How to Make Safe and Effective COVID-19 Safety Partitions: Part 1
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continuing across the US; businesses, schools and organizations are looking for methods to allow their buildings to open or remain open while social distancing their patrons and students in a safe and secure manner. Businesses and schools are finding it especially difficult to source separation methods without reallocating funds or burning through their budgets.
We’re making this blog post as a three-part series that will show you how to build different types of separate safety barriers, that will work for many environments.
Why Build COVID-19 barriers with PVC?
PVC is ideal for constructing safety partitions because it’s easy to clean and sanitize using off-the-shelf spray disinfectants. The cost to build with PVC and standard poly plastic is hundreds of dollars less than steel or plexiglass solutions that are available from larger suppliers.
As with all of our plans and PVC ideas, they don’t have to be followed to the Tee. Your workspace, office or school may require a specifically shaped solution or particular configuration. Again, the beauty of PVC pipe structures is that you can easily make those adjustments with minimal change in design and minimal impact in cost.
This plan and the others that will follow over the following week are based around polyethylene sheeting as a barrier. Poly sheeting is inexpensive, widely available and incredibly easy to work with. Alternatively you can use any type of material that suits your purpose. Cloth material will function as well, but keep in mind that It may require disassembly for washing. Pair these structures with our PipeClamp and connecting the preferred material to any 1” or 1-1/4” PVC structure is a snap and an easy solution for connecting and disconnecting.
Part 1: The Standard/Basic Partition
Our first PVC plan is a solution to the aforementioned problem, and shows you how to build a Standard PVC Safety Partition easily and inexpensively from 1" Size PVC Pipe and fittings. This partition is very basic and is designed to separate areas of close contact between people and provide your customers, students or employees a safe and comfortable space to sit or work. It's light enough to move from space to space and can be modified in size and shape to fit your environment (more below).
The design provides visibility through the partition when using clear poly sheeting. It provides a safe and separate section for employees or students without impeding on your workspace, office layout or lighting.
To go right to the plan, click here to see this plan in our PVC Plans Library. Otherwise, take a look at our tips and modification ideas below.
This particular plan can be adjusted to be wider to cover a larger area. Since it does use 1” PVC pipe, which has more horizontal deflection, it is not recommended that any changes be made where one segment of pipe is longer than 48” (4 ft) to avoid bowing.
For wider solutions, we recommend swapping out one side of the top 90s with Tees, the Tees with Crosses and the 4-Ways with 5-Ways, as shown in the diagram below. This will let you create wider solutions that can essentially be a longer ‘wall type’ unit.
You can also built multiple versions of this structure and link them together using Bungee Ball Ties or nylon zip ties to keep them together, creating a chain of partitions to cover a larger area or to separate entire rooms.
Finally, the footing options, while not outlined in the plan, can be modified as well. This may be preferred as some may find the basic footing solution in the plan may cause the structure to be somewhat ‘underfoot’. You can create a simple leg structure by adding some basic parts is outlined below:
More to Come
The plan to build this will be followed by additional plans later this week for a mobile partition, desk-mounted option, as well as a counter partition solution. All will be made available free in our PVC Plans Library, with a parts list and step by step instructions.