Advances in technology have significantly enhanced the long term viability of installing a moveable partitioning system.
Whether it is the school, commercial building, leisure service or hospital being developed, along with land in the UK at a premium, all properties must be designed to maximise the usage of available space. Moveable partitioning software has been available for many years but it is only with relatively recent advances within design that they have offered a long term solution that delivers on all methodologies – acoustic privacy, aesthetics, durability and usage.
Custom power lift partitions
Perhaps one of the most important advancements has to be innovative Custom power lift Partitions. These totally unique foldable partitions store in the ceiling cavity, automatically lowering to the floor at the touch of a button. Hundreds of power lift partitions have been built in the united kingdom to date, delivering a solution that has several benefits over other systems. In addition to making it possible for one person to reconfigure a room in a matter of a few minutes using the simple turnkey operation, along with careful installation power lift partitions can deliver superior acoustic overall performance, almost entirely eliminating the problem of flanking – where sound passes over the top, around or under the major partition. Another obvious benefit of this kind of system is that no valuable ground and wall space is required to store the partitioning panels when not in use, making the absolute best use of any room at all times.
Installed in a number of high profile commercial structures in London, including the headquarters for Gensler, Moody’s in Canary Wharf plus Henderson Global Investors the benefits of energy lift partitions are now being recognised with a wider audience. Underutilised spaces like a large school hall can be rapidly partitioned to dramatically increase use as demonstrated by the successful installing of a 15m long power raise partition at a special needs school in Southwark. Similarly, the perform area of the new Melton Borough Council office building benefits from two power lift partitions, allowing conferences, meetings and training events to be scheduled together with each other.
Slopes and steps
Making use of power lift partitions is now simpler to divide a room with a stepped or even sloped floor such as a lecture hall or theatre. As it is lowered from your ceiling the bottom edges of partition panels can be custom designed to perfectly match the floor below making it a reality to hold a conference on one part of a stepped hall whilst a music rehearsal occurs on the some other.
A perfect fit
A traditional horizontal, sliding partition is first manually moved into location before a hand crank is utilized to expand seals around the edges of each panel. The effectiveness of the system to get a firm, temporary wall that offers good acoustics relies entirely on the individual operating the crank, leading to possibility of human error due to lack of power or care and attention.
Providing an infinitely more effectively solution, semi-automatic partitioning systems ensure a solid fixing is established and maximum acoustic performance delivered every time. As each lightweight board is manual moved effortlessly straight into place the automatic expansion of high quality rubber seals is initialised. Pressure-sensitive, the seals expand along all of edges of the partition to exactly the required level, creating a strong dividing wall that offers an impressive acoustic barrier.
To be truly effective any kind of moveable partition has to provide a good acoustic barrier, allowing privacy in order to users on both sides of the walls. With the development of technologically advanced components moveable partitions deliver better traditional acoustic performance than ever before, whilst remaining gentle and easy to manoeuvre.
Some energy lift partition panels for example are usually constructed from a revolutionary sealed composite material comprising of a light, sturdy outershell with special micro-perforated surface by having an acoustic core that ensures outstanding sound absorption and insulation of up to 55dB Rw.
When specifying a partitioning system it is important to compare like with like, to ensure an appropriate level of personal privacy is achieved. The R’w performance of a partition refers to the ‘in-situ’ acoustic rating and takes into account flanking (where sound passes over the top, close to or under the primary partition). This really is different to a product’s laboratory tested Rw rating, which is more relevant as a comparison tool but not always an indicator of the final performance you can expect in a particular location.
Careful planning and installation following the suggestions of a qualified acoustician will help ensure the maximum performance of any system. This is particularly important when setting up power lift partitions as it is important that services running through the ceiling cavity do not interfere with the traditional acoustic barrier. Capable of delivering an outstanding traditional barrier of up to 56dB Rw, several power lift partition panels are constructed with a honeycomb cellulose core placed between a covered steel dish on the outer face and a dionysus plate of sheet steel around the inner face. The inside surface of each panel also has a layer associated with 38mm fibreglass duct liner.
Ticking a number of environmental containers, partitioning systems fundamentally reduce heating system costs, requiring only the space required for any specific activity to be warmed.
Assuming a moveable partition can be installed with consideration to heating elements it is perfectly feasible for one part of a room to be isolated from the heating schedule for any period that it can be not going to be utilised, potentially cutting energy usage.
In addition , recognising the particular increase in environmental awareness, many dividing systems are manufactured using recycled components.
Aesthetics are of course extremely important in any new build or retrofit project. Fortunately the range associated with standard finishes available for modern partitioning systems is considerable whilst unique designs are a reality in many instances. Almost any finish is possible including laminate, cup and polished wood veneers yet we have been also been asked to incorporate extra sound absorption boards, magnetic screen boards, dry wipe markers as well as projection surfaces.
For example , the law company Maclay, Murray and Spens specific a power lift partition for their new Glasgow office. Finished with an elm veneer coupled with coloured glass cut-outs, twenty-two panels were installed across three walls producing a stunning area that can be used for separate meetings or larger conferences.
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A power lift partition can also be customised to reflect the interior environment and can incorporate textiles or any material up a maximum of 3mm thick.
Glass partitions allow unbroken vision and sight lines allowing developers to create inspirational environments for any location where space division is required without the need for an acoustic barrier. Some cup partitions have been put to innovative use in retail outlets, restaurants, churches, airports plus offices throughout the UK. Helping company communicate effectively with the customer, glass panels can be customised using display screen printing, sand etching or logo placement. Some types of glass partitioning allow individual glass panels to be incorporated into standard solid partition units, bringing daylight into a separated area whilst still delivering a highly effective acoustic barrier of 50dB Rw. Remote controlled blinds can be installed for privacy if required.
Round the flex
There is no rule to say that a portable partition has to go in a straight line. In 2011, the Newcastle Learners Union building in Haymarket went through a refurbishment to modernise the facilities to include an internet cafe, a Subway and a Costa Coffee outlet.
The solution was small breakout areas which opened into larger places for meetings and other gatherings plus was also given the challenge of partitioning off the curved bar whilst not being used – which was previously housed at the rear of shutters.
Moving walls where chosen because of its wide choice of elements and stacking/parking arrangements which successfully provided it a rounded look to the particular wall when the bar was closed. The resulting installation offers adequate privacy for noisy activities to reside next to quieter ones.
A view to the future
As technology has evolved a moveable partition is no longer seen as a compromise but as a genuine, value-added alternative. Just as everyone now expects to open their car windows on the press of a button, so to expectations are shifting to demand fully automated partitioning systems and the semi-automatic seal systems that are now available.