Demountable Walls: Designing a Healthy, Safe, and Transparent Workplace
Updated: Feb 27, 2022
We are experiencing a global change in when we work, how we work, and where we work. Most thought-leaders in workplace strategy agree that this change is inevitable. The rate of change is growing exponentially, given the unprecedented circumstances of the past twelve months. The result is a new mandate in commercial interiors: create a healthy, safe, and productive environment, and do it today.
Research documents that natural light in the workplace has an overwhelming positive impact on health and productivity. More companies are looking for innovative ways to bring natural light into their workplaces. The tools and technologies to achieve this goal have evolved. The result is a huge increase in the popularity of demountable glass walls.
In addition to faster construction schedules and substantial tax benefits, demountable walls offer clients increased flexibility to redesign their interiors. The result is a more productive and safer work environment.
Sunlight Increases Productivity
Neuroscientists at Michigan State University have discovered that spending too much time in poorly lit offices can alter the brain's structure. This negatively affects one’s ability to remember. Muraflex glass walls let you bring natural light into your workspaces.
Their full-height interior glass panels enable you to maximize daylight. This fills your interior spaces with a constant stream of healthy, natural light and ambiance.
According to multiple studies referenced in the Harvard Business Review, natural light is the #1 office perk. Events of the past year make it even more crucial to employee retention, health, and productivity. Gallup Polls and the findings of Alan Hedge, a professor at Cornell University, note that employees in controlled, natural, daylit offices reported 84 percent lower levels of eye strain and headaches. This leads to increased productivity.
When employees sit near a window that maximizes sunlight exposure, productivity increases by 2%. That's an extra $100,000 per year in value for every 100 people. According to Dr. Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD, the reason is probably that employees who sit near the window receive 176 percent more exposure to white light. They were able to achieve 46 minutes of more sleep.
The Demountable Glass Wall Solution
Everyone wants to work in a healthy and safe workplace. Employees who believe their company cares about their well-being will show up when they’re expected at work. They are more likely to be happy and productive.
By designing workplaces that are more human-centered, designers and architects improve employee well being. They also make the workplace feel more welcoming and aesthetically pleasing. Designers and architects are creating our future by designing new architectural products and solutions to facilitate collaboration while respecting people’s needs for a safe workplace.
There are several tools that enable designers to create healthier, safer, and more flexible working environments. Demountable glass walls are one of the most prominent solutions.
As we assess our individual and collective risk tolerance for gathering full time in office environments, evidence-based design and lessons from the healthcare design community can offer useful guidance for office design. Healthcare facilities have been designing their environments around controlling pathogens and infectious diseases. They provide several lessons and design examples, evidenced by extensive research.
In the last year, hospitals have scrambled to apply these lessons:
Transformed their HVAC systems for COVID
Changed equipment to allow for more outside air
Used new technology to update and rebalance control systems
Hospitals have created well-designed and monitored indoor environments where pathogens are filtered and removed from the breathing zones of occupants.
All the lessons here point to one central foundation—the “room” as a safe indoor environment. These “safe rooms'' can be recreated in the workplace with demountable glass wall systems that bring light into interior spaces. This provides considerable health, wellness, and productivity benefits.
Why Do We Need to Use Demountable Walls?
A demountable glass walls system is completely different from an inflexible floor-to-ceiling drywall partition, your typical built-in wall. In today’s workplace, we have both private and collaborative workspaces. The private areas allow employees to concentrate on their tasks. The collaborative setting helps foster collaboration across the company.
In this way, employees are encouraged to share their ideas rather than remain silent. This is especially important in startups where you want everyone to contribute ideas and solutions. The thing is, human needs for collaboration, social interaction, and focus are being addressed through recent workspace designs. Demountable walls represent a leading solution.
Demountable Glass Partition Walls: Benefits and Features
In glass-walled work environments, employees who no longer work from home have more opportunities to learn from each other by evaluating team interactions, mood, and action through body language. Demountable glass walls make an office visually transparent so that employees are aware of each other's roles in the workplace. This creates a set of working and social conditions that all team members thrive in.
Muraflex is one of the industry's leading design-savvy demountable glass office wall systems that create architectural spaces out of floor plans. Their glass partition systems showcase the beauty of interior spaces while letting in more natural light and enhancing architectural features. Glass walls and glass doors are a great option for any modern office due to the flexibility they provide and their ability to blend with almost any design.
Demountable Office Partitions are a Cost-effective Option
When calculating the cost of their office design, some companies tend to steer away from glass walls as they feel the initial cost may be higher. They overlook large tax benefits from expensing demountables versus depreciating drywall. They also underestimate the additional maintenance drywall requires, such as patching holes, cleaning dust, and painting on occasion.
Glass partitions save businesses on remodeling costs because once the initial “purchase” investment is made, little or no cost is involved for maintenance throughout the life of these full-height glass panels
Demountable Partition Systems Offer Sustainability
All the elements of a demountable glass wall system are recyclable; from the glass to the aluminum frame. From the Muraflex sustainability statement:
Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) and energy efficiency and cost reduction are key concerns and considered priorities in all Muraflex services, product development, products and policies. All Muraflex services and products offered comply and/or follow all necessary and legal HSW measures and all necessary certifications, accreditations or compliances are sought to be acquired.
Demountable Partitions Complement any Office Design
Once glass walls are installed, they become functional and blend seamlessly into the current aesthetic of the office space. Glass partitions do not need to be painted for you to make use of any space. Your workspace is ready for use the moment they are installed. They allow for a continuous flow of natural light throughout the office and provide captivating views for as many employees as possible.
Get a Sneak Peek At the Future of Demountable Walls
As demountable glass walls meet the needs of our modern work environments, we invite you to experience a revolutionary new design from Muraflex, the Expo 2.0. The Knak Group will show an exclusive preview on Wednesday March 24th @ Noon PT and Thursday March 25th at 3pm PT as part of our on-going CEU program. To sign up, simply click on this RSVP to Demountable Wall CEU.
About the Author
Mike Skaar continues to move Knak Group forward as an industry leader in supporting progressive workplace design, innovation, and strategies to facilitate collaboration. He has been privileged to work on projects around the globe with leading architects and designers from California to the Pacific Rim. His success comes from appreciating the balance of work and life. His passions include travel, snowboarding, community service, and he has attended Burning Man 21 times and counting. Mike holds an MBA from Arizona State University and completed additional post-graduate work in international business at UCLA.
More articles from Mike Skaar:
The Year of Essential Workplace Design