Office Furniture Supplier in London
Office Interior Refurbishment and Fit-Out

Octopus Interiors Limited
27 Hertford Avenue, London SW14 8EF

Phone: 020 7367 0800
E-mail: info@octopusinteriors.com

Glide-Tec. The Ultimate Ergonomic Office Chair

Office Partitioning

Glazed partition walls with solid core wenge veneered doors installed by Octopus Inteirors in Mayfair London W1 office

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 there’s rather a lot that does matter!

Building the Partition Wall is just one 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).

The Process

CAD Plans
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.

Landlord’s Approvals
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 decor 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 can help you here by providing the plans and scope of works they will need in order to grant this.

Building Control Approval
Legally you are 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.  This does, however, need to be submitted at least a week prior to any work commencing on site – we are not allowed to begin until your local council has given us the go ahead.

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.

The Different Types of Partitioning we offer Explained

Our exceptionally popular Octopus 100 and 200 systems offer outstanding value for money, great performance and exceptionally elegant appearance.  10mm and 12mm thick toughened 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. The photograph above shows one of our Octopus 100 system installations in offices in Mayfair with bespoke natural wenge wood veneer doors and frames.

Additionally, we offer a range of conventional solid studwall systems and regular framed single and double glazed systems fitted with standard thickness 6.4mm laminated glass.

Whatever your requirements we have cost effective solutions to suit.  Here are the different types of partition wall supplied and fitted by Octopus:

Studwall Solid Wall Partitions

For the best sound performance (reducing the amount of noise transfer in or out of the room) a solid studwall is amongst the best and most cost effective solutions. We normally use 50mm or 75mm gauge metal studs and 12.5mm thick plasterboards to create walls that have an overall thickness of either 75mm or 100mm, with a cavity of either 50mm or 75mm that is filled with sound insulating quilt for additional sound attenuation. To improve the sound attenuation further still, we would fit two plasterboard sheets on either side (double boarding) thus increasing the wall depth to either 100mm or 125mm dependent on the size of the air gap. 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. Where flexibility, cleanness and speed of installation is required, we fit the Tenon Fire & Sound or Fastwall aluminium framed partition systems.   Both of these systems can also be fitted with single and double glazed sections.

Frameless Glazed Partitions

Glass partition installation in Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1. Octopus 100 system.

Minimal framework glazed systems are usually referred to as frameless systems. Our products are the Octopus 100 and 200 systems described earlier.  This system uses a very slim profile aluminium channel or track along the floor, ceiling and walls, just sufficient to hold full height sheets of 10mm and 12mm toughened glass in place.  The sheets of glass are bonded together along their vertical edges with a clear silicone compound negating the need for chunky intermediate vertical metal framework found on other systems (hence this system is often referred to as “frameless glass partition”).  The doors are usually glass and normally have no frames, and although aluminium door frames are available to provide a better sound seal they tend to detract from the elegant lines of the system.  Full height solid core wood veneered or laminate doors can be fitted in place of glass doors within aluminum or wooden frames if required.

The photograph to the right shows one of our Octopus 100 single-glazed partition installations within a listed period building in Westminster. This was a relatively tall ceiling height of 3.2 metres and we used 12mm thick toughened safety glass in this installation.  Health and Safety regulation requires manifestation film or frosting to be applied to the glass and as a minimum this is typically a couple of rows of dots, squares or continuous lines, but can also be made into an attractive design feature to further enhance the appearance of the glazed wall and also to provide visual privacy. Manifestation designs are endless and can include colour, company logos and slogans, images and much more.

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.

Framed Glazed Partition Systems

Office Partition installed in Waterloo Road, London SE1. Tenon Fire & Sound SystemDouble-Glazed Office Partition Installed in London EC1. Fire & Sound System

Conventional glass partitions are generally in framed sections or modules typically fitted with 6.4mm laminated glass.  We offer the Tenon Fire & Sound and Fastwall systems, both of which can be fitted with single glazed, double glazed or part-glazed part-solid sections. The glazed sections may be fitted with integral venetian blinds or have a frosting or manifestation film design applied. The aluminium frame is available in a range of colours, white, grey and SAA being the most popular.

The photographs to the left and right show installations in offices in London of our double glazed Tenon Fire & Sound partition. Both of these are finished with different designs of manifestation frosting film and SAA (silver anodized aluminium) framework was used.

Read on below to see which type best meets your needs.

Choosing the most suitable partition for your office.

There are 5 main factors that you may need to consider which, in no particular order, are as follows:

  1. Sound Performance
  2. Light Transfer
  3. Appearance
  4. Cost
  5. Speed & Cleanness of installation

Sound performance:  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.

 



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