Q: I am working on an exhibition centre and the movable wall is 8 metres high. Is this a problem?
A: Absolutely not. We can supply our movable acoustic walls up to a height of 12,000mm high but there are points that need to be considered with sliding partitions and bi-folding doors of this height. Is the structure suitable to support such a high and heavy movable wall? What will be the deflection on the structure? Is it possible to get such a large panel into the building? The stacking arrangement for the panels is so important at this height because they will need to pass through junctions with the minimum of ease.
We would work closely with the structural engineer on point loads, deflection and fixing detail and with the contractor on the installation, especially the Health & Safety issues associated with hoisting the panels into position.
Q: I can see how all the panels lock off. What do I do when I get to the last one? The handle will not go into the edge.
A: This question is often asked and the answer is that the last unit located into the opening is the telescopic panel. It has an escutcheon on the face where the operating handle is inserted. When operated, the top and bottom seals are located and this also activates the telescopic sleeve that closes onto the wall post.
Once this action has been carried out, movable walls are secure and acoustically sealed.
Q: Our project requires an onsite acoustic performance Dntw 45 dB from the operable wall. What should I be specifying?
A: This is a problematic question and very difficult to give an exact answer. From experience, we would propose that you specify a laboratory-tested system at Rw55dB. This is based on the fact that from a lab test carried out in perfect conditions and an onsite test, there could be as much as 10dB reduction in performance.
However, if there is an acoustician involved in the project and the opening has been designed to prevent flanking sound loss, there could be as little as a 4 to 5 dB difference from the lab and onsite performance. It is vitally important that all movable walls and operable walls installed have been tested and certified to the new ISO legislation.
Q: I would like to specify movable walls but can I have glazing in some of the panels?
A: It is possible to have glazing within movable walls and this can also be for any panel type. Depending on the acoustic performance of the partition, we can offer a single or double-glazed option. It is possible to design the glazing detail to your requirements; however, there is a need for set dimensions around the edge of each panel to accommodate the mechanical seal mechanism.
Q: I am currently working on a hotel project. Is it possible to form a number of rooms with your movable acoustic wall system?
A: This is not a problem. Our operable walls can be supplied with T-junction and right-angled panels which can work with most designs and layouts. It is also possible to incorporate a four-way meeting that will allow for the formation of four rooms with movable walls.
Q: Is it possible to have acoustic glazed doors with my acoustic movable walls?
A: Yes, it is. There are two types of door that can be supplied. The first is a full-height hinged door and this is fixed to a wall post and positioned at one end of the opening. The width of this door is normally 850 to 900mm. It is fitted with a drop seal at the base for acoustic performance. The second option is an inset pass door panel. This option gives the flexibility of having acoustic glazed doors at any point within the opening. There is also a drop seal at the base of the door, which moves, operates and stacks the same as the standard panels.
Q: There is not a sufficient structure to fix to in my fit out, what options do I have for a folding partition?
A: The easiest and most commercially viable solution to this issue is to install our ModernGlide 200-S sliding folding partitions which are floor supported. All of the weight is taken by the floor and the only requirement at the head is a fixing for lateral restraint. The floor track is fixed directly to the structure and only has 4mm camber; this means there is no need for a channel to be recessed.
In the event that a floor track is not acceptable, we are able to assist with a new steel structure, which can be installed in such a way to enable a top hung system to be supplied. We are also able to work in conjunction with the structural engineer on weights, point loads and deflection.
Q: I require the panels on movable walls to be parked some way from the opening. Is this going to cause a problem?
A: There are no issues with stacking the panels in any position and the majority of designs can be achieved. The only stipulations when designing the parking area is that there is a suitable fixing in all areas for the top track and, secondly, that the ceiling height does not alter from the opening to the stacking area.
Q: As a guide, what are your normal lead-in times for acoustic movable walls?
A: As a general guide, the head track can be installed within 1 to 2 weeks following the approval of working drawings. The panels are normally fitted in a 5 to 6 week lead time. It is advisable, programme permitting, to have the head track installed and then to take exact dimensions for the manufacture of the panels. It is possible on fast track projects to work to agreed dimensions on acoustic moveable walls. However, in this situation, the responsibility for the sizes would be down to the contractor.
The times above are subject to change with seasonal volume.
Q: What stacking arrangements are available with a sliding folding partition system?
A: When specifying a hinged system, there are two types of stacking position. The first is a centrefold option. This where the panels park evenly on the centre line when stacked. The second option is end-fold. This is where the panels fold back to one side of the track. Both options can be supplied stacking to one side (single wing) or to both sides (bi-parting).