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  • Writer's pictureKate Bachner

Company Showcase: 9to5 Seating, OFS, Wade Architectural Systems

Updated: Jan 3

 

How 3 Companies Commit to Sustainability & Wellness



Forum's Company Showcase gives us the opportunity to single out three companies who have dedicated themselves to harmonizing the built environment with the natural one. 9to5 Seating, OFS, and Wade Architectural Systems all demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how building materials/products impact the environment and are continuously innovating their sustainability practices.


9to5 Seating

 

9to5 Seating has perfected the art of the chair. Focused solely on seating for both national and international offices, healthcare facilities, foyers, and educational environments, the California based company designs seating that is thoughtful, customizable, and visually appealing. However it is not only the seamless blending of form and function that sets 9to5 Seating a part, but also their robust sustainability practices.



 

Working from their LEED Gold NC Headquarters, 9to5 Seating addresses their products’ lifecycle from cradle to grave. Design decisions are dictated by a given material’s environmental impact. Energy and water conservation are highly valued. Criteria such as whether a material contains recycled content, can be recycled, or is biodegradable, shapes how a product is built. Likewise what happens at the end of their products' life is heavily considered, this is illustrated in 9to5 Seating's participation in the EPA's Waste Wise Program, which outlines different methodologies for diverting waste from the landfill. Human and planetary health also play a large role in their material selection. 9to5 Seating's chemical management program meticulously identifies, reduces/and or eliminates chemicals known to be hazardous to human and ecosystem health. This comprehensive sustainability program implemented behind the scenes is reflected in 9to5 Seating’s GreenGuard Gold Certifications, BIFMA/LEVEL 2 & 3 certifications as well as their contribution to the One Tree Planted organization which plants trees and restores damaged ecosystems. When you purchase a chair by 9to5 Seating you get the best of both worlds: great design and environmental stewardship.

 

OFS


OFS furniture company designs environments that cater to individual needs, group interactions, and brand/industry identities. Specializing in Workplace, Healthcare, Education, Hospitality, and Government spaces, OFS, imbues vitality and soul into interior environments. Urging us to “Imagine a Place”, the contract furniture company beseeches clients to play an active role in shaping their environment and in so doing their behavior.



Naturally, OFS takes wellness and sustainability seriously. Starting with their WELL Platinum certified headquarters (11th platinum certified building in the country!), OFS’s headquarters represent the foundation on which their health & sustainability program is built. In fact OFS has a whole team of WELL experts that help their clients design for sustainability as well as optimal emotional and physical well-being. We can see this reflected in their furniture which is ergonomic, height adjustable, daylight enhancing, and adaptable.  Their ‘Soft Architecture’ allows settings to be customized for privacy, collaboration, comfort, and the only constant in one’s life… change.

 

Supporting healthy indoor air quality is a non-negotiable. OFS consciously avoids worse in class chemicals that are carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting, and cause neurological damage. This has helped them earn BIFMA LEVEL 2 and SCS Indoor Advantage Gold certifications as well as Health Product Declarations (HPD), a transparency label, listing all of a respective product’s ingredients and the potential health impacts associated with them. It is important to note that these chemicals not only impact occupant health but affect people and ecosystems beyond the building’s walls. In fact paralleling their commitment to the built environment, OFS takes environmental stewardship seriously. It has forest management certifications through the American Tree Farm Program and the Forest Stewardship Council, which exceeds 7,000 acres.

 

Wade Architectural Systems


Wade Architectural Systems speaks the language of Metal. They are experts in designing exterior and interior environments with panels made from zinc, aluminum, and steel and carry some of the most reputable brands on the market. They provide high quality construction drawings, specifications, and project management to some of the most esteemed commercial architecture and construction companies in the country. Their deep knowledge of these ancient materials allows them to come up with customizable solutions to fit a project's needs especially when it comes to the environment.



As we face unpredictable weather patterns including extreme temperatures and storms, one thing has become abundantly clear...we need to design for resiliency. Metal is durable, recyclable and versatile. It protects against water, air, vapor intrusion and high winds. Different types of metals have specific properties and when harnessed correctly, can greatly contribute to a building's ability to withstand the elements. One of the most versatile metals out there is zinc. For example when zinc is exposed to carbon dioxide a "thin protective coating of zinc hydroxyl carbonate forms and inhibits corrosion." Wade Architectural Systems goes on to explain that this "gives the metal self healing properties." This molecular change adds longevity to products built with zinc and reduces its maintenance. Unsurprisingly zinc roofs can last between 50-100 years! Another important factor of resiliency is a product's ability to be continuously recycled and steel is one of the most recycled and recyclable materials out there. In fact approximately 15 million tonnes of steel are recycled every year. Use of metals such as recycled steel diverts a tremendous amount of materials from the landfill. Durability coupled with recyclability are prime ingredients for creating a built environment sturdy enough to face climates in a state of flux.











 

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