Architectural glass walls have become a popular feature of modern office design in recent years. Glass walls look modern and create a sense of transparency in the workplace. At Certified, our clients trust us to install their glass walls, and we’ve found that the companies we work with choose architectural glass in their offices for a number of reasons. If you’re curious about why the glass wall trend has taken off and why so many businesses are choosing glass walls for their offices, here are the 5 benefits of using architectural glass walls in the office.
1. Natural Light
We’ll get to the aesthetic qualities of architectural glass, but there’s actually a more important reason to choose this material than just looks. One of the key benefits of architectural glass walls in offices is that they allow unobstructed light to flow throughout the space. This access to natural light and window views is more integral to employees’ psychological and physiological well-being than you might think.Research has shown that for workers in fluorescent light environments, there are higher reports of negative health consequences and lower productivity than those who have access to adequate natural light. Not only do offices with restricted natural light find higher rates of sick time being taken, but employees of those offices report lower overall productivity. Natural light also regulates our circadian rhythms, leading to higher quality sleep. 
According to the research compiled by Derek Philips in his book, Daylighting: Natural Light in Architecture (2004), “poor lighting can affect workers’ health” and can “cause stress and lead to various forms of complain, eye discomfort, vision or posture … dry or itching eyes, migraines, aches, pains” and other symptoms of something called “Sick Building Syndrome.” Sick Building Syndrome is a term used to describe how our indoor environments negatively affect our health, and inadequate natural light is one of those factors.
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Natural light has been associated with health for hundreds of years. As early as the first century BC, Roman architect Vitruvius speculated that daylight prevented illness, and he thought that buildings should be designed with well-lit interiors in mind.  It’s even been shown that patients in hospitals with a window in their room recover quicker than those without a window!
2. Cost Savings
The health benefits of natural light in the office are important enough, but more natural light might even save money in lower energy bills. Architectural glass allows the office to operate in natural light and rely less on artificial, fluorescent light.
As Philips writes, artificial lighting accounts for “between a third and a half of the energy use in commercial buildings,” in fact, “significant savings in energy can be obtained where the use of daylight has been planned.” Architectural glass walls are a great way to introduce more natural light into a space that was formerly dark and drab.
3. Customization & Branding
Another unique aspect of architectural glass walls is their ability to be completely customized to fit the company’s brand. Glass walls can be adorned with colorful decals or strategic frosting to add personality and extra privacy to the office, while still letting light flow through.
Many of our clients choose to frost their glass walls to allow for a greater sense of privacy and prevent that feeling of being in a “fish bowl.” For certain offices like Human Resources, frosting is a great solution, so that employees don’t feel “on display” while discussing a sensitive issue.
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Customizing glass walls with decals can also add privacy, but also make a statement by integrating the company’s brand colors, logo, or graphics in a way that still feels modern and clean. They can add a pop of color and are easily removable should a company need to go in a different design direction.
4. Flexible & Resilient
A great feature of architectural glass walls are that they are demountable. This means they can be installed and then uninstalled for ultimate flexibility.
If for whatever reason an office needs to alter its floor plan, glass walls can be easily changed and moved. Whereas drywall walls would need to be removed and cannot be re-used, architectural glass has the unique ability to be installed and then re-installed as the space requires.
This is great for companies that foresee expansion or growth in their future and might need to move to a larger or different space – the glass walls go where the company goes!
Glass walls are also far more resilient and easy-to-clean than drywall, painted walls. Glass can be wiped down, whereas painted walls are prone to scratches. Painted drywall needs to be re-touched as the paint chips, scuffs or becomes stained from normal wear and tear.
5. Modern Aesthetic
Aside from the technical benefits of architectural glass, companies choose glass walls because of the modern, sleek aesthetic that glass provides. It coordinates with every other building or furniture material. Different fabrics, wood, stone, etc. all coordinate well with glass. Office interior design has trended toward using this new material and it acts a symbol of innovation and forward-thinking.
The concept of transparency is a modern business value that many companies are striving to emulate. Architectural glass walls help cultivate this principle, and they do so in two ways. The first is that they help to shape the public’s perception of the company. Glass walls give off a feeling of openness and honesty. Internally, glass creates transparency among ranks. Everyone is visible to each other, manager and staff alike, which fosters accountability.
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Are you ready to elevate the look and feel of your office? If you think glass walls might be the right solution for your company, Certified is here to help. Our team has managed large scale architectural glass wall projects across Manhattan for over a decade. We have the experience to help our clients every step of the way, from delivery through to installation.
 Aries, Myriam B.c., et al. “Windows, View, and Office Characteristics Predict Physical and Psychological Discomfort.” Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 30, no. 4, 2010, pp. 533–541., doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.12.004.
 Bergs, John. “Effect of healthy workplaces on well-being and productivity of office workers.” Proceedings of International Plants for People Symposium, Floriade, Amsterdam, NL. 2002.
 Evans, Gary W., editor. Environmental Stress. Cambridge University Press, 1984.
 Phillips, Derek. Daylighting: Natural Light in Architecture. Elsevier, 2004.