Australians love being outdoors. We love outdoor sports. We love barbeques. We love camping. We love the beach. We love bushwalking. So its not surprising that we love our homes to include outdoor living spaces too. These outdoor living spaces always have some form of protection from the fierce Australian sun and therefore create welcoming, comfortable spaces where we can enjoy the glorious weather… except of course when its raining… or very windy… or just plain cold.
Truthfully, when the weather isn’t co-operating, our outdoor living areas can become un-useable spaces.
These days more and more people are living in apartment buildings with outdoor living spaces in the form of balconies. The relatively more compact floor space of apartments increases the value of the outdoor living space of balconies and therefore makes it even more frustrating when that outdoor living space is un-useable due to rain, wind or cold.
Look no further than Queenslander style buildings for one practical solution. Queenslanders typically have more than one veranda, or verandas wrapped around almost the entire home and are used as outdoor living areas or even outdoor sleeping spaces during hot summer nights. Louvre windows were often used in older Queenslanders to enclose these veranda spaces, protecting them from rain or cold winds while still being able to be opened wide to maximise natural, cooling ventilation.
This same design solution can be applied to balconies. Altair Louvre Windows are available with the Stronghold System which mechanically locks the blades into the clips to allow Altair Louvres to easily pass the Building Code requirements for fall prevention through openable windows. Altair Louvre Windows seal tightly to provide protection from afternoon thunderstorms or windy days and to create pleasant sunrooms on cool but sunny winter days. They can be opened wide to enjoy the gentle breezes of a perfect summer evening and have no metal bars to spoil your view. With Altair Louvre Windows balconies can become useable living spaces year-round!
In addition to protection from inclement weather, enclosing balconies with Altair Louvre Windows may offer three additional benefits:
1. Additional safety for children
While Australian Building Codes require balustrades on all balconies, it is not uncommon for children to climb over balustrades using chairs or other objects. Enclosing a balcony with Altair Louvres with the Stronghold System provides an additional barrier to protect children from falling from balconies.
2. Additional noise reduction within the apartment
Enclosed balconies can reduce the amount of noise which reaches the doors leading out from the apartment onto the balcony, thereby reducing the noise that passes through the doors into the apartment.
3. Adjustable privacy
Obscure glass or aluminium blades can be used in Altair Louvre Windows to provide additional privacy.