The demountable wall movement has been a slow motion revolution but one that has lately taken on a formidable head of steam. Companies large and small, perhaps pushed by the ever changing dynamics of the global marketplace, have begun to see the wisdom of designing spaces that can, among other things, change on the fly to accommodate fluctuations in staffing levels and the creation of workgroups to meet emerging opportunities. As these companies have investigated demountable wall systems as a way of increasing competitiveness they’ve also discovered that they can save a bundle on utilities in the process. In this post we’ll look at some of the reasons demountable walls met with some initial resistance and why they’ve taken off recently.
A Brief History of Demountable Wall Systems
While it can be said with certainty that convention centres lead the way in the adoption of movable wall technology for the purposes of this post we’re going to concentrate on the role demountable walls have played in the evolution of the contemporary office. With that in mind let’s begin our trip down demountable memory lane.
- Pioneers: When demountable wall systems were first introduced some 40+ years ago many a company owner saw them as a kind of futuristic flight of fancy – like flying cars – that was an interesting idea but probably had little real world application. As such they faced an uphill fight for acceptance. Some of the earliest companies to recognize their true potential were corporate giants whose offices were sprawling half-acre monstrosities that cried out for a practical means of dividing the space. Government offices were also quick to adopt demountable walls for much the same reason.
- The broader market: Small and mid-sized companies intent on controlling expenditures were reluctant to pick up on demountable walls not only because the technology required them to think outside the box from a design perspective but also because it was more expensive to purchase demountable walls than it was to build using drywall. You have to remember that at the time there was no global market to speak of and the business climate was much more static and laid back than it is today. So companies simply didn’t see the need for reconfiguring their space; a key selling point for movable walls.
- The winds of change: Several things contributed to demountable wall systems becoming the indispensable office technology they are today. The first was the breaking down of trade barriers. Companies were suddenly no longer competing with the guys down the street, they were competing with people they’d never heard of halfway around the world. This required companies to either embrace flexibility or join the dinosaurs. The other reason demountable walls gained widespread acceptance was that each successive generation was better engineered and more affordable, while standard construction costs skyrocketed. Demountable walls with their built in access panels for power and communications were also better equipped to deal with ever changing technology.
- Into the future: The future of business is evolving as fast as the technology that is powering it and today’s demountable office walls provide companies with the long-term flexibility they’re going to need to stay competitive. They also help reduce HVAC and lighting costs, practically eliminate maintenance costs (as well as remodeling costs) and provide dynamic environments where today’s tech-savvy workforce can perform to their potential.
If you’d like to learn more about demountable wall systems call IMT Modular today on 416-743-4513. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and provide you whatever information you need to make an informed decision about adopting demountable walls for your office.