How to Build a Partition Wall for Social Distancing
A partition wall was primarily used to infuse separation in the workplace to create conducive work environments with less noise and increased privacy. But that’s all in the past. These days, the feature is widely popular, even in relatively quiet public settings. That’s because more businesses are toeing the path of creative solutions in a post-corona era.
Smart businesses are putting measures in place to ensure social distancing is strictly adhered to in the workplace. One of the effective mechanisms for preventing the spread of coronavirus and other respiratory germs is by installing wall partitions. These structures also serve as sneeze guards to protect individuals on both sides of the wall.
In this article, we take a close look at how to build a partition wall that is effective in several settings or applications, including restaurants, learning environments, retail, and more.
Social Distancing Solutions and Products
It is important to remember that social distancing is not the same as isolation. Therefore, the best social distance solutions and products do not hinder interactions, collaborations, and smooth business operations in any setting where they are used.
In addition, the best partition walls are easy to clean and can withstand repeated disinfection. Although this article says “how to build a partition wall for social distancing,” we strongly recommend purchasing ready-made safety screens if you plan to use them in a community-based organization, that is, in a workplace setting.
Homemade social distancing products should be limited to home or personal use. They may not offer adequate protection for many people coming in and out of public premises.
Types of Partition Wall
Before delving into building a partition wall or getting professionals to do it for you, it is important to decide what type of partition best suits your space. Essentially, your choice comes down to two options: a temporal or permanent dividing structure that separates a shared space.
Here are some of the most common materials used in partition walls and their best uses to help you decide what option to use.
A glass partition wall is quite popular because of its various benefits. First, they are lightweight, transparent, and durable. Of course, they may not offer as much privacy as a brick wall, but they are easy to build, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to clean.
In addition, a glass partition wall option is ideal for use in seismic zones, so if your business is located in areas prone to earthquakes, you might want to consider using a temporal partition structure instead of something permanent such as a brick wall.
Wooden partition walls are lightweight, making it easy to install them in sidewalls and mount them on floors to create pathways and temporal walls.
However, you may want to skip this material for building partition walls if you live in humid areas because they are likely to rot with time due to excessive dampness. Also, trussed partition walls can be destroyed by insects, and they are generally not fireproof.
Plaster slab partition walls or plasterboard are thick slabs engineered from plaster of Paris and come in iron or timber molds. Installing the slab typically requires plenty of technical know-how, and they are usually not mobile.
This option is best used for permanent structures, and taking it apart (perhaps to move it to a new location) will involve removing nails and drywall screws previously driven into the walls.
Partition walls made from aluminum come in a wide collection of styles and aesthetically-pleasing designs, making them popular in business environments. There are quite easy and effective solutions for dividing offices, especially as they are integrated with glass to provide protection and great sound insulation. This quality means the wall partition will offer decent privacy and also keep noise out.
Growing businesses will find this option more convenient and affordable. Plus, they are constructed in a few different ways that offer flexible use, including solid, foldable, and modular structures.
This option is made from a combination of materials, including corrugated frames and plexiglass. The frame is fitted into holders that serve as partitions that can hang from the ceiling, stand on floors, or be placed on different surfaces such as counters and desks.
The plexiglass allows visual contact between clients and service providers while providing full cover for individuals sharing the common space. Safe boards are typically lightweight and environmentally friendly. Plus, they are completely recyclable.
See-through PVC drapes and pipe systems are among the simplest ways to build room dividers, temporary walls, space separators, and pathways. Also, the system is a good choice if you are looking for how to build a partition wall without putting a huge hole in your wallet.
The construction materials are excellent at absorbing sound, so you will enjoy a more conducive working environment in addition to protection from free-flying germs and viruses.
The drapes and pipe systems do not require additional tools for installation; simply hang the drapes using hooks and loops to create a safety screen around your desk or build a room-in-room setup. Plus, many models come with rails that make it easy to open and close the curtain.
Double-glazed windows are carefully constructed using intricately joined panes that give them their glazed appearance. These are excellent partition walls when it comes to sound insulation, making them a common feature in private conference areas and board rooms.
Metal laths are thin structures used together with steel or timber frames that keep them in place. Although they are thin, the material is incredibly durable, sturdy, and, most importantly, fire-resistant.
Typically, soft-cast steel bars, channels, and wires all combine to hold the material together. For better heat and sound insulation, the material is plastered on both sides.
Flexible Separation Curtains
Made from fire-resistant materials, separation curtains can be used to create aesthetic floor-to-ceiling partitions for dividing open space into several sections.
Separation curtains are usually highly customizable partition walls and are combined with curtain rails that add to your existing décor. They can be made from modern or vintage drape materials with blackout options that increase privacy and mask light. Businesses can also add custom prints. Additionally, they can be opened and closed manually or motorized to do so.
They offer impressive acoustic isolation, making them suitable for dressing work areas and other private workspaces.
