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Structural Support Made Easy

Movable walls require track systems to be installed from the overhead structure. In speaking with a Chicago-based architect two weeks ago, I was surprised to learn that hassles with the overhead structural is often a reason that architects may not design in operable partitions in buildings. Yikes. That was hard to hear, since Hufcor® has a proven, turnkey product called Unispan®, that offers architects, contractors and tenants a way to support the operable partitions without requiring special overhead support like traditional I-beams, glue-lams or direct concrete anchors. And, to make matters worse, Hufcor has offered this patented track and support system for nearly two decades. Unispan certainly can eliminate the hassles. Let’s see how.

Unispan is a self-supporting overhead track with an integrated truss. Preengineered for openings up to 40’ wide, the system transfers the entire weight the operable walls and truss support to the floor, allowing operable partitions to be installed in any building with inadequate overhead support. The system is designed in bolt-together sections that weigh no more than 300 lbs each and can be manually carried up stairs when freight elevators are unavailable. Once in place the sections are assembled on site for convenience.

By comparison, other bolt-together steel I-beam and tube channel systems can weigh up to nearly 900 lbs for each section and are cumbersome to install, often weighing more than the actual operable partition panels. Furthermore, after you install the steel i-beams and tube section supports, you need to install a traditional track system, a prolonged two-step process. The Unispan is a track system with no need for a second tedious step in the installation process.

The above photo demonstrates how the Unispan can be used for accordion doors as well as movable walls. The contractor in this example installed additional plenum barriers to the ceiling deck that matched the finish of the accordion door and side panels. Also, the accordion door incorporated a pivot panel pass door that provided egress between the rooms.

Unispan can be installed below the ceiling as shown above. As shown, Hufcor can provide header side panels to match the finish on the movable walls. The header side panels form an acoustical barrier and “hide” the truss. In addition, the Unispan can be installed above the ceiling, completely hidden away.

The above photo demonstrates how the Unispan by Hufcor can be “buried” above the ceiling and the support legs within the walls. All that is exposed is the clean Hufcor track reveal. This specific installation allows Bookbinders restaurant to add a private dining room within their already successful restaurant in Virginia. The photo below also demonstrates how Granite City Brewery, a Midwest restaurant chain, uses Hufcor Unispan to install a movable wall to create private party spaces. The restaurant then filled the plenum with a interior glazing system to stop sound from traveling over the Unispan and maintain the “feel” of the high ceiling and provide ambient lighting within the atrium space.

If you’d like to learn more about Unispan, the potential cost savings for the overall movable wall system and overall benefits of this structural support system, contact your Hufcor representative today.


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