kimball

The Sustainability Movement: Techniques & Trends | Kimball

KO_Narrate_04-1140x641.jpg

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

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

DyAoSBbXQAAgtkq.jpg

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.


b3f6e639-b749-4674-81af-f6e264ee6f3f-original.jpeg

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




Gallery_Helio_Jan2019_1.jpg





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.

Our Favorite David Edward Chairs

Image source: David Edward

Image source: David Edward

David Edward is a premier designer and manufacturer of contract furniture, sold in the healthcare, corporate, education and premium hospitality markets. David Edward sells primarily in the North American and Middle Eastern markets.

"We were inspired by David Edward employees' commitment to quality and their incredible tailoring skills, which integrates the most technical and architectural aspects of furniture design." - Mike Wagner, President of Kimball

About David Edwards

The David Edward name is synonymous with the highest quality upholstery products in the furniture industry. Their products are generally specified by architects and designers, represented through a network of independent representatives, and sold through authorized furniture dealerships. The David Edward product portfolio consists of classic and contemporary designs, focused primarily in the seating, tables and ancillary furniture categories.

We’ve chosen some of our favorite David Edward seating products to showcase! Sit back + relax as you get to know the newest addition to the Kimball family: David Edwards.

  1. Kutee

Kutee_Group-51.jpg

Isn’t this the Kutest?! We think so too. The Kutee is not only fun but functional! It’s perfect for collaborative spaces. The Kutee features a round ottoman with painted metal frames that include an internal storage + upholstered seat.

kutee features.JPG

2. Stratus

Stratus.jpg

The Stratus Lounge is unlike any chair out there. Inspired by nature, it takes earth’s elements and transforms them into a contemporary lounge chair. The Stratus Lounge is available as an upholstered shell or painted with numerous different base options. Just like a stratus cloud, the back and base of the chair are one continuous sheet and the seat feels like you’re floating.

3. Ynot

Ynot1.jpg

Meet the Ynot! This beautifully sleek guest chair with dove tail arm details + tight seat + back is the perfect subtle statement piece in any space. Why put it in your office? How about Ynot put it in your office!

Superkool-Mini1.jpg

4. Superkool Mini

A super kool chair with a super kool name! The popular Superkool Chair is available in so many different options that you might not be able to pick a favorite! From metal chrome sled base to an executive base with a swivel tilt mechanism, the possibilities are endless!

Want to see more?

Click here for more David Edwards Products!

5.jpg

Does Your Office Furniture Promote Your Brand?

Office furniture isn’t just functional in the traditional sense. The setup of your space speaks volumes about your company and the reality of your company’s culture. It’s all well and good to promote a laid-back environment, but if your office furniture is set up in a way that deters people from interacting or being comfortable, it’s a disservice to your company’s core values.

 

The kind of desk you need depends entirely on the culture you’re working towards.

 

Creative businesses want to focus on shared workstations to encourage communication and foster creativity. Kimball’s Hum is designed to accommodate the way your team works: as a group and as individuals. With customizable See-Me-Screens, you can focus on your work without feeling boxed in and it makes it easy to collaborate when needed. Plus, with so many design options Hum is bound to fit your aesthetic while promoting your brand.

(Photo Source:  Kimball )

(Photo Source: Kimball)

Companies that emphasize health and wellness might consider investing in height-adjustable desks to off-set some of the negative side effects of the mostly sedentary office life. Workrite has several options for different price points, including electric, crank, and counter balance desks. Their Essentia Electric comes in two different configurations and features programmable settings, so once you find the sit and stand heights that work best for you, you won’t lose precious time fiddling with the controls again.

(Photo Source:  Workrite )

(Photo Source: Workrite)

 

Consistency is vital when cultivating your brand. You expect your employees to not only follow but actively uphold your company’s values. Your office furniture needs to be doing the same. If it’s not, contact b + c office interiors to learn how to make your office furniture work for your brand.