Client: Trowbridge Town Council
Room division is not an uncommon requirement, but it is not always straightforward as there are many things to consider. However, the customer found the existing meeting room was far to large, and never got used to its’ full potential, and needed another office. So splitting off the end of the larger room made sense.
There were several challenges that needed to be dealt with. The first was that the room to be divided had underfloor heating with a filament set under the carpet and floor. Underfloor heating is fine for residential uses but usually in offices spaces are dynamic, and walls need to be moved and relocated as the business changes. We usually use demountable partitions for this, the partitions can be re-used if the sizes and positions need to be changed. Most offices have demountable partitions.
The reason why this is a problem is that the screws used to fit the bottom support track into the floor must not puncture the underfloor heating elements. In this case we used shorter screws than usual and bonded the bottom track to the floor with high tensile strength adhesive. The wall itself is also fixed to the ceiling or roof.
Trowbridge Town Council wanted the access to the new room to come off the main corridor, so the main corridor wall would need electrics moving and a hole cut into it for the new frame and door to fit.
Other issues were that the customer had an existing door and doorframe to match but they could not tell what the thickness of the wall was 100%, so we had to take a bit of a gamble and assume the lining would fit.
Preparation work before work starts
All projects require these elements, but Trowbridge Town Council wanted to see them and checked them through before starting work which was fine of course. It was just nice to see a customer actually ask for them.
Initial site photographs
The photos below say it all really. The existing room was very long and large, so lent itself to be split off at the end. The ceiling was pretty high, so scaffolding and wide wall studs are required.
Getting all the materials to the area was actually quite a challenge as it all had to be brought through narrow corridors from the back of the building. No access via the front. The wall had to be fire rated as well, hence the pink fire line board. Sound performance needed to be good as well, so the wall had to have insulation inside the wall cavity. The wall also went right through the suspended ceiling into the roof, and then the suspended ceilings had to be reconfigured to drop inside. This prevents sound transference in the ceiling void above the suspended ceiling. We also provided 200mm insulation to go over the back of the suspended ceiling as well to further improve the sound performance of the new wall.
We do not have too many of these, as soon as we finish we clean up and are off site and leave the customer to do what they want with the space. They planned it with us so that the rooms were not booked out, we finished when we said we would but it was still a few weeks before furniture was fitted and of course we were gone by then.