You may know that you need an operable partition for your space, and you may know that you want that operable partition to be from Skyfold. But do you know which Skyfold movable wall you need?

There are four product lines within the Skyfold family: The Classic™ Series, the Zenith® Series, the Zenith® Premium Series, and Mirage®. Although all Skyfold walls are automated, acoustically rated and fold vertically into a ceiling pocket, there are slight differences between each product, making one product line more suitable than another depending on your design requirements and space. 

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing a Skyfold Wall into a Flexible Space:

1. How Important is Noise Control and Acoustics?

Off the bat, you can filter out options by deciding how important acoustic comfort and noist control are to your client.  If acoustics are a top priority, you'll want to stick with one of the solid panel solutions (e.g. Classic, Zenith, or Zenith Premium). If noise control, however, is less important to your client, you can look at a solid panel system with a lower STC rating, or at the Mirage glass wall solution which has an STC of 33 (Rw 33 dB). If you’ve decided on solid opanels, it’s now time to choose the STC rating; in other words, it’s time to select the model. Within the four Skyfold product lines, there are models, each referring to a different STC (Rw) rating for the entire Skyfold system—not just the panels. STC ratings range from 48 to 60 (Rw 47-59 dB) and there is also an NRC option that absorbs noise by up to 65%. It's even possible to select a combination of NRC perforated panels with STC panels on the same wall to target acoustic challenges. 

Here’s what we suggest:

  • Low to Moderate Importance on Acoustics: Mirage, Zenith 48, Classic/Zenith/Zenith Premium 51
  • High Importance on Acoustics: Classic/Zenith/Zenith Premium 55, 60 or NRC 

Remember, Skyfold is meant to be one element in an acoustically designed room. To ensure the best acoustic performance in a space, consider specifying additional acoustically rated products to work in conjunction with Skyfold, like acoustic ceiling baffles.

2. Is Visual Privacy a Priority?

The level of visual privacy can differ between industries, and even between spaces within the same building. For example, between classrooms, visual privacy may be necessary to reduce external distractions; however, visual privacy may be less important in other parts of the school, such as between atriums and hallways. For spaces that require visual privacy between subdivided rooms, go with a model from the Classic, Zenith or Zenith Premium Series for its use of solid panels. If your clients put a lower emphasis on visual privacy, Mirage with frosted glass panels can provide a bit of visual privacy while preserving natural light flow. If visual privacy isn’t a concern at all, then Mirage with clear glass panels can offer physical separation without the rooms feeling completely enclosed or isolated.

The short of it:

  • Visual privacy required: Classic Series, Zenith Series, Zenith Premium Series or Mirage with frosted glass
  • No visual privacy needed: Mirage with clear glass

3. How Big is the Opening?

Sometimes it is the size of the opening in which the Skyfold wall will be placed that can determine the type of Skyfold wall you’ll need. Let’s start with the height of these openings. For openings that have a height of 15 feet (4572mm) or higher, the Classic™ Series or Mirage® will be the right solution for your space. The vertical accordion-style of these two products allows for these solutions to fit into spaces with higher ceilings, with the Classic™ reaching up to 36 feet (11000mm). If the opening is on the shorter end, you’ll want to go with the Zenith® Series or the Zenith® Premium Series which can reach heights of up to 12 (3660mm) and 14 feet (4265mm). respectively.

All Skyfold models, except for the Zenith 48, are unlimited in length. Zenith 48 can fit openings that are up to 48 feet (14600mm) wide. As long as you’re not hung up on the Zenith 48 model, any other Skyfold model will be able to fit the length of your opening, regardless of its width.

Here’s the gist of it:

  • Openings higher than 14 feet: Classic Series or Mirage
  • Openings 14 feet or shorter: Zenith Series or Zenith Premium Series

4. What Does Your Floor Plan Look Like?

You or your client may have chosen Skyfold because of its discreet and convenient ceiling storage pocket, which already liberates valuable floor space that would otherwise be occupied by storage closets for horizontal operable walls. Nonetheless, a room’s design layout can also help determine which Skyfold product is the right solution.

In rooms with limited floor space—like meeting rooms and classrooms—choose the Zenith® Series or the Zenith® Premium Series. The Zenith technology has a straight down deployment; this narrow path of travel allows for you to place fixed furniture closer to the operable wall and still have enough room to operate it.

The takeaways:

  • Tight floor plan: Zenith or Zenith Premium Series
  • Spacious floor plan: Classic Series or Mirage

5. What's the Budget?

Each Skyfold wall is custom made; dimensions, finishes, STC rating, and additional features all contribute to the cost of a Skyfold wall. The Zenith® 48 is our out-of-box model, with access to the standard finish collection, a lower STC rating, and more compact dimensions, making it most the budget-friendly Skyfold solution.

Customized For Your Space

When determining which Skyfold movable wall will be perfect for your space, you can narrow down your options by first deciding how necessary acoustic and visual privacy are for your client. This will help you choose between a solid panel or glass system. From there, you can get into specifics as you begin to assess room limitations or design preferences. But you should know, you don’t have to decide which Skyfold solution is right for your space by yourself; Skyfold’s authorized distributors spread out across the globe can help with consultation and design engineering. Skyfold is custom by design, so regardless of your space's limitations, design vision or your clients wants and needs, rest assured that there's a Skyfold wall made for you. 


Published August 20, 2020