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Choosing between a permanent and operable wall

Posted by Mark
February 19, 2014 in Features

When dividing up a large space, there is often a decision to be made regarding the benefits of using an operable versus a permanent wall. If being able to use the space in its entirety at times would be desirable then it could make sense to opt for an operable wall. If this situation is highly unlikely to arise, a permanent wall could be the answer. It is important to consider the future use of a space when planning how best to divide it. If that use could change, or if there may be a need to relocate at some stage, an operable wall would provide more flexibility and might make a property more attractive to future buyers.

Operable walls make spaces more flexible

Having operable walls, which can be put in place or removed at will, allows one space to be used in a number of widely differing ways. Businesses may use an operable wall if they sometimes require a large space for conferences but prefer the convenience of two smaller rooms at other times. A hotel might use an operable wall to create a large space for banquets, and a school or college could find that a large room used for performances or exercise classes might be required on occasion, but that for the rest of the time, an operable wall creates two more usable spaces.

As is the case with permanent walls, operable walls can be constructed in a number of ways providing different degrees of protection against noise and fire. A permanent wall will provide greater thermal insulation, but operable walls can also help to keep spaces warm when in place. The latter are typically controlled either manually or electrically and, similar to permanent walls, they can have glazed as well as solid areas. They may move by sliding or folding, or consist of separate panels that rotate vertically. Although most operable walls fold or slide horizontally, there are also vertically moving options that are stored in the ceiling space.

Operable walls can bring nature indoors

Where an indoor space meets a beautiful outdoor space, it can be beneficial to have glass walls installed to make the most of the view and the natural light. An operable wall allows this process to go one step further, as it moves aside to allow the outdoor and indoor spaces to become one. As well as being used for interiors that open on to garden areas, these kinds of operable walls can also be used alongside balconies.

Finally, when considering whether to choose an operable or a permanent wall to divide up a space, it is important to obtain professional advice regarding the type of construction that will be possible. If the space in question is to be used in exactly the same way for the foreseeable future then a permanent wall makes sense. If, however, flexibility is paramount then the wide range of operable walls available should ensure that there is at least one suitable option.

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