How to Avoid the Office Cold

Tips on how to avoid + prevent office germs from taking over!


Sneezing, sniffling, coughing…yikes! All warning signs that the office cold is upon us. It happens every year and spreads like wild fire. You might think to yourself, “Not me, not this year” and then BAM! You’re mouth breathing at your desk with a box of tissues.

However, this year could be different. Luckily we’ve come up with some tips + tricks to help prevent that pesky little cold that seems to make its way around every year.

photo source: COACH Magazine UK

photo source: COACH Magazine UK

  1. Two words: Sanitize EVERYTHING

    Germs are everywhere, and the worst part is you can’t see them. It’s important to make sure that you are keeping your hands and surfaces clean. Keep a mini bottle of hand sanitizer on your desk to apply throughout the day. You can also use sanitizing towelettes to wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard, cupboard handles, bathroom doors, and basically anything that anyone ever touches.

  2. Take your vitamins

    There are some great natural remedies that can be taken to help prevent the common cold. EmergenC packets are a dissolvable powder that you can put into your water and drink. Not only does it replenish your body with vitamin C, but the flavors are all delicious! Our favorite is the peach mango. Another helpful remedy is a homeopathic called Zicam. This is an all natural medicine and works best for preventative care. It can also be used when you have a cold to help reduce the sickness. EmergenC + Zicam can be bought at local health food and convenience stores.

  3. Hydration is key

    Drinking lots of fluids which means water. Not soda, not juice, not coffee. WATER.

  4. Pass on the office happy hours

    We all love a good happy hour, but if you’re trying to prevent getting sick, you should probably pass on the booze for a little bit. It’s important to keep your immune system in tip top shape and alcohol definitely doesn’t help.

  5. The obvious one: Sleep

    Getting plenty of sleep is a sure way to help prevent getting sick. Make sure you are getting yourself to bed at a reasonable hour (this means no late night Netflix binges.)

We hope you found our five simple preventative tricks helpful! Stay healthy this season friends.

Aidin | Height-Adjustable Table Features

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photo source: Kimball Brand

Flexible + Efficient

Aidin height-adjustable tables provide caregivers with the proper support they need to connect with patients and provide the highest level of care. With multiple top shapes and material options, Aidin supports flexibility and can be tailored to the environment to help deliver meaningful and efficient care.

photo source: Kimball Brand    Also shown Recliner: Greer / Patient Seating: Tucker / Modular Casegoods: Alterna

photo source: Kimball Brand

Also shown Recliner: Greer / Patient Seating: Tucker / Modular Casegoods: Alterna

Statement of Line

Depth: 18"

Width: 24*"

Height: 28½–44¼"

*Narrow end is 20"

Depth: 18"

Width: 24"

Height: 28½–44¼"


Features + Options:

• Tops available in soft rectangle or D-shape

• Top materials include ¾" thick TFL or HPL with matching 2MM rim, or 1" thick 3DL

• Spill groove with cup holder is optional on 3DL tops • Pneumatic height adjustment on base is 28½" - 44¼"

• Two locking/two non-locking white with grey, dual wheel casters

• Platinum metallic finish on base with a textured aluminum column

photo source: Kimball brand

photo source: Kimball brand

b + c is passionate about creating a healthy workplace environment that fuels employee productivity. We provide comprehensive resources to increase client satisfaction that results in long lasting relationships. We measure our accomplishments by exceeding your expectations. We take pride not only in the work we perform, but the relationships we build. We know your time is valuable, and that is why we are committed to providing you with quick response times and unparalleled service.

How Healthcare will Change the Future of Corporate Office Design

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2019

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2019

The world around us is quickly changing – people, technology, and medicine. The future of healthcare will focus more on maintaining overall well-being rather than masking illnesses. So how will this affect the corporate work environment? We can expect companies to begin integrating these health technologies in the future of office design.

 

Wearable devices

Advancing technologies will play a major role in the future of consumers health such as artificial intelligence and inter-operable data. Wearable devices like Fit Bits and Apple watches already have the capacity to track and monitor our steps, sleeping patterns, and heart rates. We can expect in the next 20 years to watch this trend grow according to Deloitte. Many medtech companies are already beginning to incorporate always-on biosensors and software into devices that can generate, gather, and share data (Deloitte). This will provide consumers with customized health plans and give them complete control over their well-being.

 

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon Chicago 2019

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon Chicago 2019

Supporting spaces

Today’s work culture is all about employee well-being and it goes beyond fancy amenities like a pool table or kegerator. It is important to promote movement and creative flow within the office. This includes creating both physical and mental supporting spaces. The wearable devices can provide active information to manage user’s health and wellness (WorkDesign Mag).

