Glass partitions have drastically grown in popularity in recent years as organisations look to provide modern, functional and inspirational learning environments to students of all ages.
The quality of a learning environment can have a notable impact on both academic performance and overall wellbeing its occupants.
The use of glass partitions and doors — and the benefits they offer compared to traditional drywall and other ‘monolithic’ alternatives — can contribute towards creating a truly inspirational setting and maximise the learning potential of students, from primary school through to university level.
According to the UCL Institute for Environmental Design & Engineering, out of all design parameters in schools — including air temperature, acoustics, and CO2 concentration — daylight has the highest impact on overall student progress.
The UK Department for Education guidance on standards for school premises dictates that:
“For lighting to be suitable, attention needs to be paid to giving priority to daylight in all teaching spaces, circulation, staff offices and social areas”.
Access to natural light has been shown to increase concentration, positively effect sleep patterns, and increase mental wellbeing through providing a link to the external natural environment.
Through the use of frameless partitions such as Planet’s PURE system, large expanses of glass can help the transition of natural light as it penetrates further into an internal space.
Acoustic Performance & Privacy
Good acoustics enhance teaching and learning, help increase communication and can improve student behaviour. Conversely, acoustic discomfort can increase both stress and tiredness while harming understanding.
Utilising a double-glazed glass partition system with a high acoustic performance rating can help keep any raised noise levels inside a classroom and avoid any disturbance of students in adjoining spaces through sound dissipation.
Whether for an area for quiet study such as a university library or group-based activities in a primary classroom, glass partitions can be chosen for the acoustic performance of required based on the specific needs of each space.
While partitions might divide areas, the use of glass can keep a visual link between separate areas and offer an open feel that increases the sense of community in a school or university.
Any fixed components in a bustling school environment need to be designed to cope with the high footfall and potential wear and tear that they might experience throughout a product life cycle.
This is why Planet offer a number of customisable options for our partition and door systems, ensuring that they can be specified with the necessary durability and perform for years to come.
Options such as hard-wearing toughened or laminated glass, robust door ironmongery, plus the minimal level of maintenance required to alternative non-glass solutions, mean that glazed partitions can provide the resilience and value for money that make them perfect for schools and universities.
Systems are analysed against a loading criteria suitable for the environment. In the case of high traffic areas, typical loads are recognised as being 1500N/M applied across the system (BS EN1991) and we assess the glass performance in the system for both lateral deflection and the resultant glass stress.
We provide calculations as a matter of course in these situations. Realistically, load deflection must always be under a limitation of 25mm, and our specifications will meet this criteria.
All glass installed will additionally meet the BS EN12600 Class 1 safety category in terms of impact loading — and for glass, this remains highest safety reference available in such installations.
Fire Rated Performance
Of utmost importance in any public setting is the consideration of fire safety and the protection of key exit and escape routes, with a school’s fire strategy needing to satisfy all requirements of Part B of the Building Regulations 2010.
The use of fire rated glass partitions and doors can provide an elegant means of adding both integrity and insulation protection to a corridor or stairwell.
Perfectly suited for contemporary education settings, Planet’s suite of five fire rated systems are tested to recognised British and European standards, with screens and doors rated from E30 to Ei120.
Adaptability and Finishes
We also offer a full range of finishing options for our partitions and doors; our in-house powder-coating line enables aluminium frames to be specified in any RAL colour, while a number of different manifestation styles are able to provide a colour and vibrancy to produce a truly creative and enjoyable space to spend time in.
Trust the Experts
Planet have a wealth of experience providing support to architects and main contractors working on fit-out projects in the education sector across the UK.
Our extensive product catalogue of partitions, doors and fire rated systems has been designed to ensure we have the perfect solution for any built environment. Furthermore, we are here to offer guidance and consultation across not just design, manufacture and installation, but also the specific regulatory requirements that need to be considered when working in an education setting.
Contact one of our contracting offices across the UK to discuss your education project and learn more about our glass and metal solutions.