Advances in technology have significantly enhanced the long term viability of installing a moveable partitioning system.
Whether it is a school, commercial building, leisure service or hospital being developed, along with land in the UK at a premium, just about 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 in design that they have offered a long term solution that delivers on all fronts – acoustic privacy, aesthetics, sustainability and usage.
Custom power lift partitions
Perhaps one of the most important improvements has to be innovative Custom power lift Partitions. These totally unique flip partitions store in the ceiling hole, automatically lowering to the floor in the touch of a button. Hundreds of power lift partitions have been built in the UK to date, delivering a solution that has many advantages over other systems. In addition to making it possible for one person to reconfigure a room in a matter of mins using the simple turnkey operation, with careful installation power lift partitions can deliver superior acoustic efficiency, almost entirely eliminating the problem of flanking – where sound goes by over the top, around or under the primary partition. Another obvious benefit of this kind of system is that no valuable floor and wall space is required to store the partitioning panels when not in use, making the absolute best use of any room all the time.
Installed in a number of high profile commercial buildings in London, including the headquarters for Gensler, Moody’s in Canary Wharf plus Henderson Global Investors the benefits of power lift partitions are now being recognised with a wider audience. Underutilised spaces such as a large school hall can be quickly partitioned to dramatically increase usage as demonstrated by the successful installing of a 15m long power lift partition at a special needs school in Southwark. Similarly, the functionality area of the new Melton Borough Authorities office building benefits from two power lift partitions, allowing conferences, meetings and training events to be scheduled alongside each other.
Slopes and steps
Using power lift partitions is now easier to divide a room with a stepped or even sloped floor such as a lecture hall or theatre. As it is lowered in the ceiling the bottom edges of partition panels can be custom designed to properly match the floor below making it a reality to hold a conference on one part of a stepped hall whilst the 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 used to expand seals around the sides 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 strength or care and attention.
Delivering 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 -panel is manual moved effortlessly into place the automatic expansion of robust rubber seals is initialised.
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Pressure-sensitive, the seals expand along most edges of the partition to exactly the required level, creating a strong dividing wall that offers an impressive acoustic barrier.
Pay attention carefully
To be truly effective any moveable partition has to provide a great 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 performance than ever before, whilst remaining lighting and easy to manoeuvre.
Some power lift partition panels for example are usually constructed from a revolutionary sealed composite materials comprising of a light, sturdy outershell with special micro-perforated surface by having an acoustic core that ensures excellent sound absorption and insulation as high as 55dB Rw.
When specifying the partitioning system it is important to compare like with like, to ensure an appropriate level of 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 necessarily an indicator of the final efficiency you can expect in a particular location.