Hybrid Glass Balustrade - Orbit System

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This video explains the Hybrid Orbit (Balcony 1 System), how it works, length limitations and how it can achieve runs without posts for 3.3m. The video explains when posts are required and how frequent these need to be. Designed and manufactured in England by Balconette at our Surrey Factory.

Maximum spans, post distances and limitations

In this video we will explain the parameters, allowable spans and post distances of the Orbit (Balcony 1) glass balustrade system using fifty five (55) millimetre diameter posts.

The Orbit System uses a specially designed handrail that is of a circular shape with a 70 millimetre diameter. We have employed structural engineers to create a set of generic structural calculations on the application of the system in accordance with building regulations and BS6180.

The strength of the handrail and its rigidity determines the maximum span that the handrail can support. So if the handrail is fixed to the wall or structure at both ends, then the handrail of the Orbit System can span Three point three metres without the need for any vertical posts.

The wall fixing is referred to in the report as “a point of support”. Due to the way the system works and the way the glass is bonded to the rails, a corner of 90 degrees where the sides are at least ONE metre long is also considered “a point of support” and therefore the same maximum span rule applies to such a corner.

If you have for instance a three sided balcony starting with the handrail fixed to the wall, going out three point three metres, turning 90 degrees and going along three point three metres once again turning 90 degrees returning back to the wall three point three metres – this entire balustrade can be made without the need for vertical posts. In theory if you kept turning 90 degrees in this fashion, you could keep going forever without the need for posts.

So when are posts needed?

Posts are required when one or more of the following exists; when the length of the run is longer than the maximum allowable span without posts of three point three metres, or when the handrail cannot be fixed to the structure or wall firmly at both ends of the balustrade run.

When posts are introduced the limiting factor is the strength of the post and this is what now determines the maximum post distances allowed.


The post is made from a two part system; the primary steel post that has a base plate, and the cover post. On the Orbit system the primary post is made from a 48 millimetre diameter steel tube with a 15 millimetre thick base plate welded to the bottom.

The base plate dimensions are 150 X 150 millimetres.These posts are usually installed beneath the finished floor level and then, on final installation, covered by the system fifty five millimetre diameter post.

The maximum post spacing allowed on the Orbit  system with this type of post is One point nine metres between post centres. This means that once the run surpasses three point three metres in length, posts must be introduced and the maximum span between post centres can be One point nine metres.

Corner posts are not required and the One point nine metres can be measured from the corner, which is a point of support.

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