Conventional walls are boring, blank and static. They’re unable to support technology or provide workers with the open and enclosed spaces they need to collaborate, focus, rejuvenate and find privacy.
Modular walls, on the other hand, are an attractive, cost-effective option that provide you with the flexibility you need to reconfigure your office and adapt to your changing needs, without having to deal with messy, noisy drywall installation or a lengthy construction schedule.
Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we strive to help our clients create a dynamic work environment that integrates interior architecture, furniture and technology, so employees have a broad ecosystem of spaces to focus on specific types of work.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about modular walls. From the best modular solutions on the market to the benefits, we’ll help you decide if you should use modular walls in your workspace.
What is a Modular Wall?
A modular wall may look and function like traditional drywall, but they’re not the same. Modular walls are manufactured in a factory and shipped to you as components, so they can be assembled by a team of installers.
Modular walls are easy to move, completely reconfigurable and can be wired for power and data. They create privacy that feels open, to help people feel connected to their colleagues, enjoy natural light and stay productive.
Steelcase offers a complete portfolio of glass modular solutions with different styles and benefits. Each integrates with one another, as well as traditional architecture, to provide companies with the custom solutions they need for a resilient workplace that engages employees.
Lite Scale Glazing combines butt-glazed glass with slim, low-profile trim to achieve a sleek, sophisticated look. You can use it to create meeting rooms, enclaves and private offices, or even add gorgeous glass fronts to infuse elegance into your workspace.
Glass Selections uses anodized aluminum frames to create a beautiful, adaptable workspace with a slim profile. Apart from providing simplicity and flexibility, this solution is made for easy planning, installation and reconfiguration.
Privacy Wall combines high performance, sustainability and the flexibility to build new spaces and adapt to future needs. Made of four basic components, it allows for easy reconfiguration and provides better cost savings than other modular solutions.
V.I.A., or Vertical Intelligence Architecture, provides true acoustical privacy and integrates technology with human interaction. It has the speed and design flexibility of a moveable wall, so you can achieve a range of applications without creating a construction zone.
The Benefits of Using Modular Walls in Your Workspace
Benefit #1: Lifetime Savings
When you’re designing or reconfiguring your office, conventional drywall partitions may seem like a good idea, but they can quickly cost you time and money. While modular walls may cost more upfront, their lifespan and eco-friendly benefits can actually help you save money.
Modular walls reduce the cost of moving and adjusting walls without relying on drywall installation. They use products designed to be reconfigured with maximum efficiency, so you won’t have to worry about buying materials over and over again.
Since there’s no need for traditional construction, modular walls can shorten the length of your construction schedule, reduce labor costs, eliminate scheduling delays and ensure your employees return to their space sooner than later.
When classified as furniture or equipment, modular walls also provide competitive tax benefits. As a modular solution, they depreciate faster than drywall and do so within the first year, helping you save money not only during installation, but over the life of your building.
Privacy Wall, for example, is Steelcase’s most affordable and reconfigurable modular solution. Delivered as one unitized panel, it reduces installation time, lowers the cost of making changes and compresses construction schedules.
Benefit #2: Flexibility
As your business needs evolve, you need a fluid workspace that’s easy to reconfigure. Whether you want to separate a large meeting room into multiple smaller rooms or give employees private offices of their own, modular walls let you use your space efficiently.
With modular walls, you can easily change or reconfigure your office layout in a matter of hours. A team of licensed installers can quickly dissemble, move and reassemble your walls, as compared to a contractor who will take weeks or even months to knock down and rebuild drywall partitions.
Plus, most modular walls are fully recyclable. In some cases, you may need to order additional parts or pieces to accommodate your new layout, but simple configurations can usually be done with all your existing components.
For example, Lite Scale Glazing integrates with the Privacy Wall, Glass Selections and V.I.A. modular solutions, as well as traditional construction, and all Privacy Wall and Glass Selections cross walls and swing doors.
Benefit #3: Design
Regardless of the industry you work in, corporate image is everything. If you’re hoping to attract and retain new talent or impress potential clients, you need an office layout that’s uniquely designed, aesthetically pleasing and reinforces your brand.
Unlike conventional drywall, modular walls offer an unmatched visual aesthetic and a plethora of design options, including a wide array of fabrics, paints, veneers and custom finishes, as well as multiple glass and hardware options.
With modular walls, the design possibilities are neverending. You can choose clear or custom glass fronts to let the natural light flow in, or you can custom match paints, fabrics and painted steel to support your corporate image.
As an example, Glass Selections offers a variety of customization options, including standard, etched and pattern glass options, to for a sophisticated aesthetic. You can also use Glass Selections to create glass fronts that are custom to your work culture and brand.
Benefit #4: Privacy
In an open office, people need enclosed spaces to concentrate and collaborate – and in the post-COVID workplace, the need for privacy is greater than ever before. Individuals should have easy access to places where they can focus and find solitude without compromising their safety.
Organizations can use modular walls to divide and maximize their workspace and give employees the privacy they need to work. Glass walls, or even solid walls with windows, create a physical barrier between people and provide the appropriate level of visual privacy.
To promote transparency in the workplace, some companies may want to consider cloaking film if they have glass walls. Casper Cloaking Technology by Designtex, for example, can be added to glass walls to obscure digital screens to outside viewers.
From telephones ringing to coworkers talking next door, audio privacy is also important. Modular walls use solutions like PVC-free sound seals and double acoustic seals to limit noisy, unwanted disruptions on the outside, and keep private conversations inside.
For instance, V.I.A. has PVC-free sound seals at all touch points, as well as double acoustic seals at every building interface. It also comes with sound seals on all skins and frame components and drop seals that are available on all swing and slider doors.
Should You Consider Modular Walls for Your Workspace?
Now more than ever, companies should be thinking about how they can use modular walls to not only keep their employees safe in a post-COVID workplace, but also provide them with a broad ecosystem of spaces so they can choose how and where they work.
Before you choose an office furniture provider, you need to consider whether you’re going to opt for traditional drywall or a modular solution. If you have a fixed office floor plan that isn’t reconfigurable, conventional drywall may be the best option.
If you choose modular walls, you can work with your office furniture provider to create a resilient workplace that gives employees access to choice and control, place and privacy, so they’re highly engaged and highly satisfied at work.
Ready to Take the Next Steps?
Want to learn more about modular wall solutions? As industry experts with years of experience, your partners at Egyptian are here to help.