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Balustrades are essentially function. If you go back to the meaning of the word as per the Cambridge English dictionary, a balustrade is a “railing or a wall built to stop people from falling off the edge of stairs, a balcony, etc.” But they can also be things of aesthetic beauty, especially if you use the services of a steel detailing specialist like us here at Jensen Consulting to design them.

The term “balustrade” originated back in the 17th century. In those days the first balustrades were made from stone or marble, or granite, and were bulbous affairs that incorporated likenesses of Pomegranate type flowers (Baluestra in Italian).

Realising modern, stylish balustrades

Today, architectural fashion has moved on. Not only have materials changed dramatically, but so too has the concept. The ornate has been replaced with the clean and simple look, focussing on steel fabrications, with the introduction of wood and glass. But having said that, some people still like to install intricately designed balustrades and whatever your requirements, Jensen Consulting can rise to the occasion and provide the appropriate structural steel detailing.

Whether the project you are working on is a new build, an update or a refurbishment, you can employ our skills. We are not builders. Our raison d’ĂȘtre is to provide the design and profiling skills to help you in realising your dream requirements.

The complete steel detailing package

We will provide you with a full set of fabrication drawings that your chosen builder can work with. If you already have the concept supplied by your architect, we can produce the drawings that will take into account the sizes and forces that are necessary to turn the concept into a reality.

The steel detailing package that we provide includes sets of general assembly drawings; specific assembly drawings that depict precisely how each particular section is welded within the construction, and individual piece-part drawings that show exactly how each component part and section is to be cut and drilled. That is not all.

In addition, we supply a comprehensive bill of materials, a package of NC files that the material supplier can utilise to fabricate the structural steel sections to the exact dimensions, and a set of DXF files to be used for laser cutting all of the plates to the desired profiles.

Verified steel connection calculation packages

When designing, building and installing balustrades and balconies, safety will always be the watchword. Designs that look good to the eye must also be unswervingly solid. Achieving both ends is met through our steel connection calculation service.

Steel connection calculations are the vehicle by which the forces brought into play between the various steel sections are determined. Thes connections take into account normal and shear moment loads. Classes of these loads are couched as beam to beam; splice; column to beam, and the bracing connections.

Connection designs must not just ensure that a given connection will maintain its integrity at specific loads; they must also meet the requirements laid down by the fabricators and steel erectors. It goes without saying that any connecting joint must be capable of being produced and installed.

The steel connection calculations that Jensen Consulting provide are all accompanied by standard with a report verifying that all bolts, plates, sections and welds, are proven to meet the stress parameters of the given materials.

Concept and safety in perfect harmony

All of these calculations are carried out using specific steel connection design software. Calculations are completed using FEM (Finite Element Methodology) and FEA (Finite Element Analysis). We take into account the preferences of the fabricator as well as the types of loads being dealt with. It is the loads specified by the structural engineer that are used to ensure connections are to specification.

Well designed balustrades will provide the final flourish for any architectural project. For both Simple or complex balustrades, top steel detailing will marry concept and safety in perfect harmony, a harmony that you can expect every time you call on Jensen Consulting.