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5Th Week Lecture:

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5Th Week Lecture:

Post  abuhani on 28/3/2014, 12:20 am


One of the most fundamental construction elements in interior design and architecture is the
permanent vertical barrier. Although commonly called a wall or partition the designer should
think of this construction element as a vertical barrier during preliminary design. Thinking of
this element as a barrier focuses attention on the important qualities that the element must have
to meet both the aesthetic and functional requirements of the problem. Then, the designer
can apply the techniques and materials necessary to meet the requirements within the given
conditions of the problem.
In most cases, exterior walls, columns, and overall ceiling height are beyond the designer’s
control. However, vertical design elements, such as partitions, are one of the major elements
that interior designers can control and use to define space and modulate the appearance of
interiors. They are often an underutilized design element. Although exterior walls, window
placement, interior bearing walls, columns, and beams may suggest how the division of
interior space should be created, nonbearing vertical barriers can be placed anywhere as long
as they satisfy the program and meet regulatory requirements.
Vertical barriers may be used to divide one space into two or more smaller spaces, to
define space with one or more barriers, to block vision from one area to another, to stop the
transmission of sound, to provide a fire barrier, to provide support for a decorative surface, or
any combination of these functions.
This chapter discusses the use of barriers that are permanent in that they are firmly
attached to the substrates of the building and are intended to remain in position throughout
the life of the space. Refer to Chapter 6 for movable or temporary types of vertical barriers
that may be repositioned as the needs of the users change.


Like permanent vertical barriers, temporary barriers provide the interior designer with the
means to shape space and solve specific functional problems. Temporary barriers also help the
designer meet the challenges of accommodating the changing needs of clients and reducing
the time required for initial construction and relocation.
There are two basic categories of temporary barriers: those that are designed to replace
permanent, full-height partitions for complete enclosure of a space and those that do not
extend to the ceiling or are not intended to provide a complete separation between two spaces.
Barriers that do not offer complete separation may be panel systems or be part of a furniture
system. Both types of barriers can accommodate the rapid change typically encountered in
commercial interiors.
Movable partitions intended to replace standard gypsum wallboard partitions are most
frequently used for commercial office application and offer a number of advantages in this
 Ease of reconfiguration to meet changing office needs  In most cases, lower life-cycle costs if partition locations must be changed frequently  Clean installation without the wet work of joint compound application  In many cases, single-source responsibility by one trade for partitions, doors, glazing,
and electrical and data cabling  In some cases, tax advantages as movable equipment rather than a fixed asset  Shorter construction time with finishes already applied  In most cases, the product uses recycled materials and is easy to disassemble and recycle.  Readily accommodates out-of-level floors and ceiling tolerances
However, movable partitions cannot provide a fire-resistant rating, have limited security
capabilities, cannot conceal plumbing, cannot accept some types of finish materials, and some
are limited in the ability to provide support for cabinets and other architectural woodwork.
This chapter discusses the use of temporary barriers that can be easily moved, relocated,
reconfigured, or dismantled and removed without affecting the surrounding construction. It
does not include operable walls, which are fixed construction elements used to divide larger
spaces into smaller spaces such as hotel ballrooms, classrooms, and meeting rooms along a
fixed track support. This chapter also does not include furniture systems that may also include
movable panels as part of the system, although some movable panel products described in this
chapter do include provisions for hanging work surfaces and storage units or may be designed
to work with a particular manufacturer’s other products.

The overhead limit, or ceiling plane, in any interior space represents one of the most significant
elements of interior design. Not only does the ceiling occupy a large proportion of the total
visible surface area, but it must also perform a wide variety of functions, such as providing
sound control and supporting or containing lighting, HVAC equipment, sprinklers, smoke
detectors, and other equipment. For example, consider a room with dimensions of 20 ft by
30 ft with a 9-ft ceiling height (6.1 m by 9.1 m by 2.7 m). Of the total 2,100 ft2 (195 m2) of
surface area on the floor, walls, and ceilings, the ceiling represents 600 ft2 (55.7 m2), or nearly
30% of the area and, unlike the walls and floor, the ceiling is entirely visible. Thinking of this
construction element as an overhead limit helps the designer understand what is important in
terms of both function and aesthetics.
Like vertical barriers, the ceiling plane is one of the major space-defining elements that
interior designers can control. To the extent possible, given the fixed structure of the building
and mechanical services, the ceiling plane can be created by the interior designer to define
and give character to a space as well as provide all the functional requirements. Ceilings can
be used to simply cover the structure and mechanical services of a building, to give scale to a
space, to create a variety of spaces, and to help establish the design concept.

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