Physical supporting spaces can include sit-to-stand desks or defined walkways for “walk and talk” meetings. There is a serious lack of physical activity within an office environment which can lead to several health issues. It is important for workplace designers to find design solutions that promote health and wellness for employees.

It is also vital to create mental supporting spaces that goes beyond collaboration. Although the Open Plan concept promotes more collaboration between employees, it can be a distraction. Mental supportive spaces can include “quiet zones” which are separate rooms/areas filled with comfortable furniture and calming aesthetics to unwind and regroup.

 

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2018

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2018

The future of Office Design

We can expect to see a lot more changes in the office environment. As employee health and wellness becomes the center of a company’s focus, workplace designers will begin to incorporate technology into

into every aspect of the office from our chairs, monitors, and even computer mouse which will monitor vitals and let employees know when they should take a break or walk around (WorkDesign Mag). Office design will also begin to focus more on stress-management and promote more physical activity within the workplace.



https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/industry/health-care/forces-of-change-health-care.html

https://workdesign.com/2019/07/healthcare-advancements-that-will-redefine-office-design-in-2020-and-beyond/



New Employee Spotlight | Richie Russell

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Please help us welcome Richie Russell to our install team! Richie has over 5 years of experience with modular furniture and we are very excited to further his skills as our Lead Installer.  

Can’t get enough of Richie?! Let’s get to know him a little better…

Fun Facts…

What’s an ideal Christmas/ Holiday for you?

I think my ideal Christmas would be in a cabin with my family, big tree, lots of food, and gifts.

Describe your life using only one word?

Unpredictable.

Do you have tattoos?

Negative.

Who gives you the courage to try new things?

My kids.

How often do you look at your phone?

Very often.

New Employee Spotlight | Vanessa Rasool

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Please help us welcome our newest project coordinator Vanessa Rasool! Vanessa has experience in marketing, event planning and project management. She’s worked in several fields including hospitality, real estate and vendor relations to further her professional career. She received her Bachelors in Communications and Public Relations from Cal State East Bay University and has joined b + c managing projects and learning about the furniture industry.  

Can’t get enough of Vanessa?! Let’s get to know her a little better…

Fun Facts…

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I can’t chose between Taco’s and Pizza so both 😊

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to be a Fashion Designer.

You’re happiest when…

I’m traveling.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Peanut M&Ms.

Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

Definitely too cold.

New Employee Spotlight | Eric Yepiz

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Our newest design guru Eric Yepiz has just joined the b + c team! Eric has over 10 years of experience in the commercial furniture industry. He is a true expert in AutoCAD, CAP Studio and 3DS Max & V-Ray, but it doesn’t stop there! Eric’s skills also include 3D Visualization utilizing state of the art and advanced techniques. We are very excited to have Eric on board!

Can’t get enough of Eric? Let’s get to know him a little better…

Fun Facts…

What is in your fridge right now?

Coffee creamer and Diet Coke.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Die Hard (1988).

When things break, do you prefer to fix them or replace them?

Replace them.

If you had to work but didn’t need the money, what would you choose to do?

Professional race car driver.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

Starbucks Venti Flat White with whip.

NeoCon Design Trend: Sophisticozy Spaces by Kimball

Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand

A blog by Kimball Brand:

Now more than ever, the lines are blurring between work and home. A comfortable ambiance and healthy environment is expected. Evoking a forward-thinking approach to products and solutions, we are changing the nature of workplace activities by creating environments that provide comfort and foster well-being in a space that makes everyone feel welcome and at home.

During NeoCon the Kimball Chicago Showroom illuminated with sophistication in design, exuding comfort and warmth as viewed through the lens of experience and knowledge of design and culture. Our emphasis on uniquely curated products created an inviting, comfortable space that was personal, relaxing and authentic.

Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand

A more tranquil, welcoming environment is paramount to the physical and mental wellness of employees in the workplace. By creating a sense of sophisticozy™, our showroom embodied a feeling of happiness and comfort, sparking creativity and intellect by featuring designs that inspire, spaces that provide comfort and well-being, and a focus on people with the goal of creating warmth and happiness in the workplace. In addition, we celebrated our design partnerships with Claudio Bellini, Pam Light and John Duffy, and Brian Graham in co-creating and bringing to life their designs that focus on bringing comfort, organization and design centric solutions into the workplace.

Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand

The creative process is almost unpredictable, and the mind has to stay free to experiment and suddenly change direction without prejudice. – Claudio Bellini

One of the newest products featured in the space, Debut, is a private office solution that supports the modern workplace with acoustic wall and privacy panels that provides both function and aesthetic. Another new product unveiled in this space was Work|Able, a new wall solution that maximizes space and creates an engaging application with acoustic softness and a personal level of materiality, tactile and differentiation.

