The ultimate guide to glazing in modern office spaces
The ultimate guide to glazing for modern office spaces
The importance put on distinct glazing design elements for modern office spaces is a trend of which has gathered increasing prominence over time, with modern office designs championing glazing features which bring forward large intangible benefits for staff and associates alike. This article explores specific design features which can be implemented to achieve these benefits and what advantages can be obtained as a result of the utilisation of these features.
Natural light in Modern Office Spaces
Gathering increasing prevalence in the design of modern office spaces, is the desire for an abundance of natural light and its coexistence with the daylighting of a space. Daylighting is a modern term of great importance and relates to the whole integrated design concept involving the building’s climate, orientation, floor plan and the lighting design. Daylighting needs to be considered at the start of a project to ensure it works effortlessly with the wider architectural design. An influx of natural light has been proven to bring about several key benefits including improved productivity, increased Vitamin D aiding in our body’s immune system and improved general well-being.
Read our article The importance of natural light in commercial spaces for more information about this important subject.
An example of a project that showcases these design elements is the refurbishment of The Livingstone House office space. This development saw the implementation of a glass roof extension consisting of minimally framed sliding glass doors, designed to maximize the amount of natural light present in the office. This feature is complemented by the preexisting light interior design allowing for light to reflect around the office creating a well-lit office environment which now benefits from the extensive advantages of an abundance of natural light. Modern glass technologies can be used successfully to maximise natural light in a modern office development. Privacy glass is an effective glass solution that allows light to travel through it whilst providing flexible options for transparency. This is often used in interior glazing for office developments to create internal meeting rooms or spaces with access to natural light.
Internal Glazing for Modern Office Spaces
An important inclusion in the modern office design is the implementation of internal glazing. Internal glass doors are a key feature of modern internal glazing, as it allows for an influx of natural light into the central or closed areas of an office building, making office areas seem much more spacious and visual appealing, a direct juxtaposition to older workspaces that were separated using solid doors and walls creating overly compartmentalised spaces with a lack of natural daylight. This has been proven to cause poor staff welfare and motivation because of the facilities and lack of natural daylight into working spaces.
Read our article ‘What are the advantages of using internal glass doors in office spaces?’ for more information about the application of internal glazing within modern office spaces. A popular design option for these internal glass partitions is a steel framed office partition, allowing for major increase in natural light and open space. An example of these features in practice was demonstrated by one of our projects Charlotte Street. This redevelopment saw the application of steel framed internal glazing to create a modern industrial interior design, whilst simultaneously allowing for an abundance of natural light and spacious design.
You can also read our article “How to Create an Industrial Style Office with Steel Look Internal Glazing” for further inspiration.
Fire Rated Glazing for Modern Office Spaces
Fire safety is a critical consideration in modern office spaces, and fire rated glazing is an essential component of any fire protection plan. With the increasing emphasis on open floor plans and natural light in modern office design, fire rated glazing provides a way to achieve these goals while also ensuring safety for occupants and property. In this context, it is important to consider factors such as building codes, fire rating, type of glass, installation and maintenance, and aesthetics when selecting and implementing fire rated glazing in modern office spaces. Fire safety is something that is encompassed within the design process of an office development and holds tremendous importance in the overall design, something of which at IQ Projects we consider ourselves experts in.
There is a a broad range of fire rated products available on the market, including fire rated glass doors, fire resistant glass screens and frameless effect fire rated walls. Fire rated glazing is essential in a modern office design. An example of an office development project which implemented a number of these features was the office redevelopment that occurred at Ropemaker Street. This project saw the appliance of fire rated Mondrian systems to allow for a continuous flow of light through the building in turn increasing the appearance of the office whist simultaneously maintaining high safety and fire standards something of paramount importance in the design of a residential building.
Structural Glass Facades for Modern Offices
Another gazing element implemented to bring about large aesthetic and functional benefits within modern office spaces, is a structural glass facade. One of the main benefits of structural glass facades is the abundance of natural light it allows for in an office space, something of which is vital in the construction of modern office buildings because of the associated wellbeing and performance benefits that come about because of a surplus of natural light.
