RRmagazine/2011/RR8926_2011MAR/pageflip.html

Refurb & Renew magazine  is printed with a circulation of 10,900 and it also appears on-line and is emailed to 22,000 named on-line specifiers.

Author:
• Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Visitors to Balcony Systems’ stand at Grand Designs were so impressed with the transformative effect of the company’s stunning curved patio doors, elegant glass and aluminium balustrades and affordable Juliette balconies that several upgraded their orders as a result of the show.

Balcony-stand-grand-designs-2011

Speaking after the popular Excel 2011 event, General Manager Lesley Woodcraft said: “We had a great response to our stand, securing new orders and closing a number of deals at the show. These included some visitors who purchased more products from us while they were on the stand.”

Property developers, architects and prospective customers thronged the stand, along with current private customers who gave feedback and expressed their satisfaction with existing installations.

“One customer who had ordered one curved patio door and a fixed curved window wanted a quote for three curved patio doors instead. Inquiries also included a Scottish builder wishing to become a Balcony Systems dealer and an architect seeking balustrading. It was a very positive show for us,” added Lesley.

Balcony Systems’ products are innovative and simple to install, opening up limitless design possibilities for all types of new build and refurbishment projects. An optional self-cleaning glass coating is also available across the entire product range of curved patio doors, glass balustrading and Juliette balconies to greatly reduce maintenance.

Author:
• Sunday, March 20th, 2011

The introduction of a self-cleaning glass coating option is proving popular with Juliette balcony and balustrading customers, especially for those living in coastal or city environments, say specialists Balcony Systems.

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Applied on both sides of the glass, the patented self clean coating creates a smooth surface that quickly repels water, dirt and grime to help keep it looking clean for longer.

This maintenance-reducing benefit was the key reason why Rhian and John Powell Jones chose the Balcony Systems Juliette balcony for their new-build home at Harlech, North Wales.

DSCF0144

“The self-cleaning glass definitely influenced our choice of balustrading as our house is in an elevated position overlooking the sea,” comments Rhian. “It’s very windy so we often get fine salty and grainy deposits carried in the air. This glass certainly helps to reduce the amount of cleaning we have to do – leaving us more time to enjoy the view.”

She adds: “Not only does the Juliette balcony look great from the inside and outside, it’s easy to look after too.”

Author:
• Sunday, March 06th, 2011

Glass balustrading specialist Balcony Systems is the first to add a low-cost, self-cleaning glass coating option to its external and Juliette balconies in response to increasing demand for the ultimate reduced-maintenance solution.

Low maintenanca, crystal clear glass

Applied using a special ‘vapour chamber’ process, this unique patented double-sided coating creates a smooth surface that quickly repels water, dirt and grime. Protected from the elements on both sides, glass stays looking clean for longer; requiring just the occasional wipe down with a wet cloth.

The innovative coating can also be applied on all colours of glass, including tinted panels, providing an affordable, readily available and convenient extra benefit for architects, specifiers and designers to offer their clients.

Available now across Balcony Systems’ entire product range, including curved patio doors, the self-cleaning glass coating can be specified at the design stage for bespoke projects or supplied on off-the-shelf Juliette balconies.

Fantastic customer feedback

Managing Director Effi Wolff comments: “Introducing this self-cleaning glass coating option has put Balcony Systems firmly at the forefront of innovative and practical balcony solutions. It has generated fantastic customer feedback, as well as growing demand from architects for a distinctive feature to offer their clients.”

Author:
• Monday, January 24th, 2011

A recently completed self build project installed 25 metres of balustrade from Balcony Systems to add a perfect finishing touch to Mr Stuart Wilkie’s five bedroom detached property in a secluded corner of Kent. The rear of the house overlooks a lake and miles of fields and open space. It was ideal for building a large terrace which leads off the lounge and central hallway at the back of the property. Balcony’s stunning and stylish balustrade was specifically chosen for the new terrace.

Mr Wilkie comments: “I looked for a balustrade that would complement the modern look and style of the property but also didn’t obstruct the fantastic views. I went along to Grand Designs Live and there I came across Balcony Systems. Immediately I could see their products were different from competing brands. Visually their balustrade is more appealing. I was particular drawn to the clean, sharp finish of their products and the fact there are no ugly clamps in between each pane of glass. Their balustrade is the perfect finish to the terrace.

“An additional benefit,” Mr Wilkie continues, “is that Balcony’s products are simple, quick and straightforward to install. I completed the installation myself with the help of my carpenter and it was done in no time at all. I’m really pleased with the product and the value it adds to my home.”

Balcony’s complete range of balustrades are now available with self cleaning glass coating on both sides of the glass as an optional extra.

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