Dreams of frameless glass fencing shattered

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

For anyone thinking of building a deck with a frameless glass balustrade, think again -- Auckland Council says they're dangerous.

The glass can shatter, so the Council wants new rules that'll make safety rails compulsory.

Kiwis love our uninterrupted million-dollar views -- frameless glass has been popular across the country for 30 years.

But the Council says frameless toughened glass balustrades are just too dangerous.

"I think everybody who's got one of those barriers, they really love the way it looks," says the Council's building control manager Ian McCormick.

"But I think if they saw an example of how easily it could shatter when struck on that leading edge they'd probably think putting a rail in would be a good idea."

There have been no recorded injuries or fatalities but the Council is looking to fast-track a change to the Building Code for future builds.

Architect Pip Cheshire says it'd only make a small impact on the view and he'd be happy to see the back of the frameless balustrades.

"It always seems bizarre in New Zealand where we have so much open territory that one's concerned about a small metal bar that might save a life," Mr Cheshire says.

But restaurateur Brandon Martin say having an uninterrupted view is key for diners.

"They come to see the beautiful view and I think that the way it is now is absolutely stunning, nothing obstructing the view."

Ostro has laminated glass which would still be deemed safe under the proposed new rule, but for others thinking about building with glass balustrades the changes are likely to come in about a month.