- Office zoning: basic concepts
- Why aluminum partitions
- Space allocation rules
- Department of closed offices
- Sectional division
- Formation of adjacent blocks
When choosing and arranging premises for an office, you can achieve a rational use of space with the help of glass and metal. We invite you to get acquainted with the technical, design and organizational side of this issue. Let’s talk about zoning office space using aluminum partitions.
Office zoning: basic concepts
Modern firms have a very sophisticated approach to arranging the workspace of employees. The image and specificity of employment of people, production etiquette, peculiarities of subordinate relations, corporate schedule are taken into account … And dozens of other factors that contribute to strengthening and improving the microclimate in the team.
But there are more practical aspects to designing an office layout. As a rule, you can almost always start from scratch: most business centers provide tenants with a spacious empty box without partitions. As a rule, there are no restrictions in the layout, the only exception is the location of the “wet” zone for the arrangement of the bathroom, as well as minor factors such as noise insulation, direction of natural light and distance from the entrance.
In addition to production-oriented rooms, there are a number of auxiliary rooms: copy rooms, server rooms, for staff rest, food preparation, storage. These premises are located at the greatest distance from the entrance: potential visitors do not need the details of corporate life. Closer places of work of people who are not engaged in work with clients are located. Management is the heart of the office, offices of managers and other management personnel are located within the direct reach of all employees, leaving enough space for the waiting room.
The closest to the entrance is the reception area, an external waiting room, possibly a second bathroom, and most importantly – offices or posts of everyone who communicates directly with clients. The exception is specialists with higher employment who, due to the specifics of their work (noise level, lighting, special equipment), require a separate workplace in a more remote area..
Why aluminum partitions
As you will see by the end of this article, a good technical office zoning system should be universal: there are many ways of dividing into offices, cells and posts, often offices are not completely separated, partitions only limit the view or, conversely, impede the propagation of sound.
Among other things, we must not forget about the financial component. The budget of a young or relocating company is already heavily loaded, the arrangement and zoning of the office is among the last items of expenditure. And this is the main advantage of aluminum partitions: they are cheap, durable, and can be easily assembled by the company’s employees. And then they were dismantled and transported to a new office with the best rental conditions.
Otherwise, aluminum office zoning systems simply serve as an example of a high-quality and well-thought-out technical solution. In appearance, they match most of the design developments for the modern office. They can be installed locally, because they are a self-supporting system and do not require a frame base. And, of course, almost the full range of office planning tasks can be solved by one system, many elements of which are interchangeable, and the appearance is identical.
Space allocation rules
The main task of zoning is to divide people into groups according to the direction of their activities and the need for direct communication. Further, these groups are settled either in separate rooms, or divide one allotted room into several sections.
You can start bypassing a typical office from the entrance: there is almost always a small vestibule, the walls of which are transparent, a large mirror is desirable, and a thermal curtain at the entrance from the street. When leaving the vestibule, the prevailing direction of gaze always rests on the dividing wall, which separates the reception area from other workplaces. The ratio between the two parts of the common room is determined by the number of staff working with clients.
For this kind of partitions, which provide both visual and sound insulation, aluminum full-size partitions are used. If there is a lack of natural light, they are filled with frosted, partially frosted or tinted glasses for the free spread of natural light. Often the reception area is connected to the general service hall precisely through the central partition.
The sliding door here will save more space for the interior lounge and VIP service posts. This room is almost always fenced off from the rear by a solid opaque wall and has one or two sources of natural light. Installation of completely opaque partitions is also possible, they are filled with plastic or MDF panels, on which the company symbols and advertising materials are often applied.
The offices of specialists and managers are located on the side of the office where there is no panoramic or main glazing. The only exceptions are workplaces, the task of which is to maintain the company’s image in front of visitors, as well as representative and conference rooms. In the direction of light incidence, the first inside the service area are sectional workplaces, separated by mobile aluminum partitions. This area is separated from the rest by a transparent glass curtain with a series of doors opening inward..
Department of closed offices
The entrances of the offices are located at a distance of 1–1.2 m from the glass partition, the doors open into the formed corridor. The front walls of the offices can be made with partitions 2–2.5 m high, but not solid – this is how workplaces are organized at a normal noise level. The advantage of half-open partitions is better light diffusion, overall ventilation system, material savings.
Closed offices of specialists and managers are located behind the block of half-open partitions. The cascading light distribution provides ample natural light for even the most distant workplaces. On the one hand, this group of offices adjoins the waiting room, on the other it goes into the service corridor leading to the bathroom and other service premises..
Despite the fact that in such cases aluminum partitions provide good localization, they take up much less space than plaster or plastic ones. On the one hand, a trifle, but when recalculating the total cross-section of partitions, space savings due to aluminum systems go into tens of square meters, that is, tens of thousands of monthly rent. Partitions are attached to the ceiling and / or floor, block structures can be assembled without attachment to the base.
The presence of a parapet with a blank sheathing in the lower part not only contributes to better localization, it is possible to lay communication and power cables between the panels. In glass partitions, technical channels inside the skirting board with a removable cover are intended for this..
If individual offices are made quite spacious, then work cells are formed according to the norms of distribution of the working space according to the Labor Code and SanPiN: 4.5-6 m2 for workplaces with personal computers, 6 m2 for engineers, additional 4 m2 for those working with visitors and 7.7 m each2 for each working wheelchair user.
It is extremely unprofitable to use full-size partitions here: in addition to the fact that the material on the fence to the ceiling will take 3-4 more, you also need to organize individual ventilation, lighting and the front door. It is not hard to imagine how stale and “oppressive” will be a 5 sq.m.2.
The task of sectional zoning is solved by mobile partitions. Thanks to this method of forming individual workplaces, it is easy to provide each employee with enough space, because in the common room even the passage area is considered useful. Such systems are supplied in sets with the optimal dimensions of the partitions, they are quickly assembled and installed without additional fastening. A separate plus of mobile partitions is that they do not interfere with quick direct communication between employees.
The height of the partitions can be chosen arbitrarily, usually the maximum is two meters for call center workers or if the workflow requires increased concentration. The partition consists of a frame aluminum profile filled with a plastic sandwich plate. Sometimes partitions up to 1.2 m high are replaced with glass parapets with a tinted bottom part on aluminum racks.
Formation of adjacent blocks
In companies with a complex job hierarchy, it is practiced to place employees of the department and their direct manager in a common block, which includes a separate office and an area with a sectional layout or a joint desk. The unit is enclosed by an opaque glass or plastic partition in an aluminum frame. It is also possible to fence with a glass curtain with an open opening, so that the blocks easily communicate with each other through a common corridor, but the side walls still remain deaf.
There may be a transom on external partitions, but artificial light prevails. This layout is practiced in the depths of the office space, away from windows. Here, the entire range of tasks is solved by one system of metal profiles: from which the enclosing partitions are assembled, they also separate the manager’s workplace and assemble sections of the common working room.