We install Glazed Partitioning, Stud Walls and Acoustic Rooms & Pods throughout London and the South East.
We’ve been putting Partition Walls into offices in London for small and medium sized business for more than 20 years. So, we feel completely justified in saying that we’re pretty good at it and we know everything there is to know that matters…..and very often there’s rather a lot that does matter!
Read more about the partitioning types and solutions we offer.
Building the Partition Wall is just part of a larger and sometimes complex process. Building Control Approvals, Landlord’s Licence for Alterations, Health & Safety Regulations, consideration towards other building occupiers and minimising disruption to your own business are just some of the other elements associated with installing partition walls. We’re not just here to fit the partitioning, but to deal with all the other issues and help you understand the processes – what you need to do, what we need to do and where we have shared responsibilities.
We listen to you, guide you, measure your office, create CAD plans, liaise with the authorities & your landlord, supply all the materials – plasterboard, metal studs, aluminium track, insulation and glass – and install Single Glazed and Double Glazed Partition Walls, as well as Modular Systems and Taped & Jointed Solid StudWall (Drywall).
You might already have architects CAD drawings, but if not, we’ll measure and produce some for you so that we can accurately plot the positioning of the new partitioning. We take into account the position of lights, smoke detectors and air conditioning ducts & vents in the ceiling, and floorboxes and ventilation in the floor. This helps us identify where changes or additions to these mechanical and electrical elements may be necessary in order for the layout to work for you and comply with building legislation, and gives you the opportunity to consider alternative plans that may require fewer moves & changes and additional costs. As a matter of course, our plans will show the new rooms with the furniture you intend placing in them – desks, meeting tables, seating or whatever the intended purpose of the space – so that you can be sure the layout and sizing is as you expected before committing to installation.
You need to let your Landlord know of your intentions. It’s their building and you should get their permission before you make any changes to the layout of the office. Even though the partition walls you’ll be installing are not load-bearing structures (i.e. they serve no purpose in supporting the ceiling or building above) your landlord will want to be sure that you won’t be causing any possible damage to the fabric or décor of the building and needs to be aware of any potential disruption the works might cause to other occupants. Normally, this means obtaining a ‘Licence for Alterations’ and we will help you here by providing the plans and scope of works they will need in order to grant this.
Building Control Approval
You are legally required to get the work signed off by Building Control (either your local authority or an authorised independent inspector). Their main concern is that the creation of additional rooms or a reconfiguration within an open-plan space may lead to reduced means of escape in an emergency and/or a reduced awareness of the need to evacuate. As such they will, amongst other things, check that there is ample means to escape and that there is adequate emergency lighting, smoke detection and sounders in place. Octopus will appoint the inspector on your behalf and will work with them throughout to ensure that all requirements are met.
CDM (Construction Design Management)
CDM is a set of processes put in place by the Health & Safety Executive. It’s a legal requirement that for any construction work (and this includes even the smallest & simplest of partition walls), these procedures must be followed. It’s mainly about ensuring safe practice so that we don’t endanger the health and lives of you, other people working in the building, the general public outside the building and our own workers. Part of this process involves creating RAMS (risk assessment and method statements) specifically for your project, and may also require us to submit additional documentation to the authoritative bodies dependent on the size and duration of works and the number of contractors working onsite. But none of this need concern you other than the fact that you need to be aware that we will have the matter in hand.
Liaising with the Landlord or Building Management
Once the landlord has granted a licence, we will need to liaise closely with them or their building management team to ensure the works go smoothly and without a hitch. They will normally want to see our RAMS so that they can be sure we have properly thought through the process and won’t put lives at risk. Building management will also be keen to ensure that we do not cause cosmetic or structural damage the common parts whilst moving large or dirty materials (such as plasterboard, glass panels, metal studs, fillers & paint) through the building, and we might have to come to an agreement with them about where and to what extent we need to put down floor and wall protection.
Finally, they may have house rules about hours of operation, when, how and via what route we can deliver & carry materials through the building, when we are not permitted to carry out noisy work.
Whatever your requirements we have cost effective solutions to suit. Here are the different types of partition wall supplied and fitted by Octopus:
Most of our installations follow current office design trends and we usually fit frameless single or double glazed systems and solid stud-wall which we tape, joint and decorate to a fine finish. Most often we combine both solid and glass partitions to create the desired appearance, acoustics and privacy levels.
Our frameless systems offer outstanding value for money, great performance and exceptionally elegant appearance. 10mm and 12mm thick toughened glass or 12.8mm laminated acoustic glass within minimal profile aluminium framework results in a stunning single glazed and double glazed partitioning system which looks great and performs excellently in the small office and corporate office alike.
Within this system we can fit frameless glass doors which will open both inwards and out, or glass doors within a frame of either aluminium or wood. Wood veneered doors may also be fitted. Compared with other types of partition, this system is amongst the quickest and cleanest to fit and causes least amount of disruption to your business if it has to be installed within an occupied and operational office. It is also the quickest and cleanest to remove when you need re-configure or move out of your office.
