When I’m out and about visiting clients I am frequently asked about the different types of glass partitions, so I thought it would be useful to give you some top tips if you’re considering installing them in your office. Thinking these things through before you start the design/build process will really help, so go on grab your pen and start making notes!
Why use a glass partition for your office?
The use of different types of glass partitions in offices brings many benefits including a stylish and modern environment as well as a bright and airy atmosphere. They look great and, if chosen with your workplace in mind, offer a functional solution to suit your business’s needs. By taking time to think through your requirements carefully, you can achieve the perfect balance of a light, bright office environment with the necessary privacy.
What are the different types of glass partitions?
Acoustic glass partitions
Do you need discussions held in your glass offices and meeting rooms to be private? If yes, then the soundproof or sound dampening qualities of the glass partitions is a big consideration. Soundproofed means completely quiet, whereas dampened, is a reduction in the noise transference.
The solution here is to use acoustic laminated glass, this is a non-toughened glass with an acoustic interlayer, which offers a good sound rating. Available in various thicknesses, the two most common options are 10.8 mm or 12.8 mm thick.
Single-glazed acoustic glass partitions
Acoustic panels can be used as a single-glazed partition, which also has a frame to the door. However, if you opt for frameless glass doors it would render the acoustic value non-existent. Using a single-glazed system of partitioning, the sound rating would be in the region of 40 dB. DB stands for decibel rating and is the measure given to noise levels. A normal conversation is approx. 50-60 dB. Therefore a screen which offers a 40 dB rating would make it reasonably quiet and enough to make a conversation inaudible. We have seen these used in accountants offices and mortgage advisors who need 1:1 meetings with personal customers.
Double-glazed acoustic glass partitions
If additional sound reduction is needed, then incorporating a 10.8 mm or 12.8 mm partition into a double-glazed framed system would increase the dB rating significantly, to as high as 48 dB in this scenario, which would be a very quiet office space with no transfer of noise beyond the glass.
We recently used this in an office that needed a very private space for frequent, highly confidential board meetings.
What about ambient noise?
This is another important factor to contemplate when using glass partitions. Ambient noise levels from outside of the room or factors such as what material the floor is made of or other elements within the room e.g. hard edges where noise bounces off, these all create extra sound whereas wood and carpet deaden sound. Ensure to think through these factors e.g. for a recent client, it was important for them to minimise ambient noise, which is why I recommended an extra sound reduction solution called sound baffles. These are installed on the ceiling and absorb noise, we also reduced the sound further by fitting carpets and through the use soft furnishings.
What type of visual privacy would you need?
Privacy in meeting rooms and offices can provide comfort for those using the rooms and less distraction for those outside.
The solution to creating visual privacy is manifestation graphics. By law, all glass partitions require manifestation graphics for health and safety reasons but an additional benefit is that they can assist enormously with privacy, even a small band applied to the glass at the correct height can hinder lip reading. Graphical designs can be very exciting and used to create a stunning effect, complement an interior design theme or be used to reinforce your brand. They really should be given more thought than simply being applied as the regulation ‘dots’. We have created some excellent designs including where the brand visuals have been used exactly for this purpose.
I really love glass partitions, they can revitalise, reenergise and refresh a workspace. I can’t recommend them enough! Take a look at some of our case studies for more inspiration and do feel free to comment or get in touch if you have any other specific questions.