Image Source: Kimball Brand

Image Source: Kimball Brand

With materials like pegboard, chalkboard, and cork, the aesthetic is simple and honest, yet effective and progressive. – Brian Graham

Guests entering the showroom were greeted by the beautiful new seating collection, Whittaker – an elegant, timeless lounge offering that combines light and slender volumes with a sophisticated industrial aesthetic in both modular and stand-alone seating.

Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand


This trust makes it easier to push the envelope and know that your partner will go there with you—“just to see” if the direction has merit. – Pam Light & John Duffy

Other new seating products included Nate and Natty, which blend appealing style with comfort and versatility to provide a welcome new arrangement to today’s work and health landscapes. The newly released Niles chair is a natural choice for furnishing office, meeting and conference spaces with a timeless style and is available in classic black or ivory with a chrome base.

The latest offerings from Kimball Health included Aiden, a height adjustable, mobile clinician table that allows for greater patient interaction. Whittaker Health’s comfort and style, along with limitless configurations, meet the rigid requirements of today’s healthcare landscapes with both function and cleanability. The Wilder collection has been expanded to include a rocker, loveseat and ferrule options, and our popular Tucker seating offering expanded to include a guest, bariatric, patient, and hip chair.

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Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand

“With our continued desire to be human-centered, purpose-driven, and modern, we create flexible and relevant environments that provide users a space they enjoy while having choices in furniture and technology applications to better support the changing nature of workplace activities,” explained Wendy Murray, Director of Product and Brand at Kimball. “Health and wellness are essential to engagement and productivity. That’s why we have a continued commitment to not only be a company that focuses on innovation, knowledge, and adaptability, but also one that is committed to well-being, offering products and solutions that provide comfort and encourage movement.”

Visit www.kimball.com/chicago/2019/ to take a 3D tour of our sophisticozy showroom, explore the showroom map for the different products and finishes, view more photos of our new introductions, download our Fresh for 2019 Brochure, or listen to our new Work Your Way podcast with designer, Brian Graham.  

We're Hiring! Project Coordinator

We're Hiring!.png

Project Coordinator

b + c office interiors is seeking a detail-oriented multi-tasker with a focus on constant communication to assist in the order fulfillment process from order entry through punch list, support sales personnel, and provide accurate and timely service to customers. The key to success in this job will be the ability to manage details accurately in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment with attention to details and communication with clients and team members. Communicate regularly with client, team members, and vendors regarding project status.

What You Will Do

·         Continually monitor project status, identify and trouble-shoot roadblocks to expedite project completion including punch list resolution

·         Use appropriate business applications to specify products and services, manage order workflow, and maintain current and accurate data on all projects

·         Gather information to request labor and delivery quotes from appropriate vendors

·         Coordinate information from multiple team members to generate, prepare and send out proposals and quotes using industry proprietary software

·         Prepare required paperwork and prepare orders for entry

·         Establish and track project schedules

·         Track costs and profitability

·         Provide necessary information to Accounting for client setup, invoicing, and collection

·         Coordinates delivery and installation on orders

Requirements

·         Minimum 2 years’ experience in project management, administrative support or similar discipline

·         Able to quickly and proactively step in and handle challenging situations. Works with a strong sense of personal accountability and urgency;

·         Ability to make decisions, prioritize workload, and multi-task while maintaining high attention to detail. Drives responsibilities through to their completion. Removes obstacles and eliminates waste.

·         Must have excellent follow-up and follow-through skills;

·         Excellent interpersonal skills across a range of contacts including high-level executives, board members, members, vendors, staff, and volunteers. Includes effectively employing tact, integrity, confidentiality, diplomacy and flexibility

If this sounds like the perfect job for you, submit your resume to rachel@bcfurn.com.

Essential Essence: Aromatherapy in the Workplace | A Blog by Kimball

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

As human beings, our five senses are critical to how we take in and perform in the world. In our homes, we use things to positively affect our moods, such as windows for natural light or a dim lamp to relax us at night, our favorite candle burning or music playing, and soft blankets or pillows to make us feel cozy and relaxed.

But what about carrying those things over into the office? Both in the home and the workplace, sensory experiences can have a significant and continuing effect on our mood and well-being.

Out of the five senses of perception, smell is probably an afterthought when it comes to designing a workspace. It’s a small detail, but thoughtful management of smellscapes could provide one of the biggest benefits when done properly.

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

Candles are often not allowed in the workplace due to fire safety concerns, but aromatherapy now provides an effective alternative. In the recent Kimball whitepaper, “How a Place Makes Us Feel: Designing in Moods that Boost Human Performance”, author Sally Augustin, Ph.D., explains how research with particular scents indicates that some are useful in workplaces.

