CHICAGO – Allsteel Inc. is adding to its product portfolio with a new offering—Beyond Architectural Walls—and entering the segment with an initial introduction of movable frameless glass styles featuring a breakthrough innovation. A unique built-in scissor lift leveling mechanism levels the glass within the floor channel, functioning much like a pneumatic jack, and allows an installation that is far faster and easier than other products currently on the market. Differentiating Beyond is that it’s a unitized frameless glass system; it features ½-inch thick glass that is exceptionally soundproof, earning one of the highest STC acoustics ratings; and, it is highly structural, allowing for an optional privacy tile system with components that hang directly on the glass.

“This is a historic year for Allsteel, as the company is marking its 100th anniversary and launches into this new category,” said Kris Yates, vice president architectural products. “Beyond embodies the vision we have for continuing innovation both now and well into the future. Our venture into the world of architectural walls comes at the right time. Workplace topography is being affected by so many factors: New technology means more mobility for workers; shrinking real estate footprints yet swelling costs requires more economy of space; and, though walls have tumbled down to support collaboration and satisfy LEED requirements for more natural light, enclosed spaces are still in demand, whether for group meetings or for private offices. And the more flexible they are the better. Allsteel is all about furnishings solutions,” Yates continued, “and with Beyond the company is now going the full distance for anyone responsible for planning a workplace facility and the end users who occupy it.”

Beyond is a featured introduction at NeoCon, in Allsteel’s Chicago Merchandise Mart Showroom, #1120.

The Call for Walls

The functionality of Beyond Architectural Walls is unsurpassed, and the product is able to support three levels of workplace change quickly and easily. First, the walls themselves can be moved. Second, the unitized and non-progressive wall panels allow the room to be reoriented by moving the door without moving all the walls. And, third, the optional privacy tile system supports rooms to be repurposed from private office to conference room or to a team space with visual privacy achieved exactly where it is needed.

The speed of installation time is astounding—able to be completed significantly faster than other movable frameless glass products, making Beyond an ideal choice for projects with short lead times and an especially desirable alternative for companies with high-churn environments needing flexible space at any given moment. Allsteel also is offering modular components such as a privacy tile system, glass and aluminum shelves, work surfaces and the ability to hang custom materials that add to the adaptability of Beyond and allow a space to be transformed in countless ways. These additions attach to rails or “buttons” that are fitted into the pre-perforated glass as needed, allowing complete customization. The desired aesthetic is always assured, with a flush base trim and vertical filler strips that keep the look clean and concise.

Beyond is the ideal design and acoustic solution for nearly every application: private office, huddle/flex rooms, conference rooms, enclosed offices, or touchdown/hoteling spaces that typically serve mobile workers or visitors. Sliding, pivot and hinged doors are available, both in glass and wood.

As for its sustainability features, in a world where transparency increasingly is woven into the corporate fabric, glass walls evoke and help communicate this core value. Moreover, with greater emphasis on LEED ratings, they are an ideal solution for allowing light into and views out of the workplace—a boon to worker productivity and lower energy consumption. The ease of reconfiguration means that Beyond Architectural Walls will be reused for many more years than other glass walls that only claim to be movable.

“Allsteel wants to be sure that Beyond doesn’t end up in a landfill in a few years, as drywall and other products surely will,” said Yates.

Teaming With “The Wall Guru”

Allsteel’s move into architectural walls is in association with Eberhard von Huene, whose moniker “The Wall Guru,” has accrued through his inventions in the category over the past four decades. Ironically, von Huene, having begun his career at Allsteel, brought his latest and crowning achievement to the HNI company.

“Allsteel is where it all began for me, and Beyond is the pinnacle of my life’s work,” said von Huene. “Since that first job, I’ve been inventing and re-inventing, and with each decade perfecting and refining the production and performance of movable walls. It’s gratifying to align once again with Allsteel and be working with what’s become an unparalleled industry leader.”

Based in Montreal, von Huene has partnered with Allsteel to develop Beyond, and the company is tooling up for production in its Muscatine manufacturing facility with availability expected in late 2012. Coming off the production line there puts another plus in Beyond’s sustainability column since that facility is equipped with a rooftop solar array that produces enough energy to power the wall assembly at Allsteel. Beyond is certified to BIFMA level™ 2.

For more information on Allsteel visit www.allsteeloffice.com. Find us also on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Allsteel/249020105156.

About Allsteel Inc.

Allsteel Inc., headquartered in Muscatine, IA, designs, builds and delivers award-winning workplace furniture solutions. The company, which is marking its 100th anniversary in 2012, was the originator in 1967 of the lateral file. The office landscape has significantly evolved since then, and so has Allsteel’s impressive portfolio of innovative products which includes: seating, office systems, storage, tables, accessories, collaborative workplace furnishings, textiles and finishes, plus, most recently, architectural walls. A dedicated steward of sustainability, Allsteel was the first contract furniture manufacturer to have all products certified either Indoor Advantage or Indoor Advantage Gold, and the entire line can contribute to LEED credits. Additionally, Allsteel strives to attain the highest certification in level™ for all that it manufactures. A rooftop solar array installed at the company's central manufacturing facility has been operational since 2010 and helps power a significant amount of production. The company has Resource Centers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Santa Monica and Washington, D.C., as well as in Toronto, Canada. For additional information, visit www.allsteeloffice.com.

Source: Allsteel Inc.