A very contemporary alternative to fixed partition walls, these pre-formed rooms come in a variety of sizes, designs and finishes and have many advantages over the conventional partition. To name a few, they are quick to install (usually just 2-3 hours), they’re extremely space efficient, they’re relocatable and you won’t normally have to worry about changes to the air conditioning system .
This partition system can be single or double glazed and negates the need for safety manifestation film coverings – although it may still be applied for privacy or design purposes.
We offer a range of modular and framed glazed and solid stud type partition systems. These are not generally as elegant as the frameless glazed and taped and jointed solid offerings, but in certain scenarios they may be more appropriate, either due to cost or speed of installation.
Shown here during the construction process, a Stud Wall is a partition wall formed by a framework in either wood or metal ‘studs’ fixed to the floor, ceiling and walls and covered either side with plasterboard. For the best sound performance (reducing the amount of noise transfer from one side of the wall to the other) a solid stud wall is the best and most cost effective solution. In your office, for practicality, speed and cost we would usually use metal studs of various thicknesses. In your home (and occasionally in the office) we will use timber studs of around 7.5cm to 10cm thick. The thicker the stud, the greater spacing between the boards on either side and therefore the greater the sound reduction. We will always fill the void between the boards with sound insulating quilt , such as rockwool (as shown in the image above), which provides considerable additional sound reduction. Thereafter, dependent on your acoustic needs, one or two layers of 12.5mm thick plasterboard is fixed to either side of the studs, or for even greater sound blocking, one or two layers of ‘sound board’ or ‘acoustic plasterboard’ which is considerably denser than the standard product.
For the most elegant appearance, the outer surfaces of the partition is taped, jointed and painted to create a completely smooth surface which blends in seamlessly with the core walls of the building. But, where flexibility, cleanness and a very quick installation is required (perhaps in an occupied office where we’re fitting a partition over a weekend in time for absolute completion for Monday morning opening), we offer the option of a modular partition which is finished with a vinyl wall paper and metal or plastic cover trims to hide the joins between the sheets of plasterboard.
Read on below to see which type best meets your needs.
There are 5 main factors that you may need to consider:-
Many partitioning systems and the materials used in the construction of them have been tested to establish their sound-rating (the effectiveness in absorbing or preventing the transmission of sound). This is usually given in decibels (dB), and might also be shown together with the letters Rw which signifies that it is a rating for the sound insulation of building elements which includes a weighting for the human ear and measures actual sound transmittance. The table below below shows the approximate typical Rw ratings of common/standard types of office partition, however it is important to understand that the tests that produce these figures are carried out in laboratory conditions and when installed in a typical office environment the sound attenuation properties may be lower due to sound leakage via gaps created by suspended ceilings, air conditioning vents, raised access floors and even doorways. So, these figures should be used to show the relative performance of one type of partition against another, rather than exactly how they might perform in your office. The higher the dB value, the better the sound insulation is.
|Solid Studwall, double boarded with quilt cavity insulation||48dB|
|Double Glazed with combination of 12mm and 10mm silicone jointed toughened glass||43dB|
|Solid Studwall, single boarded with quilt cavity insulation||42dB|
|Solid Studwall, single boarded without insulation||38dB|
|Double Glazed aluminium mullion system with 6.4mm laminated glass||38dB|
|Single Glazed with 12mm silicone jointed toughened glass||35dB|
|Single Glazed with 10mm silicone jointed toughened glass||33dB|
|Single Glazed aluminium mullion system with 6.4mm laminated glass||30dB|
|Solid 50mm H-post system with plasterboard faced honeycomb panels||29dB|
The above figures are approximate and assume standard materials are used. With specialist acoustic glass (e.g. Stadip Silence glass) or other specialist insulation materials, improvements can be made. But what do these figures actually mean? Well, they’re average weighted figures calculated over a wide range of frequencies. Each type and thickness of material (glass and plasterboard in this case) is susceptible to a particular frequency at which it resonates the most and becomes least effective as a sound blocker. This varies from material to material, but tends to be in the low frequency range below the level of normal human speech – e.g. the sort of noise you get from from traffic, the drone from building heating and plant machinery, music bass and so on. What this means is that a glass partition, for example, is likely to be less effective at insulating the sound of a music bass track at a given volume (decibels) than it would a normal conversation at the same volume or decibel level. Because the Rw figures take a weighted average which include the lower frequencies, it is reasonable to assume that if your main concern is in having an office partition which gives speech privacy (i.e. that people outside the room can not hear or clearly discern the content of a conversation occurring inside), then the dB figures probably don’t properly reflect its sound absorption properties for the purpose you require it for. For typical speech only values, you can perhaps add a few decibels onto the Rw figures.