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Glass partitions create an agile working environment for AECOM

When global engineering firm AECOM chose to consolidate more than 1,000 employees from across the City into its new office in Aldgate Tower, the big idea was to encourage interaction amongst staff and collaborative working across all departments, including Strategy, Design and Engineering. Furthermore, glass partitions help to build a space that encourages agile working, whilst ensuring acoustic privacy.

Location
Levels 7, 8, 9,10 and 16 - Aldgate Tower, London

Architect
AECOM

Contractor
Overbury Plc

Collaboration with glass partitions

Firstly, agile working was to be a key feature of the new culture. Especially with 100% of all staff moving to this new workspace model. Moreover, with an average of 150 visitors per day, this had to be a space that made an impression. Therefore, glass partitions were the ideal way to create agile spaces, with the flow of natural light and collaboration areas.

Secondly, we developed the workplace design for the new Aldgate Tower office in-house by a fully integrated AECOM team. The carefully considered design ensures that there is a range of public and private workspaces across the five floors. As a result, glass partitions make agile working possible, with an abundance of breakout areas for informal meetings and collaboration. Furthermore, numerous meeting rooms are perfect for private, focused work, conference calls or confidential meetings.

The solution

With a high level of daily visitors to the new office, bookable meeting rooms were a necessity. AECOM turned to us to design, manufacture and install a number of glazed partitioning solutions to create these meeting rooms.

With the exception of the impressive reception area, the 16th floor comprises mainly client meeting rooms. Our striking Optima 117 Plus Shoreditch Edition screens were ideal for these areas, along with  Edge Shoreditch Edition single glazed doors, which feature unique integrated handles.

The Shoreditch Edition glazing system is an enhanced version of our Optima 117 Plus single glazing and features an elegant industrial style aluminium framework. By bonding the framework to the glass, it retains both the structural stability and the acoustic performance of the partition.

Our Shoreditch Edition glazing was also used to create two client meeting rooms on the 10th floor, to stunning effect. These meeting rooms are in one of the community spaces around the central open staircase; a striking feature which links four of the internal floors. Furthermore, the design of these community spaces encourages staff interaction and wellbeing, with tea points, catering facilities and games areas.

In addition, a number of smaller meeting rooms are located towards the core of the 7th,8th,9th and 10th floors for staff or client meetings. For these rooms, AECOM opted for Optima 117 Plus single glazed system, with single glazed Edge Symmetry doors incorporating room booking panels.

This sleek and elegant glazing system has minimal framing and discreet Nebula dry joints between the glass panels for a seamless effect. Additionally, in the lobby areas, we installed stylish framed glass doors on rails with side screens.

The acoustic expertise

Whilst our glazed partitions help to achieve visual connectivity across the office floors, it was essential that our glass partitions also offered advanced levels of acoustic performance in order for confidential meetings and focused work to take place.

Our acoustic expertise is well known within the industry and all of our systems are laboratory tested for acoustic performance in a UKAS accredited laboratory as full height screens, therefore ensuring that credible test data is achieved.

Optima 117Plus, both the standard and Shoreditch Edition, are able to accommodate a variety of glass thicknesses to suit the desired acoustic performance. AECOM specified 12.8mm acoustic laminated glass for the meeting room fronts and the results were impressive.

The delivery

We worked closely with main contractor Overbury throughout the project, and thanks to careful planning and meticulous attention to detail, the team delivered a high-quality project which surpassed expectations.

“The whole process was seamless throughout the entire Optima team. They did a fantastic job of managing the programme and delivered an exceptional project.” Alan Russell, Project Manager, Overbury Plc.

As part of the project’s SKA rating requirement, we provided ISO14001 certification and a SKA Sustainability Statement for Optima 117 Plus. The project therefore went on to achieve a SKA gold rating for its environmental performance and for enhancing the health and wellbeing of its employees.

Our glass partitioning systems helped to create a unique and innovative working environment for AECOM, which fosters collaboration and communication between staff and clients alike. Without a doubt, design aesthetics and acoustic performance were paramount and Optima 117 Plus didn’t fail to deliver.

The clean lines of the Optima 117 Plus system, along with the sleek black aluminium framework of the Shoreditch Edition glass screens have brought to life AECOM’s contemporary design. Furthermore, the carefully considered details of the Shoreditch Edition glass doors with their unique, integrated handles, offer a striking aesthetic feature, whilst delivering effective sound control.

The end result is a truly inspirational space which exudes quality and sophistication; one that we are proud to have been part of.

“Optima worked really well with AECOM on the Aldgate Tower fit out project.

We employed the Optima 117 plus successfully for all the main office meeting rooms. Acoustics turned out to be everything we desired. For the 16th floor Client meeting rooms we used Optima’s Shoreditch Edition doors with an integrated handle. Again, really excellent acoustic separation was achieved.”

Steve White, Principal Designer, AECOM

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