Recently we inspected a new (2009) blaustrade installation. A one metre high balustrade fabricated from standard window sections, when we reported to the builder the response was indifferent.
Nowadays a new design drawn up by an Architect who wants a certain look must be put to prototype manufacture and then be tested for structural integrity using the same installation practice and procedure as that specified on site. Unscrupulous contractors may manipulate the tests, use a higher grade material or build internal strengthening to pass.
You must choose a high integrity balustrade that meets the code and satisfies your conscience, people could die as a result of the decision you make on behalf of your Company to save a few dollars.
The Millennium Balustrade Aluminium Post for example weighs 2.45KG per metre, compare that to a standard square post of a lower Alloy Grade of similar 50 x 50 size weighs 1.29 KG and has not tensile properties nor is their any integrated fixing method of attaching top rails, glass or bottom rails.
Glass patches will not satisfy the point load requirement test intended to emulate impact of a person coming in contact with the balustrade. Would you feel safe to see your children playing at the balcony edge of a 10 storey apartment with 4 small 70 x 70 mm clamps holding a piece of glass as the only means of fall arrest?