Rising demand for architects to create flexible space in new and refurbished buildings has led to a marked increase in the number of RIBA CPDs delivered by Style.
According to group managing director, Julian Sargent, interest in Style’s two CPD seminars has never been so high, reflecting the soaring demand for moveable partitioning walls in companies, hotels, schools, local authorities, hospitals, conferencing centres, churches and anywhere else where multifunctional space can enhance a building’s design and use.
“We offer two RIBA CPD seminars,” said Julian. “These are on the topics of multi-functional space, and fully automated vertically rising acoustic partition systems.
“Multi functional space focuses on the extensive range of options architects have to sub-divide space and create flexibility within buildings. It covers all aspects of space division including design, structure, acoustic performance, finishes, health & safety and maintenance.
“The CPD on fully automated vertically rising acoustic partition systems is focused on Skyfold, the only fully automatic, vertically rising acoustic moveable wall in the UK market, housed in the ceiling cavity.”
Feedback from architects who attend the CPDs is always very strong. Julian puts this down to Style’s extensive expertise and product knowledge as exclusive UK agents of DORMA moveable walls, SWG and Skyfold, which offer some of the most innovative, flexible and stylish solutions in the market.
“The moveable walls sector is moving quickly in terms of the demand for new and more innovative solutions, and expectations are also rising in terms of the variety of finishes and acoustic standards demanded by architects and their clients,” he said.
“Our CPD seminars are delivered at the offices of architects, and in most instances we make the presentation over a buffet lunch. We’re always happy to spend as much time as is needed to take questions, and respond to any particular challenges or opportunities that architects are working on that currently require the creation of flexible space.”
Style is five times winners of the prestigious AIS Contractors Gold award, and IMS accredited to a UKAS standard for ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems, ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System and BS OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health & Safety Management System.
For more information, or to book a RIBA Approved CPD seminar from Style, please complete the form in the Specifiers section of the web site or contact your nearest regional Style office.
Style’s installation of Skyfold at Hotel La Tour in Birmingham has been showcased in a new video, which can be viewed in the Product Videos section of the web site.
As a vertically rising acoustic partition, housed in the ceiling cavity, Skyfold offers the hotel maximum floor space, and the ability to sub-divide and open up the room with ease.
Privacy is vital with concurrent meetings taking place in adjacent rooms, and with its Rw 51dB rating Skyfold more than meets Hotel La Tour’s acoustic requirements. As a fully automatic wall activated by a simple pushbutton it is effortless and smooth to operate as well as being flat, rigid and lightweight.
“Skyfold has to be seen to be believed,” said Mike Fine, Style’s director for the Midlands. “When you first walk into a room, you wouldn’t even realise a moveable wall was installed because it sits so discreetly in the ceiling.
“But, as the video shows, it glides silently into position and offers the perfect partitioning wall solution. In fact this is the first of its kind to be installed in a UK hotel and, with a fabric backed vinyl wallpaper finish, it not only looks stunning but it also enables Hotel la Tour to maximise revenue by being able to book two meetings at the same time, or open up the space for larger gatherings and conferences.”
In May this year, Style unveiled its 100th installation of Skyfold at the Telefonica Digital offices in central London. Since its arrival in the UK, Style has been Skyfold’s exclusive UK partner with demand now at an all time high.
“This is an acoustic moveable partitioning wall system that suits a wide range of market sectors,” said Mike, “As well as the hotel and corporate sectors we’ve also installed Skyfold at local authority offices, schools, universities and colleges. Its a truly outstanding product, and the video is a great way for architects, specifiers and contractors to appreciate the benefits for themselves.”
For more information about Skyfold, please contact your nearest Style regional office.
Judging a moveable partitioning wall’s acoustic performance by its lab tested Rw rating can be misleading, and could result in dissatisfaction once installed.
That’s the warning from Mike Fine, Style Partitions’ director for the Midlands, who says that an operable wall’s effectiveness at creating a sound barrier when closed can only be achieved by assessing the room it is intended for.
“The harsh reality is that a final installation will rarely replicate the conditions of a lab test, because in a controlled environment there is one test product and no flanking,” explains Mike.
“Architects, specifiers, contractors and end-user clients should therefore treat the Rw lab test as not only an essential requirement but also an indication of potential performance, and a way of evaluating one product over another, but should always assess the room to determine a likely R’w rating; R‘w apostrophe’ being the in situ rating.”
According to Mike, getting the best out of a moveable partitioning wall is as much to do with professionalism as it is to do with the product.
“For any project we are specified on, we will offer objective, qualified and transparent advice regarding the potential acoustic performance,” continued Mike. “This is done by surveying the room to assess where flanking may occur and its severity. Flanking is difficult to quantify prior to completion and determination of flanking requires a series of in-situ sound tests. However our experts can offer extremely valuable guidance pre-installation.
“We will also consider the overall quality and robustness of surrounding walls, ceiling and floors, including their construction, materials and age so that we can offer clear advice as to the final quality of the acoustics. Consideration will also be given to the addition of any absorptive treatment to improve acoustics within the room.”
A great recent example of acoustic effectiveness is at Style’s 100th installation of Skyfold at Telefonica Digital head offices in central London.
