SHERA: the regulatory choice for balconies and cladding in high-rise buildings

SHERA: the regulatory choice for balconies and cladding in high-rise buildings

Over the last few years there has been a renewed focus on the need for fire-safe decking and cladding, particularly on high-rise buildings in the wake of recent balcony fires.

In 2018, the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 came into force. This banned the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings. The move was in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the Government has since promised higher safety standards. External walls encompass not only the outer walls but also the windows and even balcony decking. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave developers or architects with many design options for decking materials and cladding. Two of the most popular products on the market which achieve a non-combustible rating are aluminium and SHERA.

So, what’s the best option?

Aluminium decking

While aluminium can be used for traditional decking, you’re more likely to find it on the balcony of a high-rise. There are many reasons why a developer may choose aluminium for their projects to meet building regulations. While it’s said to be waterproof, that doesn’t stop it from making quite a racket when it rains. As the great British weather means rain is more frequent, consider choosing this material carefully if only for the peace of your residents.

Also, aluminium is just a very noisy material by nature. This means it can be quite disruptive even from being walked over. In a highly populated residential building, this could add to high noise levels and complaints from residents.

After the temperatures have reached new heights this summer, you also need to think about metal getting extremely hot. So, this doesn’t make it ideal for standing on, for pets to stand on or to leave furniture on. It’s likely that residents of your latest development won’t be able to enjoy a hot, summery day from their balconies.

SHERA decking

SHERA decking is another option for the flooring of balconies and cladding on high-rise buildings. This stylish alternative to traditional decking materials meets the latest building regulations and fire safety advice for the UK balcony market. It is Euroclass A2 fire-rated and has gone through vigorous testing for that classification.

Aluminium is at risk of oxidisation and rust over time. Buildings near coastal towns and cities and even near tidal rivers like the Thames see accelerated deterioration because of this. So, for many contractors building in these areas, SHERA is the go-to choice. That’s because Shera will not oxidise on contact with water due to its water-resistant properties.

Made of fibre cement, SHERA has the natural appearance of a composite or timber board and is available in a range of different colours. Whether you prefer a Modern Grey, Brown Wenge, Tropical Oak, or anything in between, there’s plenty to choose from. This makes up for the lack of style choices available if you choose aluminium decking.

SHERA is also incredibly easy to install and can be attached with a Clip Lock System. That means there’s no need for drilling or screwing while still achieving a neat and seamless finish. If you’re building a medium to high-rise residential building with lots of balconies, this will be a big time-saver.

In choosing SHERA over aluminium, you’re also making the more economical choice. Aluminium is known for its high price point whereas SHERA is more affordable. Plus, with its rot, frost and heat resistant qualities and expected service life of over 50 years — it’s a worthwhile investment. The fibre cement decking board has also been measured for its stability and was found to experience no warping. The decking is also incredibly low maintenance. An annual clean and regular sweep is all it needs to be kept in top condition.

SHERA cladding

SHERA can also be used to create fire-safe cladding on the external walls of high rises or large buildings. The cladding has all the same fire-resistant qualities as the decking making it stable and easy to maintain.

Whether you’d like your cladding to overlap or be flush against the wall, the choice doesn’t end there. This highly workable material is often the top choice for developers because of its numerous profiles and finishes. Offered in the same variety of colours as the decking boards, you have full say over the colour scheme. Tying in your exterior cladding with your balconies will no doubt make everything look seamless. Plus, as well as looking great, it meets all the same industry-standard building regulations.

Easy to install and durable, SHERA gives developers and architects the ability to create stunning, safe places to live.


Choose SHERA if you’ve been searching for a balcony or cladding that keeps residents safe without compromising on style. Gripsure is happy to share that we stock a variety of colours and finishes available for your next project. SHERA has already been used on a variety of new and refurbished medium to high-rise residential properties. They can be seen in cities all over the UK from Newcastle and Hertfordshire to Cardiff and London.

SHERA decking and cladding boards are available by request only. If you’re interested, get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.