Making sure your glass partitioning project runs on time and on budget is of vital importance. Getting your sizes wrong could be a very costly error and delay your project. Further, once your glass has been manufactured it cannot be changed. Glass cannot be shaved or trimmed down on site as with other materials such as timber, stone or steel. Also, in partitioning, there is very little margin for error as gaps and pockets inside the glazing channel usually allows for 3mm to 6mm play (this will depend on the system, joints and glazing method being used).
Thus, it is important you use an experienced partitioning company, who has excellent knowledge in various partitioning systems and who understand the partitioning project specifications.
Prism Glass have completed countless partitioning glass projects in many prestigious locations in and outside of London. One such projects was the recently completed WeWork Tower Bridge Office Partitioning Project where more than 1,000 linear metres of glass and glazing track was measured and installed successfully with in 10 weeks!
At Prism Glass, we perform the surveying and glass measuring process in 2 parts:
Measuring openings and site survey
Measuring glass for production and install
Measuring the openings will help generate an estimate if needed. It will also help establish how much glazing track material is needed to ensure all track work is fitted. Once this is done the glass can be measured, ordered and installed. A site survey will help establish the installation method and, pick up any potential hazards and snags.
For this article, we will look at the first stage of this process: Measuring openings and site surveys.
Image 1: Hand drawing with opening sizes for SmartGlass partitioning install
Image 2: Installation completed (SmartGlass measure and installed by Prism Glass)
To order the glazing track materials (also referred to as U-Channel), work out costs and time needed to complete the job, all existing openings to be glazed will need to be measured. This is the first step in any glass partitioning project. All surfaces should be finished in readiness to install the glazing track including ceilings, walls and flooring.
Here are just some of the steps and considerations we make when measuring openings:
Measurements of the hight and width of the openings should be taken to the millimetre and, depending on the size of the opening, measurements are taken from serval different points for both heights and widths. On smaller openings we usually do this from at least 3 points - one each end and one in the centre of the opening. This will help establish if there are any variances in the openings to be glazed.
Surface levels must be checked including floors, walls and ceiling. This can be done either using a spirit level or professional laser level to check horizontal levels and vertical levels. This step is especially important for glass door installation.
Surface areas should be checked to ensure nothing will be covered by the track and the track can be installed flush to the surface. Things to note include:
Lighting and electrics: ceiling lights, plug points, switches, cables and cable ducting may need to be moved due to the partitioning. This should be done by a qualified professional prior to installing the glazing track.
Pipes - water pipes may need to be moved by a qualified plumber, or cut outs will need to be made where not possible.
Skirting - if skirting is used, the wall glazing track (called wall abutments) will need to be cut or the skirting can be cut, so the track can be installed flush to the wall.
Air ventilation - any ducts and openings which lie directly under the glazing area will need to be moved before glazing (it is important to ensure all rooms have required air flow and ventilation).
A hand drawing of the area or areas to be glazed is created on site. This drawing will include measurements, door positions, level differences and any special notes such as skirting cut outs and pipe work. Cut out measurements for skirting, piping, etc should be included in the drawings and notes.
Site surveys are often neglected, but are an essential part of the process. A full site survey helps avoid any unexpected surprises on the day of installation. It also helps cover any risks, identify hazards, site requirements and install methods.
These are just some of the checks made during a site survey:
Check access routes, this includes checking the delivery bay, delivery requirements and walking the route in which all materials including glass will be carried from the delivery bay to site. If the materials are to go in a lift to the site floor, the lift should be measure to ensure channel lengths and glass will fit. If the materials are to go via a staircase, this should be checked and measured to ensure the glass panels and track lengths can fit, and that the stair landings are wide enough when turning to take the full length of the materials. Trip hazards, low overhanging hazards, public areas, etc that are part of the access route are noted and precautions taken for the day of the delivery and install.
Perform a full review of the agreed storage and work areas.
Check that there are no cables, under floor heating or pipes running underneath the surface of the glazing area (including wall, floor and ceiling). If the information is not available on site a qualified professional, such as an electrician (or plumber in the case of pipe work) will be needed to make these checks. Drilling will be needed to fix glazing track or U-Channel to the walls, floor and ceiling. This is especially important if floor springs are to be used for the doors, as this will require a large hole to be made in the floor - it may mean positioning the door elsewhere to avoid additional work to move pipes or cables.
Additional notes should include particular site rules and requirements, such as specific PPE requirements, noise restrictions, delivery times, etc. Also any other potential hazards should be noted as part of the survey.
For Part 1 of this guide, we have established the importance of accuracy when measuring and going through all checks on site, including performing a full site survey and review. Once this is done glazing track materials can be ordered and installed. Following the glazing track installation, the glass is ready to be measured for production.
Note: It is impossible to cover all aspects of measuring and site surveys in these articles and these articles should be viewed as a guide only. These are just some on the steps we usually take. Each project should be treated separately, as no project is the same.
It is important you use experienced partitioning fitters to both measure and install your glass partitioning project - this will reduce unnecessary delays, wastage and costly errors.
If you need any help with your glass project, please contact us. For next month and Part 2: Quick Guide to Measuring Glass Partitioning, we will be looking at measuring glass for production