Specification and installation of the correct partition system can maximise workspace, enhance productivity, and ensure compliance with building regulations, and the disability discrimination act.

As with ceilings, the range of available partition systems is vast. Derby Ceilings and Interiors install systems ranging from basic stud and plasterboard, through 'honeycomb' composite partitions which are easily demountable, to high-tech double glazed partitions.

Derby Ceilings and Interiors is very strong in both the health and education sectors. Special soundwall systems are often specified for health premises where privacy and confidentiality are paramount, and fire-rated partitions often play an important part in ensuring health and safety targets are met.

"Choosing the most appropriate partition system is far from straightforward. In fact I believe that one of the most valuable aspects of our work in this area, from our clients' point of view, is our ability to guide them through the maze of regulation and specification to arrive at a partition system which fits their practical requirements, aesthetic aspirations, and budget!

I'll give you a couple of examples. The building regulations relating to disabled access now require that a door is a different colour from its frame, that door widths be increased, and switches be placed at specified heights.

Many clients are drawn to full length glazed partitions - and there's no doubt that in the correct location these look fantastic. In many offices environments, however, people have no option other than to place filing cabinets and other furniture up against the partition. This destroys the visual impact. The answer could be in a split partition system with an opaque panel in the lower section. Highlighting issues like this may appear banal but it can save a lot of frustration and disappointment down the line."

John Chambers.