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Why Should You Choose Custom Industrial Workbenches?

In our previous article we talked about choosing between our Smart Ship industrial workbenches (where you can order 5 benches that will ship within 5 days) and standard configuration industrial workbenches, like our Benchmarx line of industrial workbenches (our most popular standard offering). We will review the wide range of custom options available from Formaspace and help you understand why choosing fully custom furniture configurations can be the best option!

 

makerspace prep school workbenches

Prep School Makerspace

 

Why Customize Your Industrial Workbenches?

When you order furniture from Formaspace, you are working directly with the manufacturer as we build all our technical furniture at our company facility located in Austin, Texas. Because we are a full-service manufacturer selling to customers around the world, we have extensive experience in building all types of custom industrial workbenches, cabinets and technical furniture. Our customers include over 80% of the Fortune 500 in industries ranging from life-sciences, energy production, scientific research, light and heavy manufacturing, imports/exports and shipping, Pharma and health care industries as well as educational, government, and military organizations. There are many reasons for custom industrial workbenches and technical furniture. Let’s review three reasons, some of which you might find a bit surprising.

 

1. Custom Industrial Workbenches are More Suitable for LEED-certified Buildings

Since its inception, Formaspace has been a leader in reuse and recycling: 100% of our waste steel, aluminum, sawdust, cardboard and paper is reused in production or recycled for secondary use. As a supporter of the U.S. Green Building Council, Formaspace has provided custom furniture solutions for numerous construction projects certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) buildings. Decisions made in the early stages (including furniture specification) can affect whether you will garner enough points to achieve your desired level of LEED certification. Our experts can help you identify the earth-friendly industrial workbenches, worktables, cabinet casework and other furnishings choices that will maximize the number of points awarded during the certification process.

USGBC LEED Certification

USGBC LEED Certification


Two LEED Certification Scenarios

  • Formaspace custom modular furniture can be fully disassembled and moved from one site to another (where it can be 100% recycled without any impact on landfill resources) which can bring you LEED certification points.
  • If you are in possession of materials which can be suitably recycled into new technical furniture, Formaspace has the capability to work with novel recyclable materials. This could also potentially be a basis for earning LEED certification points.

 

2. Custom Industrial Workbenches Can Satisfy the Unique Requirements of Your Vertical Industry

The second reason for ordering fully custom furniture from Formaspace is to satisfy the unique requirements of your industry. For example, if you are building or remodeling a research laboratory or a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, your specialized requirements could include:

 

Research Laboratory or Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Example

  • Housing sensitive specialized instrumentation, such as DNA analyzers, liquid handlers or robotics equipment, all of which need vibration isolation
  • Supporting heavy equipment, such as shakers and centrifuges, which require extra strength support and vibration suppression
  • Protecting high temperature equipment, such as incubators and ovens
  • Isolating cold temperature equipment, such as freezers and refrigerators

 

And don’t think we are limited to laboratory environmental restrictions. We’ve used phenolic resin for military marine environments (where salt water corrosion is a major concern) and HDPE in black-ops where vibration must be avoided. When you contact one of our Formaspace technical furniture experts, you will benefit from our extensive experience that comes from years of building custom technical furniture for the widest possible range of applications.

 

3. Custom Industrial Workbenches are Built for Today’s Innovative Architects and Historic, Period Architecture

Two different scenarios — which at first seem may strike you as completely incongruous — make up the third reason that clients come to Formaspace for their custom furniture needs.

 

What do these two different scenarios have in common?

  • Custom furniture installations specified by today’s innovative architects
  • Sensitive historic landmark renovation projects utilizing period-correct furniture

 

What characteristics do brand-new, modern furniture systems created by architects share with maintaining period-correct architectural furnishing when renovating historic real estate facilities? Well the answer of course is that — from our viewpoint as the manufacturer — we have to work diligently to capture the intent from the architect, whether it’s a fresh, up-to-the-minute look from 2017 or from a historical period in the past. So, if you are an architect or engineering construction firm searching for a facility to build your new custom furniture, you’ve found the right place.

At Formaspace, we manufacture custom configuration technical furniture built to your exact requirements — and we can detail out the specification using our in-house project staff or we can work directly from your Autodesk© REVIT©–compliant drawings. If you are renovating an existing facility, we also have extensive experience matching existing furniture installations. So, for example, if you are renovating and expanding a traditional mid-century research library, we can match your existing casework furniture, down to the paint color and materials and hardware selection.

 

Under Mounted Pull Out Shelves on Benchmarx™

View in Gallery

 

Formaspace Design Consultants Can Help You with Your Custom Industrial Furniture

If you are searching for custom industrial workbenches or other technical furniture, you should contact one of our consultants today. One of our Austin, Texas-based industrial furniture experts will be glad to advise you on how you can take advantage of Formaspace’s capabilities as custom technical furniture manufacturer.  

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Custom Furniture Cuts Costs in LEED Certified Projects

As the peak of summer approaches and outside temperatures climb above 100F at our factory headquarters here in Austin, Texas, we have energy conservation and sustainable business practices on our minds. We’re not alone. It’s fair to say that nearly all our large enterprise customers are investigating ways to make their businesses more environmentally friendly. Many of our clients currently renovating existing buildings or undertaking new construction are also seeking LEED-certification for their real estate development projects.

 

USGBC LEED Certified

 

 

U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certifications Can Influence the Selection of Furnishings Throughout a Facility

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, has expanded its scope considerably since it was first introduced by the U.S. Green Building Council back in 1993. Now in its third revision, LEED has branched out into nine different rating systems for sustainable green practices across the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) and Facilities Management (FM) sectors. LEED rating systems range from standards for commercial construction, such as LEED for New Construction, LEED Core & Shell, and LEED for Healthcare, to the LEED for Home standards established for residential design and construction. In the third edition, LEED 2009, up to 100 points can be awarded to certify a project is worthy of the LEED designation, with the highly coveted Platinum level requiring at least 80 award points. In complex construction projects, each point can be hard fought to achieve, thus even the selection of technical furniture, such as earth-friendly modular work bench, work table and cabinet designs from Formaspace, can influence the outcome.

