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INTERIORS


71


Closing the gap


Acoustic and fire safety standards must be adapted to meet modern product requirements, argues Kye Edwards of partitioning firm Ocula Systems


ommercial working spaces seem to be continually evolving and numer- ous workplace studies have been carried out to assess the advantages and disadvantages of individual working spaces versus open planning. Not surprisingly however, the results cast no clear winner – the environment simply works best when it complements and enhances an organisa- tion’s specific needs and requirements. The workplace partitioning and doors market has reacted well to the changing demands for a more flexible and transient environment and there’s now a plethora of product choice for specifiers. It’s this amount of choice that has enabled clients to truly personalise a working environment to cater for a specific organisation’s needs and the space it occupies.


C Standards in sync


Finding the right product is no longer the main problem, but specifying partitioning


ADF APRIL 2017


can be complex in projects with an enhanced focus on acoustics and fire protection. While the industry has flour- ished, bringing a vast product choice to the market, the statutory requirements have lagged behind and it is vital that standards are adapted to these new technological developments. For example, manufacturers test their products to technical acoustic standards and try to simplify the results for the clients. However, it’s generally acknowl- edged that the test results do not always reflect how the product will be used, so more detail and clarity is required within the standards to address that complexity. The standards need to be more prescrip- tive in specifying what should be tested in order to represent what is physically installed on site, such as the number of joints or modules and whether the doors are tested in a screen or independently. It is vital that the standards are not open to interpretation and that’s why Ocula is


PRINTED


A printed glass is used on twin glazed FT partitioning and double-glazed doors as a privacy screen in the new SIG Regional Distribution Centre in Manchester


The standards need to be more prescriptive in specifying what should be tested in order to represent what is physically installed on site


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