Friday 28th May, 2021
As life slowly returns to normal, at Tufwell Glass we’re reflecting on how Covid-19 will continue to shape the built environment in a post-pandemic world and how glass products can help facilitate the new health and social norms in commercial spaces.
There are few aspects of life that will return unaltered by the global pandemic and the construction industry is no exception. Covid-19 will continue to affect how commercial space is designed and utilized for some time to come and that’s where our glass products can help.
Despite a relaxing of social distancing rules, it is likely that employees returning to the office may wish to keep some distance between themselves and their co-workers. As employers have a statutory requirement to provide a reasonably suitable working environment, it may be that an office layout redesign is required. Glass partitions offer a quick and cost-effective way to transform an office. Glass partitions can be installed between workstations to provide a physical barrier between staff, yet one that allows for lines of sight so that workers do not feel siloed. When privacy is required, liquid crystal glass partitions can alternate between transparency and translucency at the flick of a switch
Glazed partitioning can bring into use previously neglected areas of office space to create more room without the need for structural modification. Free-standing glass partitions can be moved according to task and requirement. In fact, most glazed partitioning systems can be moved and reinstalled to accommodate changing business needs.
It has been widely reported that the pandemic and the changes to life it precipitated have had a negative impact on people’s mental health. Employers may therefore wish to pay particular attention to wellbeing as their workforce returns to the office. Studies have proven that daylight is crucial to the health and productivity of working people and glass products are effective transmitters of natural light. Glass doors, for example, allow optimal amounts of natural light to pass through as space, with tinted glass doors reducing the heat and glare of summer sunlight and helping to maintain an ambient working temperature.
Glass doors, and of course glass windows, can also increase connection to nature and the outdoor environment from the inside – nature has been proven to boost self-esteem, improve concentration and enhance psychological restoration.
The pandemic has revealed the fragility of our world and this will only serve to accelerate the green building trend. Smart glass doors, windows and partitions can enable commercial spaces to become more energy efficient. Smart glass windows can consistently and significantly reduce energy consumption, lowering cooling costs by managing glare in summer and heating costs by increasing natural light in winter. The use of smart glass on exterior windows and glass doors allows for privacy without the need for curtains or blinds. Smart glass partitions can help to insulate a space, therefore offering savings on energy costs.