Demountable walls, also known as movable walls are architectural products used to construct enclosed environments. They can be detached from their ceiling and floor tracks and moved to another location. They eliminate the mess and disruption of traditional construction while remaining reusable and reconfigurable for future changes to your work environment.

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Types of demountable walls

There are two main types of demountable walls, unitized and modular, which differ in how they are constructed and the benefits they offer.

Unitized wall systems (like Privacy Wall by Steelcase) arrive on site as pre-fab units/panels that just need basic assembly. The advantage of these systems is that they can be installed, detached and reconfigured very quickly.

Modular systems (like V.I.A. by Steelcase and Horizon by Maars) come in more pieces and need more labor onsite to be assembled. The advantage of these systems is that they are typically parametric, meaning you are not limited to standard sizes set by manufacturers. You are able to specify to the 1/32”, making them extremely tailored to your environment. You also have more options for combining different materials on a surface, such as steel skins, whiteboards, and integrated technology or LED lighting.

Focus room built with demountable walls and film on the glass for privacy

Why use demountable walls?

You would choose demountable walls for a few reasons.

1. You need privacy

Demountable walls create enclosed environments that give people something they desperately crave – privacy. Private spaces can be used for single individuals looking to escape a noisy open plan environment to focus on a project, or for larger groups to meet and collaborate without disturbing others. Private spaces can also be used to offer respite for employee wellness. Demountable walls offer some of the best acoustics available to keep conversations private. When you add film to the glass, or use solid panels, you can create visual barrier that keep workers focused.

2. You want to integrate technology

Who doesn’t use technology at work? That technology needs to be thoughtfully integrated within the environment to create a seamless end-user experience, and demountable walls support that vision. As technology continues to evolve and updates are needed, switching out the hardware and updating software is easy.

3. You need flexibility

Every business continues to change over time. While you may need six huddle rooms today, in the future you may want to combine two rooms to make a larger team studio, or even divide some spaces to create smaller phone booths. When you construct with demountable walls, you ensure that future reconfigurations will be painless (and dust free). The more you invest up front in flexibility, the higher the return you will see long-term as your space evolves.

4. You want to create zones within your workplace

We moved to the open office years ago and created some problems for ourselves, including a lack of variety in spaces. In order for employees to do their best work, they need to be able to choose the right space for the type of work they are doing at the moment. When people have choice and control over how and where they work, they report higher satisfaction, wellbeing and engagement at work. In order to provide them with choice and control, you need to create an “ecosystem of zones”, and the best way to do this is with demountable walls. Open collaborative zones, enclosed private quiet zones, and social areas all work together to create an optimal work environment. As we mentioned earlier, things constantly change, and what works today might not work in a few years. The more flexibility you put into your environment, the better you will be able to adapt, and the happier your employees will be.

5. You care about sustainability

Whether you are interested in achieving LEED certification, or just care about your environmental footprint, demountable walls are the way to go. First, they are made up of recycled, low-emitting materials, which eliminates harmful things like PVCs, VOCs, and off-gassing. Demountable walls are 100% reusable, and when they reach the end of their long and useful lives, they can be recycled, avoiding the landfill. Lastly, installing or reconfiguring demountable walls is minimally disruptive to your employees, with no dust, dirt, or mess – often times with no trace of their prior layout and location!

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