For example, the Invisio glass facade maximises natural light as well as possessing a sleek modern design without compromising performance. The development of Sky house Design centre showcases a bespoke structural glass façade to its front elevation. This large Invisio glass facade not only acts as an extremely aesthetically pleasing welcome point and front of the building, but it also allows for large amounts of natural light into the office.
Glass Meeting Rooms for Modern Office Spaces
Glass design elements can greatly enhance both the visual and functional aspects of an office design and this is no exception for glass meeting rooms. Their application not only allows for enhanced flow of natural light in an office but also prevents the feeling of offices becoming overly departmentalised. This is something that was put into practice in the construction of the floating glass meeting room in the IQ showroom and office. The goal of this project was to create a feature that showcased the premier technical capabilities of IQ and act as a showpiece of the office of which can be observed from outside the office through the 6.5 automated door pane and double height vertical sash window.
Sound reduction glass can be a useful addition to glass meeting rooms. The glass technology is designed to reduce noise disruption coming both into and out of the glass meeting room, whilst simultaneously allowing for high amounts of natural light to flow through the office. A project which showcases this well in an industrial office design is the office development at Pennybank.
Indoor-Outdoor Office Designs
Modern office designs centre around improved functionality as well as value creation staff, and no feature of modern office designs optimises this more than the implementation of an outdoor workspace. Outdoor office designs are becoming ever present in commercial developments as a result of the considerable benefits that come about from their creation> These include a far heightened levels of both staff motivation and communication, something that will greatly benefit the business by reducing the amount of absenteeism as well as decreasing the amount of staff turnover.
The location of the office development project will determine the possibility of these outdoor office designs. Many city centre office developments are tight on space and therefore utilise the rooftop of the building to create recreational areas. This was put into effective practice in the development of the Saville row office building. This was a project which saw the inclusion of a rooftop glass box, which consisted of an indoor-outdoor design made possible by the inclusion of a minimal window pocket door. This system allows for a hybrid space that can be easily transformed forming two separate spaces into an indoor-outdoor space.
Glazing for Wellness Spaces in Office Design
Architecture design – especially design of workspaces – continues its ongoing focus on the wellbeing of its occupants. For workspaces and offices this is even more important as wellbeing has a direct correlation to staff retention and productivity. It is in the best interests of companies to ensure their office design offers wellbeing to their workforce. Dedicated wellness spaces within office design have been a growing trend and architectural glazing plays a big part in the design of these spaces.
Energy Efficient Highly Glazed Office Buildings
Architectural glazing can play a key part in ensuring that office developments are energy efficient. The proper specification of architectural glazing can actually reduce energy use of a building as less energy is used for artificial lighting. Low e coatings and thermal break technology help to ensure that the glazing designs are highly insulating. The architectural glazing to the external façade of an office development must always consider solar control. This can be done through the use of static solar control coatings within the IGU or with the implementation of modern glass technologies such as Electro Chromic Glass which allows for dynamic shading within the glazing. The office development on Tontine Street in Folkstone Kent is a perfect example of the implementation of an energy efficient design with architectural glazing. This project saw the addition of a frameless glass façade to the street facing elevation as part of a larger efficiency design. The large structural glass façade uses a high-level solar control coating within the frameless glass units to reduce the energy demands of the building. The Tombola HQ in [Sunderland] is a great example of the implementation of Electro Chromic glass within a modern office design. The dynamic glass was used to all exterior glazing and allowed for complete control of the light and solar energy that penetrated the glass façade.
Commercial Office Developments
This term was coined to describe the new design trend of bringing elements of home into an office design. Glazing and natural light is a key factor in resimercial design as it looks to create an environment that staff feel comfortable in to boost productivity. Read the full article here Overall, the variety of glazing design elements available for modern office developments hold large implementation potential.
The team at IQ have extensive experience working on modern office place designs and developments, including award winning architectural office designs. If you have an office design project requiring specialty glazing please contact us.