There are many different types and styles of partitions, but generally the following diagram shows the common elevations used for most systems.
Both single and double doors generally tend to be either solid or glazed above. Glazing can be used above doors in solid partitions, for borrowed light, whilst still maintaining privacy. The single door only is shown here:-
Types of Partitions
Metal Stud - Generally this is used for fire rated applications, and where sound reducing properties are important. Generally more cost effective when solid full height; there are many configurations of glazing available. The metal stud system can also be used for wall-lining applications.
Aluminium Framed - This system is generally used for most internal lightweight partitions, and for applications where a higher level of glazing is required.
Storage Wall - Often incorporated into the furniture aspect of office fitting out, Storagewall can be incorporated into the partitioning layout to produce an integrated scheme.
Glass Walls - Increasingly more popular in the modern office, floor to ceiling glass walls are available for that special application.
Partition Finishes & Design
There is an extensive range of wall surface finishes available for office partitions. Some of these are:-
- Paper-backed contract vinyl wallcovering for general office use.
- Linen-backed contract vinyl wallcovering for high traffic areas.
- Fabric faced (paper backed) feature paper for featured areas.
Is usually in a satin anodised aluminium finish (SAA). All of the sections can be anodised to a specific colour (Gold, Bronze, etc.) or Powdercoated to achieve a whole range of solid and/or metallic finishes in either BS4800 or RAL colour ranges.
Metal stud partitions: The joints between the panels can either have an aluminium Coverstrip, (SAA or Powdercoated) or can be taped & jointed to a smooth seamless finish.
These are also available in PVC, and can be made available in the standard colours of White, Grey, Black or Brown. Glazing beads and skirting sections are also available in the same range of colours.
These are usually PVC, and are available in the standard colours of White, Grey, Black or Brown. These are also less often in aluminium, which can be powder coated to match or contrast with any colour scheme.
Usually a plastic laminate for minimal maintenance or less often in aluminium, which can be powder coated to match or contrast with any colour scheme.
Often used as a design feature. Doorframes can be timber or aluminium. Timber frames can be varnished hardwood, stained hardwood, or even painted. Hardwood is required when there is a fire rating, but painted softwood can be used when this is not required. The aluminium doorframes can be left SAA, or Powdercoated to match the partition framework. Aluminium frames can be made fire rated by the addition of a steel lining.
Often the focal point of office partitions. There are an infinite variety of door configurations; here are some of the main design criteria:-
Sapele (Mahogany) is most common. Other popular veneers are Light Oak, Ash, and Beech. Any veneer can be accommodated, subject to material availability, we recommend that any such choice should only be made from renewable sources.
Laminate facing: Doors are available with wipe-clean laminate facing for clean room applications. Any proprietary laminate can be used.
It is customary for office doors to be 838mm (2’9”) wide. This is for ease of moving furniture. Storerooms and toilets usually have 762mm (2’6”) doors, and sometimes 685mm (2’3”) doors are used when space is at a premium. Disabled toilet access doors are 900mm, and it is becoming increasing important for provision to be made for disabled access. It is a requirement of Building Regulations that main entrance doors provide an opening of not less than 800mm, and internal doors 750mm.
Normal door height is 1981mm (6’6”), or the metric door is 2040mm (Just over 6’8”). It is possible to have the doors made full height, which is much more impressive in boardrooms, executive offices, etc. Full height doors can be made in one panel, or with a 1981mm (6’6”) opening section and a matching fixed over panel. The top edge of the door can be rebated to the over panel where sound transmission is an issue.
All of the same criteria apply to double doors, with the addition of the central meeting styles. These can be square, central rebated, or offset rebated.
Careful planning is required in this area, which is very specialised and can be quite complex. We can advise on requirements for specific applications. There is an almost infinite amount of locks, handles, closers etc. available, in a myriad of shapes sizes, and colours to suite any scheme.
Glazing is either deemed to be in a critical location or it is not. Glazing to critical locations is always required to be in safety glass.
Safety glass can be either toughened, or laminated. In applications requiring fire rating, Pyroshield Safety glass can be used, which has wire inside, and is toughened as well. Fire-rated glass can be used in partitions up to ½hr rated, but is generally not used in 1hr applications except in door vision panels as the panels have to be very small.
Fire-rated glazing is also available without wire, but only to special order, and can be quite expensive.
Obscure glass is available in a wide range of obscure patterns where light is required, but no direct vision. Clear glass is suitable for all locations where privacy is not an issue.
Most partitions can easily cope with double-glazing. Internal partitions are normally glazed in two separate sheets, not sealed units as would be installed in external walls. The glazing cavity is normally 30mm, which is wide enough to receive integral 25mm Venetian micro-blinds, which are installed between the panes of glass. Tilt/turn operation is achieved with the use of a remote knob mounted on the adjacent glazing mullion.
Other than clear/obscure glass, tinted glass can also be installed (Green, Grey, Bronze anti-sun). A varied range of applied films, logos, and manifestations are also available.
Office partitioning generally is based on a 1200mm wide module, and is constructed from loose components assembled on site. The size of the module is based on the availability of plasterboard, which is manufactured 1200mm wide, as are a wide range of wallcoverings for this purpose.
Since structural walls are often out of plumb or not flat, it good practice not to plan having a door immediately off an existing wall (add a small solid panel first). When the partition meets a window, this is best planned to come either to one side, or onto a mullion.
Design considerations also have implications with regard to building regulations, disabled access, lobby sizes, and room ventilation. We are always available to advise on these matters.
Make up panels are made by cutting down full panels. It is often a good idea to introduce small solid “make-up” panels to avoid small glazed sections, and leave the glazing to full modules where possible.