"Clean and Green" makes headway in office furnishing

If you think “doing green business” is just a passing fashion, you’ve got another think coming – green trends have created a $227 billion a year marketplace for sustainable products and services, a figure estimated to hit the $1 trillion mark by 2020.

This is a large (and growing) market – and their clout is making itself felt in the $10-billion-dollar office furniture industry. Increasing attention is being paid to how the process of creating office furniture impacts the environment.

For example, the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released during the production process may contribute to air pollution and health problems down the road.

Also, the average 10-year lifespan of office furniture raises concerns that a great volume of furnishings are sent to the landfills long before they’re due.

As a result, remanufactured furniture is looking better and better. New techniques in refurbishing office furniture create a whole new world of possibilities for environment-conscious companies.

Remanufacturing companies take previously used cubicles and other office furniture, replace the fabrics and work surfaces, and reassemble them again, the end result costing up to 70% less than equivalent brand-new furniture. A whole office can be remodeled this way, at a fraction of the cost of using new cubicles.

Cubicles.com’s line of cubicles takes this idea of value engineering for the earth’s sake and runs with it. By sticking to a simple yet all-encompassing philosophy of reducing, reusing, and recycling as much as possible from the original material, Cubicles.com manages to reuse up to 85% of the source into its remanufactured furniture.

Cubicles.com offers a wide range of pre-owned models sourced from respected brands like Herman Miller, Knoll & Steelcase. The look, feel, and function are almost indistinguishable from brand-new cubicles – you wouldn’t even know it was remanufactured, green furniture if you weren’t told it was.

Saving the earth isn’t just a feel-good platitude; it’s good business. As more workers wake up to the impact their enterprises are making on the Earth, companies like Cubicles.com are stepping up to help them do their part for the environment, and save big in the process.

September 11, 2009

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Category: Ergonomics


Ergonomics in Unlikely Places.

Think only desk jockeys need ergonomic chairs? Even Air Force flyboys are getting in on the act – according to AFLink, outfitters have added new ergonomic seats to AWACS aircraft.

I’m betting this is good news down on the Air Force barracks; operators aboard the AWACS-equipped E-3 Sentrys fly 12 to 14-hour missions at a stretch, which takes its toll on the body.

The old seat designs had been in place since the 1970s, the Stone Age as far as ergonomics is concerned. No lumbar support; no adjustment features; and the wrong kind of padding for long missions.

According to Paul Zauner, the manager in charge of the program switching the seats on the domestic AWACS fleet, operators have to keep stretching back muscles, resulting in “fatigue and greater inattention to scope activity.”

“The current E-3 seats are not designed for crew efficiency over long AWACS’ flight and mission profiles,” Zauner summarizes.

Not so with the new seats; the newly-installed ergonomic chairs aboard the AWACS fleet should alleviate back and neck stress for operators on each flight. 14 sets of seats have been installed so far on four airplanes; all 32 E-3s are expected to undergo this refit over the next year or so.     (read more)

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