In general, smelling unpleasant scents increases stress levels, while pleasant scents can reduce them. Lemon scents have been tied to improved performance on mental tasks and better worker moods. The smell of peppermint has been linked to improved performance and speed. Scents of an at-work coffee bar influence travel through spaces and serve as cues for behaviors such as spending time casually with colleagues. Smelling rosemary and common garden sage improves memory performance and alertness.

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

People are fairer and more generous when they find themselves in spaces that smell clean to them. Several scents have been shown to reduce anxiety levels including sweet orange, lemon, mango, and lavender scents, all of which contain linalool. These smells reduce stress levels through their influence on the immune system and blood chemistry.

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

Some companies are even moving toward customizing scentscapes to align with departmental objectives in different parts of the building, as well as creating signature scents for their workplaces to establish a stronger and enduring emotional connection with guests and consumers.

Our signature Kimball scent is one of luxury, sophistication and comfort. Sparkling citrus fruits illuminate a green floral heart surrounded by Blonde Woods, Golden Amber and Crystallized Musk. Imagine walking through a grand, lush forest with sunbeams shining through green leaves. With notes of Mediterranean Lemon and Calabrian Bergamot, our signature scent activates the body and soul.

NeoCon | New 2019 Kimball Introductions

Another NeoCon has come and gone! 2019 brought us a lot of new, fresh interior solutions and we cannot get enough. This year, Kimball introduced a new kind of NeoCon theme, Sophisticozy. “Welcoming a refined sense of warmth and humanit to the workflow. Furnishings in relaxed tones and rich textures that invite people to come together comfortably. An atmosphere that not only considers our productivity but our peace of mind. Join us to experience that harmony.” (Kimball)

Debut™

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

Our latest office solution features a modern aesthetic that showcases the Kimball design direction and craftsmanship. Featuring asymmetrical, modern aesthetic for the office. Debut includes thoughtfully designed height-adjust desks, sleek storage options and layered wall panels that support acoustic separation. Soft, rounded corners are a key element of this unique offering, which includes privacy panels and an accessory rail to house utility tools for an additional flexibility within this comprehensive solution.

Work|Able™

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

A new wall solutions that maximizes touchdown, group, and personal space in dense footprints with thoughtful design details. Work able creates an engaging application within the larger environment. Acoustic softness combines with a personal level of materiality, tactile and differentiation in this offering.

Whittaker™

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

An elegant, timeless lounge offering, Whittaker combines light and slender simplicity with a sophisticated industrial aesthetic. Utilize modular components or stand-alone freely within the interior environment. Whittaker’s comfort and style, along with limitless configurations, creates a welcome setting where people feel right at home. A clean-out option meets the rigid requirements of today’s healthcare landscapes.

Nate & Natty™

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

A family of seating designed to meet the spectrum of needs in today’s workplace. Whether next to a desk or in a conference space, Nate & Natty can dress up a room with fun colors and different base options. With a lovely detail stitching, this seating family consists of a conference or guest chair, as well as counter or bar height stools. Whatever the choice, Nat & Natty are sure to enhance any space with a luxurious tone and comfort like none other. The scale of both chairs has been designed for today’s spaces; the comfort for today’s informal setting; and the material options for a designer to be able to easily carry a design vocabulary.




Pairings™ Nooks

photo source: Kimball brand

photo source: Kimball brand

As an extension of Pairings, designed by pL-D, the Pairings Nooks provides a private retreat for meetings or impromptu gatherings, while still fitting into the open plan. Pairings Nook provides enclosed spaces for a more private setting that supports collaboration or just casual conversation. Extend work surfaces off the back and add monitors, storage and markerboards for a complete, interactive solution.

Niles™

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

With a timeless style, Niles is a natural choice for furnishing office, meeting and conference spaces. Available in classic black and ivory with a chrome base, it comes in mid-back or high-back models for all types of applications.

Priority™ Height Adjust

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

Now with even greater flexibility, the expanded Priority portfolio includes new height-adjustable desks and a multitude of low storage pedestals that can be integrated for a truly comprehensive solution. Utilize a robust selection of wall panels to create a space that supports any type of modern-day work environment.






Wilder™

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

Wilder brings a sense of warmth and sophistication to health and commercial waiting places. The collection includes lounge, guest, and bench solutions, as well as new rocker, loveseat and ferrule options. The rocker provides passive movement to ease anxiety allows families to gather in comfort.




Greer™ & Aidin™

photo source: Kimball Brand

photo source: Kimball Brand

Greer is a modern and modest, full function patient recliner, built with quality and value in mind. The small-scale design works perfectly for today’s smaller footprint spaces while still providing comfort for all body shapes and sizes. With features that provide complete functionality, Greer offer patients comfort during treatment.