Deciding the Best Partition Walls for Social Distancing
Learning how to build a partition wall involves crucial decisions that will provide adequate protection for your employees and clients and at the same time allow for optimal efficiency. Depending on your setting, you need to decide whether to go with transparent or opaque dividers.
You might also need to choose predesigned Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or wall-cladding systems if your services require that level of precaution. In any case, here is a brief insight into what each of these entails.
Transparent Dividers and Barriers
Employees in certain environments need to see each other while adhering to social distancing practices. Also, some service providers need to have face-to-face interactions with their clients. Transparent partition walls are most suitable in these types of work environments.
Consider installing translucent or transparent barriers and divers at workstations where employees frequently encounter visitors, shoppers, and clients in retail or public facilities. We offer a variety of barriers suitable for the unique needs of these service providers.
You can choose a floor-type freestanding barrier that can be used in different spaces. Our unique, flexible freestanding design comes with removable feet that allow you to convert it to fit on countertops. Constructed from highly durable acrylic material, the material is easy to clean with even the harshest disinfectants.
Counter-specific models are equally available, and they come with ample gaps underneath, allowing the unhindered exchange of documents and other items without exposing the parties involved.
A wall standing on the floor is the picture that readily comes to mind when many people think of how to build a partition wall that will promote social distancing in their work environment. However, if your retail situation has a low ceiling, you can maximize floor space by opting for hanging barriers or partitions. These options are easy to install and remove whenever the need arises.
Opaque Partition Walls
Opaque partition walls are most suitable for waiting areas and workspaces that require privacy in addition to protection. This option is ideal for isolation areas, hospitals, testing locations, and more. For best results, lightweight materials are preferable because they are easy to install, clean, disinfect, and transport.
Besides offering a higher level of privacy and providing protection from viruses, the panels used in opaque partition walls are excellent for displaying rules, direction, and even brand advertising.
The type of partition walls that work for workstations in offices might be grossly ineffective for laboratories and healthcare facilities. Other environments, such as manufacturing plants and foodservice locations, also require highly meticulous antimicrobial protection.
These work environments require hygienic wall-cladding systems that offer precise bio-security to actively protect and fight off bacteria, pathogens, and mold. The partitions or cladding solutions are constructed from non-toxic materials that can withstand fire and high impact.
Predesigned Partitions and PPE
Predesigned partitions and PPE are an excellent way to provide Covid-19 testing and vaccination without exposing the parties involved to the virus. If you plan to set up a testing or vaccine station, these options are more effective and efficient than ordinary partition walls.
With our brand new SafeScreen Barrier, community-based organizations can now take advantage of the cutting-edge design and versatility to easily offer safe and secure testing and vaccination for their employees or patients.
The predesigned partition features a horizontally-retractable cushioned screen that allows access to individuals on the other side. The crystal-clear divider can be easily transported to a new location. Plus, it is fully customizable, meaning you can order a SafeScreen Barrier without a window if you want to use it in a retail situation.
Dividers for Learning Environment
Learning environments might not be the best places for installing partition walls, especially for large classrooms or lecture halls. It is usually not a practical solution, regardless of the material the walls are made of. But because walls are not feasible for schools doesn’t mean you can’t provide safety barriers that provide social distancing without interfering with learning.
If you run a school, you can build or install any of the following social distancing products to protect students and educators.
• Desktop Sneeze Guards: From daycare centers to classrooms and even lecture rooms, school desktop sneeze guards effectively prevent the transfer of respiratory droplets, splashes, and contaminants between students and educators.
Our acrylic room divider provides full cover for each student, helping them maintain physical distance while sharing a common space with a temporary wall. The barriers do not interfere with interactions, learning, and collaboration between students and teachers.
They come with optional removable mounting clamps and feet and are constructed from strong, durable materials. They can easily fit on students’ tables or teachers’ desks.
We understand that kids will also use these dividers, which is why our professionals designed them to be easy for school children to use. The guards are lightweight and do not need any hardware to install them. They are sturdy enough to stand on desktops without toppling over.
• Mobile Dry Erase Boards: These serve a dual purpose. First, they are used for teaching or sharing information, and secondly, they act as separation barriers to provide protection. Typically, mobile dry erase boards are double-sided whiteboards constructed from durable materials and designed to be lightweight, so they are easy to move between spots.
• Hall Dividers: Freestanding screens are great for partitioning large school halls, such as libraries and gymnasiums. They can be hinged together to form private areas, hallways, and separate rooms without the additional costs.
Installing the most practical partition wall for a community-based organization or business environment starts with knowing which option works best for your space. It might seem like a tricky or even daunting task, especially with so many models to choose from. We hope this article has given you a few hints to make your decision a bit easier.
We invite you to take a look at our collection or contact us if you need further professional assistance in learning how to build a partition wall for your unique space.