Open Concept or Panels: Why not Both?

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November 1, 2019 | by: James
A typical example of FreeFit Benching
A typical example of FreeFit Benching

Open Concept or Panels: Why not Both?

For most of the history of the office cubicles have reigned supreme the workspace. By the 90s the innovation of ‘open concept’ was popularized, tearing down walls to make employees feel less trapped inside little boxes. Today the love for open concept is wearing off.

Designers are coming across some obvious downfalls of open concept, such as trying to run power and data to workstations when there are no walls to run it though. Noise can also become an issue in larger office spaces. People designing offices are torn between choosing between the two opinions, but there are now alternate options that incorporate the advantages of both open and panel-based layouts.

Beam and benching systems offer some privacy and sound dampening while still allowing for open feeling spaces that don’t block light. Most importantly these systems have integrated power and data lines which is particularly useful for height-adjustable stations.

Intelli Beam

Global Furniture’s Intelli Beam system is a lot like a traditional panel system, including a power raceway, trackable, sound dampening surfaces, and glass toppers, but the entire system stays high off the ground. All the important bits are only at desk level where you need them.

FreeFit Benching

Global Contract’s new FreeFit Benching system is designed to bring height adjustable desks out off the private office and on to the main floor. The desk mounted panels ensure workers still have a degree of privacy and noise reduction while the framework base brings in the power and data connections needed to run the workstations.


It’s not a new system and is still more like a traditional desking system, but Bridges might still be the right fit for some office spaces where you need to bridge the gap between office desking and a collaborative work area. Power and data are integrated into a trough that runs though the centre of the system and a variety of panels can be mounted to the desk tops.


Artopex’s Air Line system is a versatile system that includes desks, storage and benching so it’s easy to coordinate style across your entire office. Like the other systems the benching and beams include power and data options. All storage modules can be outfitted with electronic locks for keyless security.

If you’re not sure which system is the best fit for your office of budget, feel free to contact one of our designers at Buy Rite and we’ll find the right system for you and your needs.

Call us at 604-999-7483 or email us at


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