With a baffling array of glass office partitions available in the marketplace, it is often difficult to know what to look for in a quality solution. To help with your selection, we have devised some considerations when specifying glass office partitions. Acoustic Performance In today’s modern office environment, acoustic privacy is increasingly important. Creating quiet spaces or meeting rooms for confidential discussions is a key requirement and knowing that the chosen partitioning system will perform well acoustically is essential. Acoustic Test Certificates should be readily available to show that a full partition sample has been tested in an independent laboratory, not with modelling software. Environmental Performance Requirements The environmental impact of construction products is a subject of increasing interest, and clients and specifiers are paying more attention to responsible and sustainable sourcing of products. An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a factual statement of the environmental performance of a product. Derived from a Life Cycle Assessment, it is produced in accordance with ISO 14025:2006 and verified by an accredited independent third party. EPDs make it simple to compare the environmental performance of different glass office partitions and doors and suppliers should have EPDs for all of their products. Physical Performance Requirements Whilst glass office partitions don’t provide any structural support for the building, they do need to behave correctly in use and over time. This includes being safe under impact and standing up to abnormally rough use. The British Standard for Partitions BS 5234 hasn’t been revised since publication in 1992, in spite of the design of glass partitioning systems changing considerably since then. Optima is driving the revision of this document, but in the meantime, designers need to make sure their specifications meet the required performance criteria. Ensuring that glass partitions meet safety and stiffness requirements is another key consideration. Manufacturers should offer comprehensive design guides for each product to help ensure requirements are met. In addition, in-house structural testing can be used for extra peace of mind. For glass partitions, tests such as opening and closing a door 100,000 times are carried out to ensure quality performance. In summary, when selecting glass office partitions for your scheme, it is important to follow this 3 point checklist: Does the glass office partition perform acoustically and can the manufacturer support this with credible test data? Does the partition meet environmental regulations and can the manufacturer produce EPDs for each of its products? Can the partition meet the required performance criteria including safety and stiffness?