Glass partitions can help to create places where hygiene, comfort and the best learning experience is secured for students, as Neil Miller, Sales & Marketing Director, QIC Trims, explains
ONE of the key benefits of glass partitions is their ability to transform a room without altering its fabric or fixtures and fittings. This is particularly useful for a school or college establishment, where interior designs are regularly reconfigured in order to suit particular classes or events. By allowing such a flexible approach to the reimaging of learning spaces, alterations can be carried out rapidly and cost-effectively – a most important outcome for educational settings where budgets are often tight and every penny has to be accounted for.
In terms of glass partition specification, clear lines of communication between staff and students are absolutely essential in classrooms and all other areas of a school or college building. The learning process is severely impacted by tutors not being able to make themselves sufficiently heard or understood due to exterior noise interference. It could also create a safety issue. Therefore, good acoustic performance should be given high priority in glass partition selection. A quality fixed single or double-glazed system provides up to 50% noise reduction, thus screening-out disruptive airborne sounds and allowing students to focus on the learning activities at hand.
In a recent project, QIC Trims’ double-glazed partition featuring mullions and transoms with external face-applied bars were installed throughout a number of floors in a school library. The system was specified due to the acoustic rating it was able to achieve using 12.8mm x 12.8mm acoustic laminated glass, a drop-down seal on the framed glass doors, and a deflection head.
The project revealed another advantage of installing glazed partitions in educational settings, namely the aesthetic they lend to spaces. It’s often said that people are a product of their environment. Therefore, if places of learning present a smart, professional look courtesy of a well-appointed glass partition scheme, it’s more likely students will respond accordingly.
The additional natural daylight afforded by partitions provides another boost for occupant well-being. Research carried out in the US by Professor Alan Hedge of Cornell University revealed a significant drop in incidence of eyestrain, headaches and drowsiness in workers in offices filled with natural daylight. Transpose these findings to a learning environment and it becomes clear how similar conditions could benefit students in terms of mood and concentration levels.
It’s worth remembering that schools can be quite boisterous places when catering for hundreds of students of different age groups. It indicates that glass partitions in classrooms, even where occupants are seated for the majority of the time, should contain a certain robustness. Therefore, for the safety of students and the integrity of the structure itself, investing in a glass partition that meets up to date standards for loadings is essential.