Published November 9, 2021
Welcome to FlightHub
Featuring: Bendheim’s Double-Glazed Channel Glass Partition Walls
Photo credit: by Maxime Brouillet
Bendheim provides acoustic, visual + physical privacy for post-COVID work environments.
The renovated FlightHub office occupies the entire sixth floor of the building at 3333 Blvd. Cote-Vertu Ouest (approx. 12,800 sq. ft.). The floor plan is an unusual octagonal shape, presenting a unique design challenge. After much discussion with the company and their employees, ACDF synthesized the company’s main needs into 3 themes – Technology, Travel, and Tribes – which drove the design concept.
According to the architects, the choice of channel glass was derived from these design objectives and constraints. The most efficient office layout called for a centralized shared-space module, radiating from the elevator core. It contains a reception area, the main kitchen, conference room, and a lounge. All private work spaces are physically separated from this central core through the double-glazed channel glass partition wall. The daylight-friendly, privacy-friendly glass wall simultaneously divides the space and maintains a sense of openness and connectivity.
“In creating zones that are insulated from one another, ACDF was faced with the challenge of extending the concept of ‘flow’ to the supply of natural light,” said Joan Renaud, ACDF Architecture’s Partner. Channel glass was the sought-after solution, providing “an acoustic and visual buffer between the lively, colourful ambiance of the open spaces and the tribal work zones.”
“The innovative design incorporated channel glass to serve as a barrier between the common and private zones, with an alluring solar finish that enables natural light to filter from the exterior to the interior core.”
Budget-Smart Glass Design
At FlightHub, channel glass creates a perfectly circular interior wall that divides the space elegantly and on budget. The relatively narrow 10 5/16” glass channels turn the curves with ease, requiring only the frames to be custom-curved. As a result, curved walls using channel glass are much more affordable than walls designed with traditional bent glass and offer the added benefits of acoustic and visual privacy.
ACDF architects chose Bendheim’s double-glazed I-60 interior channel glass wall system. At 4.5” thickness, the wall has an STC rating of 38, comparable to the STC rating of a standard 4.5”-thick opaque interior wall with added fiberglass insulation (please see chart below). At STC 38, it offers superior acoustic privacy, muffling loud speech enough to make it unintelligible. Simultaneously, unlike a traditional opaque wall, the channel glass partition creates an atmosphere of openness, connectivity, light, and mystique, as diffused light pours through.
Physical Privacy + Social Distancing
According to the architects, although the FlightHub project was designed ahead of any indications of a pandemic and pending social distancing, “ACDF’s modern, flowing design infuses efficient features into the layout that help ease the challenges of creating a post COVID office environment.” For example, FlightHub’s concept for the divided communal spaces – with a separate small kitchen and meeting room in each “tribal” zone – reduces the likelihood of large gatherings. The circular design, conceived to maximize the efficiency of the office layout within the octagonal building, also helps establish one-way flow through the entire space. This minimizes physical interactions and facilitates social distancing. Employees can safely access their private offices, as well as easily reconfigure the common spaces to optimize their work environment.
The architects chose Bendheim’s Lamberts® channel glass with an extremely high percentage of post-consumer recycled content – approximately 40%. It is one of the most sustainable building glass products in the world, a recipient of multiple green industry awards. Among its eco-forward attributes is its carbon-light production, including the use of 100% renewable electricity and an oxygen-and-natural-gas fired glass melting furnace. Please see the product’s Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).
Another desirable attribute of privacy-friendly channel glass is that it projects a “filtered image” of the occupants and activities on the other side of the wall, simultaneously dividing and connecting people and spaces. The “fine mesh” channel glass texture also complements adjacent materials, including the aluminum foam cladding and fabric curtains.
The channel glass wall design, delivery, and installation were completed as planned, on a very tight schedule, but within Bendheim’s standard lead times. Construkt oversaw the project as the General Contractor; installation was completed by DiVETRO.
The specified Bendheim I-60 double-glazed wall system captures the glass channels at the top and bottom and does not require intermediate vertical frame supports, creating a clean design aesthetic and speeding installation. The custom-curved frames (head and sill) were installed first. The relatively lightweight individual glass channels were then pocket-set into the frames and sealed with gaskets and glazing silicone. Bendheim’s flexible wall system also easily tied in the doors to the private offices.
Project At a Glace