Specifier Review

The ultimate wall cladding fixing solution

Adding wall cladding to steel framed buildings can be expensive, often making up a staggering quarter of the total cost. It may not come as a surprise then that aesthetic considerations rank as highly as functional performance for architects and specifiers.

The installation process itself, however, should not be overlooked, as it has the potential to positively influence the total project in terms of safety and cost, and ensure a strong, secure and efficient result.

According to the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology, the use of qualified installers operating under the watchful eye of trained supervisors, whether they are architects, structural engineers or main contractors, is the single most effective way to achieve a good building envelope. In this context, the fixings used to secure curtain walling and bolted glass facades safely to the building structure have an important role to play.

Brackets and fixings are required to attach curtain walling and facades to supporting structures, and the choice of fixing is a large part of how successful the overall installation will be. A range of factors need to be taken into account, including:

  • The magnitude of the loads
  • The nature of the loads (shear, tension or compression)
  • Thickness of the fixtures including the provision for packing or shims
  • The substrate
  • Required life of the fixture

It is important to remember that loads can vary wildly. Window frames can be secured with a number of fixings around the perimeter, resulting in relatively small loads at each fixing. Alternatively, a fixing for a curtain wall bracket will carry the total design wind load for a larger area of cladding as well as the load itself.

This is why it is important that from small, low rise buildings to mega structures, it is vital that only fixings which have been rigorously tested for performance are specified.

Our BoxBolt® series is ideal for blind fixing angle brackets and spiders typically used in curtain walling and structural glass facade projects directly onto steel structures. Built from three separate parts: a body, a grade 8.8 bolt and a cone, BoxBolt® fixings have been rigiorously tested, are certified by Lloyds Type Register, and are approved by the Deutches Institut fur Bautetehnik (DIBT) for use within prescribed Safe Working Loads for tensile and shear, alongside being CE marked.

BoxBolt® fixings are also straightforward and easy to use and install, with no specialist tools, welding or hot works permits required. The fixing is simply inserted into a preformed hole in the bracket, then into the main steel structure. The bolt is tightened, expanding the main body and completing the connection.

BoxBolt® is manufactured in six different diameters and three lengths, and also contain an overlap feature to handle unforeseen variations in steel thickness up to 102mm, ensuring that there is always a BoxBolt® for the job.

Not only are BoxBolts® cost and time effective, they also bring long-lasting reliability and corrosion resistant performance to every application. They are supplied zinc plated as standard but can also be provided hot dip spun galvanised to BS EN ISO 1461 and manufactured in stainless steel to BS EN 10088 grade 1.4401, in line with Steel Construction Institute (SCI) 101 guidance, Curtain Wall Connections to Steel Frames, which recommends corrosion-resistant fixings.

For more information on our BoxBolt® range, or any of our steel connection products, call us on 0208 874 6566, or use our online contact form.