The development of terraces in prefabricated homes is a common practice in our country. Joining a terrace to a kitchen in a panel block is probably the most common example of reconstruction in Bulgaria. Along with the glazing and additional partitioning of the balconies, many of the owners decided to remove some of the facade panels on their own. What are the risks of such inclusion?
What is the function of the window sill on the balcony
In order to improve the ergonomics of the premises, it is common practice to partially or completely remove the window sills. The pretext for such a reconstruction is that they have no bearing function. However, as can be seen from the diagram below, these elements are the closing link in the connection between the floor and wall panels in large-panel residential buildings.
In the nomenclature of large-panel residential buildings there are also those whose connection between the balcony and the facade panels is carried out by means of butt welding. There are not isolated cases in which the welds in the panel blocks corrode to such an extent that the balconies sag or collapse. For now, these cases are rather episodic, but over time and the aging of the blocks, they will inevitably become more frequent.
Signs of a problem with the balcony and aggravating factors
The first signs of sagging of the balcony and potential danger can be seen around the connections of the railing with the facade wall and around the inner edge of the balcony bay window.
Освен намаляването носимоспособноста на балкона, след избиването на подпрозоречната стена, с приобщаването собствениците често увеличават натоварването действащо върху него. Добавянето на теракот или гранитогрес, преградна зидария, остъкляване, топлоизолация, готварски уреди, принадлежности и шкафове се равнява на маса от 1000-1500кг. Тези допълнителни над 300кг/м2 не са заложени никъде в изчисленията по време на проектирането.
What can be done
A sensible solution is to build an inexpensive additional support for the balcony. Unfortunately, the optimal location of such a preference is on its underside. Thus, part of the weight can be successfully transferred on the lightly loaded facade walls in the panel blocks. Re-support is also possible with other structural systems, with some conditions. The aim is to significantly facilitate the work of the console terrace to ensure security for the occupants. Particular attention in this type of intervention should be paid to the anchoring elements.
You can contact us for assistance in diagnosing the building, preparing a project for fortification activities, as well as their subsequent implementation.
Do not hesitate to contact us!
Author: Dr. Eng. Teodor Todorov