 

Formaspace Engages in Sustainable Business Practices in the Manufacture of All of our Custom Furniture

Formaspace sources all our raw materials for our workbenches and work tables, like steel and specialty hardware, via a local, American-based supply-chain rather than relying on overseas sources. This not only reduces transportation costs but reduces emissions released into the environment, which is also considered in the LEED certification process. We employ careful, efficient use of raw materials at the Formaspace factory. And we employ an extensive recycling program to reuse or re-purpose any unused materials.  For example, any excess steel is recycled, while scrap material from the production line is re-purposed to create custom shipping crates for our workbench and work table technical furniture. Energy conservation and streamlined operational measures play a big part in our sustainable business efforts. We have insulated our factory extensively to reduce our cooling and heating requirements. We replaced inefficient air-compressor driven tools with precision rotary screw units for significant energy savings when fabricating our work bench and work tables. And we use diffusers to achieve 80% natural lighting within the facility for reduced energy consumption.

 

Formaspace’s Custom Furniture Can Help You Meet LEED Project Challenges

Flexible modular furniture solutions from Formaspace are often specified to help you earn LEED credits in new construction or when renovating an existing building. These modular units, including steel cabinets, industrial tables and industrial workbenches, offer rapid reconfiguration if your space planning needs change. For example, Formaspace modular furniture can be disassembled and re-assembled using basic tools, with essentially zero waste, unlike traditional casework furniture offerings. As we’ll see below, the ability to reconfigure the layout of your floor plans during renovations or even transport modular furniture to a new site without incurring any solid waste disposal can help secure important LEED credits.

 

Formaspace Workbenches are Commonly Specified by LEED Accredited Professionals

Formaspace is an active member of the U.S. Green Building Council, as are many of our customers. For example, in the healthcare sector, we are supplying J&J Worldwide Services with a large order of laboratory workbench and work table furniture in support of their construction of the Department of Defense’s new Food Safety and Diagnostics Laboratory (FADL) at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas. J&J employs LEED Accredited Professionals within their design and construction teams to promote innovative operational sustainability, reduce usage of scarce resources like water and energy, limit the need for solid waste disposal and improve indoor air/environmental quality.

 

corner laboratory casework

Fort Sam Houston Laboratory Remodel

 

Let’s Step Through a Typical LEED Scenario for Sourcing Sustainable Furniture During the Renovation of an Existing Building

As this scenario is for a renovation of a facility that’s already built, an LEED Accredited Professional would reference the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system. In this case, the applicable LEED credit for purchasing sustainable furniture, like modular cabinets, industrial tables and industrial workbenches, is Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 2.2. This credit is intended to encourage a reduction of adverse air quality and environmental impacts during the operational and maintenance life cycle of the facility. An MR Credit 2.2. can be earned via several alternative criteria, or ‘pathways’, including purchasing furniture that either incorporates high levels of post-consumer or post-industrial recycled material, utilizes significant portions of salvaged materials or is constructed from a supply of rapidly renewable materials. Another pathway for earning this LEED credit is by purchasing furniture that is manufactured and shipped locally. Depending on the type of furniture designs selected, many Formaspace technical furniture offerings may help you qualify for this LEED credit.

 

How Does the Original Choice of Furniture Affect LEED Certification During Future Renovations?

When retrofitting or renovating an existing building, a LEED Accredited Professional will want to consider the LEED credit implications carefully. Relevant LEED 2009 credits include:

  • MR Credit 3: Sustainable Purchasing—Facility Alterations and Additions
  • MR Credit 8: Solid Waste Management—Durable Goods
  • MR Credit 9: Solid Waste Management—Facility Alterations and Additions

The primary motivation behind this range of credits is to divert potential solid waste debris away from landfills or incinerators during renovation or retrofit. Many traditional furniture systems, such as classic casework cabinets, cannot be moved easily and may require walls and other construction elements to be removed, and thus potentially end up in landfills. Here is where the selection of modular furniture during the original construction phase shines. As the name implies, Formaspace modular furniture, such as industrial workbenches, steel cabinets and industrial tables, can be fully disassembled and moved within your facility as your needs change. LEED Accredited Professionals will want to quantify and document how 100% recyclable modular furniture eliminates the need to dispose of construction/demolition debris into our landfills or incineration facilities.

 

 

 

Integrated Workstations

 

Are There Additional Opportunities for Accruing LEED Credits When Purchasing Custom Furniture?

Yes. For existing facilities, LEED offers credit for exceptional environmental protection or operational efficiencies. Here are the relevant ‘bonus credits’ for innovation in operations, exemplary performance, or conducting pilot programs found in LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance:

  • IO Credit 1: Innovation in Operations -or- Exemplary Performance -or- Pilot Project
  • IO Credit 3: Documenting Sustainable Building Cost Impacts

There are also entire sets of LEED credits specific to new construction projects. You will want to consult with a LEED Accredited Professional to discuss standard LEED credits as well as LEED bonus points for new construction type projects, including credits for Innovation in Design and LEED-selected categories established for specific geographic regions. Whether you are building a new facility, or retrofitting and renovating an existing facility, Formaspace is your custom fabrication partner who can bring your furniture ideas to life. Whether you are looking for modular furniture, classic casework furniture or you have a new, innovative custom solution in mind, we stand ready to build your furniture at our factory in Austin, Texas. Contact us today!

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