Adding Glass Walls To Interior Office Build Outs

Adding Glass Walls To Interior Office Build Outs

Adding glass walls or office divides is becoming increasingly popular for office build out projects. Glass walls provide added benefits, especially when the right type of glass is used. Allow us to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about adding glass walls to office interiors.

Common Questions About Adding Glass Walls To An Office Build Out

1. What benefits do glass walls provide?

Glass walls evoke a wide-open, collaborative and modern feel to your office.

Glass walls help encourage employee productivity because unlike traditional walls, everyone can see directly through glass walls encasing offices.

If your office doesn’t have that many windows, glass walls let more parts of the building share in the natural light provided by offices with windows. This gives interior office spaces natural lighting when they would otherwise only be illuminated by artificial light.

2. How do you encourage privacy with glass walls?

There are a number of ways to maintain some level of privacy while still implementing glass walls. Pull down shades, for instance, can always be added to glass walls. Many businesses add frost coatings to parts of the glass in order to decrease distraction and encourage more privacy.

3. Are all glass walls created equally?

No, certainly not. It’s important to shop around and select high quality glass that’ll look good and stand strong for years to come.

4. Are glass walls soundproof?

Some glass walls are advertised as soundproof, while others are not. Even soundproof glass walls allow 50% to 100% more noise infiltration than traditional soundproof drywall. According to employees, this is one of the most surprising aspects about adding glass walls to the office. Interestingly, around 1 in 3 employers add a white-noise device in order to decrease the noticeable noise that seeps in through glass walls.

5. Can you put doors on glass walls?

Yes. The doors installed on glass walls are usually sliders with hanger locks, which require a little more caution when opening and closing compared to a standard office door. It is possible to add metal frame swinging doors on glass walls as well.

6. Are some glass walls moveable?

Yes, there are portable glass walls and dividers on the market. Your general contractor, architect and/or designer can help identify the best options for your workspace.

7. Do glass walls interfere with energy efficiency?

Yes and no, depending on the design and type of glass you use. Traditional glass walls can decrease energy efficiency by letting in more hot or cool air. As a result, your office consumes more energy to remain at a comfortable temperature. This will be a much bigger deal if you add glass all around the exterior of your building. On the other hand, adding glass walls to the interior of your building should create little to no issues regarding energy efficiency. Also, if you use more technologically advanced glass you may notice an increase in energy efficiency. Some of the newest glass on the market is made to reduce the need for blinds and improve energy efficiency. 

8. Is it easy to keep glass walls clean?

Glass wall manufacturers are going to tell you it’s a piece of pie to keep glass clean. But let’s be real, you and I both know glass is one of the more difficult materials to keep clean. Everything from fingerprints to smudges will require regular cleaning. If you have a great commercial cleaning service, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Plus, glass doesn’t stain or require fresh coats of paint!

9. What are the downsides to adding glass walls to your office?

In 2008, MetLife moved 1,100 employees to new glass offices in Manhattan. As a result, employees reported increased distractions from strangers and people they knew passing by their offices. To help combat this issue, MetLife added a 2-foot frost coating band around the glass.

Another complaint is people walking directly into glass walls. Before you start laughing, when glass walls are super clean they can be hard to see, especially if one is not expecting anything to be there. That’s another reason many companies add eye-level frost coating so that people recognize the glass wall before they go crashing into it.

Another downside is the lack of privacy. If a manager has to talk to a certain employee about the loss of a particular client or declining sales, it can be a bit awkward if the entire office can see and even hear some of what’s going on behind closed doors. Adding some truly private workspaces can help offset this issue. 

Moderation is key; an entire office made of see-through glass is going to be difficult for anyone to work in all of the time. On the other hand, adding some glass to your office can provide a modern feel with added benefits.