Aidin, is a height adjustable, mobile clinician table that allows for greater patient interaction. Available in different top shapes and materials with an optional cup holder and spill groove, Aidin supports the needs of demanding healthcare spaces.

See the full 2019 Kimball Introduction Brochure HERE.





New Employee Spotlight | Ambur Casciola

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This weeks employee spotlight is Ambur Casciola! Ambur has worked in the furniture industry for a little over a year, from installation to office interiors. She attended the Art Institute of Las Vegas for Illustration and Graphic Design and joined b + c in mid-2019. She now supports the b + c staff as an administrative assistant.

Can’t get enough of Ambur?! Lets get to know her a little better…

Fun Facts…

Is there an app that you hate, but use anyways!

Nope!

If you could only speak one word today what would you say?

Coffee

Would you rather have unlimited sushi for life or unlimited tacos?

Unlimited sushi.

Who gives you the courage to try new things?

Close friends, family and artists I admire.

What are you most looking forward to in the next 5 years?

Having a good career, working towards more goals and happiness.

Bring Your Pet to Work [Every] Day

With increased work demands and longer commutes, the workplace is becoming a home away from home. Many companies are moving to employee-centered work atmospheres by providing new wellness initiatives and other amenities to help make employees feel comfortable and enjoy the environment they work in. But even with healthy food options and exercise classes, many employees still rush out the door at 5:00 p.m. to spend time with the beloved pets waiting for them at home. This challenge is now being recognized by today’s employers, and many are seeing mutual benefits to inviting employees to bring their four-legged friends along with them.

Power of Pets
Decades of research have shown that pets provide numerous health benefits, from lower blood pressure, reduced stress and anxiety, boosted immunity, and prevention of asthma and allergies. Even a quick pet can calm and reduce subconscious tensions. And when you’re less stressed, you’re generally happier, more creative, and more productive.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

By bringing their pets to work, employees aren’t worried about having to stay late once in a while or feel guilty about leaving their pet at home all day. They feel they have a better work-life balance, which ultimately leads to less absenteeism and better employee retention.

Taking their pets outside for a quick walk or restroom break also provides increased movement and much needed brain breaks throughout the day. It even gets employees out of their primary area and encourages new interactions and coworker bonding that may have not happened otherwise.

Family and Friends
Often, pets are thought of as a member of the family. Since the beginning of David Edward, the canine companions of the Pitts family have helped make David Edward a special place.

Four-legged friends have been a steady feature at the David Edward office since Edward Pitts began the company. He always had a love for dogs, and brought them to work with him every day. Their presence provided a welcome and more informal environment, and soon, the David Edward family of employees became attached to them as well. Over the years, the beloved pups of David Edward have even made special appearances in marketing materials.

© Seth Hughes, Getty Images.

© Seth Hughes, Getty Images.

“A few walks a day bring fresh air to our lungs, a nice stretch to our legs, and the lack of guilt associated with leaving our best friend at home for 10 hours,” said Greg Pitts, VP of Marketing and Design at David Edward.

David Edward's philosophy is to manifest positive, unconditional regard for its customers, employees, suppliers, the environment, and the community at large. Known as Design’s Best Friend, they strive to treat everyone with the same love and friendship that their four-legged pals provide them each and every day.

5 Steps to Making Pets Work in Your Workplace

  • Maintain good hygiene.

  • Make sure pets are groomed, cleaned and free of fleas/ticks, as well as have up-to-date vaccinations. Introduce pets slowly. Inform employees of pet’s training and dietary needs.

  • Additionally, be respectful of employee allergies. Sections or floors of a workplace should be determined as no-dog-zones, and employees taking their dogs to their desks should take the shortest route possible to get there.

  • Keep your pet-friendly areas clean. Dogs’ bedding to be washed once a week, as well as the implementation of HEPA filters to provide allergy relief.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

New Employee Spotlight | Halie Romasco

Halie.jpg

A career sales professional, Halie enjoys over 10 years of experience in the sales field.
Starting in industrial distribution, then as a manufacturer's representative and now in commercial interiors, she has truly worked in all aspects of the selling world. After working in several job fields, she understands what it takes to be successful in the sales world. Her strength is providing an exceptional customer experience while striving for teamwork, profitability and efficiency. 

Can’t get enough of Halie?! Let’s get to know her a little better…

Fun Facts…

What are you most looking forward to in the next 10 years? 

More kids and a yard! 

 What’s your dream car?

Free with no maintenance or gas required 😊

 What is the most annoying question that people ask you?

Where would you like to eat? - the answer is everywhere and nowhere at the same time 

 How do you relax after a hard day of work?

I have a newborn... 

 What songs have you completely memorized?

Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot

The Sustainability Movement: Techniques & Trends | Kimball

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As our population continues to grow and climate change becomes a more prominent issue, the need for sustainability has never been greater. No matter how big or small the action, any act helps in the collective goal to create healthy, safe and sustainable environments. This movement toward sustainability is creating new techniques and materials that are now being used in constructing “green” buildings, redesigning or fitting-out existing ones, managing resource consumption, and reducing harmful emissions.
 

But making sustainable choices doesn’t just stop with the external components of a building, it moves inside as well. Spacestor identified sustainability as one of the Top 8 Workplace Trends for 2019, with an upward trend of combining wellness culture with sustainable design. These are some of the trends surfacing in each of the primary areas in architectural and interior design.

Building & Materials
Today, there are new artificial materials that are more environmentally safe than traditional materials. Since 2015, the Dubai Municipality has required the use of sustainable “green” concrete in all new construction which uses environmentally friendly materials that have low-energy costs, high durability and low-maintenance requirements, and contains a large proportion of recycled or recyclable materials.[1] Many new buildings are being constructed as multi-use spaces or structured for modular interior design, which will be more sustainable over time because it can change and adapt to new occupant needs. Instead of building spaces for specific functions, architects and designers are creating buildings that can serve a wide range of uses.

Water Usage
With water, the goal is to use less and reuse more. From high-efficiency fixtures, automatic sensors, metering and flow controls, to reduced flow toilets and urinals, low consumption fixtures for sinks and showers, and dual flush water closets, there are numerous options to help us become sustainable with water consumption.

Energy Efficiency
According to a recent study by Harvard based researchers, buildings consume nearly 40% of primary energy production around the world. Any cuts in energy consumption can have a tremendous impact on carbon emissions, which is the main source of climate change. One method of reducing energy consumption is increasing natural light through sky lights, sloped ceilings, light shelves, or solar harvesting. Other options include automatic lighting control, timers to turn lights on or off during office hours, and energy-saving lighting like LED, T5 and HE fluorescent.

Waste Management
Tracking your waste, generating less waste, and recycling provide the key foundation for a successful waste management program. For existing businesses and buildings, tracking it is the first step to knowing the type and amount of waste your company creates. With this knowledge in hand, you can determine the best sustainable practices to implement for reducing waste.

Changing from single-use to multi-use cups, switching to paperless documents where possible, donating items that are no longer needed, reusing items that you already have in new ways, and implementing a recycling program are just a few of the ways to become more sustainable with waste in the workspace.

The EPA's guide to managing and reducing waste in commercial buildings also shares that organizations that sign up as a partner in WasteWise, the Food Recovery Challenge or the Federal Green Challenge can use the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Data Management System hosted in Re-TRAC Connect. Through the SMM Data Management System, partners can track and report to EPA their annual waste management and green purchasing activities, set annual goals and apply for recognition.

Air Quality
When it comes to air quality, the EPA also states that indoor pollutants are often two to five times greater than those encountered outdoors. To create a healthier and more sustainable workplace, improvements to air quality can be made by integrating plants inside, selecting low-emission materials, creating separate spaces for high-emission equipment, and ensuring fresh air through windows or ventilation.

Sustainable Interior Design Elements
Design elements such as wood, cork, bamboo, and linoleum are all low-maintenance, durable and renewable. Countertops made from recycled materials, sustainable textiles and natural fibers such as soy, wool, hemp or flax are also eco-friendly options in sustainable design planning.

Seattle’s Bullitt Center, a six-story office space is billed as the “Greenest Commercial Building.” It is outfitted with solar panels, rainwater treatment systems, and a ground-source heat exchange system, all of which result in a net-positive energy environment. Additionally, the building materials were carefully handpicked so as to avoid 14 categories of chemicals. Impressively, as of 2015, the Bullitt was the world’s largest certified Living Building Challenge (LBC) facility. (Living Proof: Building the Bullitt Center from Brad Kahn on Vimeo.)

View Video

Sustainability is also becoming more important to the employees that are, or will be, working in the spaces being designed. According to a recent Nielson study, Millennials and Generation Z will be the first generations willing to pay more for sustainable products and view sustainability as a critical component in the company culture they want to join for their career.

At Kimball, we are proud of our environmental stewardship we have been practicing since the founding of the company and are committed to not only meeting current environmental standards, but also setting new ones. Kimball works diligently to improve our understanding of our impact on the environment. We partner with companies and certifying bodies such as LEED and WELL that can help us monitor and reduce our overall impact so we can continue to be a responsible steward of resources. We continue to bring products to market that are not only innovative, but sustainable. It’s part of our heritage to take initiative, reduce waste, conserve energy, commit fully and lead by example. It’s not enough to simply sustain. We strive to enhance our world. And we hope you’ll join us.