Skyfold not only delivers the wow-factor aesthetically and operationally, its acoustic qualities are exceptional too – up to Rw56dB. At an event to celebrate this 100th installation, Style showed a room full of architects and contractors how they could enjoy almost complete privacy, even when a relatively noisy activity is taking place directly on the other side.
“This impressive level of acoustic performance is not only achieved thanks to product quality. It’s also about Style’s careful attention to detail at the planning and installation phases,” said Mike. “At Telefonica, we ensured that services running through the ceiling cavity didn’t interfere with the acoustic barrier, and delivered an outstanding solution as a result.”
For more information, or acoustics advice, please contact your nearest Style regional office.
Chris Winwood, a name that will be known by many from the moveable walls sector, has joined the Style South team to work in the South West area.
Chris brings a wealth of experience having worked on both the manufacturer and supplier sides of the partitioning walls industry; for many years working at Dorma, who Style are exclusive UK agents for.
“We’re delighted to have Chris on board,” said Julian Sargent, Style’s group managing director. “He’s someone we’ve known for many years, and has a great track record of working with architects, specifiers and contractors to provide support with specifications.
“Style has always prided itself on the very high quality of its products, processes and people and Chris is a great addition to our very high calibre national team.”
Chris Winwood added, “Style has always been a company I’ve had a great deal of admiration for. Their reputation in the moveable partitioning walls sector is second to none and they’ve got the perfect portfolio of manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic, acoustic moveable and folding partitioning walls to suit all requirements and budgets – from showcase company boardrooms to small village halls.”
For more information regarding Style’s product range, please contact your nearest Style regional office.
Architects, specifiers, contractors and end-user clients are being encouraged to involve Style as early as possible in the design of flexible room arrangements, in order to enjoy the best possible solution.
According to Style’s group managing director, Julian Sargent, some of the most innovative moveable wall solutions that Style has installed have been ones where its in-house design team has been involved early.
“If we take, for example, the curved wall that we installed for the London HQ for CMC Markets,” said Julian. “Here we worked with architects Pringle Brandon to create an elliptical client seminar room. This required the panels to be sent to Denmark, home to the only facility in Europe with the technology to form the desired curvature. Each panel had to be immersed in heated sand where it was then machine-bent over a 24hr period.
“Another great example is at Henderson Global, where we were specified by Pringle Brandon. At their 125,000 sq ft HQ in Bishopsgate, we were tasked with delivering a fully automatic partitioning system using Priva-Lite privacy glass to create five separate meeting areas. The Skyfold vertical-folding partition, for which Style is the sole UK distributor, was the only solution with the adaptability to incorporate Priva-Lite, although all sixty-four glass panels had to be shipped in from the US in 3m lengths as they were not available in the right specification in the UK.
“And in Scotland, our team devised the first horizontally moving, fully automatic partitioning system for St. Joseph’s Primary School in Dundee. With each panel weighing 450kg and a ceiling height of 5000mm, Duncan Myers, a senior architect for Dundee city council, had concerns about school staff manually handling the panels which is why we devised a fully automatic process simply involving the push of a button.”
On the case studies page of Style’s web site, there are numerous examples of breathtaking projects which involve some very clever thinking. At Lockton, the world’s largest privately owned, independent insurance brokerage firm, Style had to deliver a high performance, acoustic moveable partition.
To achieve the client’s required high level of acoustic integrity, Style was involved at the construction stage, attaching the head-track directly to the building structure to successfully minimise flanking through the ceiling cavity.
At every step of installation, consideration had to be given as to how the facility may be used and the consequent impact on the direction and level of noise through, over and around the partition. A semi-automatic sliding partitioning system was recommended, ensuring the seals between the panels are tightened to optimum levels to provide a good acoustic barrier, whilst a telescopic end panel was installed to create a flush finish. The plasterboard encasement within the ceiling void was sealed with specialist acoustic mastic to cut flanking at ceiling level, and finally Rekton sound absorbing boards were applied to one side of the partition wall to improve the internal room acoustics.
“We have a team of incredibly talented designers with a wealth of experience, across all of our five regional offices,” said Julian. “If you have a particular challenge creating flexible space, meeting acoustic standards or you are facing a difficult room design, please talk to us and we’ll help find the best solution.”
For more information, please contact your nearest Style office.
Style was recently a proud sponsor of the Ryder Architecture charity bike ride, which formed part of a number of events to celebrate the firm’s 60th anniversary. The fundraising activities are continuing throughout the year to give something back to the communities Ryder works in. The ride involved the team that Style worked with for the Manchester Central Library project where Style was specified to install the moveable partitioning walls.
“We were delighted to be invited as a sponsor of this event,” said Andy Gibson, Style’s director for the North. “The team sported the Style Partitions logo alongside their other sponsors on their cycling tops for the challenging 840 mile ride and it was very rewarding to have an involvement in this event, albeit a less strenuous one than experienced by those on the bikes.”
Paul Bell, Ryder partner and cycle team leader said, “It was a big challenge but the team trained well and enjoyed a fantastic 10 days of cycling.
“It’s been great to be able to do something to support the communities in which we work right across the UK. Staff really rose to the challenge and managed to raise over £23,000 for our eight chosen charities, Bright Red, Bryson’s Animal Refuge, CRASH, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Percy Hedley Foundation, The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Zoe’s Place”