Creating an office that is both functional and inspiring isn’t easy. It requires great planning and attention to the needs of the company as well as its employees and clients. When designing an office space, especially one that is an open area in need of walls and partitions, one big decision is whether to stick to the traditional drywall or install modern glass walls that offer a wide array of benefits.
Glass Walls vs. Drywall Comparison
The choice can be much easier once you see the benefits of choosing glass walls instead of drywall.
1. Blends with the existing design
When drywall is installed in an office, there is immediate work that needs to be done to help it blend with the existing design. It must be painted, first to cover the “tape and mud” that joins the seams, and second, to match the interior of the office. It must be repainted periodically to continue to look clean and fresh, and if the office undergoes redecoration, it must be painted yet again.
Glass walls, however, whether simple and neutral or customized, are functional the second they are installed. They blend with the current aesthetic of the office to create instant ambiance and seamless integration. Once they are installed, there is no waiting for paint to dry to use the space, they are ready to go, and you can get back to business as usual.
Glass walls are extremely customizable and not just at the time of their installation. While some glass wall partition systems are fixed, a great number more are demountable, meaning that they can be removed and reconfigured when needed.
Many commercial office spaces are initially built as “shell spaces,” meaning that they are an open space that requires no interior load bearing walls. This gives the company an incredible amount of flexibility when it comes to using the interior space, but installing drywall immediately removes a lot of this flexibility.
Traditional drywall isn’t easily reconfigured. In fact, a remodel of a space that utilized drywall requires messy demolition and costly reinstallation of permanent walls. Glass, on the other hand, can be quickly demounted and reinstalled with little to no mess and no additional cost.
Installing a glass wall is an easy way to incorporate eco-friendly principles into any office. Demountable glass partitions reduce waste because they can be reused in a variety of configurations. To reconfigure traditional drywall, it must be demolished, disposed of (typically in a landfill), and walls rebuilt using new material.
The ability to reconfigure glass walls reduces waste. In the event that you would need to dispose of a glass wall, they are recyclable, so they will go on to serve another purpose rather than clogging up a landfill.
4. Employee well-being
When choosing between a glass walls or drywall, employee health and well-being should definitely be a factor. LEED also takes employee well-being into account when determining how LEED credits can be earned.
One way to earn LEED credits is to create a flow of natural light throughout the office and ensure views of nature for as many employees as possible. Establishing this environment is difficult when using traditional drywall because it blocks, rather than encourages, light flow. In an office walled off by drywall, only those lucky enough to be near a window can glimpse daylight throughout their workday, which are prime daylight hours.
Glass walls allow light from exterior windows to reach into the office, and even those on the interior of the building can glance up from their work to see the sky outside, increasing employee well-being and improving workplace morale.
5. Low maintenance
Anytime you’re choosing building materials, the amount of maintenance they require should definitely fall under consideration. In the battle between a glass wall vs. drywall, glass walls require much less maintenance than drywall.
Drywall is easily scuffed. It becomes dirty with fingerprints and smudges, and it can be easily broken with an accidental bump. Repairing and cleaning drywall can be costly and time-consuming, whereas glass is incredibly durable and easily cleaned, saving both time and money. Over time, glass walls will definitely accumulate smudges and fingerprints, but cleaning them is quick and easy. A bottle of window cleaner and a paper towel will clean it quickly. By contrast, cleaning drywall requires soap, water, and cleaning cloths, not to mention a lot more elbow grease and time.
The initial cost of installing glass walls is higher which tends to scare some companies away when calculating the cost of their office design. This initial cost, however, is well worth it when all of the benefits of glass walls are taken into consideration.
Once the original investment is made, there is the little cost required for the life of the walls. As the needs of the business evolve, costly remodels aren’t necessary because the glass walls can be removed or reconfigured. The upkeep required for drywall can include repairs to holes, cleaning of scuffs and smudges, and repainting periodically. None of these expenses occur with a glass wall.
Whether building out a shell space or designing an office remodel, choosing between glass walls or drywall can be a difficult decision, but one that is made much easier when the benefits of glass walls are taken into account. Lower costs over the life of the walls, less maintenance, the ability to recycle them once they’ve served their purpose, and their ability to blend in with any design make glass walls the clear choice for any modern office.
Contact Avanti Systems to begin designing your modern office today.