See original blog post by Kimball

Understanding acoustic design elements in the office

photo source: Snowsound

photo source: Snowsound

Cell phone conversations, co-workers talking too loud, typing keyboards…it can all be VERY distracting. Especially when in an office setting. With the Open Plan being the new norm of an office space plan, it may seem like things will never quiet down. Luckily, there are sound absorbing resources to alleviate some of those distracting noises.

What is an acoustic space? An acoustic space refers to an acoustic environment in which sound is heard by an observer. Not only is proper acoustical design vital in the importance of the functionality of a space, but it can directly effect tasks that take place in those spaces. It is an elemental area of design work and one that can also enhance the visual appeal of a scheme as well as the acoustic comfort. There are two ways to solve an acoustic problem in a space: sound masking and sound absorption.

photo source: Lencore

photo source: Lencore

Sound Masking

Sound masking systems use a soft unnoticeable background sound through a speaker. It muffles any sounds or distractions within a setting. Users can control this sound masking setting by depending on the amount of distracting noise. The disturbing noise can be measured by sound level sensors that are installed in the ceiling. Therefore, the sound masking level can be adjusted in real-time. For further information on how sound masking works, check out this short video by Lencore! Lencore Sound Masking



Sound Absorption

Sound absorption refers to wave lengths being soaked up by soft surfaces. Sound absorption absorbs unwanted noise within a room. Essentially, it converts the sound wave energy into a small amount of heat that reduces the amount of sound throughout the room. There are many different sound absorption products including acoustic panels, tiles, clouds, and ceiling baffles. Check out this short video about Snowsound’s incredible sound absorbing technology! Snowsound Acoustic Panel Demo

photo source: Snowsound

photo source: Snowsound

Choosing the right sound solution for your space will depend on whether you are looking to mask sound or absorb sound. It is possible to use both sound masking and sound absorption in a space. For example, sound masking or ‘white noise’ can be used in an open office plan to muffle colleague conversations and sound absorption solutions can be used in conference rooms to absorb meeting discussions. You will find that most modern offices use a combination of these solutions to reach an acoustically pleasing office setting.


Interested in hearing more about our sound solutions? Contact us for a quote and let us help you quiet your noisy office!



Sources:

https://www.teacherboards.co.uk/community/the-sound-of-success-how-acoustics-play-role-in-modern-office-designs/

https://www.acousticbulletin.com/how-architects-explain-acoustics

https://www.audimute.com/blog/sound-absorption-vs-soundproofing

https://speechprivacysystems.com/how-sound-masking-works/

https://www.snowsoundusa.com/why-snowsound/

Living Green Walls Bring Nature Inside the Workplace

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

The concept of bringing nature inside is circling back around as an important piece of workplace design. As cities grow larger and the push for healthier environments continues, elements of nature are being brought back into our workspaces and communities.

One example of this is the living green wall. Also known as vertical gardens or eco walls, these vertical panels of plants help restore the natural balance while also making a powerful design statement.

Plants are naturally beneficial by helping improve air quality, increasing positivity, and helping you feel more relaxed. Green walls also help reduce noise and provide benefits connected to biophilic design: the concept that people feel better when they have access to nature.

Research has shown that air quality and lighting at work can have significant effects on brain function and productivity. According to Ambius, a premier creator of ambiance for businesses, green walls incorporated into a biophilic design plan can help improve creativity, reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, and other workplace concerns. Just being close to plants can have a positive impact on an individual’s wellbeing. Simply seeing nature in the work environment can increase job satisfaction.

The installation of a structure like a green wall also sends a message to employees that they are employed at a company that is concerned with providing them with an enjoyable work environment. They can even earn buildings LEED points and WELL credits.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

Helio | by Kimball

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Greater exposure to natural light increases creativity, communication and happiness. That’s why we’ve taken a different design approach with Helio. Rather than framing it to be a focal point, we’ve created that perfect balance of visual continuity and personal comfort. Blending harmoniously with its surroundings, Helio gives people access to natural light, elevating their comfort and well-being.


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Helio provides freedom of movement with adjustable comfort that is seamlessly integrated to eliminate visual disruption. The back is constructed with durable, cross-woven nylon that provides ergonomic lumbar support while maintaining its crisp, clean lines. Refined details such as contrast seat stitching and premium casters with polished accents further elevate the sophistication offered within a light-scale design.

