Balconies the new backyard

Balconies the new backyard


The Australian residential building boom continues to defy expectations of a downturn, led by a surge in approvals for apartments, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed a 30.6 per cent rise in apartment approvals in November 17, while house approvals fell 2 per cent.

This dramatic shift in the Australian residential landscape has brought about a host of new challenges to the industry, with the difficulty in meeting these challenges reflected in the increasing number of defects experienced. These defects are of obvious concern to designers, developers, owners and residents.

Australia’s love affair with the outdoors has seen balconies become one of the most desirable features of any apartment. While demand is high, balconies are a relatively new construction paradigm.

Balconies are an external element of the building that must be properly integrated to work with the internal elements of the building. Balconies require appropriate drainage and isolation from the internal elements of the building.

Balcony design, and in particular drainage systems are a critical design consideration for multi-residential developments.

A common error in specifying linear drains on balconies is to indicate a standard linear drain for threshold areas where a specific Threshold drain is required. If this error is only discovered at a later stage of the building process, it can lead to costing problems for the whole building project. At worst the building project will be delayed because of the wrong drainage in place specified, which can lead to costly variations.

Providing sufficient drainage is essential for ensuring the safety and structural integrity of both the indoor and outdoor areas of an apartment. Due to its proximity to indoor areas, any breach of the sub-sill could see water penetrate wall and floor finishes, causing damage to moisture-sensitive materials, or even balcony collapses.

Threshold drainage is an ideal solution for protection against water from the outside while still providing a continuous accessible path between the inside and outside.

Apart from the threshold drain there is still a place for standard linear drains. Popular placements for linear drains is at the outer edge or across a balcony in cases of extreme water exposure or for design considerations.


To read a whitepaper on Balcony Drainage click here

Nathan Downs  |  11 months 2 weeks ago
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