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FM FEATURE

REUSE AND RECYCLING

ANN BEAVIS

can deliver is a powerful tool to changing perceptions. Enabling stakeholders to see the quality of the products and financial benefits of these choices, through improved break-out, meeting and recreational areas can also help persuade. If confronted with the choice of remodelled desks and refurbished chairs and screens with an improved break-out area, or new furniture whilst keeping the existing break-out area, what would your workforce choose?

Resizing office desks

FAR MORE THAN JUST MAKING DO A well-delivered office refurbishment will refresh a tired workspace and better reflect an organisation’s brand, but these days it can also be expected to make the workspace work harder as well as tick the CSR and sustainability boxes. Ann Beavis reports

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raditionally, an office refurbishment has meant out with the old and in with the new, with office furniture being treated as a short-term, disposable item that is changed as readily as the colour on the walls. But enlightened businesses are finding that integrating reuse and recycling into office refurbishment can help deliver 36| 5 JUNE 2014| FM WORLD

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improved working environments while making cost savings on more traditional approaches. The money saved can be then be diverted to create better meeting, break-out and recreational areas.

Overcoming barriers FMs have met barriers to this more sustainable approach to refurbishment owing to issues of quality with refurbished

products, lack of credible warranties and staff perception about reused furniture. But all these issues can be overcome. Providers of good quality remanufactured products should provide warranties equivalent to those for new products. Installing a trial remodelled desk, screen and chair and producing information on the sustainable savings this furniture

With the current movement towards smaller desks and benching systems to fit in more desks in an office space, remodelling makes the most of the quality furniture in which organisations have already invested. Remodelling can revitalise this furniture that no longer fits the footprint of an office and return items to showroom condition. Our research into the financial and environmental benefits of furniture remodelling over a number of projects found that for an office of typically 100 staff or more, the benefits include: ● Increased productivity of workspace – remodelling desks can save office space and increase the productivity of workspace by up to 35 per cent; ● Reduced costs of office space – savings of as much as £90,000 in office space costs a year; and ● Reduced environmental impact – on average every 10 office desks remodelled saves a tonne of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, according to Waste Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) furniture procurement financial model, remanufactured desks typically cost 30 per cent or less than the cost of new desks so cost savings can be seen immediately. www.fm-world.co.uk

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