Details

  • The translucent white and semi-translucent black, cross-woven nylon back material allows light to pass through

  • Polished aluminum details on lower back, base, casters, and arms

  • Contoured seat and lowered back lumbar support provide long-lasting comfort

  • Standard adjustable seat height, seat depth, and a self-balancing, 4-position synchro lock

  • Adjustable arms are height-adjustable and available with side-to-side adjustable arms pads or fully adjustable arm pads

  • Static C-arm caps are available in white or black with a durable, translucent PU cap

  • Low profile controls reduce visible levers

  • Black or white headrest can be added to any model

  • The foot ring on the sit-to-stand and stool models features a simple hand-adjusted level for easy positioning

  • Contrast stitching available on configurable models




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Workplace Trends for 2019 | Kimball

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

While some of the trends that experts are predicting for 2019 are a continuation of what some workplaces were already doing in 2018, there are still a number of new ones. Some that might even raise a few eyebrows.

Here’s a quick preview of the trends that experts believe will be popular for workplace design in 2019.

Different work settings for different tasks.
Okay, technically, designating different areas of the office space for employees to work alone, in collaboration with others, or without distractions, isn’t new. But utilizing furniture options that can be easily rearranged to an employee or team’s liking does take the concept further. The furniture buzzwords moving forward are “minimal restrictions”.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

Multifunctional rooms.
An adaptation of the designated space for 2019 will be to create small, multifunctional rooms that can be rearranged depending on the function. These rooms can be used for informal meetings, quiet spaces, interviews, or to relax with a cup of coffee. Versatility is the key — that includes the furnishings.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

Space that contributes to employee well-being.
Employee health and psychological well-being will play a bigger role in office design for 2019. Research shows that people who experience higher levels of well-being are more resistant to colds, have a quicker recovery time from illness, a greater life expectancy, feel less pain, are more creative, and are better at problem solving. Literally, there’s no downside for a company to create a space that makes people feel good about working there.

Blurring the lines between the workplace and the comforts of home will also continue in 2019. For example, relaxation spaces will be a big plus to employees. Comfy seating, mini fridges stocked with cold beverages, and coffee machines will be a must.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

Experience-driven spaces.
Another trend that experts expect to see among companies other than the high-tech and startups is something called experience-driven spaces. These spaces could include such features as massage therapy, yoga studios, meditation areas, virtual reality gaming spaces, espresso bars, and even rock-climbing walls or music stages.

The melding of furniture design and technology.
The introduction of laptops, cloud, and mobile phone technology into the workplace has increased the demand for more creatively thought out workstations. In 2019 expect to see more desks and workspaces with built-in technology like air-charging ports for mobile devices, under-desk mounted CPU holders, tabletop-embedded “personal assistant” touchscreens, electronic cable management systems, even Bluetooth-enabled standing desk controllers connected to mobile apps.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

Abstract patterns.
Plain walls are so 2018. Abstract patterns and geometric shapes will be the thing for 2019. In the halls, lobbies, and conference rooms, you'll start to see the use of bold shapes, colors, and patterns accenting the walls. Handcrafted, artisanal, and earth-based products will also be making their way into the office and wood furniture will be moving towards darker, more elegant tones.

The Second Nature trend.
The use of plants and biophilic design in office space will continue to grow. (Sorry, for the pun.) Living green walls, plants, trees, and flowers will be used more and more to bring the outside in. This once trendy fashion statement is now considered by many companies to be a “must have’ in 2019 workspace design.

Here are some other characteristics of this Second Nature trend:
• WELL certification
• Fitwell certification
• LEED certification
• Natural materials - biomorphic forms and patterns such as wood and stone
• Natural lighting
• Thermal comfort and high-quality ventilation
• Visual connections with nature

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

So, if you’re designing a new space or giving your old space a makeover for 2019, make sure you keep these new trends in mind. If you need furniture to fill that space, we know a great place where you can look.

New Employee Spotlight | Janice Tran

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We have a new addition to the family! We would like to welcome Designer Janice Tran. Janice has over 10 years in the design industry, with talents ranging from construction, residential interiors, multi-family housing, commercial + hospitality design.  She believes that the core to all great design starts with the function and flow of a space.  Her approach to designing a visually pleasing aesthetic is heavily influenced by her love for travel and seeing how old architecture can blend with new ideas.  In 2018, Janice joined the b + c team and is charged with helping clients identify and bring to fruition, their interior needs.

Can’t get enough of Janice?! Let’s get to know her a little better…

Fun Facts…

What is on your bucket list?

  1. Complete a full triathlon

  2. Live in Barcelona

  3. Hike Machu Picchu

  4. Attend one of the 12 days of Christmas on the Ellen Show

  5. Snorkel in Maldives

What’s a secret talent of yours?

I can out eat a bear

 

Favorite travel spot?

Barcelona, Spain

 

What’s your most over used word/phrase?

Awesome (I’m trying to work on fixing this lol)

 

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Relax, whatever you are fretting about now, is not a big deal, just enjoy being young and carefree.