You’re designing an office lounge space that looks more like a residential living room than anything “corporate.” But there’s one big difference between a room at home and a room at work: traffic.
Ancillary spaces are in high demand in the workplace, and they see heavy traffic—hour after hour, group after group, person after person. Not even “The Brady Bunch” household gave their family room that kind of constant use.
And, let’s be honest—the type of use an office lounge and occasional tables, for example, endures is rougher than anything a residential sofa or table sees.People simply don’t treat public furniture as kindly as they treat their furniture at home.
So the informal public areas you design—the high-traffic ancillary spaces—need durable furniture that stands up to wear and tear, and meets rigorous performance and safety standards. The items to choose are not consumer-grade, residential products (as pretty as they may look online) but well-designed contract furniture.
Because what client wants to invest in furniture that breaks down after a year—where’s the return on investment in that scenario? And where’s your environmental stewardship when last year’s purchase is this year’s scrap for the landfill?
Which leads to the broader issue of sustainability, something we take seriously at Coalesse and Steelcase. As our corporate sustainability report puts it, we’re working “to create the economic, environmental and social conditions that allow people and communities to thrive.”
What does this mean for customers?
- Are the materials environmentally responsible? How can we work with suppliers to find or develop better alternatives for human and environmental health—materials that are both desirable and resilient?
- How can we design to improve performance and extend the lifespan of our products?
- How can we encourage more customers to take advantage of our end-of-use services, such as reselling, donating, refurbishing or recycling the furniture they no longer need?
- How can we accelerate progress toward our environmental goals—to reduce energy use, water use, VOC emissions and waste output?
Many customers have environmental and sustainability goals of their own, and we support these initiatives by providing documentation, like our Product Environmental Profiles (PEP). These analyses are published for many products, including our Massaud Lounge Seating (pictured above in blue), Montara650 collection, Potrero415 tables, Lagunitas Lounge System, SW_1 Lounge and many others.
At every stage of our business process we consider the impact our work has on people and the environment, and look for ways to make things better. It’s ingrained in our corporate values.
For design ideas for your ancillary spaces, see our Inspiration Gallery.
The welcoming Potrero415 table, paired with stackable Montara650 chairs, can be sized for any organization or application, including project rooms and ancillary spaces. The chairs are an estimated 70 percent recyclable.
The Lagunitas Lounge is made up of approximately 33 percent recycled content and approximately 85 percent recyclable content.