Breaking the glass ceiling | Breakthrough Funding

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Breaking the glass ceiling

Taller, thinner – better? This glass partition designer faced a delicate challenge

Just like most industries, the construction sector is always on the lookout for ways to innovate and take design to the next level. But improved aesthetic values cannot come at the expense of safety or functionality – which presents a tricky dilemma when you’re trying to make glass partitions that are taller, better but also thinner.

One UK company was faced with this challenge when they decided to try and develop glass partitions that offered the same load and sound management performance as existing products, while making them significant higher and slimmer.

Demand from architects and interior designers for innovative, flexible and eye-catching design options never stops, so the company was keen to crack the problem. However, the R&D process required to achieve this was never going to be quick or easy.

The team aimed to develop a glass partition that could be used at heights of up to 3.6m and boast a depth of just 54mm. The final product had to meet industry safety standards and also provide acoustic performance of between 36dB and 46dB. 

As well as meeting these technical criteria, the solution needed to be cost-effective, flexible and commercially viable.

Plus, the solution had to have the ability to accommodate a range of glazing types and be used effectively in a variety of different environments. Other considerations included how to link the partition into other elements of the partitioning structure and the building around it, without compromising on sound performance or safety.

On-site build activity needed to be reduced in order to improve safety, but this would mean working out how to assemble the final product away from the construction site and then easily transport it to the site.

This was no small task, but the team persevered and have now brought to market a product that fits the bill.

If you’re working on innovations in construction design or materials, we’d love to hear about how you’ve built your product.

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